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Carter Reads the Newspaper

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“Carter G. Woodson didn’t just read history. He changed it.” As the father of Black History Month, he spent his life introducing others to the history of his people. Carter G. Woodson was born to two formerly enslaved people ten years after the end of the Civil War. Though his father could not read, he believed in being an informed citizen. So Carter read the newspaper to h “Carter G. Woodson didn’t just read history. He changed it.” As the father of Black History Month, he spent his life introducing others to the history of his people. Carter G. Woodson was born to two formerly enslaved people ten years after the end of the Civil War. Though his father could not read, he believed in being an informed citizen. So Carter read the newspaper to him every day. When he was still a teenager, Carter went to work in the coal mines. There he met a man named Oliver Jones, and Oliver did something important: he asked Carter not only to read to him and the other miners, but also research and find more information on the subjects that interested them. “My interest in penetrating the past of my people was deepened,” Carter wrote. His journey would take him many more years, traveling around the world and transforming the way people thought about history. From an award-winning team of author Deborah Hopkinson and illustrator Don Tate, this first-ever picture book biography of Carter G. Woodson emphasizes the importance of pursuing curiosity and encouraging a hunger for knowledge of stories and histories that have not been told. Illustrations also feature brief biological sketches of important figures from African and African-American history.


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“Carter G. Woodson didn’t just read history. He changed it.” As the father of Black History Month, he spent his life introducing others to the history of his people. Carter G. Woodson was born to two formerly enslaved people ten years after the end of the Civil War. Though his father could not read, he believed in being an informed citizen. So Carter read the newspaper to h “Carter G. Woodson didn’t just read history. He changed it.” As the father of Black History Month, he spent his life introducing others to the history of his people. Carter G. Woodson was born to two formerly enslaved people ten years after the end of the Civil War. Though his father could not read, he believed in being an informed citizen. So Carter read the newspaper to him every day. When he was still a teenager, Carter went to work in the coal mines. There he met a man named Oliver Jones, and Oliver did something important: he asked Carter not only to read to him and the other miners, but also research and find more information on the subjects that interested them. “My interest in penetrating the past of my people was deepened,” Carter wrote. His journey would take him many more years, traveling around the world and transforming the way people thought about history. From an award-winning team of author Deborah Hopkinson and illustrator Don Tate, this first-ever picture book biography of Carter G. Woodson emphasizes the importance of pursuing curiosity and encouraging a hunger for knowledge of stories and histories that have not been told. Illustrations also feature brief biological sketches of important figures from African and African-American history.

