The way, What Do You Do with a Voice Like That?: The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan starts off slightly different than expected. Usually when you read about a famous person there was “something” that made them different (they were physically disable, were very ill as a child, lost siblings or a parent tragically). However, Chris Barton and Ekua Homes start off with telling you how Jordan was the same as others. The main difference is she had a voice. A voice nobody really knew what to do with. A voice she trained step-by-step to help her become a lawyer, Congress woman and eventually a teacher. But always someone who used her voice for those who did not have one.
The illustrations could be a little awkward for a child reader, but the fact I had never heard of Barbara Jordan is not unusual, but sad. Her power was not that she did “great things loudly” but did them with a great voice. She was part of getting President Nixon to resign. She did not seem to have “huge earth-shattering cases” she just trusted the system and did not make “outside ruckuses” (unless she was her students basketball games), but made herself heard within the system.
This book is a great introduction to her and her life. While it focuses on her work and less on her personal life, it still gives a good picture of Jordon. The afterwards does cover a bit more of her personal life. But as Jordan herself was private, nothing is too intruding. 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.