Malcolm X: A Fire Burning Brightly

Malcolm X: A Fire Burning Brightly

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Overview

Malcolm X: A Fire Burning Brightly by Walter Dean Myers, Leonard Jenkins

"We never can win freedom and justice and equality until we are doing something for ourselves!"

Malcolm X learned from his father that black people should demand equality by taking their lives and futures into their own hands. Malcolm believed in this idea. It was one he lived by.

Though Malcolm faced hard times growing up and even went to jail, he turned his life around. He read books and combined lessons he'd learned from his father and from the religious leader Elijah Muhammad. Soon Malcolm would become a powerful leader in the struggle for blacks to achieve equality.

Malcolm died tragically when he was only thirty-nine, but his beliefs live on today. Walter Dean Myers's evenhanded narrative and Leonard Jenkins's striking paintings celebrate the man and the fiery message he brought to all people of color."I believe in recognizing every human being as a human being, neither white, black, brown, nor red."

Malcolm X was one of the most controversial civil rights leaders of our century. This compelling narrative for picture-book readers explores Malcolm's journey from his tragic childhood to his life as a street hustler, a Black Muslim, a prison inmate, and a fearless leader in the struggle for blacks to achieve equality. Walter Dean Myers skillfully weaves quotes from Malcolm's speeches to re-create the life and times of this extraordinary man. His dynamic text and Leonard Jenkins' boldly colored, richly textured paintings celebrate Malcolm X and his fiery message.

Children's Books 2000-NY Public Lib.

Malcolm X was one of the most controversial civil rights leaders of our century. This compelling narrative for picture-book readers explores Malcolm’s journey fromhis tragic childhood to his life as a street hustler, a Black Muslim, a prison inmate, and a fearless leader in the struggle for blacks to achieve equality. Walter Dean Myers skillfully weaves quotes from Malcolm’s speeches to re-create the life and times of this extraordinary man. His dynamic text and Leonard Jenkins’ boldly colored, richly textured paintings celebrate Malcolm X and his fiery message.

Author Biography: Walter Dean Myers is the author of many highly acclaimed books, including Scorpions, a 1989 Newbery Honor Book; Now Is Your Time: The African-American Struggle for Freedom, winner of the 1992 Coretta Scott King Author Award; The Mouse Rap, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; and Brown Angels: An Album of Pictures and Verse. In 1994, he received the ALA's Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults. Mr. Myers lives in New Jersey with his family.In His Own Words...

I am a product of Harlem and of the values, color, toughness and caring that I found there as a child. I learned my flat jump shot in the church basement and got my first kiss during recess at Bible school. I played the endless street games kids played in the pre-television days and paid enough attention to candy and junk food to dutifully alarm my mother.

From my foster parents, the Deans, I received the love that was ultimately to strengthen me, even when I had forgotten its source. It was my foster mother, a half Indian-half German woman, who taught me to read, though she herself was barely literate.

I had a speech difficulty but didn't view it as anything special. It wasn't necessary for me to be much of a social creature once I discovered books. Books took me, not so much to foreign lands and fanciful adventures, but to a place within myself that I have been constantly exploring ever since.

The George Bruce Branch of the public Library was my most treasured place. I couldn't believe my luck in discovering what I enjoyed most — reading — was free. And I was tough enough to carry the books home through the streets without too many incidents.

At sixteen it seemed a good idea to leave school, and so I did. On my seventeenth birthday I joined the army. After the army there were jobs — some good, some bad, few worth mentioning. Leaving school seemed less like a good idea.

Writing for me has been many things. It was a way to overcome the hindrance of speech problems as I tried to reach out to the world. It was a way of establishing my humanity in a world that often ignores the humanity of those in less favored positions. It was a way to make a few extra dollars when they were badly needed.

What I want to do with the writing keeps changing, too. Perhaps I just get clearer in what it is I am doing. I'm sure that after I'm dead someone will lay it all out nicely. I'd hate to see what kind of biography my cat, Askia, would write about me. Probably something like "Walter Dean Myers had enormous feet, didn't feed me on time, and often sat in my favorite chair." At any rate, what I think I'm doing now is rediscovering the innocence of children that I once took for granted. I cannot relive it or reclaim it, but I can expose it and celebrate it in the books I write. I really like people — I mean I really like people — and children are some of the best people I know.

I've always felt it a little pretentious to write about yourself, but it's not too bad if you don't write too much.— Walter Dean Myers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060562014
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/23/2003
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 497,432
Product dimensions: 8.75(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.00(d)
Age Range: 5 - 8 Years

About 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.

Leonard Jenkins received his B.F.A. from the American Academy of Art in Chicago. He is the illustrator of Sunflower Island by Carol Greene, which received a starred review in Publishers Weekly. Mr. Jenkins lives in New York City.

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