📚Black History

Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream 

The mere mention of the name conjures up visions of basketball played at its absolute best. But as a child, Michael almost gave up on his hoop dreams, all because he feared he’d never grow tall enough to play the game that would one day make him famous. That’s when his mother and father stepped in and shared the invaluable lesson of what really goes into the making of a champion–patience, determination, and hard work.

Authors: Deloris & Roslyn Jordan

Illustrator: Kadir Nelson

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Thunder Rose (2007)

“Thunder Rose is an African-American child born on a stormy night abuzz with booming thunder, flashing lightning, and hailing rain. Her parents are awestruck by her remarkable gifts, which include forming a ball out of lightning, speaking in full sentences minutes after her birth, and snoring through a booming, thunderous rumble. 

It is clear that Rose is no ordinary child. She can lift a cow over her head and almost drink it dry, and as she grows, she does incredible metalwork with scraps of iron she finds around the ranch. She uses her handiwork to restrain cattle, round up would-be rustlers, and lasso and squeeze the rain out of the clouds. She fearlessly faces down a couple of tornadoes and calms them with her “song of thunder." 

Nolen and Nelson offer up a wonderful tale of joy and love, as robust and vivid as the wide West.”

By Jerdine Nolen, Illustrator: Kadir Nelson

Get it now here 


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COVER REVEAL OF MILDRED D. TAYLOR’S ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY (CELEBRATES 40th ANNIVERSARY IN 2016)

ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY was first published in January 1976, and was followed by eight additional novels to form the Logan family saga. These titles – Let the Circle be Unbroken, The Road to Memphis, Mississippi Bridge, Song of the Trees, The Friendship, The Land, The Well, The Gold Cadillac. The hardcover anniversary rejacketed edition will publish January 5, 2016 with the complete backlist to follow in paperback in April. The final book in the Logan family saga will be released by Viking in 2017.

Ms. Taylor says, “ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY was created from a story my father and my uncle told me while we sat at the dining room table. From the time I was a child, I heard family stories and family history. I have woven all those stories and all that history into ten books, including the book I am now writing, LOGAN, the concluding book of the Logan family saga. I consider my books a legacy to my family, and I believe all those who shared the stories and who lived the history would be as proud as I of the 40th anniversary of ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY, a book begun with a story told around the dining room table.”

“I’m so thrilled to have the opportunity to create new covers for this powerful series by Mildred Taylor,” says Kadir Nelson. “The ROLL OF THUNDER series resonates so deeply with me and I’m very proud to help introduce this saga to a new generation of readers.”

Mildred D. Taylor is the author of nine books including The Road to Memphis, Let the Circle Be Unbroken, The Land, The Well and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Her books have won numerous awards, among them a Newbery Medal and Germany’s Buxtehude Bulle Award (both for Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry), four Coretta Scott King Awards, and a Boston Globe—Horn Book Award. Her book The Land was awarded the L.A. Times Book Prize and the PEN Award for Children’s Literature. In 2003, Ms. Taylor was named the First Laureate of the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature. In 2004, Mississippi celebrated a Mildred D. Taylor Day, and Mildred Taylor returned to her roots to address several hundred school children and adults at The University of Mississippi.

Mildred Taylor was born in Jackson, Mississippi, and grew up in Toledo, Ohio. After graduating from the University of Toledo, she served in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia for two years and then spent the next year traveling throughout the United States, working and recruiting for the Peace Corps. At the University of Colorado’s School of Journalism, she helped created a Black Studies program and taught in the program for two years. Ms. Taylor has worked as a proofreader-editor and as program coordinator for an international house and a community free school. She now devotes her time to her family, writing, and what she terms “the family ranch” in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

Kadir Nelson is a two-time Caldecott Honor Award recipient. He has received an NAACP Image Award, a CASEY Award, the 2009 and 2014 Coretta Scott King Author Award, and the 2009 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award. Among Mr. Nelson’s other awards are gold and silver medals from the Society of Illustrators. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, and The New Yorker. He lives in Los Angeles.

“I wanted to capture the memory of Hurricane Katrina and its aftereffects—the spirit of New Orleans, its resilience, its culture,” Kadir Nelson says of his cover for this week’s issue, which coincides with the tenth anniversary of Katrina. “And one of the first images that came to mind was a kid playing music, an image somber and hopeful at the same time.”

More on our latest cover, “Second Line,” by Kadir Nelson.