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What Do You Do with a Voice Like That?: The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan
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What Do You Do with a Voice Like That?: The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  711 ratings  ·  159 reviews
Congresswoman Barbara Jordan had a big, bold, confident voice—and she knew how to use it! Learn all about her career in this picture book biography of the lawyer, educator, politician, and civil rights leader.

Even as a child growing up in the Fifth Ward of Houston, Texas, Barbara Jordan stood out for her big, bold, booming, crisp, clear, confident voice. It was a voice tha
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by Beach Lane Books
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At least once a week, I wish out loud that Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, and Molly Ivins were still alive. My state would be a different place. Fabulous introduction to Jordan’s life and work. Stunning illustrations by Ekua Holmes.
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What an excellent book & tribute to Barbara Jordan. Barton’s clear and honest writing paired with Holmes’ soulful & layered illustrations make this one a winner. I really enjoyed learning about Ms. Jordan, esp since I didn’t know much about her until reading this excellent non-fiction book.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Chris Barton tells the story of the amazing Barbara Jordan, born with a commanding voice that mesmerized the nation. She became a lawyer, and then a congresswoman, and a teacher. Many said, had Jordan not suffered ill health, that she would have risen high in the political world, maybe as a senator, or on the Supreme Court or even as vice-president. Barbara Jordan was a legend in her time who influenced many with her powerful voice and strong sense of values.
Lorie Barber
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Extraordinary, in both story and illustrations. I learned so much. Ms. Jordan’s story is singular, and can galvanize ALL generations to lift their voices in support of those who can’t, or those who might be too afraid.
Without a doubt, both a recurring #classroombookaday, especially for our literacy unit on advocacy, and a contender for the 2018 Caldecott. I loved every page.
Dee Dee G
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful illustrations. Nice introduction to Barbara Jordan for young readers.
Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I knew who Barbara Jordan was, but I also lived in Texas for a few years while she was still alive, so I have an unfair advantage. This is a great introduction to her. It covered quite a few of the major milestones of her life, and the art is great, but I really wish there had been more actual pictures of her worked into the art, or included with the author's note. Particularly since this is meant for children, I think it would have helped cement the fact that Jordan was a real person who actual ...more
Gary Anderson
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Barbara Jordan was a dynamic American leader during the tumultuous 1960s and 1970s. As a Congresswoman and later as a respected professor, she was a fearless advocate for marginalized individuals and populations, and she demanded ethical behavior from those entrusted with the reins of government.

I clearly remember Barbara Jordan from my childhood. My dad was fascinated with her and called me to the television whenever she was on. Her voice was not like anyone else’s. Stentorian comes to mind as
Great biography of Barbara Jordan with stunning art by Ekua Holmes.
The title of this impressive biography of Congressman Barbara Jordan brings to mind nonfiction writer and illustrator Steve Jenkins' beloved What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? Of course, it covers very different subject matter since it follows the formative years and political career--I'd almost prefer to say career of service, given the negative connotations now associated with many politicians--of this Texas native. The mixed media illustrations are filled with meaningful words and images a ...more
Laura Giessler
What a fantastic bio of Barbara Jordan! The text is informative, and the varied font sizes and colors help to highlight key ideas. The illustrations are beautiful and engaging, making Barbara and her times "real" to the reader. The timeline in the back is excellent, full of important quotes and events in her life. I was especially inspired by some words that she spoke at the DNC, calling for an environment "which is characterized by a devotion to the public interest, public service, tolerance, a ...more
Doris Smith
This extraordinary book entitled: What Do You Do With a Voice Like That? The Story of Extraordinary congresswoman Barbara Jordan. Illustrations by Ekua Holmes, whose book "Voice of Freedom" about Fannie Lou Hamer won a Caldecott Honor Award are again so striking and enhance this story of one of my heroines. Hopefully she will be nominated again for these bold pictures that are in keeping with the personality of this great woman. ...more
Wow. Just wow. What Do You Do With a Voice Like That is now on my shortlist of must-read nonfiction for young readers. Not only have I read it several times, I have also just sat back and enjoyed the illustrations.

Why this is a book
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is a beauty! The illustrations are amazing and I love the author’s note Nd back matter at the end. Readers will be inspired while learning about Barbara Jordan and what she accomplished in her life, and will walk away inspired to make their voices heard.
Brenda Kahn
Barton pens a lovely tribute to Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. Ekua Holmes' art is nothing short of stunning. A true must-read, must purchase, must share. ...more
Kristen Thorp
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful book about an extraordinary lady.
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I can’t wait to read this with my sons. A great introduction to Barbara Jordan with beautiful illustrations by Ekua Holmes.
Jon Nakapalau
Excellent introduction to the life of Congresswoman Barbara Jordan.
I had been looking for a book about Barbara Jordan, a hero of mine, to introduce her to my students. I attended TCTELA in Frisco, a professional conference for English Teachers, where the author of this book was featured. I fell in love with the book.

