Deborah Hopkinson

Award Winning Author of Fiction & Nonfiction for Children & Teens

Carter Reads the Newspaper

Carter Reads the Newspaper

What is this book about?

“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. As a teenag­er, Carter went to work in the coal mines, and there he met Oliv­er Jones, who 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.

From an award-win­ning team of author Deb­o­rah Hop­kin­son and illus­tra­tor Don Tate, this first-ever pic­ture book biog­ra­phy of Carter G. Wood­son empha­sizes the impor­tance of pur­su­ing curios­i­ty and encour­ag­ing a hunger for knowl­edge of sto­ries and his­to­ries that have not been told.

illustration from Carter Reads the Newspaper
illus­tra­tion from Carter Reads the News­pa­per, illus­tra­tion © Don Tate.
Book writ­ten by Deb­o­rah Hop­kin­son, pub­lished by Peachtree Pub­lish­ing, 2019.

Awards and Accolades

  • Carter G. Wood­son Book Award (Hon­or Book), NCSS
  • Chica­go Pub­lic Library Best of the Best Book
  • New York Pub­lic Library Top 10 Books for Kids
  • Par­ents’ Choice Sil­ver Hon­or Award
  • Bank Street Col­lege of Edu­ca­tion Best Chil­dren’s Books of the Year (Starred)



“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.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Thor­ough back mat­ter … A charm­ing­ly illus­trat­ed pic­ture book biog­ra­phy for ele­men­tary school­ers.” (School Library Jour­nal)

“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.” (Book­list)

“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.” (Shelf Aware­ness)

Carter Reads the Newspaper

author, Deb­o­rah Hop­kin­son
illus­tra­tor, Don Tate
Peachtree Pub­lish­ers
ages 6 and up, 2019
ISBN 978–1‑561–45934‑6

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