The Undefeated

The Undefeated

By Author / Illustrator

Kwame Alexander, Kadir Nelson


Representation & Inclusion

Age range(s)



Andersen Press Ltd




Paperback / softback




WINNER OF THE CALDECOTT MEDAL, THE CORETTA SCOTT KING AWARD, THE KATE GREENAWAY SHADOWER'S CHOICE AWARD AND A NEWBERY HONOR BOOK.This is for the unforgettable. The unafraid. The undefeated.From New York Times bestselling-author Kwame Alexander comes this powerful and important ode to black history: the strength and bravery of everyday people and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world's greatest artists, athletes, and activists. With references to lyrics and lines originally shared by our most celebrated heroes, this poem digs into the not-so-distant past to underline the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present.



This beautiful picture book is an emotional tribute to the history and experiences of African Americans, both past and present. Kwame Alexander's poetry takes the reader on a journey through the little known - the left-out history of those who are unforgettable, unflappable, undeniable and unafraid.

Unspeakable events are also recorded in these pages. The images convey the horror whilst the words state that simple fact. The Undefeated doesn't just acknowledge familiar names - Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali, Ella Fitzgerald - it also commemorates the unnamed victims of the slave trade, the black soldiers who fought during the civil war, those held in slavery. The book ends on a positive note - it is for the undefeated, those whose futures are yet to come.

Kadir Nelson's powerful, evocative images adorn each page, each a work of art. At the end of the book, there are biographies of those included in the book, making the perfect starting point for further research.

This is an amazing book - a must for every library and classroom. Its message is powerful and essential: black lives matter.

40 pages / Any age / Reviewed by Susan Wilsher, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 7+


Other titles