The Undefeated

By Kwame Alexander, illus. Kadir Nelson (Andersen Press)

The Undefeated By Kwame Alexander, illus. Kadir Nelson

Harry's review
Jack Johnson was my favourite because he was a boxer. Black people were servants for white people and it was very sad. I learned about slavery.

Lucie's review
The book was about never giving up and not to be racist. It also taught me that people can make a big change. The book is suitable for everybody. I would recommend it because everyone needs to learn not to be racist. 

Gracie's review
I liked Jesse Owens because he was a winner and a medallist in the Olympics. I learned something new about the past in that black people were treated like servants. I think the book was sad and heart shattering. In my opinion in the book the pictures stood out the most. I learnt the word undefeated. There is one thing that I did not like about the book that is that black people get treated badly.

Poppy's review
The book is about fighting and never giving up. Black lives matter. I learned to always remember and to celebrate. I would give the book 6/10

Lucas's review
The book was about black people in the past and how they survived and struggled. It told me that black lives matter. I would recommend it to everyone in my school and I will recommend that my friends read it.

Kasey's review
The character I lied the most is the boxer because he is strong and he might be fighting and black lives matter. The black people and treated unfairly and as unequal people. The black people were servants and that was not ok.

Polly's review
This book is important. It is an extraordinary read which challenged me to think about the things which have gone wrong in the world. It made me realise that there are still things to do to make the world better, to stop the suffering from suffering. The language and illustrations work together to make the message even more powerful.

I won’t forget this poem and hope that we can all work together to move forward.

Isabella's review
The Undefeated is a book based on a poem about different types of people who do all different things like surviving tough times, being champions and fighting for their rights.

The characters that are my favourite are the black family trying to survive and wondering what things they had to do to survive and what they got treated like. 

There wasn’t anything I didn’t like in the whole book because all the people are great, awesome and amazing by who they are and what they did.

I learnt that anyone with the right encouragement can become what they want and that everyone’s capable of anything if they just believe in themselves. 

This book interests me most because of the ordinary people who believed in themselves and did great things in the world when others didn’t take a stand.  For example – some reached their goals and set new ones to push themselves and showed that they are just as important as us.

What stands out to me is the people who don’t care what others think can reach their goals if they try hard.

I most definitely recommend this book to other pupils around the ages of 7+ that way they don’t get confused about they are on about.  It would probably make more sense to 7+ children. 

It’s a great book and is very, very inspiring and I hope that, like me, others will be inspired by the great people inside the book and the knowledge that they will be able to pass on after reading it.

Charlotte's review
This book is important because it makes us remember the dreadful suffering and the amazing achievements of black people across history. The powerful 'un' words and the illustrations work together. The book impacts massively, mentally and physically. When my teacher and I listened to the author read his poem, his passion made our spines tingle. We won’t forget this book.

Lydia's review
The book ‘The Undefeated’ is about a tribute to African Americans throughout American history, from the time of being captured and brought to America in cargo ships.

The poem forms a celebration at who survived slavery and to those who did not.

I recommend this book from ages 8+ because some of the sentences or verses may be hard to understand and get your mind around.  And I would rate it 10/10 because it is an excellent way to remember those who were treated badly as slaves.

Marissa's review
It’s really inspiring and it really encouraged me to follow my dreams.  t is kind of powerful and made me want to search up who some of those people are. It is really good to see a book that shows black lives matter so thoughtfully. I think it’s most suitable for Year 5 age and I would highly recommend it. 

Isabelle's review
This book is important because it raises awareness of Black Lives Matter. It tells readers about suffering, as well as celebrating achieving goals.

I love the repetition of the 'un' words in the poem. The powerful words and illustrations, including an unexpected blank page, which made my teacher’s spine tingle, together add tension to the poem. 

I will not forget reading this poem and listening to the author read it to me.

Taz's review
This book is important because it made me more aware of black history and how important it is to remember. The illustrations complement the words, adding to the power and emotion. The repetition of un, is forceful and the different fonts and sizes made me hear things differently as I read.

I read the book and then watched the author read it. His passion really had an impact on me. It made me realise all the appalling things that have happened to black people across history. I hope we can all work together to change things.

Damian's review
The book is filled with wonder. It was about characters who was strong and they are in different places. They are in the aum and other Places. This book tells us the story of famous black people there brave and there are different characters in this book.

I had a Favourite has LeBron S James. I liked it because [of the] Pictures. It was sad when it said the ones who died.

Star Ratings 4 stars

Levi's review
This book is important because of what happened across history. The suffering and the survival of black people. The heroes who survived are amazing; the unstoppable dreamers who made history, like President Obama. The unlimited, unstoppable who had to push themselves harder to succeed.  The illustrations add a powerful punch to the words, I will not forget the blank page which added to the power.

