The Oldest Student
Imagine learning to read at the age of 116! Discover the true story of Mary Walker, the nation's oldest student who did just that, in this picture book from a Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator and a rising star author.In 1848, Mary Walker was born into slavery. At age 15, she was freed, and by age 20, she was married and had her first child. By age 68, she had worked numerous jobs, including cooking, cleaning, babysitting, and selling sandwiches to raise money for her church. At 114, she was the last remaining member of her family. And at 116, she learned to read. From Rita Lorraine Hubbard and rising star Oge Mora comes the inspirational story of Mary Walker, a woman whose long life spanned from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, and who--with perseverance and dedication--proved that you're never too old to learn.

The Oldest Student Details

TitleThe Oldest Student
Author
ReleaseJan 7th, 2020
PublisherSchwartz & Wade
Rating
GenreChildrens, Picture Books, Biography, Nonfiction, History, Cultural, African American, Academic, School, Education, Historical, Family

The Oldest Student Review

  • Sandy Brehl
    January 1, 1970
    It is always inspiring to read authentic stories about overcoming illiteracy, about fulfilling a lifelong will to read. This true story of Mary Walker, born enslaved in 1848, has many gaps in her long life. The Bible she was gifted has served as documentation of her major life landmarks (marriage, birth of children) even though she was unable to read or write throughout her life. She understood the value of written records and duly added her personal mark to each entry in her Bible. Mary and her It is always inspiring to read authentic stories about overcoming illiteracy, about fulfilling a lifelong will to read. This true story of Mary Walker, born enslaved in 1848, has many gaps in her long life. The Bible she was gifted has served as documentation of her major life landmarks (marriage, birth of children) even though she was unable to read or write throughout her life. She understood the value of written records and duly added her personal mark to each entry in her Bible. Mary and her family lived their lives in the South, where she lived a hardscrabble life of injustice and struggle, but carried her Bible to church on Sundays and joined in the singing, even though she couldn't read a word in it or in the hymnals.By the time she was 114 years old she had outlived every other family member, but had still not learned to read or write and was saddened that a lifetime of meangless scribbles and wiggles in print remained a puzzle to her. Mary may have felt untaught, but not unable to learn. She joined a reading class in her senior living center and began a dedicated effort to become a reader and writer. Mary lived to 121 years old, winning attention from presidents and the general public. She missed family members but took comfort in being able to read the words of her Bible. From her earliest enslaved years in the fields to an amazing flight in an airplane during her latest years of life, she reveled in the ability to fly free, which reading finally provided. This is among the most inspiring stories I've encountered in recent years, and that would be true if only from the facts about Walker's remarkable life. When restrained but compelling narrative style of the text combine with the gorgeous illustrations (acrylic paint, china marker, collage with patterned paper and print clippings) Mary Walker's well-documented story comes to life wth the flair of the cakes she baked until her final years-- light as a feather- and delicious!
    more
  • Julie Hedlund
    January 1, 1970
    Breathtaking book on all levels, and so inspiring! Indeed, nobody is ever too old to learn. What a fabulous message for children.
  • Vivian Kirkfield
    January 1, 1970
    Fabulous text combines with wonderful illustrations that will engage, educate, entertain...and most of all, inspire every child who reads this book! I am almost 73 years old, and I want to be Mary Walker when I grow up. With a sense of purpose and extreme focus, Mary pursues her dream to learn to read and write...and succeeds. As a former elementary school teacher I urge every school librarian to make sure this book is part of the school library collection...and please, get more than one Fabulous text combines with wonderful illustrations that will engage, educate, entertain...and most of all, inspire every child who reads this book! I am almost 73 years old, and I want to be Mary Walker when I grow up. With a sense of purpose and extreme focus, Mary pursues her dream to learn to read and write...and succeeds. As a former elementary school teacher I urge every school librarian to make sure this book is part of the school library collection...and please, get more than one copy...you will need it!
    more
  • Laura Harrison
    January 1, 1970
    What a great start to the new year! Exquisite biography of Mary Walker who was born into slavery. Interesting, unique and inspiring with magnificent illustrations by Oge Mora. The Oldest Student is a must have for a school, library or personal collection. I love it!
    more
  • Nic
    January 1, 1970
    This made me cry. Definitely for sharing.
