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Michigan State University

African American Studies Research Guide: Literature, Juvenile

New Titles Ordered for The Children's and Young Adult Collection, A-K

The titles listed below -- unless otherwise indicated -- are located in the Children's and Young Adult Collection on 2 West, next to the Red Cedar Instruction Room.   Want to find more?  Click here to review all the titles in the Children's and Young Adult Collection.   Additional titles are also located in Special Collections (see the Special Collections tab), but they cannot be checked out.

28 days

28 Days : Moments in Black History that Changed the World / Charles R. Smith Jr.  Roaring Brook Press, ©2015.  56pp.  picture E185 .A5812  : Smith tells readers in an author's note that he has "always had a love-hate relationship with Black History Month." Together with Evans, he presents 28 brief descriptions of crucial people or events in black history, ranging from 1770 to the present. Text formats include poetry, quotations, eulogies, and plays on numbers (a countdown recognizes astronauts Guion Bluford and Mae Jemison). The poetry stands out for its use of concrete form (the poem about tennis players Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe bounces across the page) and its wordplay (singer Marian Anderson's poem incorporates one of her best-known songs). Expanding on Evans's highly textured Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom (Roaring Brook, 2011) and other works, the collage-style art matches line and color palettes to the mood of each event (for example, Martin Luther King Jr. is shown speaking against a background of outward-expanding lines of yellows and oranges). The physical book sometimes becomes part of the illustration, as when the gutter separates a black family from a white one on the pages about the separate but equal doctrine, and the boundaries between words and pictures are sometimes blurred, as when Jackie Robinson literally hits words such as inequality and prejudice out of the park. A final 29th day challenges readers to make history for themselves, and a bibliography invites further exploration. Highly recommended as a reference book, an example of poetic forms, and a work of art.—Jill Ratzan, I. L. Peretz Community Jewish School, Somerset, NJ


Back of the Bus

Back of the Bus / Aaron Reynolds ; illustrated by Floyd Cooper.  New York : Philomel Books, c2010.  picture PZ7.R33213 Bac 2010 : It seems like any other winter day in Montgomery, Alabama. Mama and child are riding where they're supposed to -- way in the back of the bus. The boy passes the time by watching his marble roll up and down the aisle with the motion of the bus, until from way up front a big commotion breaks out. He can't see what's going on, but he can see the policeman arrive outside and he can see Mama's chin grow strong."There you go, Rosa Parks," she says, "stirrin' up a nest of hornets. Tomorrow all this'll be forgot." But they both know differently. With childlike words and powerful illustrations, Aaron Reynolds and Coretta Scott King medalist Floyd Cooper recount Rosa Parks' act of defiance through the eyes of a child -- who will never forget.

Bad news for outlaws : the remarkable life of Bass Reeves, deputy U.S. marshal

Bad news for outlaws : the remarkable life of Bass Reeves, deputy U.S. marshal / Vaunda Micheaux Nelson ; illustrations by R. Gregory Christie.  Minneapolis : Carolrhoda Books, ©2009.  52pp.  picture F697.R44 N45 2009 : Sitting tall in the saddle, with a wide-brimmed black hat and twin Colt pistols on his belt, Bass Reeves seemed bigger than life. Outlaws feared him. Law-abiding citizens respected him. As a peace officer, he was cunning and fearless. When a lawbreaker heard Bass Reeves had his warrant, he knew it was the end of the trail, because Bass always got his man, dead or alive. He achieved all this in spite of whites who didn’t like the notion of a black lawman. Born into slavery in 1838, Bass had a hard and violent life, but he also had a strong sense of right and wrong that others admired. When Judge Isaac Parker tried to bring law and order to the lawless Indian Territories, he chose Bass to be a Deputy U.S. Marshal. Bass would quickly prove a smart choice. For three decades, Bass was the most feared and respected lawman in the territories. He made more than 3,000 arrests, and though he was a crack shot and a quick draw, he only killed fourteen men in the line of duty. The story of Bass Reeves is the story of a remarkable African American and a remarkable hero of the Old West.

Before She was Harriet

Before She was Harriet / Lisa Cline-Ransome. Holiday House, 2017. 32pp. On order. : We know her today as Harriet Tubman, but in her lifetime she was called by many names. As General Tubman she was a Union spy. As Moses she led hundreds to freedom on the Underground Railroad. As Minty she was a slave whose spirit could not be broken. An evocative poem and opulent watercolors come together to honor a woman of humble origins whose courage and compassion make her larger than life. Grade Level: 1 - 2

Birmingham, 1963

Birmingham, 1963 / Carole Boston Weatherford.  Honesdale, Pa. : Wordsong, [2007]  39pp.  picture PS3623.E2375 B57 2007 : A poetic tribute to the victims of the racially motivated church bombing that served as a seminal event in the struggle for civil rights. In 1963, the eyes of the world were on Birmingham, Alabama, a flashpoint for the civil rights movement. Birmingham was one of the most segregated cities in the United States. Civil rights demonstrators were met with police dogs and water cannons. On Sunday, September 15, 1963, members of the Ku Klux Klan planted sticks of dynamite at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, which served as a meeting place for civil rights organizers. The explosion killed four little girls. Their murders shocked the nation and turned the tide in the struggle for equality. A Jane Addams Children's Honor Book, here is a book that captures the heartbreak of that day, as seen through the eyes of a fictional witness. Archival photographs with poignant text written in free verse offer a powerful tribute to the young victims.

