Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon by Kelly Starling Lyons (Jan 2020)
Philip Freelon's grandfather was an acclaimed painter of the Harlem Renaissance. His father was a successful businessman who attended the 1963 March on Washington. When Phil decided to attend architecture school, he created his own focus on African American and Islamic designers. He later chose not to build casinos or prisons, instead concentrating on schools, libraries, and museums--buildings that connect people with heritage and fill hearts with joy. And in 2009, Phil's team won a commission that let him use his personal history in service to the country's: the extraordinary Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
View the teacher's guide available on the publisher's website.
Get even more ideas for sharing this book! Take a look at the 11/30/20 blog post from School Library Journal's The Classroom Bookshelf.
Immigrant Architect: Rafael Guastavino and the American Dream by Berta de Miguel, Kent Diebolt & Virginia Lorente (Apr 2020)
Rafael Guastavino Sr. was 39 when he left a successful career as an architect in Barcelona. American cities―densely packed and built largely of wood―were experiencing horrific fires, and Guastavino had the solution: The soaring interior spaces created by his tiled vaults and domes made buildings sturdier, fireproof, and beautiful. What he didn’t have was fluent English. Unable to win design commissions, he transferred control of the company to his American-educated son, whose subsequent half-century of inspired design work resulted in major contributions to the built environment of America. The Spanish architects designed more than one thousand iconic spaces across New York City and the United States, such as the New York City Hall Subway Station (still a tourist destination though no longer active), the Manhattan Federal Reserve Bank, the Nebraska State Capitol, the Great Hall of Ellis Island, the Oyster bar at Grand Central Terminal in New York, the Elephant House at the Bronx Zoo, the soaring tiled vaults under the Queensboro Bridge, the central dome of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, and the Boston Public Library. Written in the voice of the son, who was eight years old in 1881 when he immigrated to America with his father, this is their story.
Building Zaha: The Story of Architect Zaha Hadid by Victoria Tenter-Krylov (Dec 2020)
The city of Baghdad was full of thinkers, artists, and scientists, the littlest among them Zaha Hadid. Zaha knew from a young age that she wanted to be an architect. She set goals for herself and followed them against all odds. A woman in a man's world, and a person of color in a white field, Zaha was met with resistance at every turn. When critics called her a diva and claimed her ideas were unbuildable, she didn't let their judgments stop her from setting goals and achieving them one by one, finding innovative ways to build projects that became famous the world over. She persisted, she followed her dreams, and she succeeded.