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Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington
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Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  548 Ratings  ·  124 Reviews
Booker dreamed
of making friends with words,
setting free the secrets
that lived in books.

Born into slavery, young Booker T. Washington could only dream of learning to read and write. After emancipation, Booker began a five-hundred-mile journey, mostly on foot, to Hampton Institute, taking his first of many steps towards a college degree. When he arrived, he had just fifty c
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published December 4th 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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(showing 1-30)
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I like my Kindle a lot. However, when a GORGEOUS book like this comes along with raised lettering in the title, deep, rich colors, script running through the stern portrait of Booker T. Washington, I KNOW books can never be replaced. This biography for children can't be missed. Collier's illustrations are captivating (he illustrated two other favorites of mine, Dave the Potter and Rosa), and Asim's inspiring biography teaches children that with determination and drive, anything can be accomplish ...more
Lu Benke
The photograph of Booker T. Washington shown at the end of the book must have been shared early on with the illustrator for this book and he let it control him. All but one face in the entire book is solemn, unsmiling, and sad--for Booker and others. It's as if there is supposed to be a solemn funereal pall over each phase of his life. There were other elements such as the drawing of several page edges on each side, and the undercurrent of the alphabet and small amounts of money floating below a ...more
Ms. Cobbs
Jun 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Bravo! This book is amazing. This book followed the life of Booker T. Washington before founding the Tuskegee Institute. This story is one that begins with Booker T. Washington as a slave; he is watching his master’s daughter as she attends college. He is not allowed to learn how to read because of the color of his skin. When I think of dream it has always been with Martin Luther King and his dream. The speech “I have a dream,” the marches and peaceful protests. However this book displays a drea ...more
Mady Dailey
1. Text to self: In the story, Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington, Booker is very determined to get an education as a child slave. He walks his master's daughter to school and just wishes he could read the books she has. Growing up, Booker works very hard to reach his goal of going to school. He is a determined individual who never gives up and always finds ways to help himself out. Looking at my own life, I would consider myself a very hard worker. If there is something I want, ...more
Ms. Yingling
Nov 05, 2012 rated it liked it
This picture book biography covers mainly Washington's youth, from his days as a slave being unable by law to be able to read, through his family's life in West Virginia where he worked in the coal mines, to the fulfillment of his dream of getting a college education at the Hampton Institute. I love how this book points out how much Washington wanted to learn, and the extreme lengths he went to in order to make his education possible-- walking 500 miles to get to the school, working as a janitor ...more
Christina Swain
Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
While implementing this story into my future classroom, I will challenge each of my students to make connections between history and economic concepts. The famous Booker T. Washington had a dream. His dream was for him to get an education that would allow him to become financially secure. Through this story that Asim tells, my future students will be able to learn the concepts of capital as well as human resources.
Jul 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
In one word: Caldecott. And, let's go ahead and give him the award this time, and not just an Honor.

This story of a young Book T. Washington is a must-have for all school and library collections. See for yourself!

Story: 5 stars/5
Illustrations: 7 stars/5

Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: see-if-ems-has
Fantastic. I regret I've lived 40 years and have known so little about this guy. Born before slavery, then navigated post-slavery world. Great historical info at the end of the book- makes it perfect for a middle school reader.
Edward Sullivan
An exceptionally well-written and stunningly illustrated introduction to Booker T. Washington. This should be a strong contender for the Caldecott Medal.
Bridgette Bryson
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“Fifty Cents and A Dream,” written by Jabari Asim, is a book about Young Booker T. Washington who follows his dream to learn. This book is an inspiring story of Booker T. Washington’s journey to education. As a young child, Booker was not allowed to read, for he was a slave, and it inspired me to see Booker follow his dream to learn despite the consequences he could have faced. After given a spelling book by his mother, Booker learned the letters of the alphabet and eventually learned how to rea ...more
Kaitlin Harthoorn
Mar 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Multicultural Picture Book #2: Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington by Jabari Asim

Target Audience: Primary elementary
Genre: The genre of this book is historical nonfiction because the author writes a fictional story that takes place in a particular time period in the past. This book is about Booker T. Washington who was a real person in history, born a few years before the Civil War began.

