Booker dreamed of making friends with words, setting free the secrets that lived in books.
Born into slavery, young Booker T. Washington could only dream of learning to read and write. After emancipation, Booker began a five-hundred-mile journey, mostly on foot, to Hampton Institute, taking his first of many steps towards a college degree....
Booker dreamed of making friends with words,
setting free the secrets that lived in books.
Born into slavery, young Booker T. Washington could only dream of learning to read and write. After emancipation, Booker began a five-hundred-mile journey, mostly on foot, to Hampton Institute, taking his first of many steps towards a college degree. When he arrived, he had just fifty cents in his pocket and a dream about to come true. The young slave who once waited outside of the schoolhouse would one day become a legendary educator of freedmen.
Award-winning artist Bryan Collier captures the hardship and the spirit of one of the most inspiring figures in American history, bringing to life Booker T. Washington's journey to learn, to read, and to realize a dream.
…remarkable…another triumph in picture book design…Fifty Cents and a Dream doesn't pretend to be a full-blown biography of Booker T. Washington. Instead it is a story about the desire for justice and the gift of education—squarely aimed at young school-age children, and told with poetic and soulful candor. School here is "magic," teachers are "the greatest marvels of all," and students who struggle and strive attain "wisdom." There is clearly a lesson in all this, and together, Asim and Collier make its value abundantly and inspiringly clear.
New York Times Book Review
"Remarkable...[a] triumph in picture book design...told with poetic and soulful candor."
"Booker T. Washington is often attacked for compromising with, rather than attacking, the political establishment, but in this handsome picture-book biography, the focus is on an amazing achievement in his youth, when he walked 500 miles from his West Virginia home 'without a single penny in his pocket' to make it to school."
From the Publisher
A School Library Journal 2012 Editor's Choice List
A Kirkus Best Children's Books List Selection
A Fall 2012 Parent's Choice Silver Award Winner
An NAACP Image Award Nominee
A 2013 CCBC Choices list selection
The Horn Book
"Everything about the bookmaking here-from the carefully chosen typography to the look of parchment paper to the endpapers taken from Webster's American Spelling Book-reverberates with the importance of books and learning."
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—Here sits a barefooted boy leaning against a tree trunk, eyes closed, dreaming about reading. Here he is following his master's daughter to school, carrying her books, feeling their "magic seeping into his hands." Booker was born a slave, and slaves were forbidden to read. Emancipation came while he was still young. He worked with the men in his family, first shoveling salt, then in a coal mine. He learned to read from a spelling book his mother gave him. He attended the school for Negroes after work and dreamed of Hampton Institute, where he could study writing. He walked there-hundreds of miles through the mountains of Virginia, unloading ships in Richmond when his food money ran out. A janitor job at Hampton paid his room and board. Written in simply stated narrative, in a font that looks hand-printed, this story covers more of Washington's life and offers more detail than Marie Bradby's More Than Anything Else (Orchard, 1995), a brief, movingly told, beautifully rendered introduction to Washington for younger children. Collier's patterned and textured watercolor and paper collage paintings perfectly mirror the narrative, reiterating details and settings in handsomely constructed glimpses of the young Booker at school and at work; the teen-aged Booker traveling on foot toward a better education; the student dreaming of great things to come. His dreams are shown as luminescent bubbles or rays of light that reach toward the sky; his shirt is map-patterned. Two pages of biographical endnotes include a time line of his significant accomplishments. An inspirational life, memorably presented.—Susan Scheps, formerly at Shaker Public Library, OH
Jabari Asim is an associate professor of writing at Emerson College and a recipient of the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. He has written for the Washington Post and is the editor of the NCAAP magazine, The Crisis. He lives in Boston, with his wife and five children.
Bryan Collier began painting at the age of fifteen and earned a B.F.A. with honors from the Pratt Institute in New York. He has illustrated over 20 picture books and has won numerous awards, including three Caldecott Honors. He lives with his wife and children in Marlboro, New York.