A Life of Service: The Story of Senator Tammy Duckworth
Christina Soontornvat, Author
Dow Phumiruk, Illustrator
Candlewick Press, Biography, Sep. 27, 2022
Suitable for ages: 5-9
Themes: Differently Abled, Senator, Pilot, Iraq, Service
Opening:”Even before she ever touched American soil, Ladda Tammy Duckworth knew that she would someday serve her country.”
Senator Tammy Duckworth has logged a long list of “firsts” during her tenure as the first Thai American woman elected to Congress, including being the first woman with a disability to serve in the House and Senate. But while she dreamed of serving her country from a young age, Tammy’s path was not without its challenges.
In this dramatic account, award-winning creators Christina Soontornvat and Dow Phumiruk chronicle Tammy’s journey. From her childhood fight to keep her family from homelessness, to her service in the US Army, to her recovery from grievous injuries sustained in the line of duty, Tammy never lost her determination to keep going against staggering odds.
Evoking Tammy Duckworth’s spirited nature with sensitivity and joy, this uplifting account of a groundbreaking military veteran and rising political star will inspire readers to dream and achieve. Includes a time line and suggestions for further reading.
Why I like A Life of Service:
Christina Soontornvat has written a powerful story for young readers about the extraordinary life of Senator Tammy Duckworth, someone determined to serve no matter the challenges she faced. Readers will be inspired by her her resiliency, determination, recovery and a will to serve others. It is a beautiful biography about a very strong woman — a book to add to your home or school library.
There are so many ways this book will resonate with readers. Some may be recovering from injuries, an amputation or dealing with life-changing illnesses. Others will relate to her love of service and strong desire to help others, which she demonstrated as a child.. This is definitely a book that will have a lasting impact on readers. It’s perfect for classroom discussions. And I’m sure Duckworth will be doing more in years to come..
Dow Phumiruk’s bold and colorful illustrations carry the reader through Duckworth’s journey in life from her childhood in Thailand to her current seat in the U.S. Senate. Nice pairing of Soontornvat’s carefully worded text with the lively artwork. And there is so much more for Duckworth will do. Make sure you check out the Time Line of Major Life Events and Tammy Duckworth’s Ongoing Legacy of Service at the end of the book.
Resources: Encourage readers make a list of their favorite strong women and write a sentence why. It may be a parent, a neighbor, a teacher or someone in the public.
Christina Soontornvat is the acclaimed author of picture books, chapter books, nonfiction, and middle-grade fiction, including the 2021 Newbery Honor-winning fantasy A Wish in the Dark. Her narrative nonfiction title All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team, also won a 2021 Newbery Honor, in addition to a Robert F. Silbert Honor and other honors and awards. She lives in Austin, Texas.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.
*Review copy provided by Candlewick in exchange for a review.