In this post, we feature author Alicia D. Williams, whose previous acclaimed titles include the multi-award-winning novel Genesis Begins Again. You can hear her speak about her new picture-book biography, Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress, illustrated by April Harrison, and try her fun “invitation to imagine” activity. You’ll also find other resources to explore. Thanks for joining us, and let us know what you think in the comments below!
- Written by Alicia D. Williams, illustrated by April Harrison
- Published by Anne Schwartz Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books
- Release date: June 1, 2021
Meet Shirley, a little girl who asks way too many questions! After spending her early years on her grandparents’ farm in Barbados, she returns home to Brooklyn and immediately makes herself known. Shirley kicks butt in school; she breaks her mother’s curfew; she plays jazz piano instead of classical. And as a young adult, she fights against the injustice she sees against women and black people. Soon, she is running for state assembly and winning in a landslide. Three years later, she is on the campaign trail again, as the first black woman to run for Congress. Her slogan? “Fighting Shirley Chisholm—Unbought and Unbossed!” Does she win? You bet she does. The inspiring story of the first black woman elected to Congress and to run for president comes to life in this picture book biography from a Newbery Honor-winning author and a Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe New Talent Award-winning illustrator.
Listen to Alicia D. Williams talking with TeachingBooks about creating Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress. You can click the player below or experience the recording on TeachingBooks, where you can read along as you listen, and also translate the text to another language.
- Listen to author Alicia D. Williams talk about her name.
- Listen to illustrator April Harrison talk about her name.
- Read along with an audiobook performance of Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress.
- Explore TeachingBooks’ collection of activities and resources for Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress.
Invitation to Imagine
TeachingBooks asks each author or illustrator on our Virtual Book Tour to share a writing prompt, a drawing exercise, or just an interesting question to spark curiosity and creativity. Enjoy the following activity contributed by Alicia D. Williams.
Imagination Activity with Alicia D. Williams
Shirley Chisholm was told that she was just too bossy, daring, persistent, and rebellious. She didn’t like how some people could have these traits and still be great, while others couldn’t. Well, I call these traits: just too boxes. Shirley turned these negative just too boxes into positives. Sort of like superpowers. Write or draw a picture about a just too box trait that is really a positive.
Finish This Sentence . . . with Alicia D. Williams
As part of our Virtual Book Tour, TeachingBooks asks authors and illustrators to complete short sentence prompts. Enjoy Alicia D. Williams’ response.
“A surprising thing that helps me work is . . .”
A surprising thing that helps me work is daydreaming, except I do it at bedtime. I close my eyes and visualize what my characters might say, speak, react and respond. It helps me to see the story like a movie.
“One of my favorite books as a child was…”
One of my favorite books as a child was Blubber, by Judy Blume. I never saw a girl that looked like me in books. Not until I read Blubber. It was about a girl who was bullied for being chubby. I was that girl! I needed to know how the character handled being picked on and if everything would be okay.
To wrap up this Virtual Book Tour, we thank Alicia D. Williams for signing a book for all of us.
More Connections to Alicia D. Williams and Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress
- Discover books like Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress on TeachingBooks.
- Random House’s page about Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress, written by Alicia D. Williams and illustrated by April Harrison.
- Buy Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress, written by Alicia D. Williams and illustrated by April Harrison.
- Alicia D. Williams on on Twitter.
Explore all of the titles featured in the TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour: one link with author interviews, lesson plans, activities, and more!
Author photo is by Jasiatic. All other text and images are courtesy of Alicia D. Williams, April Harrison, and Random House Children’s Books and may not be used without expressed written consent.