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Perseverance pays off for girl who struggled

Elizabeth has always been a fighter — for families, for fair treatment, and for those who need help.

"Elizabeth Warren: Nevertheless, She Persisted," by Susan Wood, is a picture book biography of the vocal Massachusetts senator.

Growing up in a middle-class family in Oklahoma City, Elizabeth watched her parents work hard to make ends meet. Even so, her family couldn't even afford to keep their second-hand station wagon.

As the years continued, Elizabeth babysat, worked as a waitress, studied hard, and became the state high school debate champion. After going to college, getting married, and having a child, she became a lawyer.

She fought for people "who scraped together money to pay their bills but still couldn't make ends meet."

This concise biography follows Elizabeth through her career as a law professor, her election as a senator, and her ongoing concern for the poor and middle-class.

In many ways, the picture book is accessible to kids. The illustrations are large and colorful, highlighting Elizabeth's wide smile. Also, author Susan Wood avoids heavy terms such as "bankruptcy" or "Consumer Protection Finance Bureau" (which are later used in the Author's Note at the end).

Unfortunately, the book does have drawbacks. The blocky arrangement of the text and the occasionally complex sentences may be intimidating to some readers.

Also, I was disappointed with the famous "Nevertheless, she persisted" scene that took place in January 2017.

In this scene, Wood carefully avoids using names of Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, and Mitch McConnell when Elizabeth "persists" in her objections to the confirmation of the attorney general.

As a result, the famous scene feels bland.

However, Wood does a great job of showing how the phrase "Nevertheless, she persisted," has become a rallying cry for those told to be quiet.

In any case, this picture book is a strong introduction to one of the most passionate lawmakers of our time.

"Elizabeth Warren: Nevertheless, She Persisted." By Susan Wood. Pictures by Sarah Green. Abrams, 2018. 48 pp.

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