Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon

by Kelly Starling Lyons (Author) Laura Freeman (Illustrator)

Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

You've seen the building. Now meet the man whose life went into it.

Philip Freelon's grandfather was an acclaimed painter of the Harlem Renaissance. His father was a successful businessman who attended the 1963 March on Washington. When Phil decided to attend architecture school, he created his own focus on African American and Islamic designers. He later chose not to build casinos or prisons, instead concentrating on schools, libraries, and museums--buildings that connect people with heritage and fill hearts with joy. And in 2009, Phil's team won a commission that let him use his personal history in service to the country's: the extraordinary Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon celebrates a contemporary black STEAM role model, a man whose quiet work enabled the creation of an iconic building reflecting America's past and future. With a stirring text by Kelly Starling Lyons, vibrant pictures by Laura Freeman, and an afterword from Philip Freelon himself, it is sure to inspire the next generation of dreamers and builders.

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School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 3—Philip Freelon (1953-2019) was an artist, an architect, and a dreamer. This book begins with a peek into Freelon's childhood. Lyons explores both his strengths and his struggles: his ability to excel at math and science as well as his challenge to learn to read. Lyons discusses her subject's family, including mentions of his siblings, and his mother's and his father's occupations. His grandfather, who was a Harlem Renaissance artist, made a large impact on Freelon. He helped his grandson appreciate the small things in life. The narrative continues through Freelon's high school experience, then follows his college career attending Hampton University and later North Carolina State. Lyons adds several references to the civil rights movement: Freelon watched Dr. King's speech on TV and his father experienced segregation when traveling for business. An interesting page discusses Freelon's research in discovering architects of other cultures and races, many of whom were not part of his higher education curriculum. The author highlights his masterwork as the architect of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. VERDICT Freelon was not as well known as architects Frank Lloyd Wright or Ludwig Mies van der Rohe but hopefully, with the exposure gained from biographies such as Lyons's, his work and life story can inspire young readers to follow in his footsteps.—Erin Olsen, Hunter College Elementary School, NY

Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Kelly Starling Lyons
KELLY STARLING LYONS es fundadora de Brown Bookshelf, artista docente y autora galardonada de libros infantiles. Su misión es destacar el legado de los héroes negros, celebrar la familia, la amistad y la herencia cultural, y mostrar a los niños que todos llevan un narrador dentro. Muchos de sus libros han sido premiados, incluyendo Libro de Honor Caldecott para Going Down Home with Daddy, Libro de Honor Geisel para Ty's Travels: Zip, Zoom, Premio Christopher para Tiara's Hat Parade, lista de mejores libros de Bank Street para Sing a Song: How Lift "Every Voice & Sing" Inspired Generations y selección Junior Library Guild para Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon. También es autora de la popular serie de libros infantiles de Jada Jones.

Chelsea Clinton es hija de Hilary Clinton, presidenciable en la campaña 2016 al Gobierno de Estados Unidos, y de Bill Clinton, el expresidente de los Estados Unidos. Estudió Historia en la Universidad de Standford. Tiene, también, un MPH de la Escuela Mailman de Salud Pública de Columbia y un doctorado en Relaciones Internacionales de la Universidad de Oxford. Actualmente es vicepresidenta de la Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation donde lidera iniciativas y proyectos relacionados con la mejora de la salud mundial, el incremento de oportunidades para las niñas y las mujeres, la reducción de la obesidad infantil y enfermedades prevenibles, la creación de lugares de trabajo y la formación de la nueva generación de líderes mundiales.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Lee & Low Books
Publication date
January 20, 2020
BISAC categories
JNF018010 - Juvenile Nonfiction | People & Places | United States - African-American
JNF007090 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Science & Technology
JNF005000 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Architecture
Library of Congress categories
United States
Freelon, Philip G
African American architects

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