30 review for Carter Reads the Newspaper

  1. 4 out of 5

    La Coccinelle

    I love it when picture books teach me things. Carter Reads the Newspaper is a picture-book biography of Carter G. Woodson, the man who created Black History Month. It's an interesting look at the importance of celebrating your history, even if it isn't included in the official narrative. The book talks about Woodson's life from his childhood up until 1926 when he was trying to spread the word about Negro History Week (which would later become Black History Month). His idea was spurred by one of Wo I love it when picture books teach me things. Carter Reads the Newspaper is a picture-book biography of Carter G. Woodson, the man who created Black History Month. It's an interesting look at the importance of celebrating your history, even if it isn't included in the official narrative. The book talks about Woodson's life from his childhood up until 1926 when he was trying to spread the word about Negro History Week (which would later become Black History Month). His idea was spurred by one of Woodson's Harvard professors who told him that black people had no history. When Woodson argued that they did, the professor challenged him to prove him wrong... and Woodson spent the rest of his life doing just that. The illustrations are quite nice here, with the theme of the newspaper running throughout; some of the backgrounds feature soft, faded newsprint with washes of colour. On the endpapers are little portraits of a number of black leaders; mini biographies are included for these people at the back of the book. This book would be great for the classroom, or for any kid who enjoys learning about history. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it just to black kids, either; Woodson is an important and inspiring figure that everyone could benefit from learning about. Thank you to NetGalley and Peachtree Publishers for providing a digital ARC.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    Who was Carter G. Woodson? Why was he important? Woodson was the son of slaves. He strongly wanted an education but he was only able to attend school four months out of the year. When he was just a teen, he had to forego education and go to work in the coal mines. But while he was there, he began to read the newspaper to the miners, and he learned about the world from researching what he learned from the papers and the discussions held around what they learned from the papers. He eventually receiv Who was Carter G. Woodson? Why was he important? Woodson was the son of slaves. He strongly wanted an education but he was only able to attend school four months out of the year. When he was just a teen, he had to forego education and go to work in the coal mines. But while he was there, he began to read the newspaper to the miners, and he learned about the world from researching what he learned from the papers and the discussions held around what they learned from the papers. He eventually received a PhD from Harvard in history. One of his professors told Woodson there was no black history and Woodson felt challenged to prove him wrong. And he did. A beautifully told story of a man who created Black History Month and who shared stories of black Americans who impacted the world, a story illustrated with vivid pictures that bring the words to life.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    I loved reading this story.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I am grateful for these NF picture books telling us readers about the history we did not know before. This time, I'm sharing about the man who sowed the seeds of Black History Month by creating Negro History Week (2nd week of February) in 1926. They chose that week because it encompassed the birthdays of Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln. Sadly, I admit that although I was in school long after that year, I don't remember anyone celebrating that week. It became official in 1976, but the firs I am grateful for these NF picture books telling us readers about the history we did not know before. This time, I'm sharing about the man who sowed the seeds of Black History Month by creating Negro History Week (2nd week of February) in 1926. They chose that week because it encompassed the birthdays of Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln. Sadly, I admit that although I was in school long after that year, I don't remember anyone celebrating that week. It became official in 1976, but the first celebration occurred in 1970 at Kent State. That information and more can be found if you look further on Wikipedia. Thanks to Deborah Hopkinson and Don Tate for telling this inspiring story in their new picture book. Carter was the second African-American to earn a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. (The first was W.E.B. DuBois.) He was the first and only Black American whose parents had been slaves to receive a doctorate in history. That reference to Woodson's education is really the "middle" of his life. He was born in 1875, ten years after the end of the Civil War. His parents had been slaves, scrapped together money for a small piece of land, made sure that Carter and his siblings got as much education as possible. Carter learned to read and when scraps of newspapers were found (sometimes wrapped around food), he read them to his father. His father loved that part, but Carter also remembered the family stories, too. He had to stop work to help the family, went to work in the mines and there met a man named Oliver Jones, and Oliver did something important: he asked Carter not only to read to him and the other miners, but also research and find more information on the subjects that interested them. “My interest in penetrating the past of my people was deepened,” Carter wrote. His curiosity and persistence led him back out of the mines, back to school and onward. One professor at Harvard told him that Black people had no history. According to this book, Carter spoke up. "No people lacked a history," he said. The professor challenged Carter to prove him wrong. For the rest of his life, Carter did just that. In addition to showing Carter's life story, Don Tate includes illustrations of important figures from African and African-American history, sometimes adding newsprint to the pages that echo the theme that underpins Carter's life story. Early in the book, there are a few stories from Carter's family, too, about his father and his mother. It's an illuminating book that I wish I'd had at the beginning of the month, to start a search for stories of more African-Americans. It certainly is a book that will inspire further research by readers to know more. There is an author’s note, illustrator’s note, resources, and a bibliography.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    Carter Reads the Newspaper is the story of Carter G. Woodson, written for children. It is a picture-book biography of Carter G. Woodson, the man who created Black History Month. He was born to two former slaves and would read the newspaper to his illiterate father. His father knew how important it was to be an informed citizen. Woodson’s needed to go to work to help support his family, so did not attend high school as a teen. While working in the mines he met a man named Oliver Jones, who was als Carter Reads the Newspaper is the story of Carter G. Woodson, written for children. It is a picture-book biography of Carter G. Woodson, the man who created Black History Month. He was born to two former slaves and would read the newspaper to his illiterate father. His father knew how important it was to be an informed citizen. Woodson’s needed to go to work to help support his family, so did not attend high school as a teen. While working in the mines he met a man named Oliver Jones, who was also illiterate. Like many former slaves, and civil war veterans, he valued learning and held meetings in his home to discuss current events. Carter attended and became a valuable part of this group because he could read the newspaper and research for them. Eventually continuing his education, he earned a PhD in history from Harvard. It was there that he met a professor who stated that Black People had no history. When Woodson argued that they did, the professor challenged him to prove him wrong. This motivated Carter to spend the rest of his life doing just that. Carter G. Woodson established what was then called Negro History Week in 1926, which eventually became Black History Month, a project that helped make Black history accessible to a non-academic audience. Woodson’s relationship to newspapers anchors Hopkinson’s book. This picture book has a lot of text and because of that I think it is more appropriate for middle grades (ages 9 and up). The illustrations are quite nice with the theme of the newspaper running throughout. There is also a lot of information in the end pages including resources to learn more about Carter G. Woodson and other important Black Americans in U.S. history. This book would be a great addition to classroom, school and public libraries. A great resource for Black History month. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon my request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    From the endpapers to the pages in between, Carter Reads the Newspaper is full of notable Black Americans and international figures. Not only did I learn about the origins of Black History Month and its creator, but I also learned about notable Black historical figures and Carter G. Woodson’s early life that led to him preserving the Black stories. Of course, there are mentions of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and Frederick Douglass. But there also are references to lesser-known Black hist From the endpapers to the pages in between, Carter Reads the Newspaper is full of notable Black Americans and international figures. Not only did I learn about the origins of Black History Month and its creator, but I also learned about notable Black historical figures and Carter G. Woodson’s early life that led to him preserving the Black stories. Of course, there are mentions of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and Frederick Douglass. But there also are references to lesser-known Black historical figures like Hannibal Barca (general in the Carthage military), Queen Amina (Hausa warrior queen), Charles Drew (surgeon & creator of blood banks), Edmonia Lewis (sculptor), and Lewis Latimer (engineer & inventor). This is a tremendous resource that should be used all year – not just in February.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Julie Suzanne

