I know I need a longer review then saying, “Book good. Read!” But that is what it boils down to. Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders and illustrated by Steven Salerno, is just that: a good book that you should read.
The description from Amazon about this book says, “deeply moving and empowering true story.” However, I am not sure those are the words I would have used. While it is those things, it is also just a cool story. I like the straight forwardness of it. It is a way of introducing someone that many kids today might not know about. I would also not be surprised that a few adults were unaware of Harvey Milk as well. I know I was not until a few years ago.
Being only a few years old when Milk asked Gilbert Baker to make the Gay Pride Flag, that is not surprising. The fact we do not teach “other history” in schools also is not surprising that I was unaware. Therefore, it is nice to see one of the first advocates of gay rights being introduced to a new generation.
The story is simple: it covers the years up to Harvey becoming an openly gay politician, having the flag created and a quick look at his death. Told without dwelling on the negatives, but does mention them, you can tell Sanders is a fan of Harvey and Baker and wants to tell a story where (without fuss) it is “okay” to be yourself and what the flag means to people.
The important part of this book is the colors. I am sure Salerno deliberately put the colors of the flag throughout the book. The colors used are just the colors that are out there in the world. To me, that connection is a powerful symbol: there are many colors out there; there are many people out there. All the information that is needed is given without overpowering the text and the text gives you everything needed without overpowering the illustrations.
And again, I say: Book good. Read!