Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Fifty Cents and a Dream

Fifty Cents and a Dream

Fall 2012 Picture Books
Ages: 3 - 6 yrs.
Author: Jabari Asim
Illustrator: Bryan Collier
ISBN: 978-0-316-08657-8
Hardcover Price: $16.99

In the early 1830s, the Virginia legislature passed statutes that made giving slaves and freed blacks reading and writing lessons punishable by law. Born into slavery in 1856, five years before the Civil War began, Booker T. Washington could only dream of learning to read and write.

Emancipation may have freed the slaves, but life for nine-year-old Booker and his family was still very difficult. No stranger to hard work, young Washington labored at a salt furnace and a coal mine alongside grown men. One day, his mother surprised him with his very own spelling book. When he heard of a school for Negroes, he rose at dawn, went to work, and then raced to school to study his lessons. As the story unfolds, readers travel with Washington on his 500 mile walk to enroll in Hampton Institute.

Jabari Asim's spare text and Bryan Collier's stunning and evocative mixed media illustrations chronicle Booker T. Washington's determination to realize his dream. The book is an excellent tribute to an African-American hero from an era in American history that is important for children to learn about.

Parents' Choice   ©2012 Parents' Choice

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Little Brown Books for Young Readers

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