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Fifty Cents and a Dream

Ever wonder how far you can get with only fifty cents in your pocket?  By today’s standards, not very far.  But, in 1872, for a young man with a dream of learning in his head, fifty cents and 500 miles would get him to Hampton Institute, located in Hampton, Virginia.  That young man was Booker T. Washington, and in our latest biography, Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington, his difficult and inspiring life is unfolded before us.  Written by Jabari Asim and illustrated by award-winning artist Bryan Collier, Fifty Cents and a Dream is a beautiful book. The images were created in watercolor and collage on paper. The endpapers were reproduced from select pages of The American Spelling Book by Noah Webster.

As a young child, Booker dreamed of going to school and learning how to read.  As a teenager, he was determined to reach Hampton Institute, a wonderful place of learning for African-Americans.  He did not know where Hampton was located nor how he was going to reach it.  He only knew he had to get there.  And get there he did, walking 500 miles through the mountains of Virginia to the sea with only fifty cents in his pocket.  This is the amazing story of Booker T. Washington who went on to graduate with honors from Hampton Institute, founded Tuskegee Institute, and became a national leader and one of the best known African Americans of his time.  Listed as one of 2012 Best Books on most lists-Kirkus, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, this book is a must read for elementary ages and up.  Enjoy!

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