Carter Reads the Newspaper

Written by Deborah Hopkinson
Illustrated by Don Tate

Do you ever wonder why we celebrate Black History Month? The contributions of African Americans and other groups have often been ignored or even actively covered up. So, if you really want to learn about history, highlighting this group becomes important. Carter G. Woodson, who eventually earned a doctorate in history, was an outspoken advocate for black history. He happened to be black himself and first had to fight for the right to read that history. In his pursuit of his heritage, he became part of that heritage. His childhood was a fascinating struggle for learning. In this beautiful new book, the author and illustrator reveal that struggle and encourage the reader to become part of the struggle too.

Carter, born ten years after the end of the Civil War, was the youngest of seven children of parents born into slavery. Carter was only able to attend school when he wasn’t needed on the farm. But his father encouraged his learning by asking Carter to read the newspaper to him. As a teenager, Carter worked in a coal mine to help feed the family. His co-workers also asked Carter to read the newspaper aloud, sparking him finish high school and move on to college. The author has the reader cheering for Carter at every turn, and the illustrator makes his life and those of parents come alive. The reader also gets a glimpse of many figures from black history throughout the book and in the end papers, hopefully generating more curiosity from the reader.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

  • Carter Reads the NewspaperTitle: Carter Reads the Newspaper
  • Author: Deborah Hopkinson
  • Illustrator: Don Tate
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishing Company Inc., 2019
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska                                                                                                                                             
  • Format: Hardcover, 36 pages
  • Grade Level: 1 to 5
  • Genre: African American History
  • ISBN: 978-1-56145-934-6
  • Extras: Learn More About Carter G. Woodson (Internet Resources, Bibliography), Author’s Note, Illustrator’s Note, List of black leaders pictured throughout the book, Carter Godwin Woodson’s Life and Accomplishments (Timeline), Sources for quotations

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