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Major Taylor, Champion Cyclist

Illustrated by James E. Ransome

Marshall Taylor could ride his bike forward, backward, even perched on the handlebars. When his stunts landed him a job at the famous Indiana bike shop Hay and Willits, folks were amazed that a thirteen-year-old black boy in 1891 could be such a crackerjack cyclist.
How little Marshall Taylor -- through dedication, undeniable talent, and daring speed -- transformed himself into the extraordinary Major Taylor is chronicled in this inspiring biography. Here is the story of a kid who turned pro at the age of eighteen, went on to win the world championship title just three years later, and battled racism and the odds to become a true American hero.

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Lesa Cline-Ransome is the author of many award-winning and critically acclaimed nonfiction books for young readers, including Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams; My Story, My Dance: Robert Battle’s Journey to Alvin Ailey; and Before She Was Harriet. She is also the author of the novel Finding Langston, which received a Coretta Scott King Honor Award and five starred reviews. She lives in the Hudson Valley region of New York. Learn more at LesaClineRansome.com

Photograph courtesy of author

James E. Ransome’s highly acclaimed illustrations for Before She Was Harriet received the 2018 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor. His other award-winning titles include the Coretta Scott King winner The Creation; Coretta Scott King Honor Book Uncle Jed’s Barbershop; Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt; and Let My People Go, winner of the NAACP Image Award. He frequently collaborates with his wife, author Lesa Cline-Ransome. One of their recent titles is Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams, which received four starred reviews and was an ALA Notable Children’s Book. James is a professor and coordinator of the MFA Illustration Graduate Program at Syracuse University. He lives in New York’s Hudson River Valley region with his family. Visit James at JamesRansome.com.

  • Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee (IN)
  • Emphasis On Reading Program Master List (AL)
  • Kansas NEA Reading Circle List Intermediate Title
  • Capital Choices Noteworthy Books for Children's and Teens (DC)
  • Golden Sower Award Nominee (NE)
  • KC3 Award Master List Nominee (MO)

More books from this author: Lesa Cline-Ransome

More books from this illustrator: James E. Ransome