Award Booklists

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Coretta Scott King Author Award

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P.S. Be Eleven
by Rita Williams-Garcia Details
The Gaither sisters return to Brooklyn, where they adapt to new feelings of independence while managing changes large and small, from Pa's new girlfriend to a very different Uncle Darnell's return from Vietnam.
Darius and Twig
by Walter Dean Myers Details
Two best friends, a writer and a runner, deal with bullies, family issues, social pressures, and their quest for success coming out of Harlem.
March: Book One
by John and Andrew Aydin Lewis Details
"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."--Back cover flap.
Words With Wings
by Nikki Grimes Details
Gabby daydreams to tune out her parents' arguments, but when her parents divorce and she begins a new school, daydreaming gets her into trouble.
Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America
by Andrea Davis Pinkney Details
"Hand in Hand" presents the stories of 10 men from different eras in American history, organized chronologically to provide a scope from slavery to the modern day. Men profiled include Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Barack H. Obama II. Illustrations.
Each Kindness
by Jacqueline Woodson Details
When Ms. Albert teaches a lesson on kindness, Chloe realizes that she and her friends have been wrong in making fun of new student Maya's shabby clothes and refusing to play with her.
No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller
by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson Details
A documentary novel of the life and work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem bookseller"You can't walk straight on a crooked line. You do you'll break your leg. How can you walk straight in a crooked system?"Lewis Michaux was born to do things his own way. When a white banker told him to sell fried chicken, not books, because "Negroes don't read," Lewis took five books and one-hundred dollars and built a bookstore. It soon became the intellectual center of Harlem, a refuge for everyone from Muhammad Ali to Malcolm X.In No Crystal Stair, Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Vaunda Micheaux Nelson combines meticulous research with a storyteller's flair to document the life and times of her great uncle Lewis Michaux, an extraordinary literacy pioneer of the Civil Rights era.
Heart and Soul : The Story of America and African Americans
by Kadir Nelson Details
A simple introduction to African-American history, from Revolutionary-era slavery up to the election of President Obama.
Never Forgotten
by Patricia C. McKissack Details
In eighteenth-century West Africa, a boy raised by his blacksmith father and the Mother Elements--Wind, Fire, Water, and Earth--is captured and taken to America as a slave.
The Great Migration : Journey to the North
by Eloise Greenfield Details
We were one family among the many thousands. Mama and Daddy leaving home, coming to the city, with their hopes and their courage, their dreams and their children, to make a better life. When Eloise Greenfield was four months old, her family moved from their home in Parmele, North Carolina, to Washington, D.C. Before Jan Spivey Gilchrist was born, her mother moved from Arkansas and her father moved from Mississippi. Both settled in Chicago, Illinois. Though none of them knew it at the time, they had all become part of the Great Migration. In this collection of poems and collage artwork, award winners Eloise Greenfield and Jan Spivey Gilchrist gracefully depict the experiences of families like their own, who found the courage to leave their homes behind and make new lives for themselves elsewhere.
One Crazy Summer
by Rita Willimas-Garcia Details
In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.
Lockdown
by Walter Dean Myers Details
Teenage Reese, serving time at a juvenile detention facility, gets a lesson in making it through hard times from an unlikely friend with a harrowing past.
Ninth Ward
by Jewell Parker Rhodes Details
Twelve-year-old Lanesha lives in a tight-knit community in New Orleans' Ninth Ward. She doesn't have a fancy house like her uptown family or lots of friends like the other kids on her street. But what she does have is Mama Ya-Ya, her fiercely loving caretaker, wise in the ways of the world and able to predict the future. So when Mama Ya-Ya's visions show a powerful hurricane--Katrina--fast approaching, it's up to Lanesha to call upon the hope and strength Mama Ya-Ya has given her to help them both survive the storm.
Yummy : The Last Days of a Southside Shorty
by Greg Neri Details
"A graphic novel based on the true story of Robert "Yummy" Sandifer, an eleven-year old African American gang member from Chicago who shot a young girl and was then shot by his own gang members"--Provided by publisher.
