In celebration of Black History Month, we’ll be highlighting a diverse range of books – poetry, novels, memoirs and more – all written by Black American authors. Each of these works moved, engaged, delighted, enraged, and excited Island Free Library readers’ this past year, and we’ll be featuring one title every day through the month of February.
Today’s work is Rita Lorraine Hubbard’s The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read. Mary Walker was born an enslaved person in 1848, and this non-fiction picture book account of her life documents how she was freed from slavery at 15, married with young children by 20, and a busy member of her community for more than 70 years. At 114, she was the only remaining member of her family, and at 116 years old, Mary Walker learned to read. The beautiful illustrations and empowering true story of Mary Walker make this a must-read for everyone who knows the joy of reading!
Rita Lorraine Hubbard is a former special education teacher and the author of several educational titles and works for adults. Her first book for children, Hammering for Freedom, was published in 2018 to starred reviews. Hubbard currently lives and writes in Chattanooga, TN. Stay tuned for a new book tomorrow!