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Cover for The Highest Tribute

The Highest Tribute

Thurgood Marshall’s Life, Leadership, and Legacy

Kekla Magoon, Laura Freeman (Illustrator)


List Price: 17.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (1/3/2023)


A brilliant picture book biography about Thurgood Marshall, who fought for equality during the Civil Rights Movement and served as the first Black justice on the Supreme Court, from Coretta Scott King Honor winners Kekla Magoon and Laura Freeman.

Growing up in Baltimore, Thurgood Marshall could see that things weren’t fair. The laws said that Black and white people couldn’t use the same schools, parks, or water fountains.

When Thurgood had to read the Constitution as punishment for a prank at school, his eyes were opened. It was clear to him that Jim Crow laws were wrong, and he was willing to do whatever it took to change them.

His determination to make sure all Americans were treated equally led him to law school and then the NAACP, where he argued cases like Brown v. Board of Education in front of the Supreme Court. But to become a Justice on the highest court in the land, Thurgood had to make space for himself every step of the way.

Readers will be inspired by Kekla Magoon’s concise text and Laura Freeman’s luminous illustrations, which bring Thurgood Marshall’s incredible legacy and achievements to life.

* An SLJ Best Book of the Year * A Bank Street Best Book of the Year * A Jane Addams Children's Book Award Finalist * A Texas Topaz Nonfiction Selection * Wisconsin State Reading Association’s 2022 Picture This Recommendation List*

Praise For The Highest Tribute: Thurgood Marshall’s Life, Leadership, and Legacy

“Will serve to empower children who feel as powerless as Thurgood Marshall once felt.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“The crystal-clear and accessible text, focusing on essential cases in the career of “Mr. Civil Rights,” does justice to the Justice.” — Horn Book (starred review)

“An appealing read about a Black figure who had a large and lasting impact on U.S. law.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Short, straight-to-the-facts sentences, accessible to newly independent readers, are equally effective for group readalouds, and the stately cadence of the narration is matched by Freeman’s digital artwork.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

"A handsome, well-organized account of Marshall’s life and work." — Booklist

Quill Tree Books, 9780062912510, 40pp.

Publication Date: January 5, 2021

About the Author

Kekla Magoon is the author of twelve novels, including The Rock and the River, How It Went Down, X: A Novel (with Ilyasah Shabazz), and the Robyn Hoodlum Adventure series. She has received an NAACP Image Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the John Steptoe New Talent Award, three Coretta Scott King Honors, The Walter Award Honor, and the In the Margins Award, and she has been long listed for the National Book Award. She teaches writing for children and young adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Visit her online at 

Laura Freeman received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City and began her career illustrating for various editorial clients. Laura has illustrated many fine children’s books over the years, including Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer Ann Cole Lowe, written by Deborah Blumenthal, and the Coretta Scott King Honor Book Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race, by Margot Lee Shetterly. Laura now lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and their two children. Find out more about Laura at