Bad news for outlaws : the remarkable life of Bass Reeves, deputy U.S. marshall
by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson Details
This biography profiles the life of Bass Reeves, a former slave who was recruited as a deputy United States Marshal in the area that was to become Oklahoma.
Mare's War
by Tanita S. Davis Details
Octavia and Tali are dreading the road trip their parents are forcing them to take with their grandmother over the summer. After all, Mare isn’t your typical grandmother. She drives a red sports car, wears stiletto shoes, flippy wigs, and push-up bras, and insists that she’s too young to be called Grandma. But somewhere on the road, Octavia and Tali discover there’s more to Mare than what you see. She was once a willful teenager who escaped her less-than-perfect life in the deep South and lied about her age to join the African American battalion of the Women’s Army Corps during World War II.
We Are the Ship : The Story of Negro League Baseball
by Kadir Nelson Details
Using an "Everyman" player as his narrator, Kadir Nelson tells the story of Negro League baseball from its beginnings in the 1920s through the decline after Jackie Robinson crossed over to the majors in 1947. Illustrations from oil paintings by artist Kadir Nelson.
Becoming Billie Holiday
by Carole Boston Weatherford Details
Before the legend of Billie Holliday, there was a girl named Eleanora. The world, however, would know her as Billie Holliday, possibly one of the greatest jazz singers of all time. Eleanora's journey into legend took her through pain, poverty and run-ins with the law. By the time she was fifteen, she knew she possessed something that could change her life - a voice. Eleanora could sing! Her remarkable voice led her to a place in the spotlight with some of the era's hottest big bands. Billie Holliday sang as if she lived each lyric and in many ways she had.Through a sequence of raw and poignant poems, award-winning poet, Carole Boston Weatherford chronicles Eleanora Fagan's metamorphosis into Billie Holliday and the dream she pursued with passion.
Keeping the Night Watch
by Hope Anita Smith Details
So many unanswered questions weigh down thirteen-year-old C.J. as he struggles to understand why his father walked out. His father is back now, though C.J. is not as quick to forgive as the other members of his family. He still feels the weight of responsibility that fell on his shoulders when Daddy was gone, and he’s not prepared to give that up. But C.J.’s anger is making him a stranger in his own home, and instead of life seeming better now that Daddy has returned, it feels worse.
The Blacker the Berry
by Joyce Carol Thomas Details
A collection of poems, including "Golden Goodness," "Cranberry Red," and "Biscuit Brown," celebrating individuality and Afro-American identity.
Elijah of Buxton
by Christopher Paul Curtis Details
In 1859, eleven-year-old Elijah Freeman, the first free-born child in Buxton, Canada, which is a haven for slaves fleeing the American south, uses his wits and skills to try to bring to justice the lying preacher who has stolen money that was to be used to buy a family's freedom.
November Blues
by Sharon Draper Details
A teenaged boy's death in a hazing accident has lasting effects on his pregnant girlfriend and his guilt-ridden cousin, who gives up a promising music career to play football during his senior year in high school.
Twelve Rounds to Glory : The Story of Muhammad Ali
by Charles R. Smith Details
A brief biography in verse of boxer Muhammad Ali.
Copper Sun
by Sharon Draper Details
Two fifteen-year-old girls--one a slave and the other an indentured servant--escape their Carolina plantation and try to make their way to Fort Moses, Florida, a Spanish colony that gives sanctuary to slaves.
The Road to Paris
by Nikki Grimes Details
Inconsolable at being separated from her older brother, eight-year-old Paris is apprehensive about her new foster family but just as she learns to trust them, she faces a life-changing decision.
Day of Tears : A Novel in Dialogue
by Julius Lester Details
Emma has taken care of the Butler children since Sarah and Frances's mother, Fanny, left. Emma wants to raise the girls to have good hearts, as a rift over slavery has ripped the Butler household apart. Now, to pay off debts, Pierce Butler wants to cash in his slave "assets", possibly including Emma.