  • Tina Cho
    January 1, 1970
    This is the inspirational nonfiction picture book biography of how Mary Walker, a former slave, learned to read at age 116. All her life she served and worked for others. An evangelist gave her a Bible and said her civil rights were in those pages. She waited 101 years before she was able to read the verses. Hubbard’s text is captivating, and Mora’s adorable illustrations bring Mary’s story to life. It’s never too late to learn! This is a wonderful story of hope and never giving up on a dream.
    more
  • Kirsti Call
    January 1, 1970
    "You're never too old to learn." Mary WalkerThis inspiring book tells the story Mary Walker who learned to read at the age of 116 years old! Rita Lorraine Hubbard does an incredible job of sharing Mary's story with expert word choice. Her words, paired with Oge Mora's stunning illustrations make this book a powerful work of art. This is a beautiful, inspiring, and heart warming story of persistence and hope.
    more
  • Jacqui
    January 1, 1970
    4.5. The photos on the end pages added to the story.
  • Julie Abery
    January 1, 1970
    What a fabulous story! Mary Walker worked hard her whole life. As a slave she was denied the right to learn to read and write, as an adult, and mother she didn't have time, but as an old lady when the opportunity arose, she grabbed it with both hands!! Beautiful collage by Oge Mora and great text and text design keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next. I loved the photos on the end pages!
    more
  • Stefanie Kellum
    January 1, 1970
    This is the inspiring story of Mary Walker, a woman born into slavery who learned to read at the age of 116! It's a fascinating reminder that it's never too late to learn to read and discover the magic of books! Kids struggling to learn to read are sure to find this encouraging.*I read a digital ARC of this title from the publisher via Edelweiss.
    more
  • Pippa Chorley
    January 1, 1970
    I am always amazed when I hear stories of people living beyond 100 years as they are often tenacious, with something incredible to offer the world and a determination to succeed in all they do. I love people with a zest for all that life has to offer and Mary Walker certainly had that. What is not to love about the story of a 116 year-old woman who learns to read!!!!! It is not only incredible but hugely inspirational and for children who think their mothers are ancient aged 40- years old (thank I am always amazed when I hear stories of people living beyond 100 years as they are often tenacious, with something incredible to offer the world and a determination to succeed in all they do. I love people with a zest for all that life has to offer and Mary Walker certainly had that. What is not to love about the story of a 116 year-old woman who learns to read!!!!! It is not only incredible but hugely inspirational and for children who think their mothers are ancient aged 40- years old (thank you kids!) then 116 seems nearly impossible and the story staggering. This book cannot help but have something mystical about it for children, just because of the subject matter, but in addition to that adults cant fail to be mesmerized by Mary’s story as well, for we rarely imagine living that old.Written in simple, easy to access language, The Oldest Student is a great book to introduce the subject of slavery to younger students. I love the fact that this book also tells the story of what happened after the abolition. The difficult position they were put in, suddenly being homeless, penniless and in Mary’s case fatherless yet told to leave the plantation and start a life on their own. Hubbard shows readers that life was obviously hard and Mary faced many struggles that would have been faced by thousands of other freed slaves too. This book is certain to open up questions for small children as it did with mine, but I am all for that. Books that spark discussions in our house are the very best ones in my book!One of the greatest discussions we had was over the sadness that lingers in this book. Mary, outlives all of her family and only learns to read when it seems almost too late. My boys felt that life had passed her by and kept saying, if only she had been able to read when she was younger. This sparked yet another discussion about the rights to education and the importance of literacy for all children. What you can and can’t do without learning to read. I was heartened by how strongly they felt about this story and its subject matter. It just showed what a powerful book this is and how well written and illustrated it was.On that note the illustrations are delightful. They too are simple like the language style with defined outlines and block colours. A beautiful combination of paint and paper layered on thickly textured backgrounds which add depth and interest. The colour palette is muted and, yet the contrast between the blues and yellow is striking. Each spread has a warmth to it and despite the melancholy there is a feeling of hope throughout. Hubbard ends the story with writing as thoughtful and lyrical as poetry and lifts our spirits to fly like the birds Mary so adored. This book is truly moving, inspirational and teaches children to never give up on their dreams, no matter what the odds! My boys and I would highly recommend this book to anyone!