Birmingham Sunday

Birmingham Sunday / Larry Dane Brimner.  Honesdale, PA : Calkins Creek, [2010] 48pp.; picture F334.B69 B75 2010 : Racial bombings were so frequent in Birmingham that it became known as "Bombingham." Until September 15, 1963, these attacks had been threatening but not deadly. On that Sunday morning, however, a blast in the 16th Street Baptist Church ripped through the exterior wall and claimed the lives of four girls. The church was the ideal target for segregationists, as it was the rallying place for Birmingham's African American community, Martin Luther King, Jr., using it as his "headquarters" when he was in town to further the cause of desegregation and equal rights. Rather than triggering paralyzing fear, the bombing was the definitive act that guaranteed passage of the landmark 1964 civil rights legislation. Birmingham Sunday, a Jane Addams Children's Honor Book, NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor Book, and Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of the Year, centers on this fateful day and places it in historical context.

Black Frontiers : A History of African American Heroes in the Old West

Black frontiers : a history of African American heroes in the Old West / by Lillian Schlissel.  New York : Aladdin Paperbacks, 2000, c1995.  80pp. Main Library Stacks F596.3.N4 S35 2000  : Black Frontiers chronicles the life and times of black men and women who settled the West from 1865 to the early 1900s. In this striking book, you'll meet many of these brave individuals face-to-face, through rare vintage photographs and a fascinating account of their real-life history.  Schlissel describes the experiences of some African Americans who helped settle the American West. She focuses on mountain men, homesteaders, soldiers, cowboys, and scouts, explaining their contributions to the taming of the frontier. Her subjects range from familiar heroes (Jim Beckwourth, Nat Love, and Bill Pickett) and businesspeople (Barney Ford, Mary Ellen Pleasant, and Biddy Mason) to infamous eccentrics (Stagecoach Mary and Isom Dart). She also includes an excerpt from a dime novel, Arizona Joe, that features a leading black character, Ebony Star. Good-quality period photos and black-and-white reproductions appear on nearly every page, adding human interest and realism to the text. An excellent addition to black history or westward movement units

Daddy, There's A Noise Outside

Daddy, There's A Noise Outside / Kenneth Braswell.  Atlanta, GA : Black Rose Mediaworks, 2015.  1st edition, 20pp.  picture JC328.3 .B73 2015 : In a simple, lively, positive and well-illustrated narrative,  "Daddy, what's protesting?"  How do you explain the Black Lives Movement to your 6-year old?    The beautifully illustrated book features a black mother and father trying to explain the concept of protesting and the different types of protests to their two children, using examples such as MLK’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech as well as the Million Man March. In the end the children understand and jokingly ask whether they can protest school.



Discovering Black America: From the Age of Exploration to the Twenty-first Century

Discovering Black America: From the Age of Exploration to the Twenty-first Century.  Linda Tarrant-Reed. Abrams Books For Young Readers (2012).  256pp.  E185 .T198 2012 :  Discovering Black America offers readers an unprecedented account of more than 400 years of African American history set against a background of American and global events. The book begins with a black sailor aboard the Niña with Christopher Columbus and continues through the colonial period, slavery, the Civil War, Jim Crow, and civil rights to our current president in the White House. Including first-person narratives from diaries and journals, interviews, and archival images, Discovering Black America will give readers an intimate understanding of this extensive history. The book includes an index and bibliography. Praise for Discovering Black America STARRED REVIEW S "This handsome, engaging study of African-American history brings to light many intriguing and tragically underreported stories...From attractive page design to an afterword that encourages readers to search for their own history, there has been much attention to detail in this handsome volume." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review "Reproductions of historical documents, photographs, and artwork provide a sense of immediacy to this immersive tapestry, which reaches well beyond the milestones typically outlined in history books." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review "This attractive volume is an epic work...Absolutely gorgeous in design, with a harmonious marriage of text and colorful archival images, this is the kind of book that invites browsing, and its extensive reach will make this a go-to title for report writers." -- School Library Journal "This handsome historical overview begins with the first African explorers and seamen arriving in the New World in the fifteenth century, and it ends with the presidential election of Barack Obama..The extensive back matter includes meticulous footnotes and a bibliography of recommended books and websites for all those who will be moved to find out more. An excellent title for classroom support." -- Booklist "The author provides a detailed overview that is thoroughly researched and documented, making this an outstanding resource for students. The primary source documents, photographs, and archival maps that complement this compelling account will engage readers...This book will undoubtedly prove to be useful for research and browsing alike."