A Wreath for Emmett Till
by Marilyn Nelson Details
In 1955, people all over the United States knew that Emmett Louis Till was a fourteen-year-old African American boy lynched for supposedly whistling at a white woman in Mississippi. The brutality of his murder, the open-casket funeral, and the acquittal of the men tried for the crime drew wide media attention. Award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson reminds us of the boy whose fate helped spark the civil rights movement. This martyr's wreath, woven from a little-known but sophisticated form of poetry, challenges us to speak out against modern-day injustices, to "speak what we see."
Dark Sons
by Nikki Grimes Details
Alternating poems compare and contrast the conflicted feelings of Ishmael, son of the Biblical patriarch Abraham, and Sam, a teenager in New York City, as they try to come to terms with being abandoned by their fathers and with the love they feel for their younger stepbrothers.
Maritcha : A Nineteenth-Century American Girl
by Tonya Bolden Details
Based on an actual memoir written by Maritcha Rimond Lyons, who was born in New York City, this poignant story tells what it was like to be a black child born free during the days of slavery. Includes photographs of Maritcha, her family, and friends, as well as archival and contemporary maps, photographs, and illustrations.
Remember : The Journey to School Integration
by Toni Morrison Details
Toni Morrison has collected a treasure chest of archival photographs that depict the historical events surrounding school desegregation. These unforgettable images serve as the inspiration for Ms. Morrison's text-a fictional account of the dialogue and emotions of the children who lived during the era of "separate but equal" schooling. Remember is a unique pictorial and narrative journey that introduces children to a watershed period in American history and its relevance to us today. Remember will be published on the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision ending legal school segregation, handed down on May 17, 1954.
Fortune's Bones : The Manumission Requiem
by Marilyn Nelson Details
A 200-year-old skeleton is on display in the Mattatuck museum in Connecticut. But curators only recently discovered the bones were those of Fortune, a slave owned by a local doctor. His bones reveal that he lived "a long life of arduous labour," dying at about age 60. Now Marilyn Nelson, Poet Laureate of Connecticut, commemorates Fortune's life in The Manumission Requiem. The poem is enhanced by detailed notes and archival photographs.
The Legend of Buddy Bush
by Sheila P. Moses Details
In 1947, twelve-year-old Pattie Mae is sustained by her dreams of escaping Rich Square, North Carolina, and moving to Harlem when her Uncle Buddy is arrested for attempted rape of a white woman and her grandfather is diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor.
Who Am I Without Him? : Short Stories about Girls and the Boys in Their Lives
by Sharon G. Flake Details
In the game of love, young men and women weigh what they need from the opposite sex against what they need to find in themselves. This popular short story collection, including two never-before published entries, gives teens a chance to witness the outcomes of 12 unique trysts. As relationships go either right or wrong, with surprising, often funny, always on-point results, mindful readers will appreciate the warning signs and perhaps save themselves from the same fate as these fictional protagonists.
The First Part Last
by Angela Johnson Details
Bobby's carefree teenage life changes forever when he becomes a father and must care for his adored baby daughter.
Days of Jubilee : The End of Slavery in the United States
by Patricia C. McKissack Details
Uses slave narratives, letters, diaries, military orders, and other documents to chronicle the various stages leading to the emancipation of slaves in the United States.
Locomotion
by Jacqueline Woodson Details
In a series of poems, eleven-year-old Lonnie writes about his life, after the death of his parents, separated from his younger sister, living in a foster home, and finding his poetic voice at school.
The Battle of Jericho
by Sharon Draper Details
A high school junior and his cousin suffer the ramifications of joining what seems to be a "reputable" school club.
Bronx Masquerade
by Nikki Grimes Details
While studying the Harlem Renaissance, students at a Bronx high school read aloud poems they've written, revealing their innermost thoughts and fears to their formerly clueless classmates.
Talkin' About Bessie : The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman
by Nikki Grimes Details
Soar along with Bessie Coleman in this inspirational tale of a woman whose determination reached new heights. Elizabeth "Bessie" Coleman was always being told what she could & couldn't do. In an era when Jim Crow laws and segregation were a way of life, it was not easy to survive. Bessie didn't let that stop her. Although she was only 11 when the Wright brothers took their historic flight, she vowed to become the first African -American female pilot. Her sturdy faith and determination helped her overcome obstacles of poverty, racism, and gender discrimination. Innovatively told through a series of monologues.