I listened to Kwame read the poem. I felt sad that such things should happen to people because of their skin colour. I asked myself why? I felt his anger about how black people have been treated. I will think carefully about how I treat people in the future.

Sophia's review
My favourite characters (although they are not really characters they are real people) are all the black people who risked their lives for equality. 

The most interesting person is Rosa Parks because she did a brave, but simple thing that caused huge change.

I learnt that even though we should all be the same, people are all treated differently which is not right.

The book was very serious and it sent out a nice message.

The thing that most stands out is that even though they went through a lot, they did not give up.

I would recommend it because it is very interesting to learn things from a black person’s point of view.

Ayaan's review

  • Did you enjoy the book? Yes. It told us about Black History.
  • Which of the characters did you find most interesting? Why? Muhammad Ali. He is my favourite boxer.
  • Which of the characters (if any) you did not like. Why? I like all of the characters because they were unforgettable.
  • Was the plot exciting, thought-provoking, serious or light-hearted (or any mixture of these)? Exciting. There were famous people in the book.
  • What most stands out for you from the book? The famous people.
  • Would you recommend it to other children? Yes.

Jessica's review

  • Which of the characters did you find most interesting? Why? Jesse Owens because he won 4 gold medals in 1936 Berlin Olympics. He was considered the fastest man alive during his lifetime.
  • Which of the characters (if any) you did not like. Why? Jessica liked all the characters because they are all smiley.
  • Did you learn anything? She learned that not all people were treated the same. She also learned that skin colour mattered in the past.
  • Was the plot exciting, thought-provoking, serious or light-hearted (or any mixture of these)? Jessica found the book serious and it made her think about cruel humans can be to other humans.
  • What most stands out for you from the book? The thing that stands out the most is 23 year old Tamir Rice who was shot and killed for playing with a toy gun. This upset Jessica because her brother Charlie is 12. She would miss him very much.
  • What did you find interesting? Jessica found the time interesting because it’s a time she hasn’t lived in.
  • Would you recommend it to other children? Yes because it’s good to learn about history. No because it’s quite upsetting in parts of the book.
  • Did you learn any new words? Jessica learned lots of new words. She looked up the meaning in the dictionary. Undeniable, audacious, righteous.
  • Did you enjoy the book? Jessica enjoyed the book a lot but the unspeakable section in the book upset her. Jessica knows it is good to learn about the upsetting parts of history.

Joshua's review

  • Which of the characters did you find most interesting? Why? Joshua said he liked the boxer best as he is strong.
  • Which of the characters (if any) you did not like. Why? He said he liked all of the characters.
  • Did you learn anything? Joshua asked what a nun is. He noticed that the clothes the characters are wearing were from long ago.
  • What did you find interesting/enjoyable? Joshua enjoyed all the pictures but did struggle to understand the plot. Joshua liked the smiling faces at the end.
  • Did you enjoy the book? Joshua liked the book.
  • Were there any parts you didn't like? No, Joshua said he liked it all.

Safwan's review

  • Did you enjoy the book? Yes. It talked about Black people standing up for equality.
  • Which of the characters did you find most interesting? Why? Muhammad Ali and Lebron. They were influential Black people in helping people become equal.
  • Which of the characters (if any) you did not like. Why? I did not dislike any characters.
  • What made the history or the time it was set in interesting to you? Black people stood up for their rights.
  • Was the plot exciting, thought-provoking, serious or light-hearted (or any mixture of these)? Thought-provoking and serious.
  • What most stands out for you from the book? Muhammad Ali and Lebron and the fights they had.
  • Would you recommend it to other children? Yes. You can find out a lot.
  • Did you learn any new words or facts as a result of the story? Yes. Doer.

Yusrah's review

  • Did you enjoy the book? Explain your answer if it is yes or no. Yes. It told you lots of facts about people and things that happened in the past and what you have to do to make the world a better place.
  • Which of the characters did you find most interesting? Why? All of them. You found out what they did to make black lives matter.
  • Which of the characters (if any) you did not like. Why? There were no characters I did not like because all of them were good people who did cool things.
  • What made the history or the time it was set in interesting to you? I got to know about the good things and bad things that happened in the past.
  • Was the plot exciting, thought-provoking, serious or light-hearted (or any mixture of these)? I think it was emotional, both sad and happy because bad things and good things happened.
  • What most stands out for you from the book? Where it said Black Live Matter.
  • Would you recommend it to other children? Yes. It tells children with these problems to rise up and never give up.
  • Did you learn any new words or facts as a result of the story? I learnt some facts about new people and what they did.


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