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IDA B. WELLS by Walter Dean Myers


Let the Truth Be Told

by Walter Dean Myers & illustrated by Bonnie Christensen

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-027705-5
Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

In spite of adversity, or because of it, Ida B. Wells served as a catalyst in the civil-rights movement. Wells was born three years before slavery’s abolition; when her parents and brother succumbed to yellow fever, she turned to teaching and writing, personally experiencing racism’s harsh realities. As a businesswoman and suffragette, Wells spoke against hatred’s social and legal ramifications, and her words garnered an international audience when her businessmen friends were lynched. Often, this picture-book biography relies powerfully on Wells’s own passionate words to tell her story: “In the past ten years over a thousand black men and women and children have met this violent death at the hands of a white mob. And the rest of America has remained silent.” Christensen’s swirling lines and colors blend, depicting her subject’s determination; the illustrations vary in composition, but vigorous cross-hatching provides texture and mood throughout. The design sets the staunch advocate’s quotations off from Myers’s accessible account, printing them in a typeface as bold as their speaker. (Picture book/biography. 7-10)