As Fast As Words Could Fly

By Pamela Tuck
Illustrated by Eric Velasquez

Hardcover: out of stock

Six Pack: $65.70

Paperback: $10.95

Young Mason Steele takes pride in turning his father’s excited ramblings about the latest civil rights incidents into handwritten business letters. One day Pa comes home with a gift from his civil rights group: a typewriter. Thrilled with the present, Mason spends all his spare time teaching himself to type. Soon he knows where every letter on the keyboard is located.

When the civil rights group wins a school desegregation case, Mason learns that now he will be attending a formerly all-white high school. Despite his fears and injustice from the students and faculty, Mason perseveres. He does well in school—especially in his typing class. And when he competes in the county typing tournament, Mason decides to take a stand, using his skills to triumph over prejudice and break racial barriers.

Winner of Lee & Low’s New Voices Award, As Fast As Words Could Fly is an inspiring testament to the power of hard work, determination, and belief in yourself to overcome life’s challenges.

Read Aloud with actor Dulé Hill, created and provided by Storyline Online, an interactive children's literacy website of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation sponsored by the Entertainment Industry Foundation.

Read an interview with Pamela M. Tuck's father, Moses Teel Jr., here.
Download the interview in PDF



About the Creators

Thumb_thumb Pamela Tuck - Author

gets her love of storytelling from her grandfather, whose “jaw-dropping, eye-popping” stories enchanted her as a child. She began writing poetry in elementary school, then later ventured into writing short stories and plays. Tuck was inspired to write As Fast As Words Could Fly by her father’s experiences growing up in the 1960s in a family of civil rights activists. Tuck won Lee & Low’s New Voices Award for the manuscript for As Fast As Words Could Fly, her first picture book. She lives in Boyertown, Pennsylvania, with her husband and their children.

Thumb_thumb Eric Velasquez

has illustrated numerous award-winning books for children, and has authored some picture books as well. Among the awards he has received for his work are the Pura Belpré Illustrator Award, the Carter G. Woodson Award, an NAACP Image Award, and the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent. When not illustrating book projects, Velasquez teaches book illustration at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. He lives in Hartsdale, New York.

About This Title


Hardcover: 9781600603488

Six Pack: 9781620148617

Paperback: 9781620148594


New Voices Award Winner

Teacher's Choices
International Reading Association (IRA)

Diverse and Impressive Children's Books of 2013
International Reading Association (IRA)

Land of Enchantment Book Award Masterlist
New Mexico Library Association

Martin Luther King Jr. "Living the Dream" Book Award
Manhattan Country School

Show Me Readers Nominee
Missouri Association of School Librarians

Skipping Stones Honor Award
Skipping Stones Magazine

Story Telling World Award
Storytelling Magazine

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Guided Reading:




Interest Level:

Grades 2 - 7

Reading Level:

Grades 3 - 4


United States History, Identity/Self Esteem/Confidence, Overcoming Obstacles, History, Heroism, Dreams & Aspirations, Discrimination, Conflict resolution, Civil Rights Movement, Childhood Experiences and Memories, African/African American Interest, Informational Text, Integrity/Honesty , Leadership, Optimism/Enthusiasm, Persistence/Grit, Respect/Citizenship, Self Control/Self Regulation

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