Eugene Bullard : world's first Black fighter pilot

Eugene Bullard : world's first Black fighter pilot / Larry W. Greenly.  Montgomery : New South Books, [2013]  147pp.  TL540.B747 G74 2013 : This fast-paced and informative YA biography tells the story of pioneering black aviator Eugene Bullard from his birth in 1895 to his combat experiences in both World War I and II and, finally, his return to America. Before the United States joined World War I, a few Americans fought on France’s side, including Eugene Jacques Bullard, the grandson of a slave. Eugene had faced discrimination in the U.S. and even the threat of lynching, but while growing up, he had listened spellbound to his father’s stories about how France treated everyone equally. He ran away from home at twelve and eventually made his way to France, where he joined the French Foreign Legion and later the Lafayette Flying Corps, to become the world’s first black fighter pilot. All the medals he received, however, weren’t enough to fend off the prejudice he still faced when he returned to the United States.  Just for attempting to attend a concert by Paul Robeson, he was beaten in the Peekskill Riots of 1949.  Late in his life, he  was invited by France to relight the eternal flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and was inducted into the French Legion of Honor.   Dave Garraway  invited him to tell his story on the Today Show. 

Fort Mose: And the Story of the Man who Built the First Free Black Settlement in Colonial America

Fort Mose: And the Story of the Man who Built the First Free Black Settlement in Colonial America / Glennette Tilley Turner.  New York : Abrams Books for Young Readers, [2010].  42 pp.  picture F319.F734 T87 2010 : In this one-of-a-kind historical picture book, author Glennette Tilley Turner tells the story of Fort Mose, which was founded in St. Augustine, Florida, and was the first free African settlement to legally exist in what later became the United States. Fort Mose was not only the first free black settlement, but it was also the most southern link of the Underground Railroad as a haven of refuge, just as cities in Canada were the northern most link.   Beginning with the story of Francisco Menendez, the Captain of the Black Militia of St. Augustine, FORT MOSE follows the history of slavery from West Africa to America, recounts what daily life was like, and describes the founding of the Spanish colony’s Fort Mose. Established in 1738, Fort Mose gave sanctuary to escaped Africans, challenging slavery in the English colonies. Approximately one hundred Africans lived together, creating a frontier community that drew on a range of African backgrounds, blending them with those of Spanish, Native American, and English people and cultural traditions.  The book includes more than forty archival images, an afterword about uncovering Fort Mose (which is now part of the National Parks), a glossary, an author’s note, a bibliography, and an index.

Freedom walkers : the story of the Montgomery bus boycott

Freedom walkers : the story of the Montgomery bus boycott / Russell Freedman.  New York : Holiday House, [2006]  114pp.  F334.M79 N43 2006 : On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus and give up her seat to a white man. This refusal to give up her dignity sparked the Montgomery bus boycott, a yearlong struggle, and a major victory in the civil rights movement. As Freedman points out, the Montgomery Bus Boycott was a triumphant historical event, and there are numerous memoirs, articles, and scholarly works, for adults and for young readers, about the leaders and the ordinary heroes. In his signature clear prose, Freedman draws on the best of those personal stories and historical accounts to provide a dramatic overview of how the 381-day resistance to segregated buses spearheaded the civil rights movement. He brings close the experience of what it was like to be there, on the bus and on the street. With the eloquent accounts of the legendary heroes--Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and more--are the stories of other important activists, including Jo Ann Robinson (president of the Women's Political Council) and teenager Claudette Colvin, as well as the lawyers and politicians. The photo-essay design is attractive and spacious. On every spread, readers will find beautifully reproduced black-and-white photos, including famous pictures as well as a few not often seen, including a picture of a leaflet urging boycott. Freedman provides fully documented chapter notes and an excellent bibliographic essay. 

The Girl From the Tar Paper School : Barbara Rose Johns and the advent of the civil rights movement

The Girl From the Tar Paper School : Barbara Rose Johns and the advent of the civil rights movement / Teri Kanefield.  New York : Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2014.  56pp.  picture E185.97.J59 K35 2014  : Before the Little Rock Nine, before Rosa Parks, before Martin Luther King Jr. and his March on Washington, there was Barbara Rose Johns, a teenager who used nonviolent civil disobedience to draw attention to her cause. In 1951, witnessing the unfair conditions in her racially segregated high school, Barbara Johns led a walkout -- the first public protest of its kind demanding racial equality in the U.S. -- jumpstarting the American civil rights movement. Ridiculed by the white superintendent and school board, local newspapers, and others, and even after a cross was burned on the school grounds, Barbara and her classmates held firm and did not give up. Her school's case went all the way to the Supreme Court and helped end segregation as part of Brown v. Board of Education . Barbara Johns grew up to become a librarian in the Philadelphia school system. The Girl from the Tar Paper School mixes biography with social history and is illustrated with family photos, images of the school and town, and archival documents from classmates and local and national news media. The book includes a civil rights timeline, bibliography, and index.