The Red Rose Box
by Brenda Woods Details
In 1953, Leah Hopper dreams of leaving the poverty and segregation of her home in Sulphur, Louisiana, and when Aunt Olivia sends train tickets to Los Angeles as part of her tenth birthday present, Leah gets a first taste of freedom.
The Land
by Mildred D. Taylor Details
After the Civil War Paul, the son of a white father and a black mother, finds himself caught between the two worlds of colored folks and white folks as he pursues his dream of owning land of his own.
Carver : A Life in Poems
by Marilyn Nelson Details
This collection of poems provides a lyrical account of the life of George Washington Carver, a man born into slavery who went on to head the agricultural department at the Tuskegee Institute.
Money-Hungry
by Sharon G. Flake Details
All thirteen-year-old Raspberry can think of is making money so that she and her mother never have to worry about living on the streets again.
Miracle's Boys
by Jacqueline Woodson Details
Twelve-year-old Lafayette's close relationship with his older brother Charlie changes after Charlie is released from a detention home and blames Lafayette for the death of their mother.
Let It Shine! Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters
by Andrea Davis Pinkney Details
Tells the stories of ten African-American women freedom fighters.
Bud, Not Buddy
by Christopher Paul Curtis Details
Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father--the renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway of Grand Rapids.
Black Hands, White Sails : The Story of African-American Whalers
by Patricia C. McKissack Details
A history of African-American whalers between 1730 and 1880, describing their contributions to the whaling industry and their role in the abolitionist movement.
Francie
by Karen English Details
When the sixteen-year-old boy whom she tutors in reading is accused of attempting to murder a white man, Francie gets herself in serious trouble for her efforts at friendship.
Monster
by Walter Dean Myers Details
While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.
Heaven
by Angela Johnson Details
You never know what's gonna come down -- in Heaven. At fourteen, Marley knows she has Momma's hands and Pops's love for ice cream, that her brother doesn't get on her nerves too much, and that Uncle Jack is a big mystery. But Marley doesn't know all she thinks she does, because she doesn't know the truth. And when the truth comes down with the rain one stormy summer afternoon, it changes everything. It turns Momma and Pops into liars. It makes her brother a stranger and Uncle Jack an even bigger mystery. All of a sudden, Marley doesn't know who she is anymore and can only turn to the family she no longer trusts to find out. Truth often brings change. Sometimes that change is for the good. Sometimes it isn't. Coretta Scott King award-winning author Angela Johnson writes a poignant novel of deception and self-discovery -- about finding the truth and knowing what to do when truth is at hand.
Breaking Ground, Breaking Silence : The Story of New York's African Burial Ground
by Joyce Hansen Details
How can we learn about the lives of African slaves in Colonial America? Often forbidden to read or write, they left few written records. But in 1991 scientists rediscovered New York's long-ignored African Burial Ground, which opened an exciting new window into the past. A woman with filed teeth buried with a girdle of beads; a black soldier buried with his British Navy uniform, his face pointing east; a mother and child, laid to rest side by side: to scientists, each of these burials has much to tell us about African slaves in America. Breaking Ground, Breaking Silence shows how archaeologists and anthropologists have learned to read life stories in shattered bones, tiny beads, and the faint traces left by coffin lids in ancient soil. At the same time, by blending together the insights found buried in the soil and the results of historians' careful studies, it gives us a moving, inspiring portrait of the lives Africans created in Colonial New York.
Jazmin's Notebook
by Nikki Grimes Details
Jazmin Shelby was "born with clenched fists"-which is okay, since she's got a lot of fighting ahead of her. Her dad died a couple of years back, and now that her mom's in the hospital, it's just her and her big sister, CeCe. But that's fine by Jazmin. She's got her friends, her school, lots of big plans for the future-and a zest for life and laughter that's impossible to resist.
