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Diverse Books For All Ages

Books That Celebrate Every Story, Every Voice, Every Child

Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans

Updated: Jan 12, 2023

Kadir Nelson Heart and Soul

Title: Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans

Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen

Author/Illustrator: Kadir Nelson

Purchase: Bookshop

Publisher's Description

The story of America and African Americans is a story of hope and inspiration and unwavering courage. In Heart and Soul, Kadir Nelson's stirring paintings and words grace 100-plus pages of a gorgeous picture book--a beautiful gift for readers of all ages, a treasure to share across generations at home or in the classroom.

Heart and Soul is about the men, women, and children who toiled in the hot sun picking cotton; it's about the America ripped in two by Jim Crow laws; it's about the brothers and sisters of all colors who rallied against those who would dare bar a child from an education. It's a story of discrimination and broken promises, determination, and triumphs.

Kadir Nelson's Heart and Soul--the winner of numerous awards, including the Coretta Scott King Author Award and Illustrator Honor, and the recipient of five starred reviews--is told through the unique point of view and intimate voice of a one-hundred-year-old African American female narrator.

This inspiring book demonstrates that in striving for freedom and equal rights, African Americans help our country on the journey toward its promise of liberty and justice--the true heart and soul of our nation. The paperback edition also features eight pages of discussion and curriculum material.

Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans is a story of hope and courage. But it is also the story of injustice of a country divided by law, education, and wealth of a people whose struggles and achievements helped define their country (from inside flap)


The illustrations bring the book to life and create a tender connection with the stories shared. This book features stories and events that might evoke strong feelings like sadness or anger, but there are also parts of the book that might make readers proud or even laugh a little.

Words from the back cover of the book say it best, "You have to know where you come from so you can move forward." This is a great book for all ages!

Watch Kadir Nelson

Kadir Nelson, one of this generation's most accomplished, award-winning artists, has created an epic yet intimate introduction to the history of America and African Americans, from colonial days through the civil rights movement.

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