PATSY MINK

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A propulsive narrative moves quickly through Mink’s life, from her birth in Hawaii in 1927 to her experiences at White-dominated educational institutions, where educators often marginalized her, to her marriage to John Mink, her political career, and, finally, her death in 2002. A woman of many firsts—she was the first Asian American woman to practice law in Hawaii and the first woman of color in the U.S. Congress—Mink was also one of the authors of Title IX, the bill that limits sex-based discrimination. True to the series name, rejection, sexism, and racism impacted Mink, but she persisted even if the path looked different than she might have imagined. The book is decidedly inspirational in tone, yet the text includes brief, accurate, and age-appropriate explanations of the laws, people, and ideas that contributed to structural racism and oppression. Mink’s happy childhood is contrasted with her life after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, when Japanese Americans like her family were imprisoned in concentration camps. Although her family escaped imprisonment, racism “seeped into all aspects of [her] life.” Aftermatter explains the intentional use of the term concentration—rather than internment—camps. Like the ever popular Who Was… series, this title features short chapters, a large font, and ample white space, all supportive for children still gaining confidence as independent readers.

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