The 1619 Project: Born on the Water

by Nikole Hannah-Jones (Author) Nikkolas Smith (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

The 1619 Project's lyrical picture book in verse chronicles the consequences of slavery and the history of Black resistance in the United States, thoughtfully rendered by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and Newbery honor-winning author Renée Watson.

A young student receives a family tree assignment in school, but she can only trace back three generations. Grandma gathers the whole family, and the student learns that 400 years ago, in 1619, their ancestors were stolen and brought to America by white slave traders. But before that, they had a home, a land, a language. She learns how the people said to be born on the water survived. And the people planted dreams and hope, willed themselves to keepliving, living. And the people learned new wordsfor lovefor friendfor family for joyfor growfor home.

With powerful verse and striking illustrations by Nikkolas Smith, Born on the Water provides a pathway for readers of all ages to reflect on the origins of American identity.

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Starred Review
A gift to Black Americans and everyone else who reads it.
Nikole Hannah-Jones
Nikole Hannah-Jones es una periodista ganadora del Premio Pulitzer que escribe sobre las injusticias raciales para el New York Times Magazine y es la creadora del emblemático El Proyecto 1619. En el 2017, ella recibió una beca universitaria del MacArthur Foundation. Ella también ha ganado el premio Peabody, dos premios George Polk, tres premios del National Magazine, y el Premio distinguido de periodismo John Chancellor de la Universidad de Columbia en 2018. En el 2016, Nikole cofundó la Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting (la Sociedad Ida Wells para Reportaje Investigativo).

Renée Watson es una autora bestseller del New York Times. Su novela juvenil Piecing Me Together recibió un Premio de Honor Newbery y un Premio Coretta Scott King. Sus libros para niños incluyen Harlem's Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills y Ways to Make Sunshine. Renée está en el consejo de escritores del National Writing Project (Proyecto Nacional de Escritura) y es una miembro del consejo asesor educativo del Academy of American Poets (la Academia Estadounidense de Poetas). Para más información, visite

Nikkolas Smith es un artivista, un autor de libros para niños, y un ilustrador para películas de Hollywood. El es el autor-ilustrador de The Golden Girls of Rio, My Hair is Poofy & That's Okay y World Cup Women. Muchos de sus bocetos virales han sido compartidos por todo el mundo y han sido incluidos en Sunday Sketch: The Art of Nikkolas. Nikkolas habla sobre el artivismo por todo el mundo, facilitando talleres de pintura digital, personaje y diseño de carteles de película. Para más información, visite
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
November 20, 2021
BISAC categories
JNF018010 - Juvenile Nonfiction | People & Places | United States - African-American
JNF025190 - Juvenile Nonfiction | History | United States/Colonial & Revolutionary
JNF069000 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Diversity & Multicultural
Library of Congress categories
ALSC Notable Children's Book
Selection 2022

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