The Definitive Guide to

The Undefeated

Written by Kwame Alexander & illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Published by Versify
- Bookroo Rating
Goodreads Rating - 4.7 / 5.0
List Price
Target Age
Book Type

What's The Undefeated About

Publisher Summary

The Newbery Award-winning author of THE CROSSOVER pens an ode to black American triumph and tribulation, with art from a two-time Caldecott Honoree.

Originally performed for ESPN’s The Undefeated, this poem is a love letter to black life in the United States. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world’s greatest heroes. The text is also peppered with references to the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others, offering deeper insights into the accomplishments of the past, while bringing stark attention to the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present. Robust back matter at the end provides valuable historical context and additional detail for those wishing to learn more.

What Kind of Book is The Undefeated

Video Gallery

Quotes from The Undefeated

  • "This is for the unafraid. The audacious ones who carried the red, white and *Weary Blues* on the battlefield to save an imperfect Union."
  • "This is for the unspeakable."

What Questions Should I Ask My Child

  • What page of the book was your favorite? Flip to the back of the book and see if you can find any additional information about the focus of the page.

  • Did anything in the book make you uncomfortable? While the sad parts of our history can be painful or uncomfortable to reflect on, why do you think it’s important to be reminded of and learn about them?

Trusted Reviews & Ratings

Mom of Boys
Mom of three little boys who love books about dragons, whangdoodles and magic.
B is for Bookworm
Book-loving mommy-to-be with a Human Development degree
The Goodfather
Favorite pastime? Reading with my kids. Current book: The Language of Spells. Just finished The Great Pet Escape and The Tower Treasure (Hardy Boys #1).
The Book Snob Mom
Mom of boys. Lover of Harry Potter, Jane Austen and believes one can never own too many children's books!

This is powerful, moving, poetic, inspiring and poignant. A masterfully written and illustrated jumping-off point for delving deeper where it awakens interest.

Book Lists That Include The Undefeated

Book Topics › antiracism
Children's Books About Antiracism
Book Topics › African Americans
Children's Books About African Americans
Book Topics › historical figures
Important Children's Books About Historical Figures
Book Topics › history
Children's Books About History
Kids Book Club
Monthly. Curated. Delivered.
Get Started
As low as $16.95 / mo

Who Wrote The Undefeated

Kwame Alexander

Kwame Alexander is a poet, an educator, a New York Times bestselling author of twenty-one books, and recipient of the Newbery Medal for his novel The Crossover. The founder of two organizations, Book-in-a-Day and LEAP for Ghana, he regularly travels the world as a literacy advocate and expert. Kwame has owned several publishing companies, written for stage and TV (TLC’s “Hip Hop Harry”), recorded a CD, produced jazz and book festivals, hosted a radio show, and taught high school English. In 2015, Kwame served as Bank Street College of Education’s first writer-in-residence.

View Author

Who Illustrated The Undefeated

Kadir Nelson

Kadir Nelson is an acclaimed artist and the illustrator of several New York Times bestselling picture books, including his authorial debut We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball, which won a Coretta Scott King Award and a Sibert Medal. Kadir has received three additional Coretta Scott King Awards and five Coretta Scott King honors. He has also received two Caldecott Honors, for Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad and Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, and has twice received the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work.

View Illustrator

What Has Kwame Alexander Said About The Undefeated

Nothing yet! 🤷 You should let Kwame know that you want more details about The Undefeated!

What Has Kadir Nelson Said About The Undefeated

Nothing yet! 🤷 You should let Kadir know that you want more details about The Undefeated!

Kwame Alexander's Book Dedication

To my great-great-grandfather, Sgt. March Coprew, 2nd UCST.

Kadir Nelson's Book Dedication

For my grandmother, Verlee Gunter Moore, I love you.

What Do Critics Say About The Undefeated

  • “This book is both a soaring tribute to the enduring perseverance and achievements of the past and a stirring call to action to “the dreamers and the doers” of the present and the future.”

    Read the full review
  • Starred Review

    “An incredible connector text for young readers eager to graduate to weighty conversations about our yesterday, our now, and our tomorrow.”

    Read the full review

Did The Undefeated Win Any Awards

You bet it did. Check them out below!

More Books From These Creatives

Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets book
Kwame Alexander, Chris Colderley, Marjory Wentworth, Ekua Holmes
Chapter book

Books You Might Enjoy If You Liked The Undefeated

Book Details

Publication Date:
April 2, 2019
Text Details:
The text type was set in 1822 Caslon. The display type was set in Burford Rustic. The byline type on the jacket was set in Halyard, a typeface designed by Joshua Dardem.
Illustration Details:
The artwork in this book was created using oils on panel.

Contribute to this page

Core Score - 59%
More than halfway there—keep going!
Depth Score - 37%
Just the barebones.
Improve this page
Are you the author or illustrator? Claim this page.

Suggested Links