Text-to-Self: I connected this book to myself because Washington and I share a love for rea
Rebecca Sheffler
Feb 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington" is a very inspirational text that will leave a lasting impact on the reader. Booker T. Washington was a leader in the African American community. He was born into slavery and became an advocate for the people and a voice for former slaves. This biography of Booker T. Washington teaches you that you can accomplish anything with the motivation, determination, and drive. In this biography, Booker T. Washington is unable to read and because he w ...more
Cara Harman
Feb 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wow-books
Booker T. Washington is a young boy who was born into slavery. His first few years as a slave were spent walking his master's daughter to school. He would sit outside the classroom and school building and watch the children learn how to read the words written inside books. He dreamed that one day he too would go to school and be able to read and write. Once young Booker was emancipated, he chased after his dream almost literally. He journeyed 500 miles mostly on foot to Hampton Institute where h ...more
Feb 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fifty Cents and a Dream, written by Jabari Asim and illustrated by Bryan Collier, is nominated for the 14-15 South Carolina Picture Book Award.

Fifty Cents and a Dream is an inspiring story about a young Booker T. Washington. It introduces young readers to this important figure, his early life as a slave, a worker in salt mines, his first days in school, and, eventually, a young man who journeys hundreds of miles just for the chance to go to college. He finally arrives--with only fifty cents in h
May 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington

The Civil War and slavery is briefly talked about throughout elementary school. So for text-to-text, I could easy connect this book to another book about the Civil War, for example, Civil War by John E. Stanchak. This way the students would get more background information about the Civil War, as well as get to see one perspective of a young slave boy.

I think this book has excellent messages throughout it. One reoccurrin
Nov 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
A solid picture book biography of Booker T. Washington that focus on his childhood and his pursuit of education. Text has a nice rhythm to it--it's not verse, but there is some repetition that will help make this a good read aloud/approachable text for younger to middle elementary. Collier's artwork is, as usual, stunning. I love his use of Washington's handwriting in the background of his face on the cover (I'm assuming it's Washington's writing) as well as his use of photographs in the backgro ...more
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
The language in this biography is poetic in nature..."The strange marks marched and danced across the page, making him smile and laugh with joy." "Trudging beneath the bleak skies and bitter cold, he could have given up. Then he imagined the library at Hampton, magic and mystery lining its shelves. From deep inside, he heard a voice urging him to press on. He listened, and dreamed." The beautiful language and emotion-filled collages pair to offer a glimpse into Washington's determination, hard w ...more
Kelly Merfford
Sep 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: educ-422
The story of Booker T. Washington is told in a manner which inspires the reader and leaves them turning each page, wanting to know more. It starts out with his life as a young slave who cannot read. He is fascinated by books and the beauty of the written word. It continues his story to the time he becomes free and moves to West Virginia to work in the mines. His mother brought him a spelling book and he began to teach himself how to read. The story continues to tell Booker's story and his dream ...more
Paul Farbman
Feb 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Third Graders
I was extremely impressed with this non-fiction picture book, the 2013 winner of the Carter G. Woodson Book Award.

This book takes the reader on a journey from his time as a slave, to freedom, to learning to read, to getting an education, and eventually to teaching and leading others.

After attending school and working for a few years, Washington found out about a college for negroes, the Hampton Institute in Virginia. With only fifty cents in his pocket, Washington undertook a 500 mile journey t
Jim Erekson
Feb 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Asim's approach to history was interesting, finding a slice of a famous character that fascinated him to the point of inquiry, but for which there was no additional evidence in Washington's direct records. This is the kind of point in research where historical fiction is all that is left to do! As such, Asim chose a very safe narrative, but one that is in keeping with the agenda to revive the reputation of Booker T. Washington as a vital figure.

