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Loud and Proud

The Life of Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm

Illustrated by Kaylani Juanita
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About The Book

Three starred reviews!

“History shines” (School Library Journal, starred review) in this inspirational, “vibrantly colored, boisterous, and well-paced” (Booklist, starred review) picture book biography of trailblazer Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman in Congress and the first woman and African American to enter the Democratic presidential race, by award-winning author Lesa Cline-Ransome.

Shirley Chisholm was born in Brooklyn, New York, where her immigrant parents scraped and saved while Shirley learned all the love in the world couldn’t pay the rent. Her father encouraged her ambition early on, telling her, “God gave you a brain, use it.” Shirley worked hard and landed a full scholarship to Brooklyn College where she started advocating for people like her by starting a club for Black women.

When her political science professor told her she should go into politics, Shirley paid attention. She broke new ground and heard “Go home to your husband” and “You don’t belong here” when she was campaigning. But that didn’t stop her; in fact, it made her work harder until she became the first African American woman in Congress in 1968, where she ended up serving seven terms, and advocated for important bills such as the Equal Rights Amendment. She even sought the nomination for president of the United States in 1972.​

Shirley Chisholm’s life and legacy served as a catalyst for progress in America and changed the world.

About The Author

Photo by John Halpern

Lesa Cline-Ransome is the author of numerous nonfiction and historical fiction titles for picture book, chapter book, middle grade, and young adult readers including Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams and The Power of Her Pen: The Story of Groundbreaking Journalist Ethel L. Payne. Her verse biography of Harriet Tubman, Before She Was Harriet was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and received a Jane Addams Children’s Book Honor, Christopher Award, and Coretta Scott King Honor for Illustration. Her debut middle grade novel, Finding Langston, won the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction and received the Coretta Scott King Award Author Honor. She lives in the Hudson Valley region of New York with her husband and frequent collaborator, James Ransome, and their family. Visit her at

About The Illustrator

Photo courtesy of the illustrator

Kaylani Juanita is an illustrator based in Fairfield, California, who illustrates inclusive picture books, editorial art, and afros. Her book Magnificent Bomespun Brown, written by Samara Cole Doyon, received the 2021 Coretta Scott King Honor Award for illustration. Her work has been recognized by Society of Illustrators, HuffPost, and BBC. California grown and raised, she studied at CalArts and California College of the Arts for a BFA in illustration. Her mission as an artist is to support the stories of the underrepresented and create new ways for people to imagine themselves. You can find her lurking in public secretly drawing strangers or writing nonsensical stories about who knows what.

Why We Love It

“Many know the name Shirley Chisholm but perhaps not her story. The way Shirley Chisholm lived her life of firsts and lasting legacy is an inspiration and she is a role model whose life story changed lives and our world.”

—Paula Wiseman, VP, Publisher, on Loud and Proud

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (September 19, 2023)
  • Length: 48 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781534463523
  • Ages: 4 - 8

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Raves and Reviews

*"Cline-Ransome and Juanita’s biography of trailblazing Black politician Shirley Chisholm (1924–2005) aptly evokes the “Unbought and Unbossed” woman who shook up U.S. politics."


"History shines in this rousing biography of Shirley Chisholm ... this ­excellent treatment of a trailblazing ­political figure will serve as a stepping stone from shorter picture books to chapter books for young lovers of biography."

School LIbrary Journal – (STARRED REVEIW)

*"This vibrantly colored, boisterous, and well-paced biography ... offers young readers a chance to learn about Shirley [Chisholm] and to hear for themselves her famous words—many of which will still resonate today."


Born in 1924 Brooklyn to immigrant parents who worked a variety of low-wage jobs, Chisholm was attuned from a young age to the social and economic inequities around her. After a discussion of Chisholm's early years (she excelled academically), Cline-Ransome focuses her picture-book biography on Chisholm's illustrious and groundbreaking career, which included winning a seat in the New York State Assembly and election to Congress, where she served seven terms. Following her historic though unsuccessful presidential bid, she continued to pursue her fight for affordable childcare, access to education, and a living wage. Describing Chisholm as "small, but she talked big, walked tall, and told just about everybody what to do," Cline-Ransome highlights her subject's "loud and proud" and determined personality, often incorporating Chisholm' own words into the narrative. Juanita's digitally rendered illustrations are energetic and strikingly portray person and purpose, especially in the wordless double-page spread of Chisholm standing poised to begin her first term in Congress against a vivid backdrop of fireworks and the U.S. Capitol building. Pair with Bolden's Speak Up, Speak Out! (rev. 3/22), Williams's Shirley Chisholm Dared (rev. 9/21), and Russell-Brown's She Was the First, rev. 11/20. PAULETTA BROWN BRACY

– Horn Book Magazine, September/October 2023 Issue

Awards and Honors

  • SLJ Best Book of the Year

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images

More books from this author: Lesa Cline-Ransome