    This book about Carter Woodson teaches the reader about the father of Black History Month. The format and illustrations indicate that it is written for a very young audience, however the words chosen make it more appropriate for a short nonfiction text for upper elementary kids and would lend itself better to a short non-fiction piece like the kind you find in a state test. I am unimpressed with the book, although I did learn a tiny bit about Carter Woodson of whom I had never heard previously.

  8. 5 out of 5

    robyn

    Another commenter said exactly what I feel: I LOVE it when I learn things. The idea that adults can learn from children's picture books is 100% reinforced while reading Carter Reads the Newspaper. As an African American, I know OF Carter G Woodson, but now I know the STORY of the life of Carter G Woodson! Excellent job in story and illustrations. This is a keeper!! Buy it for your children, your grandchildren, your library (if they don't have it). LOVED this book! Another commenter said exactly what I feel: I LOVE it when I learn things. The idea that adults can learn from children's picture books is 100% reinforced while reading Carter Reads the Newspaper. As an African American, I know OF Carter G Woodson, but now I know the STORY of the life of Carter G Woodson! Excellent job in story and illustrations. This is a keeper!! Buy it for your children, your grandchildren, your library (if they don't have it). LOVED this book!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    I also found this book on the list of Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2020. A must-have in your classroom library. Being a picture book will let young children as well as Young Adults and Adults know the troubles and challenges that Carter G. Woodson’s had during his upbringing during slavery in the U.S.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Vern

    Great informative book about a man I had not heard of before. It is a bit wordy for Storytime but would be excellent for a book report for younger aged kids.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lin Lin

    Carter Woodson, the founding father of Black History Month, reads the newspaper to learn about and change the world. Curious why he didn't learn enough about the history of African Americans, he started the Black History Week, and later becoming the Black History Month. My favorite quote from Carter G. Woodson (1944), "the teaching of the whole truth will help us in the direction of a real democracy." Carter Woodson, the founding father of Black History Month, reads the newspaper to learn about and change the world. Curious why he didn't learn enough about the history of African Americans, he started the Black History Week, and later becoming the Black History Month. My favorite quote from Carter G. Woodson (1944), "the teaching of the whole truth will help us in the direction of a real democracy."

  12. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Solid picture book biography. A tad too wordy for my personal taste, but not excessively so. I adore the illustrations by Don Tate and feel this is an important, accessible story for elementary students.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Walz

    This is an amazing book with tells of a man who changed the world. Every year in my memory I celebrate something that he started and I never knew it! Not only in reading this book did I learned about someone who changed the world, it has beautiful illustrations. I also love how the author told his story, by including stories of important people in Carter’s life.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mary Lee

    Carter reads to learn, and so should we. The portraits in the endpapers highlight the lives with whom we should begin.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jacqui

    Illustrations on the end pages are an extra addition. So is the back matter.

