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The Tulsa Race Massacre

Floyd Cooper Illustrated by

Lerner Publishing Group

Limited ***

9.5 X 11.5 in
32 pg

JUVENILE NONFICTION / Social Topics / Prejudice & Racism
JUVENILE NONFICTION / History / United States / State & Local
JUVENILE NONFICTION / Social Topics / Violence


ALA Notable Children's Books — 2022 — Winner
Booklist Editor's Choice — 2021 — Winner
Booklist Top 10 History for Youth — 2022 — Winner
Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards — 2021 — Commended
Caldecott Medal — 2022 — Commended
Carter G. Woodson Book Award — 2022 — Winner
Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year — 2022 — Winner
Coretta Scott King Author Award — 2022 — Winner
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award — 2022 — Winner
Dogwood Readers Award — 2022 — Nominated
Georgia Children's Book Award — 2023 — Short-listed
Great Lakes Great Books Award — 2022 — Winner
Horn Book Best Books of the Year — 2021 — Winner
Illinois Bluestem Award — 2023 — Nominated
Kids' Book Choice Award — 2022 — Winner
Kirkus Best Children's Books — 2021 — Winner
Kirkus Prize for Young Readers' Literature — 2021 — Short-listed
Maine Student Book Award — 2022 — Long-listed
Malka Penn Award for Human Rights in Children's Literature — 2022 — Commended
National Book Award for Young People's Literature — 2021 — Long-listed
NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People — 2022 — Winner
NCTE Notable Children's Book in the Language Arts — 2022 — Winner
New York Times 25 Best Children's Books — 2021 — Winner
New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book — 2021 — Winner
NPR Best Books of the Year — 2021 — Winner
Rhode Island Children's Book Award — 2023 — Nominated
Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal — 2022 — Commended
School Library Journal Best Book — 2021 — Winner
Skipping Stones Book Award — 2022 — Short-listed
Utah Beehive Book Award — 2023 — Nominated


Winner of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards for Author and Illustrator

A Caldecott Honor Book

A Sibert Honor Book

Longlisted for the National Book Award

A Kirkus Prize Finalist

A Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book

"A must-have"—Booklist (starred review)

Celebrated author Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrator Floyd Cooper provide a powerful look at the Tulsa Race Massacre, one of the worst incidents of racial violence in our nation's history. The book traces the history of African Americans in Tulsa's Greenwood district and chronicles the devastation that occurred in 1921 when a white mob attacked the Black community.

News of what happened was largely suppressed, and no official investigation occurred for seventy-five years. This picture book sensitively introduces young readers to this tragedy and concludes with a call for a better future.

Download the free educator guide here: https://lernerbooks.com/download/unspeakableteachingguide


"These sensitively written, beautifully illustrated books restore this often-elided history while explaining the ensuing tragedy in a manner appropriate for children."—New York Times Book Review

"A somber, well-executed addition to the history as the incident approaches its 100th anniversary."—starred, Kirkus Reviews

"Ideal for classroom libraries and a deeper study of American history, this title is a must-have for those seeking the painful and complete truth."—starred, Booklist

"Far from romanticizing history, Weatherford is equally descriptive in explaining how a false accusation of assault brought simmering racial tensions to a violent end . . . Cooper's illustrations ('oil and erasure') are the perfect partner to this history, the sepia-toned images resembling historical photographs. The portraits of Black residents are particularly moving, seeming to break the fourth wall to implore the reader to remember their story."—starred, The Horn Book Magazine

"[S]ucceeds in teaching the tragedy of the Tulsa Race Massacre and the legacy of Black Wall Street."—starred, Publishers Weekly

"Unspeakable deserves to be read by every student of American history." —starred, BookPage

"This moving account sheds light on shameful events long suppressed or ignored. All collections should consider this title's value in providing historical context to current conversations about racism and America's ongoing legacy of white supremacy."—starred, School Library Journal

Author Bio

Carole Boston Weatherford is the author of numerous award-winning books. Her picture book BOX: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom, illustrated by Michele Wood received a Newbery Honor. Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre, illustrated by the late Floyd Cooper, was a National Book Award longlist title, won the Coretta Scott King Award for author and illustrator, and received a Caldecott Honor and a Sibert Honor. When she's not traveling or visiting museums, Carole is mining the past for family stories, fading traditions, and forgotten struggles. She lives in North Carolina.
Floyd Cooper (1956-2021) was a Coretta Scott King Award winner and illustrator of numerous books for children including Ruth and the Green Book, A Spy Called James, and Max and the Tag-Along Moon. Unspeakable, one of his final picture books, was a National Book Award longlist title, a Sibert Honor book, and a Caldecott Honor book. He received a degree in fine arts from the University of Oklahoma and went on to develop a distinctive art technique called oil erasure.