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Vision of Beauty: The Story of Sarah Breedlove Walker
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Vision of Beauty: The Story of Sarah Breedlove Walker (Candlewick Biographies)

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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  72 ratings  ·  28 reviews
A vision of dignity and freedom and a powerful role model for girls and women of all races


"This impressive picture book will delight young readers as it gives a sense of this remarkable woman and the times in which she lived." — SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL (starred review)

"Lasky's engaging account moves smoothly through events in Walker's life. . . . The illustrations . . . are
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Paperback, 48 pages
Published January 1st 2003 by Candlewick Press (first published 2000)
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Community Reviews

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Becca Buckman
Vision of Beauty: The Story of Sarah Breedlove Walker is a junior biography book written by Kathryn Lasky with illustrations by Nneka Bennett. Sarah became the first “free-born child” in her hometown after slavery ended in 1865. Orphaned at the tender age of seven, trying to create a life in the south for herself and her two siblings proved extremely difficult for Sarah. Threatened by the immense racial tension plaguing the south, Sarah found a way to push through the criticism to find her sense ...more
Esther Barajikian
"Vision of Beauty: The Story of Sarah Breedlove Walker" is an award-winning (Parent's Choice Award) picture book biography intended for primary readers. It tells the story of Sarah, who was born soon after the end of slavery in America and her struggle to become a dignified and successful woman. I gave the book a 3-star rating due to its effective presentation of Sarah's story. It takes the reader through a range of emotions from the fear and disgrace of her early days to the pride and joy that ...more
Gabrielle Blockton
Date: September 9th, 2014

Author: Kathryn Lasky; Illustrations by Nneka Bennett

Title: Vision of Beauty: The Story of Sarah Breedlove Walker

Plot: This is the story of Madame C.J. Walker, formerly known as Sarah Breedlove Walker, a strong African-American figure in the Indianapolis community. She grew up to be one of the richest African Americans in her time as well as the richest woman in the world, during a time when being black and a woman meant struggle and hardships.

Setting: Various locations
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Claudia
I was raised in Indiana, and spent time in southern Indiana, and yet, I never heard of Madame Walker. I feel ashamed. She was a visionary, an entrepreneur, a philanthropist, and a leader. Born a free child right after the Civil War, she lost her parents early...but from the very beginning she showed a willingness to work hard, to learn, and to go places other women -- and women of color -- dared not go.

This picture-book biography is beautiful and informative. Sarah Walker invented hair products
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Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I didn't know a thing about Sarah Breedlove Walker until I read this book. What an amazing woman! I never learned about people like this when I was in school back in the '60s. It's inspiring to read about what you can do if you're smart and really determined. Highly recommended!
Margo Tanenbaum

Candlewick Press has recently reissued in paperback Kathryn Lasky's biography of Sarah Breedlove Walker, originally published in 2000. In a brief 48 pages, Lasky chronicles the life of this remarkable woman, born into poverty to former slaves, who became a highly successful entrepreneur and philanthropist. Orphaned at the age of seven, Sarah had a difficult childhood, and married at the age of 14 to escape living with her sister and her cruel husband. She eventually moved to St. Louis where she
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Sarah
I thought that overall,this book was a very good book. I really liked the illustrations. I would recommend this book to 3rd or 4th graders.

Children's Literature
This longer-than-usual, picture book tells the inspiring story Madame Walker, best known for founding a turn-of-the-century company that bolstered the beauty of African-American women. Lasky does an incredible job of getting to the emotional and character qualities of this amazing woman who did much more than change hair. Walker was the f
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Kristina Charnecki
Genre: Biography Junior Book

In this book, readers learn about Sarah Breedlove Walker, an African American orphan born after the abolishment of slavery. She followed her dreams to become one of the most successful African American entrepreneurs.

