Following Coretta Scott King and Caldecott Award-winning The Undefeated, Kwame Alexander's new picture book tells the story of slavery, with mixed media art by award-winning muralist and sculptor Dare Coulter.

How do you tell a story that starts in Africa and ends in horror? About strength and pride and refusing to be broken? One that still hurts and still loves?

A powerfully moving, poetic exploration of the story of slavery: from Africa to the tall ships, from back-breaking work in a strange land to resilience and eventual emancipation, Kwame Alexander tells the story that's hard to hear. Told through the lens of a teacher speaking to their young pupils, and in multiple art styles from award-winning artist and sculptor Dare Coulter, the story of slavery becomes one that you can tell with the bravery to lift your voice. A must-read for all children and adults alike, and the perfect companion to Kwame Alexander's award-winning picture book The Undefeated.


Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and the New York Times bestselling author of numerous books, including Rebound, shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, The Crossover, winner of the Newbery Medal, and The Undefeated, winner of the Caldecott Medal. Kwame is also the recipient of several other awards, including the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award and the Coretta Scott King Author Honour. He is the writer and executive producer of The Crossover TV series and is co-founder of LEAP for Ghana, an international literacy programme.

Dare Coulter is an award-winning artist, muralist, and sculptor. Her mission for her artwork is primarily to create positive imagery of black people and families. She graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor’s in Art & Design, and has since worked on commissions for street art, sculpture and paintings as well as children's books. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.


A truly original and arresting work

The Bookseller, Editor's Choice

Beautifully crafted and brutally honest, this [book] offers a thoughtful introduction to a necessary topic


With powerful art from a bold new talent, this [book] is a probing and sensitive take on a devastating chapter of U.S. history


Coulter’s mixed-media illustrations bring the text to life with a powerful combination of two-dimensional ceramic and polymer clay sculptures

The Horn Book

Excellent and essential… This book is unforgettable

School Library Journal

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