  16. 5 out of 5

    SaranjaH

    Carter Reads the Newspaper is a sweet and informative picture-book biography about the life of Carter G. Woodson. I became aware of the book through the Carter G. Woodson Book Award website. It was a 2020 winner of that award. I was able to access a copy via a read aloud on YouTube. I had no issues following the story or clearly viewing the illustrations, which sort of played cinematically. Characterization is one of the strongest literary elements that stands out in this book. It begins by givi Carter Reads the Newspaper is a sweet and informative picture-book biography about the life of Carter G. Woodson. I became aware of the book through the Carter G. Woodson Book Award website. It was a 2020 winner of that award. I was able to access a copy via a read aloud on YouTube. I had no issues following the story or clearly viewing the illustrations, which sort of played cinematically. Characterization is one of the strongest literary elements that stands out in this book. It begins by giving the reader a sense of what his life was like for Woodson, as a young boy. Readers get to understand the impact of how his familial relationships, knowledge of his family’s history as slaves, and relationships that he developed with elder members of his community as a teenager, really contributed to what ultimately became Woodson’s life’s work. It is clear why education was so important to him as an adult, and why he dedicated himself to the advancement of Black people in the era following slavery. The illustrations help support the text by providing visuals of Woodson and his family. They also portray certain life-changing events, such as how it came to be that he read the newspaper every day and the concrete that fell on him when he worked in the mines, which lead to the establishment of what turned into one of the most significant relationships of his life. There are some strong themes in the book. One of the themes that stands out the most is resilience. Much is shared about what Woodson’s parents’, grandparents’ and siblings’ endured as slaves. Though he was born 10 years after the civil war, Woodson also endured many hardships of his own and was quoted in the text as saying, later in his life, that “I am a coal miner and I can take anything.” Other strong themes that emerge in the book are the importance of relationships, how our past influences who we become, and the importance of putting something good back into the community. I would recommend Carter Reads the Newspaper for grades K-4. The language is straight-forward and the vocabulary is simple. Also, the story is told in sequential order and is easy to follow. It would be a great addition to a classroom library. I would use it as a read aloud or as part of a social studies unit on African-Americans who have made great contributions to the culture. I think the book has some universal themes, but could be especially interesting to African-American students and very relatable, in some ways, to students who are from immigrant families as well.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    The author begins by explaining: “Carter G. Woodson didn’t help people escape from slavery, start a bus strike, or lead a movement of millions. Yet without him, we might not have Black History Month.” Woodson was born in Virginia in 1875 to former slaves. His family was poor, and Woodson could only attend school four months each year; he needed to help out on his family's farm the rest of the time or work other jobs to earn money for the household. One of his jobs was in a coal mine, which was ext The author begins by explaining: “Carter G. Woodson didn’t help people escape from slavery, start a bus strike, or lead a movement of millions. Yet without him, we might not have Black History Month.” Woodson was born in Virginia in 1875 to former slaves. His family was poor, and Woodson could only attend school four months each year; he needed to help out on his family's farm the rest of the time or work other jobs to earn money for the household. One of his jobs was in a coal mine, which was extremely difficult and dangerous work. But the experience gave him the courage to face whatever came thereafter. It was at the mine that Woodson met Oliver Jones, who made his home a reading room and asked Woodson to read the newspapers to the men who couldn’t read. When the men had questions, Woodson researched the answers. Finally at age twenty, Woodson was able to quit the mine and start high school and then college. He earned a master’s degree at age 33. When he was 37, he got a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University, the second African American to attain this distinction after W. E. B. Du Bois. Woodson later said that one of his Harvard professors contended that black people had no history. Woodson objected and the professor challenged him to prove him wrong. The author writes: “For the rest of his life, Carter did just that.” In 1926, Woodson established the forerunner to Black History Month, called Negro History Week. He chose the second week of February to honor the birthdates of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. He also added a theme (changing it each year thereafter), because, according to ASALH, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History: “When Carter G. Woodson established Negro History week in 1926, he realized the importance of providing a theme to focus the attention of the public. The intention has never been to dictate or limit the exploration of the Black experience, but to bring to the public’s attention important developments that merit emphasis.” Woodson advertised the special week extensively, including through the newspapers, where he had gotten his earliest education. Hopkinson observed: “The boy who began by reading the newspaper to others transformed the way people thought about history. He fought for a history based on truth - a history that includes all people. Carter G. Woodson didn’t just study history. He changed it. And we can too.” The book concludes with afterwords by both author and illustrator, a list of internet resources, bibliography, and timeline. Illustrator Don Tate said of this book, “I love stories that offer an opportunity to highlight the lives of little-known African-American heroes.” He wrote in his “Illustrator’s Note” that he did not have many opportunities to learn about Black history in school. Nor does his son, even in this generation. He pointed out in an interview, “My son learned about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks in school. But what about other important figures?” Tate did extensive research to show what Woodson’s world might have looked like. He explained, “As the illustrator, I’m telling my people’s history. So, it’s particularly important for me to get the visuals right, best I can.” He added, “The illustrations do the work that the words cannot.” To that end, Tate added thumbnail sketches of black leaders on the end papers that might inspire kids to find out more about these historical figures, and/or to spark conversations about the ideological slant to the stories we tell. These leaders are identified as part of the end matter of the book. Evaluation: This uplifting story about a boy who loved learning and wanted to share what he discovered will inspire readers (recommended for age 6 and up). Perhaps it will even galvanize them to make their own efforts to engage historical texts and representations on social media. Rating: 4.5/5

