Schomburg
In luminous paintings and arresting poems, two of children's literature's top African-American scholars track Arturo Schomburg's quest to correct history. Where is our historian to give us our side? Arturo asked. Amid the scholars, poets, authors, and artists of the Harlem Renaissance stood an Afro-Puerto Rican named Arturo Schomburg. This law clerk's life's passion was to collect books, letters, music, and art from Africa and the African diaspora and bring to light the achievements of people of African descent through the ages. When Schomburg's collection became so big it began to overflow his house (and his wife threatened to mutiny), he turned to the New York Public Library, where he created and curated a collection that was the cornerstone of a new Negro Division. A century later, his groundbreaking collection, known as the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, has become a beacon to scholars all over the world.

Schomburg Details

TitleSchomburg
Author
ReleaseSep 12th, 2017
PublisherCandlewick Press
ISBN-139780763680466
Rating
GenreChildrens, Picture Books, Biography, Cultural, African American, Nonfiction, History

Schomburg Review

  • Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
    January 1, 1970
    Arturo Schomburg was shamed as a child for wanting to learn about famous black figures in history. He resolved to find out everything he could about them and to share this knowledge with the world. He did.This book is the mesmerizing story of a man who sought out and researched and documented black history. The illustrations show people who proudly broke barriers in the past, and they add greatly to the beautifully written story.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Beautifully illustrated but of questionable accuracy, this brief middle-grade illustrated book uses Arturo (Arthur) Schomburg's biography and passion for academic study of Africana to uncover quieted names in world history. While the structure is unique, the writing is engaging and sound, and the artwork is flat-out gorgeous, there are factual points that are concerning. John James Audubon's mother was a French woman from Nance who had been working as a servant in the Audubon household, and was Beautifully illustrated but of questionable accuracy, this brief middle-grade illustrated book uses Arturo (Arthur) Schomburg's biography and passion for academic study of Africana to uncover quieted names in world history. While the structure is unique, the writing is engaging and sound, and the artwork is flat-out gorgeous, there are factual points that are concerning. John James Audubon's mother was a French woman from Nance who had been working as a servant in the Audubon household, and was NOT of Creole origin, which has been extensively documented. Also, Beethoven's mother was Flemish (which has historical ties with Spanish Moors), although no mention has been made of his being of African blood by contemporary sources, which would have been made mention in the culturally liberal Vienna, especially by his erstwhile (African-European) friend George Bridgetower. I'm a fan of presenting lesser-known histories to children and adults, and I'm also a fan of using documented truths to do so. This book fails in the latter.All the same, it is an inspirational story of how a person can come from beleaguered circumstances and, through curiosity, cunning and perseverance, can make a global, historical and cultural impact that carries on for generations.
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  • Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    Beautiful and fascinating and packed with things I didn't know and should have! Schomburg's passion for books, research and the overlooked and ignored history of his people is inspiring although it must have been a challenge to live with his ever-growing collection of books! I loved the story of how he arranged his collection - by size and color of the books!As much as I liked it, the structure of the book and the introduction of so many historical individuals makes this a more complex read and Beautiful and fascinating and packed with things I didn't know and should have! Schomburg's passion for books, research and the overlooked and ignored history of his people is inspiring although it must have been a challenge to live with his ever-growing collection of books! I loved the story of how he arranged his collection - by size and color of the books!As much as I liked it, the structure of the book and the introduction of so many historical individuals makes this a more complex read and more suited to upper elementary or middle school. That said, it will take some hand selling with that group. Perhaps the best idea is to use it in the classroom first where it has a myriad of applications and then students will definitely want to read it on their own.I loved Velasquez's illustrations which really brings Schomburg and his important story to life.
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  • Bill
    January 1, 1970
    Very interesting focal character. But a somewhat strange choice to use him as a means of introducing a host of African American luminaries. As a result, the text ends up more as a listing of facts and anecdotes rather than a compelling informational text that weaves a narrative.Also, the picture book format seems not well-suited to the amount of text contained in this book. Probably would have worked better as an illustrated book.
