Book Spotlight: Fifty Cents and a Dream

This December, Little, Brown Young Readers will be publishing Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington by Jabari Asim, illustrated by Bryan Collier. I had the honor of working with these two talented men—Jabari’s text is evocative and lyrical, and Bryan’s collage art is, per usual, stunning. This dynamic pairing already makes Fifty Cents and a Dream a special book. But what makes this book even more special is the story itself—a true and often overlooked piece of history about perseverance and triumph.
Booker T. Washington is a common figure in social studies classes. He’s briefly covered in most schools, particularly during Black History Month, grouped with other influential African American leaders. While growing up in Alabama, I learned and relearned about Washington; we had Alabama History every year, up until freshman year in high school. Here’s what I gleaned from my many years with Mr. Washington:

Read more