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Step Right up

Step Right up

How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness

Book - 2016 | First edition
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William "Doc" Key had a special way with animals. Growin up an enslaved child in Tennessee, Doc was sent to plantations around the state to care for sick and wounded animals. When the Civil War ended and Doc was freed, he began to dream of breeding a winning racehorse. But those dreams were dashed when his colt was born weak and sickly. Although many people would have euthanized the colt, Doc nursed him back to health and named him Jim. Noticing a level curiousity and eagerness in the horse, Doc began teaching Beautiful Jim Key first to recognize letters, then to read, write, add, subtract, and more. Doc soon took his talented horse on the road, spreading a message of patience and kindness, over cruelty, to all animals. With striking illustrations by Daniel Minter, Step Right Up is the inspiring story of one man and one horse who showed the world the power of kindness. -- From
Publisher: New York, NY : Lee & Low Books Inc., [2016]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781620141489
Call Number: j BIO 179.3 KEY 2016
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations ; 29 cm
Additional Contributors: Minter, Daniel - Illustrator


From Library Staff

This clumsy colt grew into a national sensation who toured the country reading, spelling, and predicting elections!

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Jun 18, 2021

A story of kindness and of an inter-species collaboration. The question of whether Jim Key, the horse, could really do all the things that Doc Key claimed will spark debate, but the core message is irrefutable. One should treat all beings, regardless of race or of species, with care. Doc Key is rarely mentioned in the history of the animal rights movement in America. This book is a great way to introduce to kids the value of kindness to animals while also teaching anti-racism by telling the story of an African American figure to lead a movement.


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