Introducing An American Story
by Kwame Alexander
Published: Wednesday, December 28, 2022

An American Story

Written by Kwame Alexander, Art by Dare Coulter

Image of the book cover for Book cover An American Story Written by Kwame Alexander, Art by Dare Coulter Kwame Alexander, the #1 New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of The Crossover, The Door of No Return, and The Undefeated, releases a new book today (Jan. 3, 2023) that can help inform a generation. An American Story is a bold children’s picture book that explains slavery through the voice of a teacher who is struggling to help her students understand its place in American history.

Told through lyrical writing and stunning illustrations, the powerful, multilayered narrative and images that Alexander and debut artist/sculpturist Dare Coulter have produced will take educators, parents, and young people from fireside tales in an African village, through the unspeakable passage across the Atlantic, to the backbreaking work in the fields of the South, to eventual emancipation.

Why Kwame penned An American Story:

“I wrote this book after a rather difficult parent-teacher conference back in my daughter’s fourth-grade school year. I wrote this book because the majority of teachers were never taught how to teach slavery, so they are afraid, unprepared, and the students suffer for it. So, I decided to fix it. This book is for all the teachers and parents trying to find their voices, trying to share a lesson that we all find so difficult to discuss. An American Story is a story for readers of all ages — a story of a people’s struggle, strength, horror, and hope that needs to be told and understood by all of us.”

What Dare wants to illuminate through her innovative illustrations:

“I want there to be these big assemblies of beautiful, hopeful kids reading this book, to whom we can say, ‘Yes, this did happen, yes it is terrible; but the way forward is in acknowledgment and understanding.’ I want them to walk away feeling resilient.”

Meet Kwame and Dare on Tour

Alexander launches the book today (Tuesday, Jan. 3) at 12 p.m. EST with a live virtual conversation from Judy Blume’s Key West, Florida bookstore, on his Facebook page (

The virtual event will be followed by a 10-city book tour, which begins on Jan. 5 in Raleigh, North Carolina. View details about the Raleigh event and the other tour stops, which include Jacksonville, Charlotte, Charleston and more, at Come out to get your books signed and bring your reading friends!