    more
  • Tasha
    January 1, 1970
    Born a slave in the mid-1800’s, Mary was not allowed to learn to read. Even when emancipation came, she was unable to learn to read because she and all of her time was used in making very little money. When a group of evangelists gave her a Bible, she promised herself that one day she would be able to read it. All three of her sons’ births were recorded in that Bible by other people who could read and write. Mary could only leave her mark by the words. After a lifetime of hard work, Mary became Born a slave in the mid-1800’s, Mary was not allowed to learn to read. Even when emancipation came, she was unable to learn to read because she and all of her time was used in making very little money. When a group of evangelists gave her a Bible, she promised herself that one day she would be able to read it. All three of her sons’ births were recorded in that Bible by other people who could read and write. Mary could only leave her mark by the words. After a lifetime of hard work, Mary became too old to sharecrop any longer and took on other jobs like cleaning and babysitting. At well past ninety years old, Mary’s sons read to her but they each passed away, her oldest son dying at age ninety-four. Mary lived on and learned of reading classes taught in her building. She spent the next year learning to read, and finally could read at age 116. She was awarded the title of the nation’s oldest student by the US Department of Education and went on to receive many gifts, some from Presidents of the United States. Hubbard cleverly fills in the details of Mary Walker’s early life since very little is known about it. It is a fact that she had her Bible for over 100 years before she could actually read it. It is also a fact that she learned to read that quickly. Chattanooga, Tennessee gave her the key to the city twice in the 1960’s and has a historical marker in her name. Her life stands for the ability to learn at any age, the resilience of surviving slavery, and the power of the written word to bring opportunity into your life. Beautifully, the book doesn’t need to lecture on any of those values, Mary’s life simply speaks on its own.Mora’s art is done in mixed media of acrylic paint, marker, pencil, paper and book clippings. She uses a heavily textured and painted background in some images that sweeps the sky across the pages. In others, patterns and words fill the space offering glimpses of her future long before she could actually read.This picture book based on a true story is inspiring. Appropriate for ages 5-7.
    more
  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    The notion of someone learning to read after passing the century mark is one that will surely captivate youngsters. Told in a charming way as the author asserts just how much Mary Walker clearly wanted to learn to read, this picture book serves as an amazing true example of persistence and determination. Born a slave in 1848, Mary dreamed of being free and learning to read. But as often happens, life and circumstances intervened, and even after she was free, she just never found the time to The notion of someone learning to read after passing the century mark is one that will surely captivate youngsters. Told in a charming way as the author asserts just how much Mary Walker clearly wanted to learn to read, this picture book serves as an amazing true example of persistence and determination. Born a slave in 1848, Mary dreamed of being free and learning to read. But as often happens, life and circumstances intervened, and even after she was free, she just never found the time to learn this skill and crack the alphabetic code. Finally, after her first and second husband and her children had all died and she was living in a retirement home, she decided that the time had come. At 114, she started attending a reading class, and after several months of hard work, at the age of 116--yes, 116!--she could at last read all those squiggles on street signs and in the Bible. Created with acrylic paint, china marker, colored pencil, patterned paper and book clippings, the illustrations are striking and follow Mary's journey effectively. Because this is based on a true story and an actual woman living in Chattanooga, Tennessee until her death in 1969 at 121, young readers may find inspiration in her experiences and determination as they face challenges of their own, even with their own literacy struggles. Just as she did in her earlier Hammering for Freedom: The William Lewis Story, the author has chosen to highlight another fascinating bit of history and an individual well worth knowing. I was struck almost silent by the realization that Mary Walker's life spanned twenty-six different Presidencies. Not only is that a lot of different men and decades, but it's a lot of political and social changes that this woman lived through.
