Fifty Cents and a Dream

  • Title: Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington
  • Author: Jabari Asim
  • Illustrator: Bryan Collier
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, an imprint of Hachette Book Group
  • Publication year: 2012
  • Brief Summary: From Little, Brown and Company-“Born into slavery, young Booker T. Washington could only dream of learning to read and write. After emancipation, with only fifty cents in his pocket and a dream in his soul, Booker walked five hundred miles to Hampton Institute, taking his first of many steps towards a college degree. The young slave who once waited outside of the schoolhouse would one day become a legendary educator of freedmen.”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library –While in grade school, I know I learned about Booker T. Washington, but only about his political stance and not about his personal life. So, I think young and older children would learn a lot more than they would in class about Washington’s life by reading this book. This book could be introduced while children are learning about the ideologies of both Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois in class.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it –Like many other of Collier’s illustrative works that I’ve covered, I really enjoyed the patchwork quality of his illustrations, with all the patterns, colors, and pieces of photographs intermingled within the clothing or backgrounds.

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