Collier's mixed media collage, along with his pain
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Dreams can be like bubbles of light, drifting, floating, soaring. In this book, Washington's dreams float around the pages as circles of light. These collage and watercolor illustrations are detailed, and reward the careful eye with bits of history, like the map pattern on his shirt. The endpapers are especially appealing, showing actual pages from Webster's "The American Spelling Book"
Even without the text, one can follow his early life as he carries books for the white girl, watches the school
Jesse German
Feb 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was very inspirational and would be a great resource for teaching your students to never give up when following their dreams. Booker T. Washington wanted to learn how to read and wanted to attend a boarding school called Hampton. He walked almost 550 miles to reach the boarding school and picked up day jobs along the way to pay for him to eat. When he arrived he only had 50 cents and tuition was seventy dollars a year, but he worked as a janitor to pay tuition. This book depicts the li ...more
Sep 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book about one of the most important African-American leaders at the turn of the 20th century. Booker T. Washington, born a slave, worked hard to help his family while attending school. Once he was accepted to the Hampton Institute in Hampton Virginia, he walked nearly 500 miles to attend school. He made it to Richmond, Virginia before his money gave out and he was forced to take odd jobs to earn money for the journey's completion.

While the story itself is beautiful and compelling, B
Dec 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book did what any well written story on an important historical figure does: impassioned me to learn more. After sharing this perfect biographical picture book on Booker T. Washington’s youth and terrifying solitary journey toward enlightenment, I immediately logged onto our public library website and ordered more. What a fascinating individual! Booker T. Washington was born in the final years of slavery and stopped at nothing to better himself and learn the secrets that lived in books. Bot ...more
Born a slave in Virginia, Booker T. Washington always wanted to learn to read and go to school just like his master's daughter, but it was dangerous for him to know how to read. It was against the law.

Later his family along with himself were granted their freedom, but life continued to be hard and they moved to West Virginia to find work. Even though he had to work every day in a coal mine, he went to school and studied.

His hard work paid off and he was accepted into Hampton Institute. With on
Jan 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
A quick overarching look at the life of Booker T. Washington, told through collages and watercolors. Though it covers most of his life, the period it focuses on is his journey into learning, including the long actual journey he had to make to go to college.

I wasn't completely sold on the art style, it worked, just wasn't my favorite, but it didn't really retract from this amazing guy's story, so no harm in the end. Definitely written as a read aloud book for a young audience, as some of the wor

Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Bryan Collier's watercolor and college artwork is riveting and perfectly paired with Asim's text. The endpapers of the book are overlapping reproductions of The American Spelling Book by Daniel Webster, a fitting wrapper for this story. I know that Booker T. Washington's contributions towards racial equality have been often looked upon with disfavor in modern times. The author notes that he has great regard for Booker T Washington, especially in his "advocacy of hard work, discipline and self-re ...more
This brief story about the childhood and teen years of Booker T. Washington is a tantalizing look into the past. The writing of Jabari Asim was compelling and intriguing. The artwork by Bryan Collier was interesting, but I found it sometimes a tiny bit distracting. For instance, in the illustration showing Washington reaching Richmond, Virginia, I have no idea what the imagery was meant to convey, because I was too busy looking at the effects of the art medium.
Still, the book is a short, excelle
Feb 29, 2016 added it
Shelves: reading-350
Booker T. Washington's life is the topic of this book. Born into slavery, this young Negro worked in salt and coal mines in West Virginia along with his family. Yet, this young man had a deep desire to learn. He began by learning the ABC's and was committed to getting an education. He walked over five hundred miles to attend an Institute that he had heard about that educated black men. When he arrived at the school, he had only fifty cents in his pocket. By working as a janitor while attending s ...more
Kelsey Borchers
Sep 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: libs-642
This book was another book that I really enjoyed. I do enjoy history a lot and the historical fiction books are super appealing to me. This book tells the story of the young Booker T. Washington. The illustrations in this book are very different from the typical picture book-they are composed of watercolor and collage. I really enjoyed reading this book that is meant to pull young readers into the past of our country and learning about the important historical figure of Booker T. Washington. A v ...more
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