TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour

The TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour is your opportunity to learn from and build personal connections with extraordinary book creators and their brand-new titles. Included in all Virtual Book Tour posts are original interviews with authors and illustrators, lesson plans, an activity designed for young people, and much more!

Welcome Alicia D. Williams

Alicia D. Williams on Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress

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!


Alicia D. Williams and the cover of Shirley Chisholm Dared

Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress

  • 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.

An interior image from Shirley Chisholm Dared, written by Alicia D. Williams and illustrated by April Harrison, showing Shirley Chisholm as a schoolgirl in Barbados in a colonial British classroom, insisting on sitting in the front bench with the older children.
An interior image from Shirley Chisholm Dared, written by Alicia D. Williams and illustrated by April Harrison, showing Shirley Chisholm as a grown woman listening to neighbors doubt her for trying to get elected to teh New York State Assembly.

Explore Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress

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.


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. 


Thank you!

To wrap up this Virtual Book Tour, we thank Alicia D. Williams for signing a book for all of us.

The title page of Shirley Chisholm Dared, signed by the author, Alicia D. Williams, with the message, "Dare to be yourself!"

More Connections to Alicia D. Williams and Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress


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.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Pin It on Pinterest