    more
  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Mary Walker was born into slavery in 1848 and always dreamed to be free. At fifteen, she and her family were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. As fabulous as freedom was, she still worked long hard days for very little money.She really wanted to learn how to read, but there was no time for that. She received a Bible that she cherished but could not read. The time she would have spent learning to read was taken up with working and raising her family. She still longed to make sense of the Mary Walker was born into slavery in 1848 and always dreamed to be free. At fifteen, she and her family were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. As fabulous as freedom was, she still worked long hard days for very little money.She really wanted to learn how to read, but there was no time for that. She received a Bible that she cherished but could not read. The time she would have spent learning to read was taken up with working and raising her family. She still longed to make sense of the squiggles she saw in books.At age 114, she was living in a retirement home. A new reading class was announced in her building and Mary was determined to follow her dream of learning to read. She studied long and hard and finally the scribbles turned into words. She could read her beloved Bible. The US Department of Education proclaimed she was officially the nation’s oldest student.The Oldest Student shares the true-life story of an amazing American, Mary Walker. The easy to read story is perfect for children ages 5 to 9, but not limited to this age group. It will spark inspiration to children who may be having trouble with reading or learning to do something else they are struggling with and inspire them to never give up just like Ms. Walker.Award winning author Rita Lorraine Hubbard is also the author of several other books. One of which, Hammering for Freedom, I have read and enjoyed.Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman
    more
  • Margie
    January 1, 1970
    We readers, those of us who enjoy reading and spreading the joy of reading to others, know certain truths. We know words are powerful. Every single word, sentence, paragraph and story we read becomes a part of our story. Whether we are informed by facts or fiction, we are not the same. We are more than we were before. We are connected to the creators of those words, sentences, paragraphs and stories and every other person who reads them. For these reasons and numerous others, being able to read We readers, those of us who enjoy reading and spreading the joy of reading to others, know certain truths. We know words are powerful. Every single word, sentence, paragraph and story we read becomes a part of our story. Whether we are informed by facts or fiction, we are not the same. We are more than we were before. We are connected to the creators of those words, sentences, paragraphs and stories and every other person who reads them. For these reasons and numerous others, being able to read is not only a right (The Students' Right to Read, NCTE and The Freedom to Read Statement, ALA) but a gift we give to ourselves. The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned To Read (Schwartz & Wade, an imprint of Random House Children's Books, January 7, 2020) written by Rita Lorraine Hubbard with illustrations by Oge Mora is a moving tribute to the resilience and determination of a remarkable woman. With every page turn your admiration for this woman grows until the one striking moment you realize you're changed by learning about her life.My full recommendation: https://librariansquest.blogspot.com/...
    more
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Mary was born a slave in Alabama, not allowed to read or write. Her young life was spent working. At 15, the Emancipation Proclamation ensured her freedom, but she never had the opportunity for an education. By 20, she was married. She raised her three sons, worked as a sharecropper, a maid and various other low-wage jobs. She eventually moved to Tennessee where she baked cakes and sold sandwiches for the church and eventually retired. All of her life, she remained illiterate until Chattanooga Mary was born a slave in Alabama, not allowed to read or write. Her young life was spent working. At 15, the Emancipation Proclamation ensured her freedom, but she never had the opportunity for an education. By 20, she was married. She raised her three sons, worked as a sharecropper, a maid and various other low-wage jobs. She eventually moved to Tennessee where she baked cakes and sold sandwiches for the church and eventually retired. All of her life, she remained illiterate until Chattanooga Area Literacy Movement changed all that. She learned to read, write, add and subtract at the ripe old age of 116. She was celebrated for many years afterward far and wide for her achievement. This book, illustrated by Caldecott Honor recipient Oge Mora, is nicely written and would make a great read-aloud to a classroom of elementary school students. The story shows how inequality can linger and shows the importance of education. It's also a great lesson to all of us -- you are NEVER to old to learn new skills!
    more
  • Claudia
    January 1, 1970
    What a Mighty Girl...I'm in awe, and I wonder how many other Mary Walkers there are out there. Mary was born into slavery...She wanted to fly, and she wanted to read. But instead she worked and worked and worked. Freed after the Civil War, she wanted to fly and she wanted to read. But she worked and worked and worked. Evangelists gave her a Bible she could not read and she treasured that book. She married, she became a mother. She buried husbands. She buried children. She worked, she worked, she What a Mighty Girl...I'm in awe, and I wonder how many other Mary Walkers there are out there. Mary was born into slavery...She wanted to fly, and she wanted to read. But instead she worked and worked and worked. Freed after the Civil War, she wanted to fly and she wanted to read. But she worked and worked and worked. Evangelists gave her a Bible she could not read and she treasured that book. She married, she became a mother. She buried husbands. She buried children. She worked, she worked, she worked. At the age of 116 (one hundred sixteen!!) she learned to read. She read her Bible. She read to other residents in her nursing home. She read. At the age of 119, she flew...This woman led by example. She lived her values. She never gave up on her dreams. She read. She flew. She should inspire us all to keep our eye on the prize. A magnificent book...Please spend extra time on the illustrations as you read. I admit. I cried.
