Title: More Than Anything ElseFC_BC_9780531094648.indd
Author: Marie Bradby
Illustrator: Chris K. Soentpiet
Pages: 32
Recommended Ages: Read Aloud
Star Rating: ★★★★

I picked this book up because it was ten cents and appeared to be a picture book about American slavery. What I didn’t realize is that it is in fact about Booker T. Washington’s early desire to be educated.

Soberly-illustrated, More Than Anything Else explores post-slavery life for Booker and his family – the continued poverty and back-breaking work in the salt mines, the tired nights in candle-lit huts, and the desire to have more, to be more. In the end, Booker finds someone who can teach him how to spell his own name, and this is how we find out who the main character of our story has been.

Booker refers to reading as a type of magic.

Conclusion. A good read aloud – it will bring home to children the sobering reality of the privileges they enjoy through education.

Review © 2014 Laura Verret

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