Discussing Slavery in Classrooms — #1 New York Times Bestselling Author's New Book Shows the Way

Kwame Alexander’s An American Story releases Jan. 3 and will help educators and parents start the conversation.

Book Title: An American Story  

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 

Publication Date: January 3, 2022  

NEW YORK, Dec. 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — On January 3, 2023, Kwame Alexander, the #1 New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of The Crossover, The Door of No Return and The Undefeated, will kick off a national tour at Judy Blume’s in Key West, Florida for An American Story, a bold children’s picture book that explains American slavery through the voice of a teacher who is struggling to help her students understand its place in history.

Told through lyrical writing and stunning illustrations, the powerful, multilayered narrative by Alexander and artist/sculpturist Dare Coulter will take educators, parents and young people from fireside tales in an African village, through the passage across the Atlantic and the backbreaking work in the fields of the South to eventual emancipation.

“I wrote this book after a rather difficult parent-teacher conference back in my daughter’s fourth grade school year,” said Alexander, whose book The Crossover is a forthcoming Disney+ television series. “An American Story is for all teachers and parents trying to find their voices, trying to share a lesson that we all find so difficult to discuss. It is a story for readers of all ages — a story of a people’s struggle, strength, horror and hope that needs to be told and understood by all of us.” 

Coulter, a longtime sculpturist and illustrator, said: “I want there to be these big assemblies of beautiful, hopeful kids reading this book, to whom we can say, ‘Yes, this did happen, yes, it is terrible; but the way forward is acknowledgement and understanding.’ I want readers to walk away feeling resilient.” 

Alexander’s national tour for the book launches with a live virtual conversation from Judy Blume’s Key West, Florida bookstore, Books and Books, on Tuesday, Jan. 3 at 12 p.m. EST on his Facebook page (Facebook.com/KwameAlexanderBooks). The virtual event will be followed by a nine-city book tour, which kicks off on Jan. 5 in Raleigh, North Carolina and includes stops in Jacksonville, Florida; Charleston and Charlotte. Learn more at kwamealexander.com

About the Author

Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, publisher and New York Times bestselling author of 37 books, including the Caldecott Medal and Newbery Honor-winning picture book The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, the Newbery medal-winning novel, The Crossover (a forthcoming TV series on Disney+), and Becoming Muhammad Ali, co-authored with James Patterson. He is also a regular contributor to NPR’s Morning Edition.

About the Artist

Dare Coulter (she/her) is an award-winning artist, muralist, and sculptor whose primary artistic objective is to create positive imagery of Black people and families. She aims to install sculptures depicting Black joy around the world. Learn more at darecoulter.com.

Media Contacts:  

Stacy Adams, [email protected], 804-399-2601

Marisa Russell, [email protected], 212-364-1548

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SOURCE Kwame Alexander


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