The Undefeated

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

The Undefeated By Kwame Alexander Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Published in 2019, Winner of the Caldecott 2020, a Newberry Honor Book 2020, The Coretta Scott King Award for illustrator 2020


Beautiful describes many children’s books either through the written word or the pictures that a child or adult can relate to. Children’s literature is art an ever-evolving art. It takes a special book to convey art in both mediums where the words have such a powerful message and the art will stay in an eternal memory. The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander and illustrated by Kadir Nelson is exceptional, it is remarkable as it tells a history of African Americans and their overcoming of great diversity to be an inspiration to all children in 2020 and the children to follow.

The book begins with the introduction of the unforgettable (Jesse Owens), followed by an encounter with the ones who survived America and pay a homage to the ones who did not. There is a meeting with the unflappable (Jack Johnson) and the unafraid (African Americans who fought in the Civil War). The reader comes across the righteous (John Lewis), the unspeakable (Trayvon Martin), the unlimited (Martin Luther King Jr), and explore the unbelievable (Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald). This book, this beautiful piece of art is a tribute to the ones made famous and the ones lost to history. It is a hope for remembrance and a bold step forward.

A Bookish Decree: Extraordinary

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