Goggles! / Ezra Jack Keats.  New York : Puffin Books, 1998.  1 volume, unpaged.  picture PZ7.K2253 Go 1998  :  Two boys must outsmart the neighborhood bullies before they can enjoy their new treasure, a pair of lensless motorcycle goggles.





Growing Up in Slavery : Stories of Young Slaves As Told By Themselves

Growing Up in Slavery : Stories of Young Slaves As Told By Themselves / edited by Yuval Taylor ; illustrations by Kathleen Judge.  Chicago, Ill. : Lawrence Hill Books, [2005]  230pp. E444 .G768 2005   : Ten slaves—all under the age of 19—tell stories of enslavement, brutality, and dreams of freedom in this collection culled from full-length autobiographies. These accounts, selected to help teenagers relate to the horrific experiences of slaves their own age living in the not-so-distant past, include stories of young slaves torn from their mothers and families, suffering from starvation, and being whipped and tortured. But these are not all tales of deprivation and violence; teenagers will relate to accounts of slaves challenging authority, playing games, telling jokes, and falling in love. These stories cover the range of the slave experience, from the passage in slave ships across the Atlantic — and daily life as a slave both on large plantations and in small-city dwellings — to escaping slavery and fighting in the Civil War. The writings of Olaudah Equiano, Frederick Douglass, William Wells Brown, Harriet Jacobs, Elizabeth Keckley, and other lesser-known slaves are included.

The Harlem Hellfighters

The Harlem Hellfighters. Max Brooks and Caanan White. Broadway Books, 2014.  272pp.  D570.33 369th .B76 2014 : In 1919, the 369th infantry regiment marched home triumphantly from World War I. They had spent more time in combat than any other American unit, never losing a foot of ground to the enemy, or a man to capture, and winning countless decorations. Though they returned as heroes, this African American unit faced tremendous discrimination, even from their own government. The Harlem Hellfighters, as the Germans called them, fought courageously on—and off—the battlefield to make Europe, and America, safe for democracy. From the enlistment lines in Harlem to the training camp at Spartanburg, South Carolina, to the trenches in France, they tell the heroic story of the 369th in an action-packed and powerful tale of honor and heart.  We follow our diverse bunch from enlistment to training to the hell of France, where they fight through inhumane conditions with the utmost valor, and for what? Prejudice and humiliation at every turn. “They would rather see white Germans,” says one soldier, “instead of black Americans march in triumph up Fifth Avenue.”

Harlem's Little Blackbird : the story of Florence Mills

Harlem's Little Blackbird : the story of Florence Mills / words by Renée Watson ; pictures by Christian Robinson.  New York : Random House Children's Books, [2012]   1 volume unpaged  picture ML3930.M63 W37 2012 : A tribute to Harlem Renaissance performer Florence Mills covers her youth as a child of former slaves, her performances that inspired songs and entire plays, and the racism that prompted her advocacy of all-black theater and musicals.




The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give / Angie Thomas. New York, NY : Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2017] 444pp. PZ7.1.T448 Hat 2017  : Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Heart and soul : the story of America and African Americans

Heart and soul : the story of America and African Americans / words and paintings by Kadir Nelson.  New York : Balzer + Bray, c2011.  108pp.  picture E185 .N427 2011 : The story of America and African Americans is a story of hope and inspiration and unwavering courage. But it is also the story of injustice; of a country divided by law, education, and wealth; of a people whose struggles and achievements helped define their country. This is the story of the men, women, and children who toiled in the hot sun picking cotton for their masters; it's about the America ripped in two by Jim Crow laws; it's about the brothers and sisters of all colors who rallied against those who would dare bar a child from an education. It's a story of discrimination and broken promises, determination and triumphs. Kadir Nelson, one of this generation's most accomplished, award-winning artists, has created an epic yet intimate introduction to the history of America and African Americans, from colonial days through the civil rights movement. Written in the voice of an "Everywoman," an unnamed narrator whose forebears came to this country on slave ships and who lived to cast her vote for the first African American president, heart and soul touches on some of the great transformative events and small victories of that history. This inspiring book demonstrates that in gaining their freedom and equal rights, African Americans helped our country achieve its promise of liberty and justice--the true heart and soul of our nation.

Henry's freedom box

Henry's freedom box / by Ellen Levine ; illustrated by Kadir Nelson.  New York : Scholastic Press, [2007]  40pp.  picture PZ7.L57833 Hen 2007 :  A stirring, dramatic story of a slave who mails himself to freedom by a Jane Addams Peace Award-winning author and a Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist....Henry Brown doesn't know how old he is. Nobody keeps records of slaves' birthdays. All the time he dreams about freedom, but that dream seems farther away than ever when he is torn from his family and put to work in a warehouse. Henry grows up and marries, but he is again devastated when his family is sold at the slave market. Then one day, as he lifts a crate at the warehouse, he knows exactly what he must do: He will mail himself to the North. After an arduous journey in the crate, Henry finally has a birthday -- his first day of freedom.

