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About Lesa Cline-Ransome
Lesa Cline-Ransome’s first book was the biography Satchel Paige, an ALA Notable Book and a Bank Street College “Best Children’s Book of the Year. She later created a number of picture books including Quilt Alphabet, Major Taylor: Champion Cyclist, Young Pele, Words Set Me Free, My Story, My Dance, and Germs: Fact and Fiction, Friends and Foes. Her verse biography of Harriet Tubman, Before She Was Harriet, was nominated for an NAACP image award, and received a Coretta Scott King Honor for Illustration. Her newest picture biography is Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams. Finding Langston, her debut middle grade novel is a 2018 School Library Journal Best Book, Kirkus Reviews Best Middle Grade Novel and New York Public Library Best Book of 2018.
Lesa’s books have received numerous honors and awards including NAACP Awards , Kirkus Best Books, ALA Notable, CBC Choice Awards, two Top 10 Sports Books for Youth, a Christopher Award, Jane Addams Award and an Orbis Pictus Recommended Book. She lives in the Hudson Valley region of New York with her husband, and frequent collaborator, illustrator James Ransome. Visit her at www.lesaclineransome.com.
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Titles By Lesa Cline-Ransome
Come meet the good, the bad, and the ugly—yes, germs!
There’s so much to discover about germs. Did you know that germs make your stomach growl as they break down your food? Or that they can travel the world on anything from fleas and ticks to trains and buses?
Told from the perspective of Sam the Salmonella, this informative picture book introduces young readers to helpful and harmful germs, exploring their discovery; the breakout of historic diseases; the invention of pasteurization, vaccination, and penicillin; and other fascinating details about the world of microscopic organisms.
A Christy Ottaviano Book
In 1891, Marshall Taylor could ride his bike forward, backward, even perched on the handlebars. When his stunts landed him a job at the famous Indiana bike shop Hay and Willits, folks were amazed that a thirteen-year-old black boy could be such a crackerjack cyclist.
Little Marshall Taylor would use his dedication, undeniable talent, and daring speed to transform himself into Major Taylor, turning pro at the age of eighteen, winning the world championship title just three years later, and battling racism and the odds to become a true American hero.
“A worthy addition to children’s biography collections.” —Booklist
“A solid treatment of an important but little-known figure, and it may prompt kids to think about the role and composition of a free press.” —BCCB
“Cline-Ransome tells [Ethel Payne’s] story with economy and drive. ‘Somebody had to do the fighting,’ she quotes Payne saying, ‘somebody had to speak up.’” —Publishers Weekly
Renowned author Lesa Cline-Ransome and celebrated illustrator John Parra unite to tell the inspiring story of Ethel Payne, a groundbreaking African American journalist known as the First Lady of the Black Press.
“I’ve had a box seat on history.”
Ethel Payne always had an ear for stories. Seeking truth, justice, and equality, Ethel followed stories from her school newspaper in Chicago to Japan during World War II. It even led her to the White House briefing room, where she broke barriers as the only black female journalist. Ethel wasn’t afraid to ask the tough questions of presidents, elected officials, or anyone else in charge, earning her the title, “First Lady of the Black Press.”
Fearless and determined, Ethel Payne shined a light on the darkest moments in history, and her ear for stories sought answers to the questions that mattered most in the fight for Civil Rights.
The walk to school is long. Some days it's rainy, or windy, or freezing cold. Sometimes there are dangers lurking along the way, like angry white folks with rocks, or mysterious men on horseback. The schoolhouse is still unpainted, and its very plain, but Lizzie has never seen a prettier sight. Except for maybe the teacher, Mizz Howard, who has brown skin, just like her.
They've finally made it to Freedom's School. But will it be strong enough to stand forever?
Praise for Light in the Darkness
"In this tale, [Cline-Ransome] makes the point that learning was not just a dream of a few famous and accomplished men and women, but one that belonged to ordinary folk willing to risk their lives. Ransome's full-page watercolor paintings-in beautiful shades of blue for the night and yellow for the day-are a window, albeit somewhat gentle, into a slave's life for younger readers. A compelling story about those willing to risk "[a] lash for each letter." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Told from the perspective of Rosa, a girl who makes the dangerous nighttime journey to the lessons with her mother, the story effectively conveys the urgent dedication of the characters to their surreptitious schooling and their belief in the power of literacy . . .Solid text and soft, skillful illustrations combine for a poignant tribute to the power of education and the human spirit." -- School Library Journal
A boy discovers his passion for dance and becomes a modern hero in this inspiring picture book biography of Robert Battle, artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
When Robert Battle was a boy wearing leg braces, he never dreamed he’d study at Juilliard. Though most dancers begin training at an early age, it wasn’t until Robert was a teenager that his appreciation for movement—first from martial arts, then for ballet—became his passion. But support from his family and teachers paired with his desire and determination made it possible for Robert to excel. After years of hard work, the young man who was so inspired by a performance of Alvin Ailey’s Revelations became the artistic director of the very company that motivated him. Today, under Robert’s leadership, Alvin Ailey continues to represent the African American spirit through dance.
Featuring illustrations brimming with vibrant color and swirling motion, this biographical picture book from husband-and-wife team James Ransome and Lisa Cline-Ransome includes a foreword from Robert Battle himself as well as a bibliography, suggested further reading, and an author’s note.