Ida B. Wells: Let the Truth Be Told
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Ida B. Wells: Let the Truth Be Told

by Walter Dean Myers, Bonnie Christensen
     
 

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Ida B. Wells was an extraordinary woman. Long before boycotts, sit-ins, and freedom rides, Ida B. Wells was hard at work to better the lives of African Americans.

An activist, educator, writer, journalist, suffragette, and pioneering voice against the horror of lynching, she used fierce determination and the power of the pen to educate the world about the unequal

Overview

Ida B. Wells was an extraordinary woman. Long before boycotts, sit-ins, and freedom rides, Ida B. Wells was hard at work to better the lives of African Americans.

An activist, educator, writer, journalist, suffragette, and pioneering voice against the horror of lynching, she used fierce determination and the power of the pen to educate the world about the unequal treatment of blacks in the United States. Award-winning, New York Times bestselling author Walter Dean Myers tells the story of this legendary figure, which blends harmoniously with the historically detailed watercolor paintings of illustrator Bonnie Christensen.

Supports the Common Core State Standards

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

Product Details

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

Meet the Author

Walter Dean Myers was the New York Times bestselling author of Monster, the winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award; a former National Ambassador for Young People's Literature; and an inaugural NYC Literary Honoree. Myers received every single major award in the field of children's literature. He was the author of two Newbery Honor Books and six Coretta Scott King Awardees. He was the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults, a three-time National Book Award Finalist, as well as the first-ever recipient of the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.

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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