  18. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Bange

    A stellar pairing of talents yields one of the most heartfelt picture books of 2019. Carter G. Woodson's name is not on everyone's radar, but it should be. This is the man who founded Negro History Week (now Black History Month) in 1926, to encourage all to learn more about the lives and contributions of Black people in the United States. A child of former enslaved parents, Woodson grew up hearing the tales they told about their lives. Growing up poor, he learned the value of hard work and learne A stellar pairing of talents yields one of the most heartfelt picture books of 2019. Carter G. Woodson's name is not on everyone's radar, but it should be. This is the man who founded Negro History Week (now Black History Month) in 1926, to encourage all to learn more about the lives and contributions of Black people in the United States. A child of former enslaved parents, Woodson grew up hearing the tales they told about their lives. Growing up poor, he learned the value of hard work and learned enough to read everything he could get his hands on. As a teen, he dropped out of school and began working to help support his family, leading him to work in the coal mines where he met Civil War veteran Oliver Jones, who encouraged him to read aloud to the other miners. He ultimately returned to finish high school, then was off to college continuing his studies until he earned a PhD from Harvard University. he spent the rest of his life studying about the contributions made by Black Americans and encouraged others to do the same. Once again, Deborah Hopkinson demonstrates why she is a superior writer of non-fiction picture books for children. The text is rich, full of just enough detail so readers will want to learn more. She delivers a solid foundations for them. Don Tate's mixed media illustrations are, as always, outstanding. Faces of over 40 significant Black Americans are to be found on the endsheets and inside with the text of this book - although they are labeled, each bears a near-photographic likeness. Backmatter includes a page of internet resources, a bibliography about Woodson (with children's titles indicated), an author's note, illustrator's note, list of the Black leaders found in the book (with their dates and a line about their importance), a timeline of Woodson's life, and source notes for quotations. This would be perfect to use to open up a unit of study on Black History any time of year! Highly Recommended for grades PreS-grade 5.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lydias

    I found this book on the 2020 list of Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, and I read an audio version online. This book comes from an award-winning team of author Deborah Hopkinson and illustrator Don Tate. This book is also the first-ever picture book biography of Carter G. Woodson. In this book, we learn about the life of Carter G. Woodson and how he was responsible for creating Black History Month. Carter was born ten years after the civil war to formerly enslaved parents, an I found this book on the 2020 list of Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, and I read an audio version online. This book comes from an award-winning team of author Deborah Hopkinson and illustrator Don Tate. This book is also the first-ever picture book biography of Carter G. Woodson. In this book, we learn about the life of Carter G. Woodson and how he was responsible for creating Black History Month. Carter was born ten years after the civil war to formerly enslaved parents, and he was 1 out of 7 children. Although his father could not read, he believed in being an informed citizen, so Carter read the newspaper to him every day. Carter was only able to attend school four months out of the year, and other times worked on the farm. When he was a teenager, Carter began working in the coal mines, and it was there that he met a man named Oliver Jone. Oliver asked Carter not only to read to him and the other miners but also to research and find more information on the subjects that interested them. Carter believed in education and wanted to share his knowledge, so reading newspapers and books was something that he enjoyed. Carter finished high school in two years and later became a teacher. He went to Harvard University, where he earned a Ph.D. in History. Carter was the first African American whose parents were enslaved to earn a doctorate. Carter began traveling around the world and transforming the way people thought about history. In February of 1926, Carter sent out a press release announcing the first Negro History Week. He chose February because the month contained the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two prominent men whose historic achievements African Americans already celebrate. This book is an easy read with beautiful, vivid illustrations of essential figures from African -American history.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    Carter Reads the Newspaper is a biographical children's picture book written by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by Don Tate. This biography of the "Father of Black History," Dr. Carter G. Woodson, highlights experiences that shaped his passion. Carter Godwin Woodson was an American historian, author, journalist, and the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. He was one of the first scholars to study the history of the African diaspora, including African-A Carter Reads the Newspaper is a biographical children's picture book written by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by Don Tate. This biography of the "Father of Black History," Dr. Carter G. Woodson, highlights experiences that shaped his passion. Carter Godwin Woodson was an American historian, author, journalist, and the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. He was one of the first scholars to study the history of the African diaspora, including African-American history. A founder of The Journal of Negro History in 1916, Woodson has been called the "father of black history". In February 1926 he launched the celebration of "Negro History Week", the precursor of Black History Month. Hopkinson's text is rather simplistic, straightforward, and informative. Hopkinson skillfully shapes Carter's childhood, family history, and formative experiences into a cohesive story. Backmatter includes a bibliography, list of black leaders, and timeline. Delicately textured mixed-media illustrations by Tate offer spare, stylized images of this lesser-known crusader, as well as portraits of other African-American leaders. The premise of the book is rather straightforward. It focuses on Woodson's Virginia upbringing and the admirable individuals who inspired him, including his father, James Henry Woodson, who escaped slavery to join the Union Army and gave Carter the courage to look anyone in the eye and declare that everyone is equal. Reading newspapers to his illiterate father gave the boy his first glimpse of the wider world, a vision enhanced by a friend and fighter for equality, Oliver Jones, who taught Woodson to learn through others. All in all, Carter Reads the Newspaper is an important and inspiring tale well told about the person who is considered the Father of Black History – Carter Godwin Woodson.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sandy Brehl

