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The Inquisitive & Unstoppable

Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson's The Undefeated seemed to win all of the major youth book awards.  And well it should!  When I blogged about the book release back in April 2019, I predicted greatness.  And I had not even read the book yet!  Once I did, I began booktalking it anywhere and everywhere they would let me talk about books.  It's a book I think every person should read.  This ode to Black American triumph and tribulation is especially fitting for Black History Month. 

The title of that award-winning book was the inspiration for the title of this blog.  I want to highlight two excellent picture book biographies about two great African-American minds: Charles Henry Turner and Garrett Morgan.

Buzzing with Questions: The Inquisitive Mind of Charles Henry Turner by Janice N. Harrington & Theodore Taylor III (11/05/19)
The curiosity of the first African American entomologist shines in this NSTA/CBC Best STEM Book.
Charles Henry Turner’s mind itched with questions. Fascinated by animals, bugs, and crustaceans, Turner studied their lives. When books didn’t answer his questions, he researched, experimented, and looked for answers on his own, even when faced with racial prejudice. Author Janice Harrington and artist Theodore Taylor III capture the life of this scientist and educator, highlighting his unstoppable curiosity and his passion for insects and biology. The extensive back matter includes an author’s note, timeline, bibliography, source notes, and archival images.

The Unstoppable Garrett Morgan: Inventor, Entrepreneur, Hero by Joan DiCicco & Ebony Glenn (10/01/19)
Growing up in Claysville, Kentucky, the son of freed slaves, young and curious Garrett was eager for life beyond his family’s farm. At age fourteen, he moved north to Cleveland, where his creative mind took flight amidst the city's booming clothing-manufacturing industry.  Using his ingenuity and tenacity, Garrett overcame racial barriers and forged a career as a successful businessman and inventor. But when a tunnel collapsed, trapping twenty men, the rescue would test both Garrett's invention -- and his courage.  Take a look at the teacher's guide on the Lee & Low Books website.


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