Carter Reads The Newspaper

Author: Deborah Hopkinson

Published: February 1, 2019

Publisher: Peachtree Publishing Company

“Carter G. Woodson didn’t just read history. He changed it.” As the father of Black History Month, he spent his life introducing others to the history of his people.

Carter G. Woodson was born to two formerly enslaved people ten years after the end of the Civil War. Though his father could not read, he believed in being an informed citizen. So Carter read the newspaper to him every day. When he was still a teenager, Carter went to work in the coal mines. There he met a man named Oliver Jones, and Oliver did something important: he asked Carter not only to read to him and the other miners, but also research and find more information on the subjects that interested them. “My interest in penetrating the past of my people was deepened,” Carter wrote. His journey would take him many more years, traveling around the world and transforming the way people thought about history.


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“Hopkinson skillfully shapes Carter’s childhood, family history and formative experiences into a cohesive story.…the inclusion of notable figures from black history reinforces the theme (a key is in the backmatter). An important and inspiring tale well told.” 


“Young readers will be caught up in his story…. Quotes are seamlessly woven into the narrative, and a time line, list of sources, and bibliography add research appeal. Of special note are the illustrations, which include more than 40 portraits of black leaders… Their images and one-line biographies will pique further interest, making this a valuable resource for school and public libraries.” 

School Library Journal

“Thorough back matter… A charmingly illustrated picture book biography for elementary schoolers.” 

Publishers Weekly

“Conversational… Delicately textured mixed-media illustrations…offer spare, stylized images…” 

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“This will be a go-to title for Black History Month, but a more meaningful tribute to the celebration’s founder will be a catalyst for further African-American studies throughout the year.” Shelf Awareness

“Exemplary… This inspiring picture book combines a rich but focused text with clear, expressive mixed-media illustrations. It sheds light on an important, inspiring, but little-known subject, and the supplemental back matter gives weight to the exceedingly important takeaways that history must include all people, and that anyone can change history.”



Carter G. Woodson Book Award (Honor Book, Elementary)―National Council for the Social Studies, 2020

Eureka! Nonfiction Children’s Book Award Silver Honor ―California Reading Association, 2019

Social Justice Literature Award ―Literacy and Social Justice Special Interest Group, International Literacy Association, 2020

Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award ―Parents’ Choice Foundation, 2019

Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People ―NCSS/CBC, 2020

Notable Children’s Books―ALSC, 2020

Northern Lights Book Award (Biography) ―Northern Dawn Awards, 2019

Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book ―Chicago Public Library, 2019

Top 10 Books for Kids ―New York Public Library, 2019

Eloise Jarvis McGraw Award for Children’s Literature (Finalist) ―Literary Arts, 2020

Best Children’s Books of the Year (Starred) ―Bank Street College of Education, 2020

Children’s Crown Award (Nominee) ―National Christian School Association, 2020-2021

Delaware Diamonds (Nominee, 3-5) ―Diamond State Reading Association, 2020-2021

Paterson Prize for Books for Young People (Honor Book) ―The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College, 2020