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Langston's Train Ride

Langston's Train Ride

by Robert Burleigh Illustrated by Leonard Jenkins

Clackety clack clack clack...
Can you hear the rhythm of the train?

Langston Hughes did. Traveling to see his father in 1920, as he listened to the sounds of the train — metal on metal, wheels on rails — Hughes's imagination took flight. On that ride, he was inspired to write his first famous 1921 poem, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers."

This book describes how the twentieth-century African American poet Langston Hughes affirms his vocation as a writer throughout the composition of his famous 1921 poem "The Negro Speaks of Rivers."

Robert Burleigh's inspiring story captures the magical moment when Langston Hughes came to believe in himself as a writer. With bold, striking illustrations by Leonard Jenkins, here is a book for any young person with a dream.

Perfect for classroom poetry unit use and to celebrate Black History Month!

8, 9, 10
Interest Level
Grades 3 - 5
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading
Book Type
Read-Aloud Book
Biography and Autobiography

About the Author and Illustrator

Robert Burleigh Robert Burleigh has been a teacher, social worker, and mental health worker. Robert currently resides in Chicago, where he enjoys writing and creating art.
Leonard Jenkins

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