    Author Hopkinson and illustrator Tate have produced an important new picture book that suits any age. The tag line says it all, yet not nearly enough: "Carter G. Woodson didn't just study history. He changed it." I've been grateful, as a citizen and as an educator, for Black History Month. It's a resource and reminder of the countless contributions of Black men and women to the advancement of ALL people. Even so, I have long been concerned that the many resources, especially picture books, will b Author Hopkinson and illustrator Tate have produced an important new picture book that suits any age. The tag line says it all, yet not nearly enough: "Carter G. Woodson didn't just study history. He changed it." I've been grateful, as a citizen and as an educator, for Black History Month. It's a resource and reminder of the countless contributions of Black men and women to the advancement of ALL people. Even so, I have long been concerned that the many resources, especially picture books, will be relegated to a cabinet or back shelf once the month ends. This is a story of how Woodson (Carter) made it his life's work to develop literacy and Black history into an annual celebration. His passion for history grew from a childhood in which the legacy of enslavement, including illiteracy, was evident among Carter's own family and friends. The hardships he suffered as a child are heartbreaking, including being injured in a mine accident. He pursued his own education at every opportunity, despite severe adversity. In 1926, as a history professor, he was able to establish a national Black History Week, the origins of our present monthlong designation. This book is rich with images, names, dates, and taglines for both well-known and less famous Black innovators and leaders, as well as providing an author's note, bibliography, resources, and more. After reading this valuable biography of Woodson as a leader among his family and eventually for us all, I will temper my concerns about a designated "month" potentially limiting attention to neglected history-makers. Instead, I'll celebrate Woodson's leadership and encourage the reading and sharing of this book. Perhaps that alone will remind others to keep Black History books circulating all year long.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    First sentence: Each February we celebrate Black History Month. It's a time to honor heroes like Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King, Jr. But there's one hero we sometimes forget. Carter G. Woodson didn't help people escape from slavery, start a bus strike, or lead a movement of millions. Yet without him, we might not have Black History Month. This is his story. Premise/plot: Carter Reads the Newspaper is a biographical picture book of Carter G. Woodson. Carter grew up hearing stor First sentence: Each February we celebrate Black History Month. It's a time to honor heroes like Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King, Jr. But there's one hero we sometimes forget. Carter G. Woodson didn't help people escape from slavery, start a bus strike, or lead a movement of millions. Yet without him, we might not have Black History Month. This is his story. Premise/plot: Carter Reads the Newspaper is a biographical picture book of Carter G. Woodson. Carter grew up hearing stories from his mom and dad about slavery--both of his parents were slaves. He worked hard; he valued education. But nothing came easy for him. That high school education he longed for was only possibly after several years of working in a coal mine. While working as a miner, he was encouraged and inspired by a fellow miner even though he couldn't read or write. Since he knew how to read, he helped others stay informed and continue to learn. He went on to get his education--even a doctorate in history. Once he was challenged by a professor that that was no such thing as black history--Carter knew he was wrong. He was determined to "prove" his people had a history worth knowing, worth studying, worth celebrating. My thoughts: I'd not heard of Carter G. Woodson before. This was an absolutely LOVELY way to meet him. What a legacy he left behind! I enjoyed this one so much. Text: 5 out of 5 Illustrations: 5 out of 5 Total: 10 out of 10

