Ida B. Wells: Let the Truth Be Told


Award-winning author Myers tells the story of legendary civil rights figure Ida B. Wells, who fought to make the lives of African Americans better long before the events of the 20th century.

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Award-winning author Myers tells the story of legendary civil rights figure Ida B. Wells, who fought to make the lives of African Americans better long before the events of the 20th century.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Margaret Orto
The remarkable story of Ida B. Wells, activist, journalist, suffragist, educator, and outspoken voice against the horror of lynching, springs to life in this full-color illustrated book for elementary school-age children. Wells was born into slavery in 1862 in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Her parents encouraged her to attend school, and Ida was an outstanding student. As a young woman, Wells was dragged from her seat on a train when she refused to move to the smoking car where black people usually were seated, and she sued the railroad. Although she won her case, it was later reversed. However, Wells did not remain silent. She wrote about her case for her church newspaper; soon, many black newspapers were carrying that story and other essays she wrote. Another personal incident, the lynching of three black men who were Wells' friends, galvanized her to write about the horrors of lynching so that "the truth could be told." Later, she traveled to Great Britain, where she delivered a series of lectures on lynching and raised worldwide attention about these atrocities. Throughout her life, Wells used her writing and speaking abilities to push for civil rights reform for African Americans and women. Myers convincingly and compellingly conveys the grit and determination that Wells displayed throughout her extraordinary life. He defines lynching in an appropriate and understandable manner for an elementary school audience. Christensen's lovely and detailed watercolor illustrations complement Myer's historically-complete biography. Additional emphasis is given to the resounding words of Ida Wells (as taken from her autobiography) by setting them apart from the main text in bold red type onseveral pages. These words are repeated on the back page of the book. A timeline of events in Wells' life completes this commendable picture book biography. Reviewer: Margaret Orto
School Library Journal

Gr 3-6

Wells was born into slavery in 1862 in Mississippi. Myers follows her remarkable life from raising her siblings after the death of her parents, to her rise to national fame as a writer and speaker who worked tirelessly on behalf of African Americans and suffrage, and against the horrors of lynching. Throughout the book, her words, taken mostly from her autobiography, The Crusade for Justice, are highlighted in bold text and emphasize her strength of character and commitment to justice: "I'd rather go down in history as one lone Negro who dared to tell the government that it has done a dastardly thing than to save my skin by taking back what I have said." Readers will learn that long before Rosa Parks made history on a Montgomery bus, Wells refused to move from the ladies' coach on a train, was forcibly removed, then sued the railroad. Christensen's detailed and historically accurate watercolor illustrations bring the story of this amazingly accomplished and courageous woman to life. An important and inspiring book.-Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060277055
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/28/2008
  • Pages: 37
  • Sales rank: 969,808
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD900L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Five-time Coretta Scott King Award winner Walter Dean Myers was the acclaimed author of a wide variety of nonfiction and fiction for young people. His nonfiction includes We Are America: A Tribute from the Heart; Now Is Your Time!: The African-American Struggle for Freedom; I've Seen the Promised Land: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Ida B. Wells: Let the Truth Be Told; Malcolm X: A Fire Burning Brightly; and Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam, a Jane Addams Children's Book Award winner. His illustrious list of young adult novels includes Darius & Twig; All the Right Stuff; Lockdown; Dope Sick; Autobiography of My Dead Brother; the New York Times bestseller Monster, which was the first winner of the Michael L. Printz Award; and many more. He was the 2012-2013 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and an inaugural NYC Literary Honoree.

Bonnie Christensen is a fine artist and printmaker who teaches at St. Michael’s College in Vermont. She has illustrated The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck for the Folio Society in London and ten books for children, including Woody Guthrie: Poet of the People, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book, and Pompeii: Lost and Found.

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