From a father-son team comes a gorgeous picture book that "pays tribute to the variety of America as well as to its promise—in Christopher Myers's words, 'the question mark of it.'" (Washington Post) "An inclusive, unblinkered variation of patriotism." (New York Times)
With sweeping panoramic paintings and text rich with historical allusion, this stunning picture book features passionate writings and vivid portraits of political Americans, from Shawnee chief Tecumseh to Abraham Lincoln to Jimi Hendrix. This is a book to share at home or in the classroom, sure to spark questions and engage students, especially in third through fifth grade.
New York Times bestselling author Walter Dean Myers and Caldecott Honor artist Christopher Myers celebrate the freedom dream that is America: our struggles, our ideals, and our hope that we can live up to them. What is it to be an American? To live in a strange and beautiful land of complexity, with a tumultuous history of epic proportions, among the people who were here first, who came after, who will come tomorrow.
Over the centuries, from a blank canvas of mountains, plains, and canyons, the American landscape has been richly carved by revolution, progress, and possibility. Yet its story is still being written.
With graceful, lyrical prose and evocative paintings, Newbery Honor author Walter Dean Myers and Coretta Scott King Honor artist Christopher Myers, the father-son team who created Harlem, pay tribute to the spirit and soul that is America.
About the Author
Walter Dean Myers was the New York Times bestselling author of Monster, the winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award; a former National Ambassador for Young People's Literature; and an inaugural NYC Literary Honoree. Myers received every single major award in the field of children's literature. He was the author of two Newbery Honor Books and six Coretta Scott King Awardees. He was the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults, a three-time National Book Award Finalist, as well as the first-ever recipient of the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Christopher Myers is a graduate of Brown University and the Whitney Museum of Art Independent Studio Program. He is the acclaimed illustrator of Love: Selected Poems by E. E. Cummings; Harlem: A Poem, a Caldecott Honor Book; Jazz, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book; Blues Journey, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book. He is also the author-illustrator of Black Cat and H.O.R.S.E.: A Game of Basketball and Imagination, both Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Books; We Are America: A Tribute from the Heart; A Time to Love: Stories from the Old Testament; Looking Like Me; Wings; and Fly!
"The Myers team shares their heartfelt and stirring vision of an America flawed but filled with promises and dreams. Like weavers connecting warp and woof, father threads lofty words and son paints seamless pictures. Each double-page spread contains a brief poem and usually a quote from a relevant document or person. A mural rendered in pastels spans both pages. Homage is paid to young people; Native Americans; immigrants from Europe, Africa and Asia; laborers, protesters, soldiers and performers." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A soul-searching, free-verse poem examining the people, ideals, and promise of America. In opening, Walter Dean Myers writes, 'No words here have been penned lightly, no flag waved mindlessly,' and his introspective reflections offer proof. Few will be unmoved by this stirring and provocative collaboration." — Publishers Weekly(starred review)
"As Whitman turned to free verse to explore the character and complexity of America in the 19th century, so Walter Dean Myers employs it in the 21st. From the Lakota Indian watching his father 'in the curl of legend' and the refugee whose freedom dream 'lay just beyond the next wave' to the diverse assembly of famous figures depicted in concluding montages, the Myers grapple with the meaning of the country’s founding principles." — School Library Journal
"This heart-on-its-sleeve collaboration between writer father and illustrator son mixes stirring verse with expressive panoramas that mix thematic events across time: African slaves, Chinese railroad laborers, and Detroit factory workers in one tableau. We Are America offers an inclusive, ublinkered variation of patriotism." — New York Times Book Review
"We Are America pays tribute to the variety of America as well as to its promise—in Christopher Myers's words, 'the question mark of it.' The images and text are vibrant, featuring paintings that evoke the sweep of history, provocative poetry, and pertinent quotes. Walter Dean Myers finds beauty and valor in America's contradictions while acknowledging a less-than-perfect union." — Washington Post
Praise for Muhammad Ali: “The spirit of prizefighter Muhammad Ali, formerly known as Cassius Clay, permeates the action-filled pages.” — School Library Journal
Praise for Ida B. Wells: “Important and inspiring.” — School Library Journal (starred review)
Praise for Ida B. Wells: “Masterful.” — ALA Booklist
Praise for Ida B. Wells: “Accessible to younger elementary audiences.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books