Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard’s grandfather was Cornelius “C.C.” Fitzgerald. His brother Will told stories about their childhood to his daughter Jessie, who passed them along to the author. Inspired by these stories, Elizabeth visited Jonesborough, Tennessee, a town seven miles from where her grandfather grew up. There she learned about a school started by Quakers called the Warner Institute and wrote this story.
James E. Ransome’s highly acclaimed illustrations for Before She Was Harriett received the 2018 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor. His other award-winning titles include Coretta Scott King Honor Book Uncle Jed’s Barbershop; Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt; and Let My People Go, winner of the NAACP Image Award. He frequently collaborates with his wife, author Lesa Cline-Ransome. Some of their titles include Game Changers: The Story of Venus Serena Williams, which received four starred reviews; My Story, My Dance: Robert Battle’s Journey to Alvin Ailey; and Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglass. Mr. Ransome teaches illustration at Pratt Institute and lives in upstate New York with his family. Visit James at JamesRansome.com.
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