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  • Michelle Nott

So Much History in Just One Book!

Schomburg, The Man Who Built a Library written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Eric Velasquez, published by Candlewick Press.


I feel like this book is, in itself, a library. While Carole Boston Weatherford so brilliantly recounts the life of Afro-Puertorican, Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, lives of some of the most important Africans are unveiled. There were so many grand lives that could have been included, but Weatherford's selection is perfect to spark readers to do even more research on other heroes.


It was a teacher who told young Arturo that his history didn't exist, which prompted him to search for it himself. I hope a teacher, parent, or librarian hands this book to a child of any color to let them know that indeed an immense history has lived, is alive, and is thriving.


The author carefully organizes all the information into sections highlighting Arturo's childhood, young adulthood, and beyond in such a way to show the progress and the fruits of his curiosity. I can't imagine anyone reading this picture book and not feeling inspired and enlightened.


In addition, Eric Velasquez's realistic and lively oil paintings bring each character from the past centuries to life in vivid colors and emotions.


Imagine It!


Arturo Alfonso Schomburg built the library he didn't have to enrich his life and others'.


Think of a topic that interests you: a moment in history, a person, a culture, a science, a sport...


Imagine an entire library full of books on that subject!


Make a list, or catalogue, of all the books, artwork, materials, films, etc. that you would include in this library.


Draw a picture of what your library would look like. What sort of sections could you include? How many floors would it have? Where would you locate it?


Imagine spending a full day in your library and everything you and other people could learn!

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