Spring 2021


The Tulsa Race Massacre

  • Interest Level: Grade 3 - Grade 6   ·  
  • Reading Level: Grade 4

Longlisted for the National Book Award

A Kirkus Prize Finalist

A Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book

“A must-have”—Booklist (starred review)

Celebrated author Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrator Floyd Cooper provide a powerful look at the Tulsa Race Massacre, one of the worst incidents of racial violence in our nation’s history. The book traces the history of African Americans in Tulsa’s Greenwood district and chronicles the devastation that occurred in 1921 when a white mob attacked the Black community.

News of what happened was largely suppressed, and no official investigation occurred for seventy-five years. This picture book sensitively introduces young readers to this tragedy and concludes with a call for a better future.

Format Your Price Add
Interest Level Grade 3 - Grade 6
Reading Level Grade 4
Genre Nonfiction, Picture Books
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Narrative Nonfiction, Diverse Books: #OwnVoices, Diverse Books: Race & Ethnicity, Diverse Books: Social Justice, Diversity, Social Studies
Copyright 2021
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Carolrhoda Books ®
Language English
Number of Pages 32
Publication Date 2021-02-02
Text Type Narrative Nonfiction
BISACS JNF053140, JNF053210, JNF025180
Dewey 976.6/8600496073
Dimensions 9.25 x 11
Lexile 1100
Guided Reading Level X
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Author/Illustrator note, Awards, Original artwork, Reviewed, Starred Reviews, Teaching Guides, and eSource


  • Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List 2022-2023, Winner, 2022
  • Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book, Commended, 2021
  • National Book Award for Young People's Literature Longlist, Long-listed, 2021
  • Cybils Nominee, Nominated, 2021
  • Eureka! Children's Book Award, Winner, 2021
  • New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children's Book, Winner, 2021
  • BookPage Best Books of the Year, Winner, 2021
  • New York Public Library Best Books for Kids 2021, Winner, 2021
  • Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books, Winner, 2021
  • Kirkus Prize for Young Readers' Literature Finalist, Short-listed, 2021
  • School Library Journal Best Book of 2021, Winner, 2021


The New York Times Book Review

“These sensitively written, beautifully illustrated books restore this often-elided history while explaining the ensuing tragedy in a manner appropriate for children.”—New York Times Book Review

School Library Journal

“This moving account sheds light on shameful events long suppressed or ignored. All collections should consider this title’s value in providing historical context to current conversations about racism and America’s ongoing legacy of white supremacy.”—starred, School Library Journal


Unspeakable deserves to be read by every student of American history.” —starred, BookPage

Publishers Weekly

“[S]ucceeds in teaching the tragedy of the Tulsa Race Massacre and the legacy of Black Wall Street.”—starred, Publishers Weekly

The Horn Book Magazine

“Far from romanticizing history, Weatherford is equally descriptive in explaining how a false accusation of assault brought simmering racial tensions to a violent end . . . Cooper’s illustrations (‘oil and erasure’) are the perfect partner to this history, the sepia-toned images resembling historical photographs. The portraits of Black residents are particularly moving, seeming to break the fourth wall to implore the reader to remember their story.”—starred, The Horn Book Magazine


“Ideal for classroom libraries and a deeper study of American history, this title is a must-have for those seeking the painful and complete truth.”—starred, Booklist

Kirkus Reviews

“A somber, well-executed addition to the history as the incident approaches its 100th anniversary.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

Author, Narrator: Carole Boston Weatherford

Carole Boston Weatherford is the author of numerous award-winning books including BOX: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom, illustrated by Michele Wood which received a Newbery Honor and National Book Award Longlist title Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre, illustrated by the late Floyd Cooper. When she's not traveling or visiting museums, Carole is mining the past for family stories, fading traditions, and forgotten struggles. She lives in North Carolina.

Illustrator: Floyd Cooper

Floyd Cooper (1956-2021) was a Coretta Scott King Award winner and illustrator of numerous books for children including Ruth and the Green Book, A Spy Called James, and Unspeakable. He received a degree in fine arts from the University of Oklahoma and went on to develop a distinctive art technique called oil erasure.

Narrator: January LaVoy

Lerner eSource™ offers free digital teaching and learning resources, including Common Core State Standards (CCSS) teaching guides. These guides, created by classroom teachers, offer short lessons and writing exercises that give students specific instruction and practice using Common Core skills and strategies. Lerner eSource also provides additional resources including online activities, downloadable/printable graphic organizers, and additional educational materials that would also support Common Core instruction. Download, share, pin, print, and save as many of these free resources as you like!


Longlisted for the National Book Award A Kirkus Prize Finalist A Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book “A must-have”—Booklist (starred review) Celebrated author Carole Boston… View available downloads →