It's going to be featured on my African-American Heritage Month shelf. The art is gorgeous and I love the repetition.

I ordered a copy and finally got my copy today. Yay!
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Chris Barton (author), Ekua Holmes (illustrator)
What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan
Beach Lane Books
Hardcover, 978-1-4814-6561-8 (also available as an e-book), 48 pgs., $17.99
September 25, 2018

"When Barbara Jordan talked, we listened.” —Former President of the United States, Bill Clinton

The late Honorable Barbara Jordan grew up in Houston’s Fifth Ward. “She may have looked like other kids … acted like other kids,” Chr
The 2020-2021 Bluebonnet list came out today, and this is the first book I read because of its appearance on the new list! This picture book biography discussed the life of Barbara Jordan, an amazing woman and Texan whom I previously knew little about. As the title suggests, Barbara Jordan had an eloquent voice, which she used it to impact change in politics. She is remembered for the eloquent opening speech she gave in the House Judiciary Committee hearings during the impeachment process of Pre ...more
Ivy Armitage
As part of a Social Studies crossover on characteristics of a good leader, I selected the following Twin Text.
Nonfiction book- What Do You Do With A Voice Like That? The Story Of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan by Chris Barton.
Fiction book- Remarkably YOU by Pat Zietlow Miller.
I chose to pair these two books because they share the common theme of people using their own strengths and talents to make a difference. In the nonfiction book about Barbara Jordan the title, What Do You Do
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't usually review picture book galleys but this one is exceptional even in this form. I was so lucky to receive it and hear Ekula Holmes, the illustrator speak about her process with this book at an ALA event.

This is an inspiring story paired with stunning and evocative illustrations. Author and illustrator do a stellar job of bringing this brilliant woman and her important life to a new generation of children. It has never been more important to show that legislators can be dedicated patri
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Every single being is born with a gift. It might not initially be noticed, but what we do with this gift defines us. It's how we make our mark in this world. Hopefully spirits will be lifted and the quality of life of those around us will be better.

In 1936 there was a girl child born in Texas. What Do You Do With A Voice Like That?: The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan (Beach Lane Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division, September 25, 2018) written
Expertly crafted story of "extraordinary congresswoman" Barbara Jordan! A perfect book to inspire young readers towards education, self-knowledge, growth-mindset, owning their own voice, ethics, government and civics. Such a refreshing, positive view of the power of educated civil-servants working for the public good. Loved the layering of "voice" and her determination coming through. Powerful, striking, colorful illustrations by Ekua Holmes are perfect! ...more
Raven Black
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The illustrations could be a little awkward for a child reader, but the fact I had never heard of Barbara Jordan means that this is a great introduction to her. Older children (7 up) would be the perfect audience. But also would be a fun "companion" time for the "adult or teen" learner to add to a presentation or talk. ...more
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great book, great biography.

I want to take a picture of the page with her comments about Nixon and make it go absolutely viral.
("Barbara said the President must go. The President went.")

I am definitely inspired to look up more about Congresswoman Jordan, hear her voice, and ask myself what she would do, as the author confesses to doing in the end note.
An inspiring picture book biography about congresswoman Barbara Jordan. I had not previously heard of her, and look forward to learning more about this African American and LGBT politician and educator.
Katie Reilley
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeously illustrated picture book biography that tells the story of Congresswoman Barbara Jordan and her career as a lawyer, educator, politician, civil rights leader, and educator. Excellent back matter st the end of the book. Inspiring and a must read!
Brenynn J
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book because it was so inspirational. Now I feel like I can do anything with a voice like mine. I will always remember Barbara Jordan the Congresswoman. I would definitely recommend this book for people who like informational, inspiring books:).
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Earlier this year Ekua Holmes blew me away with her art in The Stuff of Stars. I am equally impressed with her illustrations in this powerful biography about a different type of star. I would not be surprised if Holmes is our next Caldecott Award winner.
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I'm the author of picture books including bestseller Shark vs. Train, Sibert Honor-winning The Day-Glo Brothers, and Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions, which was included on 21 state reading lists.

My newest books include Fire Truck vs. Dragon, All of a Sudden and Forever: Help and Healing After the Oklahoma City Bombing, What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? The Story of

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