    more
  • Amy Layton
    January 1, 1970
    All I can say iswow, and thank you to Hubbard and Mora for enlightening me on this student! Learning to read is no easy feat, and even less easy when you get older. So the fact that Mary Walker learned to read at 116, after living through both slaveryand the civil rights movement is absolutely, undeniably incredible. The collage-style illustrations highlight this collaborative learning process, as Walker had the support not only of her friends, family, and classmates, but the entire city itself. All I can say is wow, and thank you to Hubbard and Mora for enlightening me on this student!  Learning to read is no easy feat, and even less easy when you get older.  So the fact that Mary Walker learned to read at 116, after living through both slavery and the civil rights movement is absolutely, undeniably incredible.  The collage-style illustrations highlight this collaborative learning process, as Walker had the support not only of her friends, family, and classmates, but the entire city itself.  Totally inspirational.  The Oldest Student highlights the fact that not only is reading a useful skill, but a skill that literally makes a difference in a person's life.  Great for grades 1-3, and perfect for convincing a young one to be a little more proactive with their reading assignments.Review cross-listed here!
    more
  • Beth Anderson
    January 1, 1970
    This is such an inspiring story, for young and old, of a hard-working, forbearing, patient woman. Her life is a history lesson, from slavery to emancipation to family responsibility to parenthood, through decades of back-breaking work and caring for others, waiting to learn to read. Most of us today probably take for granted the opportunity to learn to read. This story allows us to see reading as a precious nugget. Kids will recognize the steps she goes through and practice that she does as she This is such an inspiring story, for young and old, of a hard-working, forbearing, patient woman. Her life is a history lesson, from slavery to emancipation to family responsibility to parenthood, through decades of back-breaking work and caring for others, waiting to learn to read. Most of us today probably take for granted the opportunity to learn to read. This story allows us to see reading as a precious nugget. Kids will recognize the steps she goes through and practice that she does as she learns to read and write. Hopefully, they'll realize how lucky they are, seeing reading through Mary's eyes, as a treasure that opens up the joy of learning, as a right that only came with freedom, as a gift that gave her wings. Hubbard brings Mary's incredible strength, dedication, and dignity to each page of this important story. Mora's illustrations are powerful and perfect.
    more
  • Christy
    January 1, 1970
    What a wonderful picture book! Mary Walker was 116 years old when she learned to read. This book tells what's known about her long life (and the author fills in some details from her imagination), from Walker's childhood in slavery, through Emancipation, sharecropping, births, deaths, hard work and more work, and, eventually, fulfilling her long-deferred dream of learning to read. Rita Lorraine Hubbard's words and Oge Mora's illustrations work beautifully together to bring this compelling story What a wonderful picture book! Mary Walker was 116 years old when she learned to read. This book tells what's known about her long life (and the author fills in some details from her imagination), from Walker's childhood in slavery, through Emancipation, sharecropping, births, deaths, hard work and more work, and, eventually, fulfilling her long-deferred dream of learning to read. Rita Lorraine Hubbard's words and Oge Mora's illustrations work beautifully together to bring this compelling story to life. As a bonus, young listeners will hear about the process of learning to read--and how reading enriches us all. The book is enhanced with collected photos of Mary Walker on the end papers. An author's note provides additional details.(I reviewed a digital advance readers' copy of this book.)
    more
  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    10 stars The biography of Mary Walker’s life, from the injustices of slavery that continued beyond “emancipation,” to her eventual reading class begun at 116 years old, the author and illustrator do more than tell a remarkable story. Mary Walker is brought to life in gorgeous, painful words and wonderful imagery. That she is remarkable can be observed by literate and pre/non-literate readers of this incredible book. Picture books can be for children; picture books can be for adults. This adult 10 stars ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️The biography of Mary Walker’s life, from the injustices of slavery that continued beyond “emancipation,” to her eventual reading class begun at 116 years old, the author and illustrator do more than tell a remarkable story. Mary Walker is brought to life in gorgeous, painful words and wonderful imagery. That she is remarkable can be observed by literate and pre/non-literate readers of this incredible book. Picture books can be for children; picture books can be for adults. This adult reader is in love with the book. I can’t wait to loan it, as arranged, to my friend to read to her almost 100 year old African American mother. I look forward to what they both think of the book.I am crying in public as I write this after crying in public while reading it.