I See the Promised Land: A Life of Martin Luther King Jr.

I See the Promised Land: A Life of Martin Luther King Jr. Arthur Flowers and Manu Chitakar.   Groundwood Books, 2013.  156pp. picture E185.97.K5 F59 2013   : This stunning graphic novel biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. describes the apartheid South of his time, which in many ways was not very different from the early days of slavery. Included are descriptions of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the formation of civil rights groups, mass movements against segregation, such as the Albany Movement and the Children’s Crusade in Birmingham, and the influence on King of Gandhi, with his nonviolent approach to resistance. Flowers’ text smoothly incorporates excerpts from many of King’s most moving speeches and concludes with a brief look at his legacy. Both evocative and factually rich, this presentation of the career of Martin Luther King Jr. shows the man on an authentic world stage and as a leader who learned from his travels to both India and Africa. Flowers provides an incisive and succinct text that steadily maintains the propulsive griot narrative style of King’s African ancestry: “This what bring King to a vision of black folk as a folk with a destiny. This what move him to the prophetic.” Chitrakar’s free-floating images, which juxtapose and amplify the text, are deeply steeped in the Patua scroll-painting tradition, from the Bengali faces to the panoply of browns and yellows and pinks that differentiate individuals rather than races. The choice of props and scenery speak more of India than America, and protesters’ signs are written in Bengali script rather than English. Rossi’s graphic layout intersperses black pages in which King’s quotes are set in large white type with bright pages tracing his education as a preacher, his entry into the nascent civil rights fray, and his ascendancy to martyrdom. King’s doubts about himself and others, adultery, and relationships with political leaders all receive just due. Older teens, in addition to adults, will find this to be a standout both as a distinctive graphic narrative that combines two world storytelling traditions and as an examination of King’s life and its enduring legacy across the globe.

Josephine: the dazzling life of Josephine Baker

Josephine: the dazzling life of Josephine Baker / words by Patricia Hruby Powell ; pictures by Christian Robinson.  San Francisco : Chronicle Books, [2014] 104pp. picture GV1785.B3 P68 2014 :  In exuberant verse and stirring pictures, Patricia Hruby Powell and Christian Robinson create an extraordinary portrait for young people of the passionate performer and civil rights advocate Josephine Baker, the woman who worked her way from the slums of St. Louis to the grandest stages in the world. Meticulously researched by both author and artist, Josephine's powerful story of struggle and triumph is an inspiration and a spectacle, just like the legend herself. Coretta Scott King Book Award, Illustrator, Honor Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award, Honor Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Nonfiction Honor

New Titles Ordered for The Children's and Young Adult Collection, L-Z

Let the Children March

Let the Children March / Monica Clark-Robinson. HMH Books for Young Readers, 2018. 40pp. On order : I couldn't play on the same playground as the white kids. I couldn't go to their schools. I couldn't drink from their water fountains. There were so many things I couldn't do. In 1963 Birmingham, Alabama, thousands of African American children volunteered to march for their civil rights after hearing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak. They protested the laws that kept black people separate from white people. Facing fear, hate, and danger, these children used their voices to change the world. Frank Morrison's emotive oil-on-canvas paintings bring this historical event to life, while Monica Clark-Robinson's moving and poetic words document this remarkable time. Grade Level: 1 - 4


A letter to Amy



A letter to Amy / Ezra Jack Keats.  New York : Viking, 1998.  1 volume, unpaged.  picture PZ7.K2253 Le 1998  :  Peter wants to invite Amy to his birthday party but he wants it to be a surprise.



Little leaders : bold women in black history

Little leaders : bold women in black history / Vashti Harrison. New York : Little, Brown and Company, [2017] 87pp. E185.96 .H338 2017 : Featuring forty trailblazing black women in American history, Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of breaking boundaries and achieving beyond expectations. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash. Among these biographies, readers will find heroes, role models, and everyday women who did extraordinary things - bold women whose actions and beliefs contributed to making the world better for generations of girls and women to come. Whether they were putting pen to paper, soaring through the air or speaking up for the rights of others, the women profiled in these pages were all taking a stand against a world that didn't always accept them. The leaders in this book may be little, but they all did something big and amazing, inspiring generations to come.

