On Her Wings: The Story of Toni Morrison

(Author) (Illustrator)

Product Details

$18.99  $17.66
Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Publish Date
10.0 X 11.0 X 0.5 inches | 1.15 pounds
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About the Author

Jerdine Nolen is the beloved author of many award-winning books, including Big Jabe; Thunder Rose, a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book; and Hewitt Anderson's Great Big Life, a Bank Street Best Book of the Year, all illustrated by Kadir Nelson. She is also the author of Eliza's Freedom Road, illustrated by Shadra Strickland, which was an ALA/YALSA Best Fiction Nominee for Young Adults; Raising Dragons, illustrated by Elise Primavera, which received the Christopher Award; and Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm, illustrated by Mark Buehner, which was made into a movie by the same name. Her other books include Calico Girl, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year, and Irene's Wish, illustrated by A.G. Ford, which Kirkus Reviews called "delightful and memorable" in a starred review. Ms. Nolen is an educator and lives in Ellicott City, Maryland.

James E. Ransome's highly acclaimed illustrations for Before She Was Harriet received the 2018 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor. His other award-winning titles include the Coretta Scott King winner The Creation; Coretta Scott King Honor Book Uncle Jed's Barbershop; Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt; and Let My People Go, winner of the NAACP Image Award. James is also a recipient of the ALA Children's Literature Legacy Award. He frequently collaborates with his wife, author Lesa Cline-Ransome, and their books include Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams and Fighting with Love: The Legacy of John Lewis. James is a professor and coordinator of the MFA Illustration Graduate Program at Syracuse University. He lives in New York's Hudson River Valley region with his family. Visit James at JamesRansome.com.


Gr 2-5-Toni Morrison was born Chloe Ardelia Wofford. At an early age she fell in love with words, melodies, stories, and the rhythm and rhyme of music. She went on to Howard University, where she changed her name to Toni because it was easier to pronounce. She eventually taught at Cornell and at her alma mater. There she met and married her husband. Soon after the birth of her second son, Morrison's marriage failed, and she moved to New York City for a fresh start as an editor. During the day she edited others' work; at night, after her children went to bed, she would write her own. At age 39, she published her first novel. Though the world knew her as Toni Morrison, she insisted that Chloe Wofford was the one who won the Nobel Prize for Literature, the first Black woman to do so. Her books often focused on Black history and motherhood, race, and skin color, and she sought to empower her people. Her stories inspired others to do the same. This lyrical biography about Morrison's accomplishments and legacy has a reverential tone, putting the groundbreaking author on a well-deserved pedestal. This title honors her memory and the sheer enormity of her life's work. A perfect complement, Ransome's painterly illustrations--done in watercolor and collage--shine with a beatific light. Remarks about her books and Morrison herself float in the background. Back matter includes an author's note, further reading, and a selected list of her awards and books published.

VERDICT An awe-inspiring picture book biography about an outstanding storyteller.--School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW "12/23/2022"