Publisher's Note:  

Winner of the 2020 Caldecott Medal

A 2020 Newbery Honor Book

Winner of the 2020 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award

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.

Originally performed for ESPN's The Undefeated, 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 stark attention to the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present. Robust back matter at the end provides valuable historical context and additional detail for those wishing to learn more.

The Undefeated

by Kwame Alexander

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Overall Review:  

This award-winning picture book is a poem graced with sumptuous portraits of historical black figures.  The verse is stirring; the visuals stunning.  It is an ode to the triumph of African Americans throughout the course of American history and in-spite of the obstacles that blocked their path.  Although it can be read as a picture book and enjoyed, it would be more meaningful to cross reference the historical figures listed in the back of the book to their illustrated pages and discuss.  Extensive information is provided on the individuals chosen to represent the quality or qualities in the poem.  Truly a beautiful book that leaves one grateful for the contributions of those who went before and hopeful for the future that lies ahead.  

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  None

Violence/Gore:  Artwork illustrating a slave ship; artwork depicting memorial for individuals that had been killed/shot.  

Sex/Nudity:  None

Mature Subject Matter:  

Slavery; civil rights; death/murder.

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Reviewed By Cindy
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