Fall 2024

The Doll Test

Choosing Equality

  • Interest Level: Grade 2 - Grade 5
  • Reading Level: Grade 3

Four dolls.

Two psychologists.

One landmark court case.

During the first half of the twentieth century, schoolchildren in many parts of the United States were segregated—Black children and white children could not legally attend the same schools. In their so-called doll test, pioneering Black psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark investigated the effects of segregation by presenting children with two Black and two white baby dolls. “Show me the doll that you like best,” they said. “Show me the doll that looks like you.”

Their research showed that segregation harmed Black children. When the Brown v. Board of Education case came along to challenge school segregation, Kenneth Clark testified about the doll test. His testimony was compelling, and in 1954, the US Supreme court ultimately declared school segregation illegal.

Narrated by dolls, this book-length poem by acclaimed author Carole Boston Weatherford introduces Kenneth and Mamie Clark and their powerful research to young readers.

Format Your Price Add
On pre-order until 11/05/2024
On pre-order until 11/05/2024
Available at all major wholesalers and distributors. Save 25% off list price on hardcovers and ebooks when you buy direct! Digital purchases will be accessed on Lerner Digital Bookshelf. An account will be created for you after purchase.
Interest Level Grade 2 - Grade 5
Reading Level Grade 3
Genre Picture Books, Social Studies
Category Diverse Books: #OwnVoices, Diverse Books: Race & Ethnicity, Diverse Books: Social Justice, Diversity, SEL: C Social Awareness, Social Emotional Learning
Copyright 2024
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Carolrhoda Books ®
Language English
Number of Pages 32
Publication Date 2024-11-05
Text Type Poetry
BISACS JNF053140, JNF025210, JNF056000
Dewey 370.15
Dimensions 9.25 x 11
Guided Reading Level TBD
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Bibliography/further reading, and Original artwork

Author: Carole Boston Weatherford

Carole Boston Weatherford is the author of numerous award-winning books. Her picture book BOX: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom, illustrated by Michele Wood received a Newbery Honor. Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre, illustrated by the late Floyd Cooper, was a National Book Award longlist title, won the Coretta Scott King Award for author and illustrator, and received a Caldecott Honor and a Sibert Honor. 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: David Elmo Cooper

David Cooper is a multi-media artist and muralist, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors of The Society of Publications Designers (SPD). His work has appeared on book covers, ad campaigns, and editorial publications, such as The New York Times, Print Magazine, and POZ Magazine. David most recently illustrated The New York Times Best Selling children's book, Marcus Makes a Movie, the debut children's book by comedian and actor Kevin Hart.