Mae Among the Stars

Mae Among the Stars / Roda Ahmed. HarperCollins, 2018. 40pp. On order. : When Little Mae was a child, she dreamed of dancing in space. She imagined herself surrounded by billions of stars, floating, gliding, and discovering. She wanted to be an astronaut. Her mom told her, "If you believe it, and work hard for it, anything is possible.” Little Mae’s curiosity, intelligence, and determination, matched with her parents' encouraging words, paved the way for her incredible success at NASA as the first African American woman to travel in space. This book will inspire other young girls to reach for the stars, to aspire for the impossible, and to persist with childlike imagination. Grade Level: Preschool - 3



March : Book One

March : Book One.  John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell.  Marietta, Ga : Top Shelf Production, 2013.  128pp.  E840.8.L43 A32 2013 (Another copy available in the Main Library Stacks and Special Collections) : Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper's farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president.  Now, to share his remarkable story with new generations, Lewis presents March, a graphic novel trilogy, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell (winner of the Eisner Award and LA Times Book Prize finalist for Swallow Me Whole).  March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis' lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis' personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.  Book One spans John Lewis' youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.

March : Book Two

March: Book Two. John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell. Marietta, Ga : Top Shelf Production, 2013. 192pp.  E840.8.L43 A32 2013 v.2 : Congressman John Lewis, an American icon and one of the key figures of the civil rights movement, continues his award-winning graphic novel trilogy with co-writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell, inspired by a 1950s comic book that helped prepare his own generation to join the struggle. Now, March brings the lessons of history to vivid life for a new generation, urgently relevant for today's world. After the success of the Nashville sit-in campaign, John Lewis is more committed than ever to changing the world through nonviolence - but as he and his fellow Freedom Riders board a bus into the vicious heart of the deep south, they will be tested like never before. Faced with beatings, police brutality, imprisonment, arson, and even murder, the movement's young activists place their lives on the line while internal conflicts threaten to tear them apart. But their courage will attract the notice of powerful allies, from Martin Luther King, Jr. to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy... and once Lewis is elected chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, this 23-year-old will be thrust into the national spotlight, becoming one of the "Big Six" leaders of the civil rights movement and a central figure in the landmark 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

March : Book Three

March : Book Three.  John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell.  Marietta, Ga : Top Shelf Production, 2016.  E840.8.L43 A32 2013 : In the final installment in the trilogy, Congressman Lewis concludes his firsthand account of the civil rights era. Simultaneously epic and intimate, this dynamic work spotlights pivotal moments (the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL; the Freedom Summer murders; the 1964 Democratic National Convention; and the Selma to Montgomery marches) through the lens of one who was there from the beginning. Lewis's willingness to speak from the heart about moments of doubt and anguish imbues the book with emotional depth. Complex material is tackled but never oversimplified -- many pages are positively crammed with text -- and, as in previous volumes, discussion of tensions among the various factions of the movement adds nuance and should spark conversation among readers. Through images of steely-eyed police, motion lines, and the use of stark black backgrounds for particularly painful moments, Powell underscores Lewis's statement that he and his cohorts “were in the middle of a war.” These vivid black-and-white visuals soar, conveying expressions of hope, scorn, and devastation and making storied figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Fannie Lou Hamer feel three-dimensional and familiar.

Maritcha : a nineteenth-century American girl

Maritcha : a nineteenth-century American girl / Tonya Bolden. New York : Harry N. Abrams, [2004]  47pp.  picture F128.9.N4 B65 2005 : Based on an actual memoir written by Maritcha Remond Lyons, who was born and raised in New York City, this poignant story tells what it was like to be a black child born free during the days of slavery. Everyday experiences are interspersed with hight-point moments, such as visiting the U.S.'s first world's fair. Also included are the Draft Riots of 1863, when Maritcha and her siblings fled to Brooklyn while her parents stayed behind to protect their home. The book concludes with her fight to attend a whites-only high school in Providence, Rhode Island, and her triumphant victory, making her the first black person in its graduating class. The book includes photographs of Maritcha, her family, and friends, as well as archival and contemporary maps, photographs, and illustrations.

Midnight Teacher: Lilly Ann Granderson and Her Secret School

Midnight Teacher: Lilly Ann Granderson and Her Secret School / Janet Halfmann. Lee & Low Books, 2018. 40pp. On order : An unsung hero and literacy champion whose teaching changed many lives. Halfmann and Ladd tell the remarkable, true story of Lilly Ann Granderson, an enslaved woman born around 1821 in Petersburg, Virginia. Following the death of her mother, Lilly Ann was sold to a Kentucky slave owner. The master's children would often play school and included Lilly Ann, teaching her to read. They even gave her an "old ragged blue-back use and keep," which she used to practice in private and teach others on the plantation. However, when her master died, she was sold to a cotton plantation in Natchez, Mississippi, where it was illegal for slaves to learn to read. Though Lilly Ann faced much higher penalties there in restarting her school, she expanded her education efforts. However, when the patrollers caught her leading her slave school the punishment for which was 39 lashes the authorities found "no law against a slave teaching a slave." This picture book's detailed, realistic illustrations were created using acrylic paint and colored pencil. Ladd's artwork shows Lilly Ann's determination to improve lives through literacy and will also familiarize readers with the book's historical settings. An informative afterword and bibliography will make this a useful addition to U.S. history lessons. An excellent homage to an African-American woman who taught ahead of her time. Grade Level: 2 - 3

Peter's Chair

Peter's chair / Ezra Jack Keats.  New York : Viking, 1998. 1 volume, unpaged.   picture PZ7.K2253 Pe 1998  : When Peter discovers his blue furniture is being painted pink for a new baby sister, he rescues the last unpainted item, a chair, and runs away.