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  • Edward Sullivan
    January 1, 1970
    I love the subject matter so I wish the narrative here were better executed. Weatherford's choice to introduce famous African Americans detracts from Schomberg's story and the whole narrative seems rather text heavy for a picture book biography.
  • Veronica Manthei
    January 1, 1970
    An incredible biography of Arturo Schomburg, bibliophile and Africana collector.
  • Gwen Bumpers
    January 1, 1970
    While I do wish the book focused a little more on the life story of Schomburg, it is a great tool to show children the contributions that people of color made to American history.
  • Shari
    January 1, 1970
    Another notable African American (Puerto Rican) that I had never heard of! It is the "Hidden Figures Effect." Schomberg is a law clerk and an amateur historian who amassed a collection of African American history books, art, and artifacts that become part of the New York Public Library collection.
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  • Sue Poduska
    January 1, 1970
    So much information is contained in this book, but the reader has so much more to learn. A great starting place.
  • Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    I've never heard of Schomburg, but what an inspiration! This will be perfect in our middle school library (it's a bit involved for most elementary students and has many references to events & topics that will likely confuse younger readers - and these are not explained within the text or in back matter).I wonder if Martin Luther King, Jr. knew of Schomburg's work and legacy - it seems likely!On the premier edition of the Civil Rights Journal (1995) it indicates Schomburg's mission also inclu I've never heard of Schomburg, but what an inspiration! This will be perfect in our middle school library (it's a bit involved for most elementary students and has many references to events & topics that will likely confuse younger readers - and these are not explained within the text or in back matter).I wonder if Martin Luther King, Jr. knew of Schomburg's work and legacy - it seems likely!On the premier edition of the Civil Rights Journal (1995) it indicates Schomburg's mission also included the desire to better understand Latino- and European-Americans as well as African-American history. This book leaves the impression Schomburg was only concerned with African-American history. Granted, many details of a person's life need to be simplified or omitted when creating a biography in a picture book format.This book could have more references, as there is considerable debate about Beethoven being of Moor descent.Large pages full of color seem too small to hold this big man!Backmatter includes timeline, source notes, bibliography, and a description of Schomburg's personal bookpate he placed in every volume he collected. It would have been nice to include the image!
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  • Kelsey
    January 1, 1970
    Age: 3rd-5th gradeSeeking to break the shackles of ignorance and liberate fellow African Americans and black people, Schomburg sought to unearth long hidden histories of influential black people in order to provide inspiration for the future. The writing is poetically informational, weaving strength and wonder through the biographies of under recognized figureheads such as Louverture, Nat Turner, and Chevalier de Saint-Georges. Schomburg also researched the clever tool of oppression known as whi Age: 3rd-5th gradeSeeking to break the shackles of ignorance and liberate fellow African Americans and black people, Schomburg sought to unearth long hidden histories of influential black people in order to provide inspiration for the future. The writing is poetically informational, weaving strength and wonder through the biographies of under recognized figureheads such as Louverture, Nat Turner, and Chevalier de Saint-Georges. Schomburg also researched the clever tool of oppression known as whitewashing to reveal the African roots of Alexandre Dumas, John James Audubon, Pushkin, and potentially Beethoven.Weaving these stories amidst the dedicated research of Schomburg's life was masterfully done. However, the text begins to get name heavy, turning into an unreadable list at times. Although I've given this 4 stars, whenever I come across text heavy picture books, I wonder if the intended audience of older grade school kids scoff at the childlike presentation.
