Children's Literature - Marilyn CourtotUnlike many books for young readers where the new words are listed in a glossary at the end of the book, this one presents the new words on the opening spread along with a table of contents. It is hard to believe that a poor black woman who was born on a plantation could eventually grow up to be a millionaire. Not only that, but at the time women did not even have the right to vote. Walker started working in the cotton fields at the age of five and by the time she was seven she was an orphan. She married young and had a child when she was seventeen. Then her husband died and she moved to St. Louis Missouri and earned her living washing clothes. Walker also had a problem with her hair falling out. She tried different mixtures to develop a hair lotion that would help her hair grow back and one night the ingredients came to her in a dream. She prepared the mixture and miraculously her hair grew back. So Walker started selling the product house to house and her business grew. Not only did she sell products, she opened beauty shops. Walker grew very wealthy and used her money to support schools and charities. She lived in a beautiful home on the Hudson River. Walker became a model for her tenacity and abilities. Walker is shown in a photograph with other famous African Americans including Booker T. Washington. The book closes with an activity, references to other books and web sites, and an index. While short and sweet, there is a great message about a woman who overcame incredible odds. Walker is certainly an individual to be emulated. Part of the “I Like Inventors!” series. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot; Ages 5 to 7.
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