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The Undefeated (Caldecott Medal Book) (original 2019; edition 2019)
by Kwame Alexander (Author)
The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander (2019)
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This story does a wonderful job of incorporating real historical figures/events while inspiring the next generation. This book is perfect for Black History month and should be read far more than just in February. Kwame Alexander is an incredible author who captures young audiences attention and knows how to maintain the captivation.
For a free audio version of this poem, visit hmhbooks.com/free downloads access code: UNDEFEATED
"The Undefeated" is a nonfiction long verse poem picture book. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the civil rights movement, and the perseverance of some figures that helped modern life become attainable for African Americans. The illustrations within this book are beautiful and add depth to the pages of the poem. At the end of the book, a couple of pages discuss the historical figures and events mentioned in the book.
The remarkably moving poem by Kwame Alexander is accompanied by stunning oil paintings by Kadir Nelson, depicting Black figures across history. The illustrations match the flow of the text, for example, on the first page of the book the text reads "The swift and sweet ones/who hurdled history" and the adjacent page is a painting of Jesse Owens in the hurdling position. The poem repeats the line "This is for the unspeakable" three times and each time is accompanied with art work depicting the Transatlantic slave trade, the four girls killed in the bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church, and memorials for those victims to police brutality. The poem continues to address great Black American figures.
A stunning poem that is a beautiful read aloud. As Alexander noted in the "Afterword," the title nods to Maya Angelou's writing that "we must not be defeated" and this illustrated poem is a triumphant celebration of that spirit.
This poem is a love letter to black life in the United States. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world's greatest heroes. The text is also peppered with references to the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others, offering deeper insights into the accomplishments of the past, while bringing attention to the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present.
"The Newbery Award-winning author of The Crossover pens an ode to black American triumph and tribulation, with art from a two-time Caldecott Honoree"--
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)811.6 — Literature English (North America) American poetry 21st Century
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