    more
  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Mary Walker was born into slavery. She saw the Civil War, emancipation, the turn of the 20th century, cars, flight, both world wars, and even the first moon landing. Through most of it, Mary couldn't read. Slaves weren't educated, after all, and when she was freed she was too busy getting by and raising a family. Mary's dream of learning to read stayed with her for over a century. In this incredible biography, follow the journey of Mary Walker, who learned to read at the age of 116. As Mary Mary Walker was born into slavery. She saw the Civil War, emancipation, the turn of the 20th century, cars, flight, both world wars, and even the first moon landing. Through most of it, Mary couldn't read. Slaves weren't educated, after all, and when she was freed she was too busy getting by and raising a family. Mary's dream of learning to read stayed with her for over a century. In this incredible biography, follow the journey of Mary Walker, who learned to read at the age of 116. As Mary Walker said, "You're never too old to learn." What a lesson to us all!
    more
  • Christine Mcdonnell
    January 1, 1970
    What a story! This beautiful book tells the story of Mary’s long life spanning the years from slavery to the 1960s. Her determination and strength are amazing. The thread of her desire to learn to read runs through her entire life. How wonderful that she was able to fulfill her dream and also that she was so honored.Her story is told simply and elegantly; it is spare but rich, like the life of its subject. The collage illustrations are a fine match, capturing the difficulties and obstacles Mary What a story! This beautiful book tells the story of Mary’s long life spanning the years from slavery to the 1960s. Her determination and strength are amazing. The thread of her desire to learn to read runs through her entire life. How wonderful that she was able to fulfill her dream and also that she was so honored.Her story is told simply and elegantly; it is spare but rich, like the life of its subject. The collage illustrations are a fine match, capturing the difficulties and obstacles Mary overcame.
    more
  • Ris
    January 1, 1970
    I think this book is best for first to third graders with a parent or teacher to help explain the context for them. It focuses on her goals more than her life, so they may need some help understanding the early part of the book and how amazing her accomplishment was. The art in this book is absolutely gorgeous. It's collage style and incredibly detailed. I spent a good twenty minutes just flipping back to look at the pages when I was done.
    more
  • Kirsti
    January 1, 1970
    Inspiring children's book about Mary Walker, a former slave and sharecropper who learned to read at age 114. She had owned a Bible for 101 years before she could read it, bringing it with her to church every Sunday. Her motto: "You're never too old to learn." After she became a celebrity, the Mounties sent her perfume and champagne, and the retirement home where she lived was named after her. Also she went on her first airplane ride because why not? Illustrations are free-flowing yet detailed.
    more
  • Laurel
    January 1, 1970
    I love this book! Inspiring! While it’s about a young slave and her life and desire to be free and learn to read, it’s about much more. It not only provides historical insights and shows what it was like to be a slave and how freedom is more than emancipation, but it also the story of perseverance and that you’re never too old to learn. Beautiful illustrations enhance the story and show the power of the soul – and how reading helps you fly and be free.
    more
  • Sandra
    January 1, 1970
    This is a powerful (mostly true aside from some imagined, but plausible details) account of what it was like to survive slavery, a life of extreme poverty, and illiteracy to emerge- at age 121- a reader with a positive attitude about life. This is a perfect book for a teacher to add to bring some diversity to his/her read alouds and class library. I plan to use it to help motivate my striving intervention students.
    more
  • Great Books
    January 1, 1970
    The Oldest Student tells the incredible story of Mary Walker, a woman whose life spanned over 100 years and 26 presidents. Born into slavery, Mary’s journey to literacy did not begin until she was 116. Hubbard’s retelling of Walker’s story will keep readers glued to the page, while Mora’s collages convey Mary’s warmth, perseverance and determination. More than a biography, The Oldest Student is a moving reading experience that offers inspiration to readers young and old. Reviewer #23
    more
  • Genetta
    January 1, 1970
    A powerful and inspiring true story showing we’re never too old to learn. When Mary Walker learned to read, she overcame more than a century’s inability to decifer signs, landmarks, or the Bible. She had wanted to read it ever since it was given to her when she was a teenager. Mary Walker learned to read at the age of 116. She was pronounced by the US Dept. of Education as the nation's oldest student. I highly recommend this book!
    more
  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    Mary Walker, born into slavery in 1848 and after emancipation, lived in poverty. She had a dream to learn to read, but there wasn't time b/c she was working and taking care of her family. In 1963, after her children and husband died, she decided that it was time to learn. A year later, she could! I can't wait to read to my classes! Illustrated by Oge Mora
    more
Write a review