We are delighted to join the Nonfiction Picture Book meme 2019 hosted by Alyson Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year, when we can.
When Jackie Saved Grand Central: The True Story Of Jacqueline Kennedy’s Fight For An American Icon
Written by Natasha Wing Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers (2017)
ISBN: 0547449216 (ISBN13: 9780547449210)
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.
I know very little about Jacqueline Kennedy, apart from the fact that she used to be America’s ultra-fashionable First Lady. This picturebook biography does not begin with Jackie’s birth, but when she moved into the White House with the late US President John F. Kennedy and their children.
Room by room, she restored the dreary mansion into a stately home that made Americans proud.
Over and above the aesthetics aspect of the White House, notwithstanding its importance, Jackie worked on recovering historical artefacts, and grounding the entire design of the space with America’s history in mind.
When she moved back to New York after her term as First Lady at the White House, she continued to exert her influence and devote her time, energy, and resources in preserving historic sites, the Grand Central being one of them. Apparently, the owners of the space wanted to demolish the entire monument and erect a skyscraper in its place.
“If Grand Central Station goes… all of the landmarks in this country will go as well.”
Reading these words was like a breath of fresh air to me. In a world that has devolved into consumerism, a build build build philosophy that is not sustainable, poorly conceived, and destroys natural resources and historic sites and gorgeous islands as if they were an inconvenience – so that a parking lot or a mall can take its place is clearly mutilation of one’s environment.
Reading about clear, decisive, unyielding voices such as this woman’s is empowering. Definitely a book that deserves to be added into anyone’s shelves.
#WomenReadWomen2019: Alexandra Boiger is originally from Germany but now based in United States of America. Natasha Wing (USA).