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    Picture Book Biography. I had not heard the name Carter Woodson, but I did hear a lot about this book. Woodson was the son of former slaves, born in Virginia ten years after the Civil War ended. He grew up hearing about the trials his parents had faced as slaves. He was one of seven children, and though he had a thirst for knowledge he was only able to attend school four months a year. He delayed high school attendance to work in the mines. He eventually went back not only to high school, but al Picture Book Biography. I had not heard the name Carter Woodson, but I did hear a lot about this book. Woodson was the son of former slaves, born in Virginia ten years after the Civil War ended. He grew up hearing about the trials his parents had faced as slaves. He was one of seven children, and though he had a thirst for knowledge he was only able to attend school four months a year. He delayed high school attendance to work in the mines. He eventually went back not only to high school, but all the way through graduate school. While earning his PhD at Harvard, he was confronted with the statement that black people had no history. Woodson set out to prove him wrong and became the father of Black History Month. An interesting part of this story was the distinction between having the ability to read and having an interest in the text contained in newspapers and books. Carter had both, and he shared the content of various texts with his family and friends around him that had the interest but not the ability. This book could obviously be used at the start of February, but also to discuss treatment of black people through history, how history is selective on whose story is told, and why it is important to learn to read. Well written and beautifully illustrated with sketches of famous historical and contemporary black figures throughout.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sierra Jamis

    Carter Woodson is a name that you might not be familiar with. However, he played a vital role in history. Carter, the son of former slaves, helped his community to learn more about African Americans. He would read them the newspaper, and research when needed. He realized that there were many important people who stories the community wasn't being exposed to, which led him to work to create Negro History Week, which later became Black History Month. Wow. I am so glad that I learned more about the Carter Woodson is a name that you might not be familiar with. However, he played a vital role in history. Carter, the son of former slaves, helped his community to learn more about African Americans. He would read them the newspaper, and research when needed. He realized that there were many important people who stories the community wasn't being exposed to, which led him to work to create Negro History Week, which later became Black History Month. Wow. I am so glad that I learned more about the determination of Carter Woodson. What an inspiration. I think that this is a great book for teaching children to always keep learning. There is so much that we can learn from the lives of others. Work for what you believe in, and you can change the world. This book also includes some detailed resources in the back of the book, including a timeline of Carter Woodson's life, internet resources, a bibliography of other books about Carter (with titles included for young readers), an author's note with more information, and a list of all of the black leaders pictured in the book, along with birth & death dates and their accomplishments. https://mrsjamis.wixsite.com/misslibr...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    I received an electronic ARC from Peachtree Publishing via Netgalley. A biography of Carter G. Woodson for elementary level readers. Hopkinson tells his story from childhood through working to establish Negro History Week - the forerunner of Black History Month. He was the son of former slaves who believed in education. He was not able to attend much school as a child and youth but found ways to learn. One venue was reading newspapers to himself and others. The illustrations bring his story to li I received an electronic ARC from Peachtree Publishing via Netgalley. A biography of Carter G. Woodson for elementary level readers. Hopkinson tells his story from childhood through working to establish Negro History Week - the forerunner of Black History Month. He was the son of former slaves who believed in education. He was not able to attend much school as a child and youth but found ways to learn. One venue was reading newspapers to himself and others. The illustrations bring his story to life. They draw the reader into Woodson's world. Don't miss the various leaders drawn throughout the book (index at the end as well). The text is for a middle level elementary reader. It concisely tells about Woodson's life. Additional information included at the end of the book - Life timeline, citations for quotes, list of those included in the illustrations. Would make a good read aloud for older elementary level.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    “The teaching of the whole truth will help us in the direction of a real democracy.” Carter G. Woodson, the man who gave us Black History Month, is highlighted in this narrative nonfiction book. Born in 1875 to former slaves, Carter “grew up hearing about their [his parents’] lives.” He was raised to understand that education and being an informed citizen was important. Carter would often read the newspaper to his father. As he grew, he continued hearing the stories of other African Americans. “M “The teaching of the whole truth will help us in the direction of a real democracy.” Carter G. Woodson, the man who gave us Black History Month, is highlighted in this narrative nonfiction book. Born in 1875 to former slaves, Carter “grew up hearing about their [his parents’] lives.” He was raised to understand that education and being an informed citizen was important. Carter would often read the newspaper to his father. As he grew, he continued hearing the stories of other African Americans. “My interest in penetrating the past of my people was deepened.” Carter became the 2nd African American to graduate from Harvard University. While at Harvard, Carter was told by a professor that “Black people had no history.” And it became his life’s mission to prove those professors wrong. Includes a bibliography for further reading and a timeline. Also included throughout the book in the illustrations are 40+ prominent African Americans.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Joanna

