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The 1619 Project: Born on the Water Hardcover – Unabridged, Nov. 16 2021

4.9 4.9 out of 5 stars 2,951 ratings

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From the Publisher





1619 born on the water
The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story The 1619 Project: Born on the Water
Books from The 1619 Project: A dramatic expansion of a groundbreaking work of journalism, The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story offers a profoundly revealing vision of the American past and present. The 1619 Project’s picture book in verse chronicles the consequences of slavery and the history of Black resistance in the U.S., by Pulitzer Prize-winner Nikole Hannah-Jones, Newbery honor-winner Renée Watson, and illustrations by Nikkolas Smith.

Product description


An Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller 
An NPR Best Book of 2021
A TIME Magazine Best Children's Book of 2021
A Barnes & Noble Book of the Year finalist 
A Barnes & Noble Best Picture Book of 2021
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2021
A School Library Journal Best Nonfiction Book of 2021 
A New York Public Library Best Book for Kids 2021
An Evanston Public Library Great Book for Kids 2021: Poetry
A Chicago Public Library Best Informational Book for Older Readers of 2021
A News
& Observer Best Book of 2021
An American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL) Blog Best Book of 2021
An Amazon Best of November: Ages 6-8 of 2021 
An Amazon Best children’s book of 2021: Ages 6 to 8
A 2022 ILA Notable Books for a Global Society Award Winner 
A “022 Irma S. Black Award Silver Medalist

A 2022 Bank Street College The Best Children’s Books of the Year 
A 2022 AAMBC Literary Award Nominee
A 2022 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award for Children’s Poetry Winner 
A 2022 NCTE/CLA Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts Award Winner 
A 2022 SDUSMP Phillis Wheatley Book Award Winner 
A Seattle’s Child Best Book of 2022
A King County Library System Best Children's Book of 2022
A 2022 Cybils Award Winner (blog) 
An American Library Association 2022 Notable Children's Book
A 2021 Black Caucus of the American Library Association Best of the Best 
A 2022 NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book 
An Indiana Read Aloud Selection 
A Maine Student Book Award Selection 
A Rhode Island Children’s Book Award Selection 
A Capitol Choices (DC) Master List Title 
A Volunteer State (TN) Book Award Selection 


"A gift to Black Americans and everyone else who reads it." ―
Kirkus Reviews,starred review

"Black history is not merely a story of slavery and suffering but one of perseverance and hope." ―Publisher's Weekly, starred review

"A stunning work, providing a glimpse into the history of the Black experience before and after the slave trade; the poetic language and breathtaking artwork will have a lasting effect on readers." ―School Library Journal,starred review

"Written in lovely and loving verse, with dynamic, expressive, and expansive illustrations that convey the emotional journey of a resilient people, this book provides a moving, informative answer to an essential question." ―
Horn Book, starred review

About the Author

Nikole Hannah-Jones is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter covering racial injustice for The New York Times Magazine and creator of the landmark 1619 Project. In 2017, she received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, known as the Genius Grant, for her work on educational inequality. She has also won a Peabody Award, two George Polk Awards, three National Magazine Awards, and the 2018 John Chancellor distinguished journalism award from Columbia University. In 2016, Nikole co-founded the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, a training and mentorship organization geared towards increasing the numbers of investigative reporters of color.
Renée Watson is a New York Times bestselling author. Her young adult novel, Piecing Me Together (Bloomsbury, 2017) received a Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Award. Her books for young readers include Harlem's Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award, and Ways to Make Sunshine, which received the SCBWI Golden Kite Award. She has given readings and lectures at many renown places including the United Nations, the Library of Congress, and the U.S. Embassy in Japan and New Zealand. Renée is on the Council of Writers for the National Writing Project and is a member of the Academy of American Poets’ Education Advisory Council. Renée grew up in Portland, Oregon, and splits her time between Portland and New York City. To learn more about Renée’s work, visit her at

Nikkolas Smith is a Houston, Texas-born Artivist, picture book author, and Hollywood film illustrator. He is the author/illustrator of The Golden Girls of Rio, nominated for an NAACP Image Award, My Hair Is Poofy And That’s Okay, and World Cup Women. As a Black illustrator, Nikkolas is focused on creating captivating art that can spark important conversations around social justice in today’s world and inspire meaningful change. Many of his viral, globally shared and published sketches are included in his book Sunday Sketch: The Art of Nikkolas. Nikkolas also speaks on his Artivism at conferences, workplaces, and schools around the world, and leads workshops in digital painting, character, and movie poster design. He lives in Los Angeles, California. Learn more here: 

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kokila; Unabridged edition (Nov. 16 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 48 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593307356
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593307359
  • Item weight ‏ : ‎ 397 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 23.98 x 0.86 x 23.83 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.9 4.9 out of 5 stars 2,951 ratings

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Antonio Longo
5.0 out of 5 stars Un viaggio attraverso l’anima
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 17, 2021
I received this book for a 5-year-old and read it aloud. There are several pages that made me choke up with emotion and tears. Beautiful artwork accompanies this well told story. Please be ready to answer questions, and especially after tears. This is not an immigrant story.
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Lisa Agostino
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, powerful!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Children's Book Every White Adult Should Read
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 20, 2022
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Children's Book Every White Adult Should Read
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 20, 2022
If you’re interested in understanding history and/or CRT, then I have a challenge for you. Would you consider reading a children’s book to become a more informed citizen?

"The 1619 Project: Born on the Water" was written by Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of The 1619 Project, and Renée Watson, a New York Times best-selling author.

It’s a picture book filled from cover to cover with beautifully illustrated scenes by Black artist/activist Nikkolas Smith. His art is intended to spark conversations around social justice and inspire positive change in the world. I've included

The 1619 Project: Born on the Water is framed by a homework assignment on family origins given to a young African American girl. She tries to do the assignment but becomes stuck tracing her family history any further back than three generations. It falls to her grandmother to share the history of her family prior to that, and it’s Grandma’s story that fills the pages of the book.

Grandma starts her family’s story over 400 years ago calling to mind what life was like before slavery. Hannah-Jones and Watson write the grandmother’s words and effectively weave a vivid tapestry of culture stolen and heritage interrupted.

By keeping the focus on a specific small group strangers kidnapped near the same time and shipped to Virginia, the reader is reminded that those who were kidnapped were humans thriving in their families, living in community, and embedded in their own culture.

The authors accurately identify the kidnappers and slave owners as white people. And I realize this could cause some white people to become defensive, but it’s the truth. And it’s a truth we must face if we are ever to move beyond the racism baked into our society. We are grownups. It’s time.

I read this book to my husband this morning, and as I expected, it included information we were never taught in public school. There comes a point in our lives where we have to take responsibility for filling in the gaps of our education—especially around the history of our own country.

Being educated in public school meant we learned a white-washed history intended to instill a sense of patriotism and pride. This was accomplished not only by what they taught but—even more so—what they did NOT teach.

Even though The 1619 Project: Born on the Water is a children’s picture book, I highly recommend it as a GREAT starting point for anyone who wants to understand the basic premise of CRT; anyone who loves history; and anyone who is on their own personal DEI journey and/or reckoning with the history of slavery in the United States. It’s a book every white person should read. Full stop.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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39 people found this helpful