When Marian Sang

written by Pam Muñoz Ryan, illustrated by Brian Selznick

This beautiful biography of the great vocalist Marian Anderson captures the story of her triumph in the face of the vicious segregation of her time.

A trip to the Metropolitan Opera inspires young Marian Anderson to strive for the dream she obtains by the end of the book. Early on, she is told she "will be able to go anywhere and sing for anybody." Touring Europe, yes, but not Washington, DC's Constitution Hall. Enter Eleanor Roosevelt, and the climax is unforgettable: Anderson's concert at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939. Hymns and spirituals punctuate the narrative. The illustrations, done with acrylics in gold, copper, and a range of browns, are powerful and full of emotion. A lengthy, detailed afterword, in small type; a discography; and a bibliography are included for readers who want more information.