The Many Faces of Josephine Baker (Hardcover)

Dancer, Singer, Activist, Spy (Women of Action)

By Peggy Caravantes

Chicago Review Press, 9781613730348, 208pp.

Publication Date: February 1, 2015

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (2/1/2018)

List Price: 19.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


A complete biographical look at the complex life of a world-famous entertainer


With determination and audacity, Josephine Baker turned her comic and musical abilities into becoming a worldwide icon of the Jazz Age. The Many Faces of Josephine Baker: Dancer, Singer, Activist, Spy provides the first in-depth portrait of this remarkable woman for young adults. Author Peggy Caravantes follows Baker’s life from her childhood in the depths of poverty to her comedic rise in vaudeville and fame in Europe. This lively biography covers her outspoken participation in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, espionage work for the French Resistance during World War II, and adoption of 12 children—her “rainbow tribe.” Also included are informative sidebars on relevant topics such as the 1917 East St. Louis riot, Pullman railway porters, the Charleston, and more. The lush photographs, appendix updating readers on the lives of the rainbow tribe, source notes, and bibliography make this is a must-have resource for any student, Baker fan, or history buff.

About the Author

Peggy Caravantes is a former English and history teacher, middle school principal, and deputy school superintendent. She is the author of 16 books for middle grades and young adult readers, including American Hero: The Audie Murphy Story and Petticoat Spies: Six Women Spies of the Civil War. She lives in San Antonio, Texas.

Praise For The Many Faces of Josephine Baker: Dancer, Singer, Activist, Spy (Women of Action)

“A fascinating, compelling story of a remarkably resilient woman who overcame poverty and racial prejudice to become an international celebrity.” —Kirkus Reviews

"[A] balanced and readable biography.” —Booklist Online

“Baker's story is inspiring enough to provide interesting reading beyond simple report writing. Recommended especially for collections in African American and women's studies, but it may also be useful for history and entertainment buffs in general.” —School Library Journal

"If you are interested in American and French history, read this book.  If you love theater, read this book.  If you want to be inspired, read this book.” —

"The life of Josephine Baker is so compelling and intriguing that this makes for a great read for middle and high schoolers alike." —Kid Lit Frenzy

"Caravantes’ vivid bio, featuring tons of fun and rarely seen photos, presents Josephine’s years in St. Louis through a holistic lens, with sidebars on the East St. Louis race riots, the everyday lives of African-American Pullman porters, and even fads like the Charleston." —St. Louis Magazine

“[A]n easy to read biography that would be good for general collections.” —VOYA

“[A]n easy to read biography that would be good for general collections.” —VOYA