Roots of Rap National Poetry Month Challenge

2 Apr

Beatbox challenge flyer

K-12 Teachers: Take the mic for National Poetry Month. Video students as they spit bars from The Roots of Rap–or beatbox to the rhymes. Post videos to Twitter @poetweatherford #RootsOfRapChallenge. Win a free Skype visit and a copy of the book. Deadline: April 30, 2019


Feb. 1, 1960: NC A&T students start lunch counter sit-ins in Greensboro, NC

31 Jan


Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-ins tells this story through the eyes of a fictional eyewitness who wants to eat at the whites-only lunch counter. Here’s a bookmark with a banana split recipe to share with your students.

ROOTS OF RAP book trailer

14 Jan

The book dropped January 8, 2019. Nonfiction with a hip hop beat.

For the King Holiday: A picture book with a service learning project built-in

2 Jan

Be a King

MLK would be 90 on January 15. Observe his holiday with my un-biography YOU CAN BE A KING: DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.’S DREAM AND YOU (illustrated by James Ransome). With a service-learning project and reader’s theater built-in, the text lends itself to multiple narrators and a chorus. Add props, music and slides. Or combine the reading with a live paint or quick draw of a King mural. Here’s a planning guide and reader’s theater script. Do share!

So this post of read aloud picks aims my Lena Horne PB bio at age 15+

18 Apr

Lena Horne Cover

ILA’s Literacy Daily blog featured a list of read alouds for ages 4 to 15+. The Legendary Miss Lena Horne, illustrated by Elizaabeth Zunon was the pick for ages 15 and up.

Several years ago, a librarian once introduced me prior to a keynote by saying, “Carole Boston Weatherford doesn’t write picture books; she writes illustrated books for adults.” I don’t know if that’s true or not, although I will admit to tackling provocative subjects and themes. In a way, aren’t picture books just lavishly illustrated short stories characterized by an economy of language? Here are some other picture books of mine that might fit the bill for teen read alouds.



Do or have you read aloud to teen? What picture books would you share with teens?

Award Season Wrap Up

4 Apr

Schomburg cover  Lena Horne Cover

Besides making several shortlists, SCHOMBURG and THE LEGENDARY MISS LENA HORNE also won a few awards. I am so proud of both books and grateful to the ancestors for letting their stories flow from me. Ashe’


Arnold Adoff Early Readers Poetry Award


SCBWI Golden Kite Award for Nonfiction

We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) Walter Award

Carter G. Woodson Honor, National Council for the Social Studies

Jefferson Cup Honor, Virginia Library Association




Children’s Books on the Civil Rights Movement

24 Jan

Teaching for Change compiled this list that includes Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-ins and Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement. Also appropriate for middle grades: Birmingham, 1963, which won multiple awards.