Project Description

Carter Reads the Newspaper
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Teacher’s Guide
Author Q&A
Illustrator Q&A

Carter Reads the Newspaper

by Deborah Hopkinson
illustrated by Don Tate

“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.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $17.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-934-6
Publication Date: 2/1/2019
Page Count: 36
Size: 10-7/8″ x 9-1/2″
Age Range: 6 – 10
Language: English
AR Level: 4.5
F&P: P, Gr 3, Genre B
Lexile: 810L
Themes: African-American History, Biography, Education, Research, Family
BISAC 1: JNF007050 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / Cultural Heritage
BISAC 2:JNF007020 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / Historical
BISAC 3: JNF018010 JUVENILE NONFICTION / People & Places / United States / African American


“Hopkinson skillfully shapes Carter’s childhood, family history and formative experiences into a cohesive story.…the inclusion of notable figures from black history reinforces the theme (a key is in the backmatter). An important and inspiring tale well told.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Young readers will be caught up in his story…. Quotes are seamlessly woven into the narrative, and a time line, list of sources, and bibliography add research appeal. Of special note are the illustrations, which include more than 40 portraits of black leaders… Their images and one-line biographies will pique further interest, making this a valuable resource for school and public libraries.” ―Booklist

“Thorough back matter… A charmingly illustrated picture book biography for elementary schoolers.” —School Library Journal

“Conversational… Delicately textured mixed-media illustrations…offer spare, stylized images…” —Publishers Weekly

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“Fascinating… Expressive artwork…” —Foreword Reviews

“This will be a go-to title for Black History Month, but a more meaningful tribute to the celebration’s founder will be a catalyst for further African-American studies throughout the year.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Exemplary… This inspiring picture book combines a rich but focused text with clear, expressive mixed-media illustrations. It sheds light on an important, inspiring, but little-known subject, and the supplemental back matter gives weight to the exceedingly important takeaways that history must include all people, and that anyone can change history.” —Shelf Awareness

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Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award ―Parents’ Choice Foundation, 2019

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Meet the Author

Deborah Hopkinson

Deborah Hopkinson is the award-winning author of numerous critically acclaimed picture and chapter books, including Keep On!Sweet Land of LibertyUnder the Quilt of Night; and Shutting Out the Sky: Life in the Tenements of New York 1880-1924. She lives in Oregon. You can visit her website here.

Meet the Illustrator

Don Tate

Don Tate is the illustrator of numerous critically acclaimed books for children. In 2013, he earned an Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor Award for his first picture book text, It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw. You can visit  his website here.