The Port Chicago 50 : Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights

The Port Chicago 50 : Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights / Andrea Davis Pinkney.  New York : Roaring Brook Press, 2015.  166pp.  D810  .N4 S44 2014 : An astonishing civil rights story from Newbery Honor winner and National Book Award finalist Steve Sheinkin.... On July 17, 1944, a massive explosion rocked the segregated Navy base at Port Chicago, California, killing more than 300 sailors who were at the docks, critically injuring off-duty men in their bunks, and shattering windows up to a mile away. On August 9th, 244 men refused to go back to work until unsafe and unfair conditions at the docks were addressed. When the dust settled, fifty were charged with mutiny, facing decades in jail and even execution.... The Port Chicago 50 is a fascinating story of the prejudice and injustice that faced black men and women in America's armed forces during World War II, and a nuanced look at those who gave their lives in service of a country where they lacked the most basic rights.... This thoroughly-researched and documented book can be worked into multiple aspects of the common core curriculum, including history and social studies....Archival photos appear throughout, and an extensive bibliography, source notes, and index conclude this gripping, even horrific account of a battle for civil rights predating Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rhythm ride : a road trip through the Motown sound

Rhythm ride : a road trip through the Motown sound / Andrea Davis Pinkney.  New York : Roaring Brook Press, 2015.  166pp.  ML3792.M67 P32 2015 : From award-winning author Andrea Davis Pinkney comes the story of the music that defined a generation and a movement that changed the world. Berry Gordy began Motown in 1959 with an $800 loan from his family. He converted the garage of a residential house into a studio and recruited teenagers from the neighborhood-like Smokey Robinson, Mary Wells, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and Diana Ross-to sing for his new label. Meanwhile, the country was on the brink of a cultural revolution, and one of the most powerful agents of change in the following decade would be this group of young black performers from urban Detroit. From BerryGordy and his remarkable vision to the Civil Rights movement, from the behind-the-scenes musicians, choreographers, and song writers to the most famous recording artists of the century, Andrea Davis Pinkney takes readers on a Rhythm Ride through the story of Motown.

Searching for Sarah Rector : The Richest Black Girl in America

Searching for Sarah Rector : The Richest Black Girl in America / Tonya Bolden.  New York : Abrams Books for Young Readers, c2014.  76pp.  F702.C85 B65 2014  : Sarah Rector was once famously hailed as  -- "the richest black girl in America." Set against the backdrop of American history, her tale encompasses the creation of Indian Territory, the making of Oklahoma, and the establishment of black towns and oil-rich boomtowns. Rector acquired her fortune at the age of eleven. This is both her story and that of children just like her: one filled with ups and downs amid bizarre goings-on and crimes perpetrated by greedy and corrupt adults. From a trove of primary documents, including court and census records and interviews with family members, author Tonya Bolden painstakingly pieces together the events of Sarah's life and the lives of those around her. The book includes a glossary, a bibliography, and an index.

The Snowy Day

The snowy day / Ezra Jack Keats.  New York, New York : Puffin Books, [1976]  32pp.  picture PZ7.K2253 Sn 1976  : "The book is notable not only for its lovely artwork and tone, but also for its importance as a trailblazer. According to Horn Book magazine, The Snowy Day was "the very first full-color picture book to feature a small black hero"—yet another reason to add this classic to your shelves. It's as unique and special as a snowflake."




A splash of red : the life and art of Horace Pippin

A splash of red : the life and art of Horace Pippin / written by Jen Bryant ; illustrated by Melissa Sweet.  New York : Alfred A. Knopf, [2013]  1 volume, unpaged.    picture ND237.P65 B79 2013 : Presents an illustrated introduction to the life and work of artist Horace Pippin, describing his childhood love for drawing and the World War I injury that challenged his career.



Strange Fruit, Volume 1 : Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History

Strange Fruit : Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History / words and pictures by Joel Christian Gill ; foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.   Golden, CO : Fulcrum Publishing, 2014.  176pp.  E185.96 .G54 2014  v.1 : A collection of stories from African American history that exemplifies success in the face of great adversity. This unique graphic anthology offers historical and cultural commentary on nine uncelebrated heroes whose stories are not often found in history books. Among the stories included are: Henry "Box" Brown, who escaped from slavery by mailing himself to Philadelphia; Alexander Crummel and the Noyes Academy, the first integrated school in America, established in the 1830s; Marshall "Major" Taylor, a.k.a. the Black Cyclone, the first black champion in any sport; and Bass Reeves, the most successful lawman in the Old West. Written and illustrated by Joel Christian Gill, the diverse art beautifully captures the spirit of each remarkable individual and opens a window into an important part of American history.

