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How Mamie Till-Mobley and Emmett Till Sparked the Civil Rights Movement


Author: Angela Joy

Illustrator: Janelle Washington

Roaring Brook Press
Age Range 8-12
ISBN: 9781250220950 

On Sale:  September 6, 2022

A picture book biography of the mother of Emmett Till and how she channeled grief over her son's death into a call to action for the civil rights movement.

Mamie Till-Mobley is the mother of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old boy who was brutally murdered while visiting the South in 1955. His death became a rallying point for the civil rights movement, but few know that it was his mother who was the catalyst for bringing his name to the forefront of history.

In Choosing Brave, Angela Joy and Janelle Washington offer a testament to the power of love, the bond of motherhood, and one woman's unwavering advocacy for justice. It is a poised, moving work about a woman who refocused her unimaginable grief into action for the greater good. Mamie fearlessly refused to allow America to turn away from what happened to her only child. She turned pain into change that ensured her son's life mattered.

Timely, powerful, and beautifully told, this thorough and moving story has been masterfully crafted to be both comprehensive and suitable for younger readers.

The Original Art 2022 Children's Book Illustration Award
Mamie Till Mobley
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Angela Joy

About the Author

Angela Joy is an author, substitute teacher, Girl Scout Cookie Manager, Japanese gardener, 5th grade book club moderator, and music lover. She is the co-founder of the McGaugh International Culture Club. She lives in Southern California with her husband and two children, but will always call Minneapolis home.

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Starred Reviews


JLG Gold Standard Selection

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Award News

*Randolph Caldecott Honor Award

*Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator

*Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Honor

*The Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature, Younger Readers Category

*Jane Addams Peace Award, Books for Younger Children

*Tomie dePaula Professional Development Award

*Orbis Pictus Honor Award 

* Flora Stieglitz Straus Award for nonfiction


Best of the Year Lists 

Kirkus Reviews Best of the Year List
Horn Book Fanfare Best of 2022 List

Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2022

Shelf Awareness Best Books of the Year

New York Public Library Best Books of 2022

Chicago Public Library Best Books of the Year 

Evanston Public Library 101 Great Books for Kids

2022 Blue Ribbons for Nonfiction

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