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Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington

Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington

By Jabari Asim, illustrated by Bryan Collier

Genre: Picture Book, Biography

Curriculum Subjects: African American Heritage, History

Grade: P-1


Born into slavery, young Booker T. Washington could only dream of learning to read and write. After emancipation, with only fifty cents in his pocket and a dream in his soul, Booker walked five hundred miles to Hampton Institute, taking his first of many steps towards a college degree. The young slave who once waited outside of the schoolhouse would one day become a legendary educator of freedmen.


Award-winning artist Bryan Collier captures the hardship and the spirit of one of the most inspiring figures in American history, bringing to life Booker T. Washington’s journey to learn, to read, and to realize a dream.


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2012 Kirkus Best Books for Children

★ “An inspirational life, memorably presented.” -SLJ

★ “An outstanding achievement and a life worthy of note. ” – Kirkus

★ “Asim’s lyrical narrative is succinct yet illustrative, and, combined with the artwork, makes an impressive addition to any biography collection.” – Publishers’ Weekly