Streetcar to Justice: How Elizabeth Jennings Won the Right to Ride in New York

Streetcar to Justice: How Elizabeth Jennings Won the Right to Ride in New York / Amy Hill Hearth. Greenwillow Books, 2018. 160pp. On order : One hundred years before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, Elizabeth Jennings’s refusal to leave a segregated streetcar in the Five Points neighborhood of Manhattan set into motion a major court case in New York City. On her way to church one day in July 1854, Elizabeth Jennings was refused a seat on a streetcar. When she took her seat anyway, she was bodily removed by the conductor and a nearby police officer and returned home bruised and injured. With the support of her family, the African American abolitionist community of New York, and Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Jennings took her case to court. Represented by a young lawyer named Chester A. Arthur (a future president of the United States) she was victorious, marking a major victory in the fight to desegregate New York City’s public transportation. Grade Level: 3 - 7

Tell All the Children

Tell all the children our story : memories and mementos of being young and Black in America / Tonya Bolden.  New York : Abrams, 2001.  128pp.  picture E185.86 .B633 2001 : Tonya Bolden explores what it has meant to be young and black in America. From the first recorded birth of a black child in Jamestown, through the Revolution, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the fight for civil rights, right on up to our own time, Bolden brings to light how black children have worked and played, suffered and rejoiced. She covers a range of lifestyles, social classes, attitudes, and perceptions to portray children in ever-evolving states of life. Both unknown and celebrated children are included, from those remembered only from advertisements for the slave trade to those who would grow up to shape and make history, including Frederick Douglass, Benjamin Banneker, Sadie and Bessie Delany, Charles Johnson, and basketball legends Paula and Pamela McGee.

Through my eyes / Ruby Bridges

Through my eyes / Ruby Bridges ; articles and interviews compiled and edited by Margo Lundell.  New York : Scholastic Press, [1999]  63pp.  picture F379.N59 N435 1999 : Ruby Bridges recounts the story of her involvement, as a 6-year-old, in the integration of her school in New Orleans in 1960. An icon of the Civil Rights movement, Ruby chronicles each dramatic step of this pivotal event in history. Bridges is true to her childhood memories. She is clear about what she remembers and what she later learned. Her account is accompanied by excerpts from newspaper articles, comments by her teacher, and a time line that fill in the details and place her story within the context of the Civil Rights Movement. The narrative draws a distinct contrast between the innocence of this six-year-old child who thought that "Two, four, six, eight, we don't want to integrate" was a jump-rope chant and the jeers of the angry crowd outside her school carrying a black doll in a coffin. A powerful personal narrative that every collection will want to own.

We've got a job : the 1963 Birmingham Children's March

We've got a job : the 1963 Birmingham Children's March / Cynthia Levinson.  Atlanta : Peachtree Publishers, [2012]  176pp.  F334.B69 N4476 2012 : The inspiring story of one of the greatest moments in civil rights history as seen through the eyes of four young people who were at the center of the action. The 1963 Birmingham Children's March was a turning point in American history. In the streets of Birmingham, Alabama, the fight for civil rights lay in the hands of children like Audrey Hendricks, Wash Booker, James Stewart, and Arnetta Streeter. Through the eyes of these four protesters and others who participated, We've Got a Job tells the little-known story of the 4,000 black elementary, middle, and high school students who voluntarily went to jail between May 2 and May 11, 1963. The children succeeded - where adults had failed - in desegregating one of the most racially violent cities in America. By combining in-depth, one-on-one interviews and extensive research, author Cynthia Levinson recreates the events of the Birmingham Children's March from a new and very personal perspective.

Whistle for Willie

Whistle for Willie / Ezra Jack Keats.  New York : Viking Press, 1964. 32pp.  picture PZ7.K2253 Wh 1964 : A little boy wishes so much that he could whistle.






York's adventures with Lewis and Clark : an African-American's part in the great expedition

York's adventures with Lewis and Clark : an African-American's part in the great expedition / by Rhoda Blumberg.  New York : HarperCollins Children's Books, 2004.  88pp.   F592.7.Y67 B57 2004 : You've probably heard about Lewis and Clark. This famous duo led an exploration through uncharted lands. Did you know that a black man, Clark's slave York, was part of this famous expedition? Working alongside free men, York paddled boats, lugged provisions, climbed mountains, and built shelters for the Corps of Discovery. Throughout the journey, he significantly helped foster friendly relations with the many different Native American tribes whose goodwill was vital to the expedition's success. York was even allowed to vote, sixty years before the Civil War. The award-winning author Rhoda Blumberg tells of Lewis and Clark's adventure with York's experiences firmly in view. Giving readers an unusual perspective, she draws on Clark's journal entries to reveal York's importance. Insightful, historically accurate, and gripping, this account has an ending that will shock you. It will leave you with a clear understanding of what life was like for a slave, and a new appreciation of the role an African-American played in one of the nation's landmark events.

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