How Do You Spell Unfair?: Macnolia Cox and the National Spelling Bee
by Carole Boston Weatherford, Illustrated by Frank Morrison
Publication Date: Apr 11, 2023
List Price: $18.99
Format: Hardcover, 40 pages
Target Age Group: Picture Book
Imprint: Candlewick Press (MA)
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Parent Company: Candlewick Press
From a multi-award-winning pair comes a deeply affecting portrait of determination against discrimination: the story of young spelling champion MacNolia Cox.
MacNolia Cox was no ordinary kid.
Her idea of fun was reading the dictionary.
In 1936, eighth grader MacNolia Cox became the first African American to win the Akron, Ohio, spelling bee. And with that win, she was asked to compete at the prestigious National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC, where she and a girl from New Jersey were the first African Americans invited since its founding. She left her home state a celebrity—right up there with Ohio’s own Joe Louis and Jesse Owens—with a military band and a crowd of thousands to see her off at the station. But celebration turned to chill when the train crossed the state line into Maryland, where segregation was the law of the land. Prejudice and discrimination ruled—on the train, in the hotel, and, sadly, at the spelling bee itself.
With a brief epilogue recounting MacNolia’s further history, How Do You Spell Unfair? is the story of her groundbreaking achievement magnificently told by award-winning creators and frequent picture-book collaborators Carole Boston Weatherford and Frank Morrison.