The Legendary Miss Lena Horne

Lena Horne Cover

Illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon


  • Winner, Arnold Adoff Early Poetry Award
  • CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book
  • Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best
  • Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year Selection
  • 3 Starred Reviews: Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, Publishers Weekly
  • “ILA Read Alouds for Everyone” (Ages 15+)
  • Random Raves from GoodReads: One of the most beautiful picture book biographies ever. Gorgeous. Extraordinary. Fabulous! Swoon-worthy. A masterpiece!

Publisher’s Website


You have to be taught to be second class; you’re not born that way.Lena Horne

Groundbreaking entertainer Lena Horne was born into the freedom struggle to a family of activists and achievers, grew up in Brooklyn and on the vaudeville circuit, and debuted at Harlem’s Cotton Club as a teen. She danced and sang her way from the chorus line to Broadway and into the first ever Hollywood studio contract for a black actress. But the roles she was offered were as maids and mammies, stereotypes that Lena refused to play. Still, she never gave up. “Stormy Weather” became her theme song, and when she sang “This Little Light of Mine” at a civil rights rally, she found not only her voice, but her calling. At  the 1963 March on Washington, she sounded the call: “Freedom!”


Lena Horne Natl Portrait Gallery

Lena Calhoun Horne, 1947. Artist: Edward Biberman, 1904-1986. National Portrait Gallery

Lena Horne documentary

My Lena Horne playlist

U.S. Postage stamp (below) issued 1/30/2018.


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