    Children picture books are so special. I looovvee them so much because they both teach me as an adult and show that any topic, no matter how “serious” or “too complex for kids to understand,” can indeed reach its target audience. This was an excellent book about the Father of Black History. I’ve never heard of Dr. Woodson’s story before and that alone makes me a little frustrated. I don’t know if I should be frustrated at myself to not expanding my knowledge of American history sooner or mad at Children picture books are so special. I looovvee them so much because they both teach me as an adult and show that any topic, no matter how “serious” or “too complex for kids to understand,” can indeed reach its target audience. This was an excellent book about the Father of Black History. I’ve never heard of Dr. Woodson’s story before and that alone makes me a little frustrated. I don’t know if I should be frustrated at myself to not expanding my knowledge of American history sooner or mad at the education system that I was brought up in for not making a real and honest effort to include the stories of prominent Black figures in American history. Nonetheless, this book is an excellent story about a man who decided to create a space and uplift Black voices. History is never a one-sided story or one only the victors get to tell. Everyone contributes to the history of their family, community, culture, society and they should all be given the chance to be recognized and celebrated.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Keisha Williams

    Carter Reads the Newspaper is a great book that allows us to hang on to beliefs and see the accomplishments of those who are driven to be successful. I found the book on ALSC Caldecott web page under Notable Children's books. The book is about Carter G. Woodson, the Father of Black History Month. It details how Carter was born and his parents could not read. He would read the newspaper to his father but the traditional stories he held in his heart and kept those stories to later incorporate into Carter Reads the Newspaper is a great book that allows us to hang on to beliefs and see the accomplishments of those who are driven to be successful. I found the book on ALSC Caldecott web page under Notable Children's books. The book is about Carter G. Woodson, the Father of Black History Month. It details how Carter was born and his parents could not read. He would read the newspaper to his father but the traditional stories he held in his heart and kept those stories to later incorporate into traditions that are still visited today through the written word. I enjoyed the pictures because they displayed those of hope and the illustrations of blacks were not off or looked very dark. The story is one of triumph, I would like to hear an audio version which could be used as a quick story for children to settle them from recess or transition activity. This was a really great book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Erin Buhr

    I have celebrated Black History Month for over 3 decades but this was the first time I ever learned anything about Carter G. Woodson the Father of Black History. Born to slaves and the second Black American to ever graduate from Harvard with a PhD in History, Carter had a remarkable life. Carter is a testament to what can be accomplished with curiosity, intelligence and determination. When a professor at Harvard challenged him to prove that black people did indeed have a history, Carter made it I have celebrated Black History Month for over 3 decades but this was the first time I ever learned anything about Carter G. Woodson the Father of Black History. Born to slaves and the second Black American to ever graduate from Harvard with a PhD in History, Carter had a remarkable life. Carter is a testament to what can be accomplished with curiosity, intelligence and determination. When a professor at Harvard challenged him to prove that black people did indeed have a history, Carter made it his life's work. Readable, illustrated with lovely texture, and a true celebration of Black History, this is a wonderful book to share with children every February and have on your shelves all year round.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. First, I need to say that I am a fan of Deborah Hopkinson and respect her vast collection of historical books for children. In books like this, I would love to converse with authors when they make lists of who to include in their book. This book had me right up until I read the list of ‘notables’ in the backmatter and saw the sketches of those listed on the endpapers. I don’t want to spoil this book for anyone else, but I just cannot agree with inclusion of a certain recently-publicized athlete in First, I need to say that I am a fan of Deborah Hopkinson and respect her vast collection of historical books for children. In books like this, I would love to converse with authors when they make lists of who to include in their book. This book had me right up until I read the list of ‘notables’ in the backmatter and saw the sketches of those listed on the endpapers. I don’t want to spoil this book for anyone else, but I just cannot agree with inclusion of a certain recently-publicized athlete in the same category of ‘civil rights activist” as Coretta and Martin Luther King Jr. I won’t mention the name because I refuse to give that individual any more attention than the public has already given.

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