Bridges Instead of Walls: The Story of Mavis Staples

by Mavis Staples (Author) Steffi Walthall (Illustrator)

Bridges Instead of Walls: The Story of Mavis Staples
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

Legendary singer and Civil Rights activist Mavis Staples has teamed with an award-winning children’s poet to share her rousing life story in this spectacular picture book.

At 85, Mavis Staples is still singing in front of large audiences and sharing her message of love, faith, and justice. She’s been performing since age eight as part of her family’s gospel group The Staple Singers, and has become one of America’s most admired musicians, with multiple Grammys, a Kennedy Center Honor, and a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But Mavis has been more than a thrilling singer; she has also stood alongside Martin Luther King, Jr., at numerous Civil Rights protests where her voice was a rallying cry to the country.

Now she and acclaimed author Carole Boston Weatherford bring her story and her inspiring message to young people in this poetic, illuminating book, beautifully illustrated by Steffi Walthall.

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Kirkus Reviews

A moving look back at a long and storied career.

Review quotes

"A resonant profile of the great singer and Civil Rights activist. A moving look back at a long and storied career." —Kirkus Review
Mavis Staples
Born in 1939 and still performing in her 80s, Mavis Staples is one of the most admired musicians in the country. She holds multiple Grammy Awards including a Lifetime Achievement Grammy, is a Kennedy Center Honoree, and can be found in the Blues, Gospel, and Rock & Roll Halls of Fame. She and her family, The Staple Singers, were also known for their dedication to Civil Rights activism.

Carole Boston Weatherford is a two-time NAACP Image Award winner and the author of Unspeakable, which won the Coretta Scott King Award, a Sibert Honor and was a National Book Award Finalist; the Newbery Honor book Box; and the New York Times Bestseller Moses. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, she now teaches at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina.

Steffi Walthall is an illustrator and character designer born and raised in Virginia. She received her BFA in Game Development from the Savannah College of Art & Design and has illustrated several previous picture books, including Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Rocky Pond Books
Publication date
July 09, 2024
BISAC categories
JNF018010 - Juvenile Nonfiction | People & Places | United States - African-American
JNF007040 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Music
JNF036050 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Music | Popular
Library of Congress categories

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