a.) A major strength of this book is the illustrations.
b.) When reading biographies and autobiographies, visuals help make the story and history come alive. Although this book may not have real photographs, the illustrations done by Nneka Bennett are very
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VeNicia
I love biographies. I love simple biographies that get kiddos interested in people, history, cultures, philanthropy, get them thinking about their interests and desires for their lives, and hopefully get them thinking about how their life will contribute to a better world. This book is not my favorite writing, and the interest of the main character, "beauty" & hair, is not one I share; however, she used that interest to do good things for black women in a time that treated them so hideously. ...more
Michelle Crunkleton-Clark
Wonderful picture book biography! I would recommend it to upper elementary school kids and up.
The Reading Countess
If you are looking for a biographical book that teaches some key components of the genre we teachers like to point out along the way, look no further than Vision of Beauty. If you're looking for a book that teaches young girls (and to some extent, guys)to believe in themselves, to never let go of a dream no matter what, to not worry about what is reflected in the mirror...then look no further. The illustrations added a richness to the time period, which will undoubtedly support a young reader un ...more
Christen
reading olympics
Cheryl
A good telling of an African-American woman who was successful in spite of daunting odds. Born in Mississippi two years after the end of slavery, Sarah Breedlove formed a thriving business selling hair products for black consumers. In a time with limited opportunities for both blacks and women, her accomplishments were very impressive. Nice, realistic illustrations create a feel for the times.
Dan Rogers
A truly enjoyable picture book about an amazing woman. The story was well written, giving the reader (and listener) just enough insight to truly appreciate all that she endured to become a successful African American business woman in the early 20th century. Additionally, the illustrations truly enhance one's appreciation for and understanding of the story. Well worth the time spent.
Miri
Great story of a woman who did things she wasn't supposed to do, ignored restrictive traditions, and became incredibly successful while helping other women do the same thing. Sarah Breedlove Walker created her own hair-strengthening tonics and defied the conventions of advertising, which glorified white women's hair and told black women their hair was "bad."
Bekkah
This would be an excellent story to read during a study on biographies or to have in the classroom library during a unit on choosing careers or discussing business. I would also read this book during a study of the antebellum period in American history since the beginning does a great job describing the issues which faced families after the civil war.
Melissa Mcavoy
I loved this book. It may only truely be 4 1/2 stars, but what a great character and business woman and inspiration. This is a long story, but it does justice to the complexity of Sarah Breedlove Walker's life. We need more biographies of the many inspirational and unsung African American female pioneers, this starts the ball rolling.
Penelope
The pictures and idea of the story were great, but it was too long to read to my 4 and 5 years-old children. I learned much I didn't know about Sarah Breedlove Walker, but sadly, I know my children wouldn't have enjoyed this book unless I edited it.
Josie
This is a book about Sarah Breedlove Walker. She belived color people should have rights. She made her own hair product, too. She was a brave, confident women and this is a wonderful book. It is a picture book, so it is great for all ages.
Sandy Brehl
Another outstanding Lasky biography, depicting the social and personal history of a woman who achieved commercial success that was in her time comparable to Oprah's in modern times.
Kris
Madame Walker is a fantastic role model - she never gave up, and she gave back to her community. This is a gorgeously illustrated biography great for middle and upper elementary students.
Fives OnTheFly
This is a very well written story of the life of Sarah Breedlove Walker. We were all blown away by the story of this amazing woman.
Elizabeth
Not having read much on Mme C.J. Walker I enjoyed this quick glimpse into her lifen
Katherine Scholl
I really enjoyed reading this book. The pictures make the biography more interesting.
Beka
A well-written story about a woman who wouldn't settle for the way things were.
babyhippoface
Kid-friendly bio of Madam C.J. Walker. Well-written with great illustrations.
Tiffany
An African American girl who becomes famous.
Pam
Aug 30, 2013 Pam added it
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Kathryn Lasky is the American author of many critically acclaimed books, including several Dear America books, several Royal Diaries books, 1984 Newbery Honor winning Sugaring Time, The Night Journey, and the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her latest book, Guardians of Ga'Hoole Book 15: The War of the Ember, was released on November 1, 2008. Guardians of Gahoo ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Candlewick Biographies (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Handel, Who Knew What He Liked
  • A Voice of Her Own: The Story of Phillis Wheatley, Slave Poet
  • One Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin
  • John Muir: America's First Environmentalist
  • Footwork: The Story of Fred and Adele Astaire
  • Lady Liberty: A Biography
  • The Secret World of Walter Anderson
  • Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat: Ella Fitzgerald
  • There Goes Ted Williams: The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived
  • Henry Aaron's Dream
The Capture (Guardians of Ga'Hoole, #1) The Journey (Guardians of Ga'Hoole, #2) The Rescue (Guardians of Ga'Hoole, #3) The Siege (Guardians of Ga'Hoole, #4) The Burning (Guardians of Ga'Hoole, #6)

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