Algonquin Young Readers African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History
Algonquin Young Readers African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History

African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History

By Tracey Baptiste


Publication Date: January 2, 2024

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Ages 10 to 14, Grades 5 to 9

“In African Icons, Baptiste engages in the hard work of unveiling the myths about the African continent to young readers . . . This is a great beginner’s guide to pre-colonial Africa.”

—Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning and How to Be an Antiracist


Meet ten real-life kings, queens, inventors, scholars, and visionaries who lived in Africa thousands of years ago and changed the world. 

Black history begins thousands of years ago with the many cultures and people of the African continent. Through portraits of ten heroic figures, bestselling author Tracey Baptiste takes readers on an empowering, energetic journey through time to meet some of the great leaders and thinkers whose vision built nations and shaped the course of history. Menes: Creator of Dynasties Merneith: A Queen Erased Imhotep: From Peasant to God Aesop: The Wisest Man in the Ancient World Hannibal Barca: Unparalleled Military Strategist Terence: North African Playwright Amanirenas: Warrior, Diplomat, Queen Tin Hinan: Founder of a City on the Dunes Mansa Musa: The Richest Man of All Time Queen Idia: Kingmaker

Illustrator Hillary D. Wilson's brilliant portraits accompany each profile, along with vivid, information-filled landscapes, maps, and graphics for readers to pore over and return to again and again. This rich and thrilling work, which celebrates Black excellence and provides an essential correction to Eurocentric tellings of history, will enthrall readers of all ages.

About the Author

Tracey Baptiste, a former educator, lived in Trinidad until she was fifteen. She is also the author of the acclaimed Jumbie series and the New York Times bestseller Minecraft: The Crash, as well as the pictures books Looking for a Jumbie and Mermaid and Pirate. Visit her online at and on Twitter: @TraceyBaptiste.

Format: Paperback

Length: 176 pages

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Publication Date: January 2, 2024

ISBN: 9781523525706

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