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  • Stephanie Tournas
    January 1, 1970
    What did I like best about this inspiring picture book biography? Hmmm, maybe the robust size and slightly longer length? The oil paint illustrations, so full of energy and vigor? The lovely prose poem style vignettes which bring Schomburg to life for the reader? Maybe it was the subject himself, Arthur Schomburg,a man driven to honor African American history by searching far and wide for the books, letters, music and art that illustrate that history? The fact that I got to learn about a passion What did I like best about this inspiring picture book biography? Hmmm, maybe the robust size and slightly longer length? The oil paint illustrations, so full of energy and vigor? The lovely prose poem style vignettes which bring Schomburg to life for the reader? Maybe it was the subject himself, Arthur Schomburg,a man driven to honor African American history by searching far and wide for the books, letters, music and art that illustrate that history? The fact that I got to learn about a passionate librarian/collector I had not known about, one who gave the public the collections he spent his life gathering, is definitely part of the appeal. My librarian self loved learning of Schomburg's quirks - organizing his collection by size and color, rejecting the Dewey system altogether! Add to all of the above the scholarly back matter, which includes a time line, source notes and bibliography, and you have a very nearly perfect work of non fiction.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    This is multi-award-winning author Carole Boston Weatherford's fifth partnership with Pura Belpré Award winning illustrator, Eric Velasquez. It's no wonder. They make a fantastic team! Rich and illuminating free verse is complemented by warm and luminous illustrations that look like they came straight off a museum wall. The grace and pride that comes through in this book is not only an accurate historical representation, but also a reflection of the author's and illustrator's respect for Arturo This is multi-award-winning author Carole Boston Weatherford's fifth partnership with Pura Belpré Award winning illustrator, Eric Velasquez. It's no wonder. They make a fantastic team! Rich and illuminating free verse is complemented by warm and luminous illustrations that look like they came straight off a museum wall. The grace and pride that comes through in this book is not only an accurate historical representation, but also a reflection of the author's and illustrator's respect for Arturo Schomburg and his unwavering quest to correct history.
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  • Pam Page
    January 1, 1970
    A very detailed look at the life of Arturo Schomburg, an Afro-Puerto Rican book collector from the early 1900's. Schomburg had so many life accomplishments but book lovers will enjoy his zest for book collecting. The book could be a read-aloud, reading just sections each day to keep students engaged. A timeline, source notes, and bibliography are found at the end. I wish the author had included an image of the bookplate mentioned at the end of the book!
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  • Jess Verzello
    January 1, 1970
    A wonderful, insightful, and inspiring bibliography on a lesser-known historical figure who contributed so much to black heritage and historical preservation. When I think of celebrating diversity, this is a book that shines. However, the typesetting was messy and indentation errors distracted from the fluidity of this book.
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  • Michele Knott
    January 1, 1970
    A biography of a man who curated a collection of books and art that told the story of many Africans that came before him. These works told the stories of people - many of which we would not be able to read today - and a history that might have otherwise not been told.
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  • Mary Librarian
    January 1, 1970
    Each illustration is a piece of art and tells the story of an amazing man who worked to uncover the history of African Americans. I learned some new things and about Schomburg the man as well. I think this book has Sibert and CSK potential.
  • Sharon Lawler
    January 1, 1970
    Glorious illustrations by Eric Velasquez accompany the text which describes Arturo Schomburg's incredible quest for examples of African contributions to civilizations all over the world. Would not be surprised to see the book winning an award, or two.
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  • Pam
    January 1, 1970
    Though this book provides a lot of information, it doesn't flow as one cohesive text.Why four stars? Because the information is important to share with our students. This book is well researched and provides details about his life and his work.
  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent historical account of not only Schomburg but many notable historical figures, as well. Large, vivid oil paintings serve as the illustrations of this book and detailed text is well placed in and around those illustrations.
  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    This book is amazing. Anyone who is interested in the truth about history should read it, regardless of age.
  • Maggie Burgess
    January 1, 1970
    A must-have for every classroom library. Gorgeous illustrations. More text than I would like, but what an incredible story.
  • Tracie
    January 1, 1970
    "History must restore what slavery took away." -Arturo SchomburgA biography of AS who worked his whole life to research and recover the lost history of Africans.
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