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The Undefeated (Caldecott Medal Book) Hardcover – Picture Book, April 2, 2019
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A 2020 Newbery Honor Book
Winner of the 2020 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award
The Newbery Award-winning author of THE CROSSOVER pens an ode to black American triumph and tribulation, with art from a two-time Caldecott Honoree.
Originally performed for ESPN's The Undefeated, this poem is a love letter to black life in the United States. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world's greatest heroes. The text is also peppered with references to the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others, offering deeper insights into the accomplishments of the past, while bringing stark attention to the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present. Robust back matter at the end provides valuable historical context and additional detail for those wishing to learn more.
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From School Library Journal
A Best Book of 2019 from: New York Times * NPR * Horn Book * Kirkus * Publishers Weekly * School Library Journal * New York Public Library * Chicago Public Library * Raleigh News & Observer New York Times Bestseller National Book Award Longlist Kirkus Prize Finalist "[A] powerful tribute to the African-American experience, replete with joy and pride in the accomplishments of individual artists and athletes, leaders, and thinkers.... Poetry knows when to lean forward and when to pull back, and in 'The Undefeated,' Alexander has walked that line perfectly. This book will fill readers with a sense of the wealth and the cost of history."—New York Times Book Review "Dramatic oil paintings expand on a deeply personal poem to showcase 'dreamers and doers,' united in solemn testimony: Black history matters."—San Francisco Chronicle "An empowering look at the history of black Americans."—The Takeaway "[T]his magnificent anthem to the courage and genius of black Americans has been turned into a picture book with stunning portraits by Nelson....communicating clearly that when black lives matter, America is stronger." —Publishers Weekly, STARRED review "Alexander's poetry possesses a straightforward, sophisticated, steady rhythm that, paired with Nelson's detail-oriented oil paintings, carries readers through generations...An incredible connector text for young readers eager to graduate to weighty conversations about our yesterday, our now, and our tomorrow." —Kirkus, STARRED review "A beautiful volume that encourages multiple viewings and further research...With a lengthy roster of accolades and best-seller credits between them, this untouchable duo's book will fly off the shelf." —Booklist, STARRED review "Alexander and Nelson honor the achievements, courage, and perseverance of ordinary black people as well as prominent black artists, athletes, and activists....creating a through-line from past to present." —The Horn Book, STARRED review "[A] poignant and powerful ode to the resilience and strength of black life and history in America.... Alexander and Nelson present an exceptionally moving and triumphant work. This book is an essential first purchase." —School Library Journal, STARRED review —
- Publisher : Versify; Illustrated edition (April 2, 2019)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 40 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1328780961
- ISBN-13 : 978-1328780966
- Reading age : 5 - 12 years, from customers
- Grade level : Preschool - 3
- Item Weight : 1.25 pounds
- Dimensions : 11 x 0.45 x 10.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #27,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on January 15, 2021
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As with every book, I read it myself before I read it to her. And it truly beautiful--the artwork, the words, the message... The whole thing brought tears to my eyes. It is something I believe is a must-have for people with small children regardless of their race or ethnicity. I bought it because I want my little girl to know actual history and be able to understand and empathize with people who are different for her. I cannot say enough good things about this book. To the authors and illustrators, thank you for making this book happen.
Light shining through and off of many colors of skin; Kwame Alexander tells a story of the indomitable human spirit through his amazing images and carfully chosen uplifting words.
Dealing with the heavy topics of history far and near, the message of always reaching beyond that which can defeat us reaches though the interwoven words and images. All is never lost...this is made clear in this artful expose' of the undefatigible human spirit.
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Reviewed in Italy 🇮🇹 on November 13, 2021