Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

The Undefeated



by
Kwame Alexander
illustrated by
Kadir Nelson

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Imprint
Versify
ISBN
9781328780966

Awards and Honors
2019 Kirkus Prize Finalist
2019 National Book Award Longlist
Kirkus Best Books - 2019
Publishers Weekly Best Books - 2019
SLJ Best Books - 2019
Horn Book Fanfare - 2019
NPR’s Book Concierge - 2019
CPL Best Books - 2019
CSMCL Best Books - 2019
2020 Newbery Honor Book
2020 Caldecott Medal Winner
2020 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Book Award Winner
NCTE’s 2020 Notable Poetry List
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism, Violence: Mild Violence
$19.56   $16.30
SEE MEMBER PRICE
QTY
Out of stock

Originally performed for ESPN's The Undefeated, this poem is a love letter to black life in the United States. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world's greatest heroes. The text is also peppered with references to the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others, offering deeper insights into the accomplishments of the past, while bringing stark attention to the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present.

Author’s note. Further information on people and events in book. Full-color illustrations.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism, Violence: Mild Violence

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

40

Trim Size

10 1/2" x 11"

Dewey

811.6

AR

2.6: points 0.5

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Jul 2019

Book Genres


Topics

African Americans. Children’s poetry. Courage. Persistence. Bravery. US history.

Standard MARC Records

Download Standard MARC Records

Cover Art

Download Cover Art

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

The Horn Book Magazine*, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly*, Booklist*

Horn Book

Alexander and Nelson honor the achievements, courage, and perseverance of ordinary black people as well as prominent black artists, athletes, and activists. The free-verse poem begins: “This is for the unforgettable. / The swift and sweet ones / who hurdled history / and opened a world / of possible. The ones who survived / America / by any means necessary. / And the ones who didn’t.” While some events (e.g., the transatlantic slave trade) are “unspeakable,” Alexander’s words convey a sense of pride at what his “unflappable” and “unafraid” ancestors have accomplished and continue to do despite racial oppression. He incorporates the words of black icons (such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) and movements (Black Lives Matter), creating a through-line from past to present. Nelson’s paintings effectively use white space to extend the text and amplify its meaning. For example, the image of enslaved people on ships shows the figures in cramped quarters—a double-page spread compact with black bodies; while what accompanies the text for “the ones who didn’t [survive]” is simply two blank pages. The realistic oil paintings convey racial oppression in the past (black-and-white images of the four little girls who were killed during the church bombing in Birmingham) and present (full-color paintings of African American boys killed recently by police)— demonstrating that racism remains deeply entrenched in America today. Nelson depicts numerous famous people whom adults and children may recognize, from Billie Holiday to LeBron James, as well as others (Sarah Vaughan, Romare Bearden) whose faces and stories they may not know. The book concludes with an afterword by Alexander and an annotated list of historical figures and events featured in The Undefeated.

Praise & Reviews

Horn Book

Alexander and Nelson honor the achievements, courage, and perseverance of ordinary black people as well as prominent black artists, athletes, and activists. The free-verse poem begins: “This is for the unforgettable. / The swift and sweet ones / who hurdled history / and opened a world / of possible. The ones who survived / America / by any means necessary. / And the ones who didn’t.” While some events (e.g., the transatlantic slave trade) are “unspeakable,” Alexander’s words convey a sense of pride at what his “unflappable” and “unafraid” ancestors have accomplished and continue to do despite racial oppression. He incorporates the words of black icons (such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) and movements (Black Lives Matter), creating a through-line from past to present. Nelson’s paintings effectively use white space to extend the text and amplify its meaning. For example, the image of enslaved people on ships shows the figures in cramped quarters—a double-page spread compact with black bodies; while what accompanies the text for “the ones who didn’t [survive]” is simply two blank pages. The realistic oil paintings convey racial oppression in the past (black-and-white images of the four little girls who were killed during the church bombing in Birmingham) and present (full-color paintings of African American boys killed recently by police)— demonstrating that racism remains deeply entrenched in America today. Nelson depicts numerous famous people whom adults and children may recognize, from Billie Holiday to LeBron James, as well as others (Sarah Vaughan, Romare Bearden) whose faces and stories they may not know. The book concludes with an afterword by Alexander and an annotated list of historical figures and events featured in The Undefeated.

Grades 2-6
Character Building Elementary
For Grades 2-6

This category provides 12 books per year that offer positive messages and spark thoughtful discussions about such things as ethics, kindness, and loyalty.

12 books per Year
$195.60 per Year
Interests
Biographies,Diversity,Nonfiction,Positive Messages
Like this book?
Get more like this every month.
LEARN MORE
Grades 2-6
Character Building Elementary
12 books per Year
$195.60 per Year

Other Recommended Titles From Character Building Elementary

A Walk in the Words

by Hudson Talbott

Character Building Elementary

December 2021
Out of stock

Wounded Falcons

by Jairo Buitrago

Character Building Elementary

November 2021

What I Am

by Divya Srinivasan

Character Building Elementary

October 2021

Amara and the Bats

by Emma Reynolds

Character Building Elementary

September 2021
Copyright © 2017 Magento, Inc. All rights reserved.