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The iconic image of the American pioneer usually shows white settlers busting the sod of the Great Plains. But some pioneers—those African-Americans who were first to push into the post-bellum realms of higher education and the professions—broke their ground in the cities of the East, often at great personal cost. That is the theme explored by Chevy Chase-based authors Ellen R. Butts and Joyce R. Schwartz in May Chinn: The Best Medicine, a book in W.H. Freeman’s “Science Superstars” series for readers age 7 to 12. Born in 1896 in Massachusetts, May Chinn could hardly have had more going against her; she was an alcoholic’s offspring, a child of the barely working class, black, and female. She easily could have disappeared without a ripple into the racist, sexist claustrophobia of modern America. Instead, Chinn became the first African-American woman to graduate from Bellevue Medical School. She became a physician—in her day a rare career for any woman, never mind a woman of color. She became a pillar of Harlem public-health activism, especially in her work as a cancer diagnostician and an advocate for black medical students. In energetic, elegant prose winningly illustrated with subtle monochromatic drawings by Janet Hamlin, Butts and Schwartz portray Chinn as a dedicated, sometimes heroic figure. This biography will have universal appeal for young readers of all backgrounds, but Chinn’s model of racial pride and achievement should have special resonance for young African-Americans.