The best children’s books to fuel big dreams

Carole Boston Weatherford Author Of Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement
By Carole Boston Weatherford

The Books I Picked & Why

Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions

By Chris Barton, Don Tate

Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions

Why this book?

What kid hasn’t doesn’t love the rush of shooting a Super-Soaker? Water-play aside, this book will water young readers’ imagination and show kids that they are the inventors of their own future.


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Tar Beach

By Faith Ringgold

Tar Beach

Why this book?

Do you wish you could fly on your own power? Cassie Louise Lightfoot can! As if Ringgold's story quilts are magic carpets, Cassie takes flights of imagination above Harlem, musing about a world where opportunities are open to all.


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Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon

By Kelly Starling Lyons, Laura Freeman

Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon

Why this book?

Long before doors opened to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, architect Phillip Freelon was building a legacy. Inspired by his grandfather's paintings, he overcame dyslexia and went on to study architecture, start his own firm and design monumental public spaces.


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Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress

By Alicia Williams, April Harrison

Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress

Why this book?

I can still remember when Shirley Chisholm became the first African American woman elected to Congress. Unabashedly, “unbought and unbossed,” she also threw her hat in the ring in the race for president—the first woman to run. I dare anyone to read her biography and not be inspired.


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Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Doreen Rappaport, Bryan Collier

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Why this book?

The Reverend Martin Luther King is best known for his rousing “I Have a Dream” speech at the 1963 March on Washington. This biography shows how his religious upbringing in the segregated South honed the faith and fortitude to lead the Civil Rights Movement.


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