Major Taylor, Champion Cyclist

Illustrated by James E. Ransome
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About The Book

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.

About The Author

Photograph courtesy of author

Lesa Cline-Ransome is the author of many books for children, including My Story, My Dance: Robert Battle & Journey to Alvin Ailey, which was an ALA Notable Book, an IRA Notable Book for a Global Society, and an NCTE Orbis Pictus Recommended title for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children; Satchel Paige, an ALA Notable Book and a Top 10 Sports Book for Youth; and Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglass, which The New York Times Book Review called, “visceral, intimate, and plainly told, this story is sure to move young children, and also motivate them to read more.” Her books were all illustrated by her husband, James E. Ransome. A graduate of the Pratt Institute, she holds a master’s degree in early childhood and elementary education from NYU. She lives with her family in upstate New York. Visit her at LesaClineRansome.com.

About The Illustrator

Photograph courtesy of author

James E. Ransome’s highly acclaimed illustrations for Before She Was Harriett received the 2018 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor. His other award-winning titles include Coretta Scott King Honor Book Uncle Jed’s BarbershopSweet 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. Some of their titles include Game Changers: The Story of Venus Serena Williams, which received four starred reviews; My Story, My Dance: Robert Battle’s Journey to Alvin Ailey; and Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglass. Mr. Ransome teaches illustration at Pratt Institute and lives in upstate New York with his family. Visit James at JamesRansome.com.

Awards and Honors

  • Young Hoosier Book Award Master List (IN)
  • Emphasis On Reading Program Master List (AL)
  • Kansas State Reading Circle List Intermediate Title
  • Capitol Choices List (DC)
  • Golden Sower Masterlist (NE)
  • KC3 Award Master List Nominee (MO)

Resources and Downloads

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More books from this author: Lesa Cline-Ransome

More books from this illustrator: James E. Ransome