Ira's Shakespeare Dream

Ira's Shakespeare Dream

Ira's Shakespeare Dream

Ira's Shakespeare Dream


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The inspiring biography of Ira Aldridge, a Black actor who overcame racism to become one of the greatest Shakespearean actors of the nineteenth century.

Ira Aldridge dreamed of being on stage one day and performing the great works of William Shakespeare. He spent every chance he had at the local theaters, memorizing each actor's lines. He knew he could be a great Shakespearean actor if only given the chance. But in the early 1800s, only white actors were allowed to perform Shakespeare. Ira's only option was to perform musical numbers at the all-black theater in New York city.

Despite being discouraged by his teacher and father, Ira determinedly pursued his dream and set off to England, the land of Shakespeare. There, Ira honed his acting skills and eventually performed at the acclaimed Theatre Royal Haymarket. Through perseverance and determination, Ira became one of the most celebrated Shakespearean actors throughout Europe.

Illustrated by award-winning artist Floyd Cooper, Ira's Shakespeare Dream is a captivating tribute to the inspiring life of Ira Aldridge, and to the renowned works of William Shakespeare.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620141557
Publisher: Lee & Low Books
Publication date: 06/01/2015
Pages: 40
Product dimensions: 8.70(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.30(d)
Lexile: 780L (what's this?)
Age Range: 7 - 13 Years

About the Author

Glenda Armand is the author of many picture and chapter books. She won Lee & Low's New Voices Award for the manuscript Love Twelve Miles Long. Glenda has had a long career as a teacher and school librarian. She loves reading about history and is passionate about sharing the stories of important but little-known historical figures. She lives in Los Angeles, California. To learn more, visit

Floyd Cooper was a celebrated illustrator and author of nearly one hundred children's books. As a picture book creator, he strived to shed light on chapters of African American history that he felt weren't taught enough in classrooms. His works were selected as ALA Notable Children's Books, nominated for the NAACP Image Award, and honored with the Coretta Scott King (CSK) Award. He was awarded a posthumous Caldecott Honor, a CSK Award, and a Sibert Honor for his illustrations in Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre. Cooper passed away in 2021.

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