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Five questions for Dare Coulter

“How do you tell a story that starts in Africa and ends in horror…How do you tell a story about slavery?” An American Story (Little, Brown, 7–11 years) by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Dare Coulter, is a picture book framed as a classroom lesson inspired by Alexander’s daughter. Coulter’s unforgettable...
      

Review of An American Story

An American Story by Kwame Alexander; illus. by Dare Coulter Primary, Intermediate    Little, Brown    56 pp. 1/23    9780316473125    $18.99 Alexander and Coulter have created a powerful counternarrative in their efforts to answer the question, “How do you tell a story about slavery?” Starting before Africans were forcibly brought to the...
      

Review of The Door of No Return

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The Door of No Return by Kwame Alexander Middle School    Little, Brown    397 pp.    g 9/22    978-0-316-44186-5    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-44206-0    $9.99 Alexander’s (The Crossover, rev. 5/14; The Undefeated, rev. 3/19) latest verse novel, the first in a projected trilogy, is historical fiction set in 1860, in an Asante Kingdom...
      

Review of Becoming Muhammad Ali: Based on the Story of Young Cassius Clay

Becoming Muhammad Ali: Based on the Story of Young Cassius Clay by James Patterson and Kwame Alexander; illus. by Dawud Anyabwile Intermediate, Middle School    Patterson/Little, Brown/Houghton    320 pp.    g 10/20    978-0-316-49816-6    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-49818-0    $9.99 Patterson and Alexander, two heavyweights in the world of books (and their respective publishing...
      

Publishers' Preview: Fall 2020: Five Questions for James Patterson & Kwame Alexander

This interview originally appeared in the September/October 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Fall 2020, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Two popular writers...
      

Profile of 2020 Coretta Scott King Book Award Illustrator and Caldecott Medal winner Kadir Nelson

Kadir Nelson is the winner of the 2020 Caldecott Medal and the 2020 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for The Undefeated, written by Kwame Alexander, who also won a Newbery Honor for the book’s text. Here, Alexander pays tribute to his creative collaborator.   I gave my father, a children’s...
      

Read Kadir Nelson's 2020 Coretta Scott King Book Award Illustrator Acceptance Speech at ALA's Virtual Book Award Celebration

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Good morning, or good afternoon, or good evening, depending on when or where in the world you are reading this. As I compose this speech, I am sitting at home under a nationwide quarantine in the midst of the proliferation of a remarkable novel virus that has commandeered the attention...
      

Read Kadir Nelson's 2020 Caldecott Medal Acceptance Speech at ALA's Virtual Book Award Celebration

The year was 1999, and my very first picture book, Brothers of the Knight, was slated to be published by Dial Books for Young Readers. It was written by the actress and dancer Debbie Allen and based on a stage production of the same name that she had both written...
      

Review of The Crossover

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander; illus. by Dawud Anyabwile Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    218 pp. 9/19    978-1-328-96001-6    $22.99 Paper ed.  978-1-328-57549-4    $12.99 e-book ed.  978-1-358-12816-8    $8.99 Alexander's Newbery Medal–winning verse novel of the same name (rev. 5/14), about African American twins and middle-school b-ballers Josh and JB Bell, is an ideal choice for graphic-novel adaptation, with its on-court action, swaggering narrative voice, and poignant emotional pitches. Anyabwile's (of Alexander's Rebound,...
      

Fresh Ginger and Garlic: A Conversation with Nikki Giovanni

Kwame and Nikki. Photo: Beatrice Saba.Over the past twenty years, I’ve been a vegan, a vegetarian, and a pescatarian. There have been only three periods in my adult life when I’ve indulged in the pleasures of meat. One was right after winning the Newbery, when I found myself craving cheeseburgers....
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