Books by Jim Haskins

Released: Oct. 15, 2006

"John Lewis was born at a time when the winds of change were blowing." Read full book review >

Released: Nov. 1, 2005

The story of a boy who grew up to be one of Savannah's Civil Rights leaders is simply told and illustrated with striking oil-and-collage paintings. Read full book review >

CHAMPION by Jim Haskins
Released: May 1, 2001

On the heels of the film, a new picture-book biography of the boxing powerhouse accorded the title of "Athlete of the Century." Read full book review >

Released: Feb. 13, 1998

Haskins (Black, Blue, and Gray, 1998, etc.) profiles 31 African-Americans, including seven women, who overcame towering obstacles of law and custom to achieve financial success in fields such as banking, cosmetics, electrical engineering, music, and real estate. Read full book review >

Released: Jan. 1, 1998

For those interested in a fuller picture of the fight for educational integration in the US, Haskins (Bayard Rustin, 1997, etc.) attempts to fill in some gaps. Read full book review >

Released: Jan. 1, 1998

Through diligent research and intelligent writing, Haskins (Separate But Not Equal, p. 1708, etc.) attempts to redress a historical wrong. In the decades following the conclusion of the Civil War, historians thoroughly expunged the participation of African- American soldiers from the annals of war. Read full book review >

SPIKE LEE by Jim Haskins
Released: April 1, 1997

A biography that is fascinating because its subject is fascinating. Read full book review >

I AM ROSA PARKS by Rosa Parks
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

"Unlike most books in the series, this one will require adult prompting for difficult words and ideas, although the language is smoothly simple in most places. The workmanlike black-and-white illustrations complement the story of a quietly courageous heroine. (Autobiography. 5-9)


I Am Rosa Parks ($12.99; PLB $12.89; Feb. 1997; 48 pp.; 0- 8037-1206-5; PLB 0-8037-1207-3): In the Easy-To-Read series, Parks and Haskins mold for a younger readership the material in their acclaimed Rosa Parks (1992). Read full book review >

Released: Jan. 1, 1997

Comparing the brief career of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense to a ``burst of radiation, searing American race relations,'' Haskins (see review above) shows how that tough stance—which struck a chord in African-Americans radicalized by the violent white response to the Civil Rights Movement—later collapsed under the weight of drugs, ego, and internecine conflicts. Read full book review >

Released: Oct. 1, 1996

Despite the title, this is a terse, impeccable history of the Nation of Islam, with emphasis in the last half to the role of Farrakhan in that organization and including his appearance at the Million Man March in October 1995. Haskin (with Kathleen Benson, Count Your Way Through Greece, p. 899) focuses less on Farrakhan than on the political aspects of his life, for which he provides background; thus, half of this carefully researched book traces the history of the Nation of Islam from its birth in the 1930s, through the assassination of Malcolm X, and on to the current leadership. Read full book review >

Released: July 2, 1996

Learning to count in Greek is now as easy as one, two, three, in this entry in the Count Your Way series; Haskins and Benson use the numbers one through ten to expound on Greek history and culture. An introductory note explains the history of the Greek alphabet and its influence on contemporary English, then it's on to the digits. Read full book review >

Released: Feb. 1, 1993

Yet another King biography, this one lifted above the ordinary by the passion and dignity of King's own rhetoric—extensive quotations from books, speeches, and letters worked into Haskins's spare narrative of King's family history, life events, and beliefs. Read full book review >

Released: Jan. 1, 1993

The frequently told story of the Underground Railroad has, claims Haskins, all too often ``played up the extent of its organization and the efforts of whites, especially Quakers, and played down the less organized efforts of slaves, free blacks and other whites.'' Here, he focuses more on people than process in his account of the antislavery movement, the increasingly harsh measures against fugitives in the 19th century, and the courageous work of several stationmasters and conductors dedicated to helping escapees; coded songs and other subterfuges designed to spread the word are also discussed. Read full book review >

Released: March 1, 1992

Enlightening if vaguely documented accounts of black explorers of the American continent, the North Pole, and space, emphasizing the barriers of race that they overcame. After quoting early Arab documents to show that the emperor of ancient Mali (an accomplished African civilization) sent a large fleet across the Atlantic in the 13th century, Haskins speculates that this led to ``negroid'' features in some Mayan sculptures, similarities between African and American languages, and rumors that helped to inspire Columbus. ``It is likely that Columbus had with him either black seamen or black slaves who had knowledge of the ocean and the lands beyond it.'' Other better- known explorers included here are Estevanico (explorer of New Mexico), Jean Point du Sable (founder of Chicago), York (a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition), James Beckwourth (a half- black mountain man), George Bush (the first American settler in Washington territory), Matthew Henson, and Guion Bluford (the first black astronaut). Read full book review >

AMAZING GRACE by Jim Haskins
Released: Feb. 15, 1992

The popular hymn whose origins are recounted here is not a folk song, but was written by an English minister who distilled his own grim experiences to pen these compellingly consoling verses. Read full book review >

ROSA PARKS by Rosa Parks
Released: Feb. 3, 1992

Even those familiar with her name will realize on reading this engrossing account how little they really know of Parks's life and the events that surrounded the dawning Civil Rights movement. Read full book review >

Released: Jan. 1, 1992

Biographies of eight men and four women who struggled against racial prejudice and other obstacles to distinguish themselves. Read full book review >

Released: Sept. 20, 1991

Scatman Crothers offers Haskins one of the liveliest of the writer's 50 or so books (Richard Pryor, Mr. Bojangles, Queen of the Blues: The Story of Dinah Washington, etc.). Crothers had a long career as a drummer, scat singer, and bandleader before moving into acting. Read full book review >