Friday, March 8, 2013

Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington



Fifty Cents and a Dream:  Young Booker T. Washington
by Jabari Asim, illustrated by Bryan Collier
Little, Brown and Company, 2012.  Unpaged.  Biography.

     Born into slavery, Booker T. Washington carried his master's daughter's books to school and longed to understand the writing that would open the world to him. When his family were finally freed, Booker took every opportunity to learn his letters and then to read. Grit, determination, courage, and persistence finally set him on the 500-mile road to Hampton Institute, a place where black people could study and learn without fear. He walked most of the way, often tired, hungry, and cold, arriving on campus with only fifty cents in his pocket. Working long hours to support himself in school, he had finally realized his dream "to let no obstacle prevent me from putting forth the highest effort to fit myself to accomplish the most good in the world."  Some of the good he later accomplished is laid out in an author's end note, but the message of this lovely picture book biography is one of persistence and love of learning, hard work and responsibility.

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