The Other Side : Shorter Poems
by Angela Johnson Details
A collection of poems reminiscent of growing up as an African-American girl in Shorter, Alabama.
Forged by Fire
by Sharon Draper Details
When Gerald was a child he was fascinated by fire. But fire is dangerous and powerful, and tragedy strikes. His substance-addicted mother is taken from him. Then he loses the loving generosity of a favorite aunt. A brutal stepfather with a flaming temper and an evil secret makes his life miserable. The one bright light in Gerald's life is his little half sister, Angel, whom he struggles to protect from her father, Jordan Sparks, who abuses her, and from their mother, whose irresponsible behavior forces Gerald to work hard to keep the family together. As a teenager, Gerald finds success as a member of the Hazelwood Tigers basketball team, while Angel develops her talents as a dancer. Trouble still haunts them, however, and Gerald learns, painfully, that young friends can die and old enemies must be faced. In the end he must stand up to his stepfather alone in a blazing confrontation. Sharon M. Draper has interwoven characters and events from her previous novel, Tears of a Tiger, in this unflinchingly realistic portrayal of poverty and child abuse. It is an inspiring story of a young man who rises above the tragic circumstances of his life by drawing on the love and strength of family and friends.
Bayard Rustin : Behind the Scenes of the Civil Rights Movement
by James Haskins Details
A biography of Bayard Rustin, a skillful organizer behind the scenes of the American civil rights movement whose ideas stongly influenced Martin Luther King, Jr.
I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly : The Diary of Patsy, a Freed Girl
by Joyce Hansen Details
Twelve-year-old Patsy keeps a diary of the confusing time following the end of the Civil War and the granting of freedom to former slaves.
Slam
by Walter Dean Myers Details
An exciting, eye-catching repackage of acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers' bestselling paperbacks, to coincide with the publication of SUNRISE OVER FALLUJA in hardcover. Seventeen-year-old Greg "Slam" Harris can do it all on the basketball court. He's seen ballplayers come and go, and he knows he could be one of the lucky ones. Maybe he'll make it to the top. Or maybe he'll stumble along the way. Slam's grades aren't that hot. And when his teachers jam his troubles in his face, he blows up. Slam never doubted himself on the court until he found himself going one-on-one with his own future, and he didn't have the ball.
Rebels Against Slavery : American Slave Revolts
by Patricia C. McKissack Details
From one of today's most distinguished author teams comes a meticulously researched, exciting chronicle of the unsung heroes in the war against slavery.
Her Stories
by Virginia Hamilton Details
In the tradition of Hamilton's The People Could Fly and In the Beginning, a dramatic new collection of 25 compelling tales from the female African American storytelling tradition. Each story focuses on the role of women--both real and fantastic--and their particular strengths, joys and sorrows. Full-color illustrations.
From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun
by Jacqueline Woodson Details
Melanin Sun's world is turned upside-down when his mom reveals that she is gay.
Like Sisters on the Homefront
by   Details
When Gayle gets into trouble with her boyfriend, her mother sends the street-smart 14-year-old and her baby, Jose'down to Georgia, to live with Uncle Luther and his family. There's nothing to do, nowhere to go, and no one around except kneesock-wearing, Jesus-praising cousin Cookie. Then Gayle meets Great, the family matriarch'and her stories of the past begin to change how Gayle sees her future. Williams-Garcia has surpassed herself.'She has set these fictional characters firmly in the real world while still allowing them to rise from the pages and into readers hearts and imaginations.' The Horn Book , starred review
The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
by Christopher Paul Curtis Details
The ordinary interactions and everyday routines of the Watsons, an African American family living in Flint, Michigan, are drastically changed after they go to visit Grandma in Alabama in the summer of 1963.
Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters
by Patricia C. McKissack Details
Rich in historical detail and filled with luminous illustrations, this poignant book movingly describes the holiday celebrations of both slaves and slave owners on a pre-Civil War plantation. The year is 1859, and it's Christmastime on a Virginia Plantation. The slaves are cleaning and setting up the Big House--where their masters live--for the festivities. The Big House is filled with warmth, colorful decorations, and yummy food...but there is talk of war and a sense that times may be changing. In the quarters--where the slaves live--conditions are poor, dirty, and cold, but the slaves are filled with hope for better times ahead, and they sing songs of freedom. Moving deftly between two worlds, this beautifully illustrated book is a historical tale as well as a holiday treat.
Black Diamond : Story of the Negro Baseball League
by Patricia C. McKissack Details
A stirring tribute to the human drama, legendary heroes, infamous owners, low pay, and long bus rides that were the Negro Leagues.
I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This
by Jacqueline Woodson Details
In this Coretta Scott King Honor Book, 12-year-old Marie is African American. She befriends Lena, a white girl, because both have lost their mothers. Lena has a terrifying secret, and Marie must decide if she can help Lena more by keeping her secret--or by telling it.
The Captive
by Joyce Hansen Details
When Kofi's father, an Ashanti chief, is killed, Kofi is sold as a slave and ends up in Massachusetts, where his fate is in the hands of Paul Cuffe, an African American shipbuilder who works to return slaves to their homeland in Africa.
Toning the Sweep
by Angela Johnson Details
Angela Johnson's Coretta Scott King Award winning novel that traces three generations of African American women as they learn one another's truths. Three generations of African American women, each holding on to a separate truth. Their story -- encompassing racism and murder as well as the family commonplaces that make a life -- is one that readers will never forget.
Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea
by Joyce Carol Thomas Details
'A cycle of a dozen lyrical poems exploring issues of African-American identity through delicately interwoven images. . . . Laden with meaning, the poetry is significant and lovely. Cooper's paintings, with vibrant, unsentimentalized characters in earth tone illumined with gold, are warm, contemplative'a beautiful complement to Thomas's eloquence. A must.' 'K. 'Poems rooted in home, family, and the African-American experience.... Highly readable and attractive.' 'BL.
Malcolm X : By Any Means Necessary
by Walter Dean Myers Details
Few men in American history are as controversial as Malcolm X. In this provocative biography, Myers, winner of a Newbery Honor and four-time Coretta Scott King Award winner, presents a forthright portrait of a complex man whose life reflected the major events of our times.
The Dark-Thirty : Southern Tales of the Supernatural
by Patricia C. McKissack Details
A collection of ghost stories with African American themes, designed to be told during the Dark Thirty--the half hour before sunset--when ghosts seem all too believable.
Mississippi Challenge
by Mildred Pitts Walter Details
Describes the struggle for civil rights for the blacks in Mississippi, from the time of slavery to the signing of the Voting Rights Act in 1965.
Sojourner Truth : Ain't I a Woman?
by Patricia C. McKissack Details
In 1797, a slave named Isabella was born in New York. After being freed in 1827, she chose the name by which she has been remembered long after her death - Sojourner Truth.
Somewhere in the Darkness
by Walter Dean Myers Details
An exciting, eye-catching repackage of acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers' bestselling paperbacks, to coincide with the publication of SUNRISE OVER FALLUJA in hardcover. Jimmy hasn't seen his father in nine years. But one day he comes back -- on the run from the law. Together, the two of them travel across the country -- where Jimmy's dad will find the man who can exonerate him of the crime for which he was convicted. Along the way, Jimmy discovers a lot about his father and himself -- and that while things can't always be fixed, sometimes they can be understood and forgiven.
Now is Your Time : The African American Struggle for Freedom
by Walter Dean Myers Details
History has made me an African American. It is an Africa that I have come from, and an America that I have helped to create. Since they were first brought as captives to Virginia, the people who would become African Americans have struggled for freedom. Thousands fought for the rights of all Americans during the Revolutionary War, and for their own rights during the Civil War. On the battlefield, through education, and through their creative genius, they have worked toward one goal: that the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness be denied no one. Fired by the legacy of men and women like Abd al Rahman Ibrahima, Ida B. Wells, and George Latimer, the struggle continues today. Here is African-American history, told through the stories of the people whose experiences have shaped and continue to shape the America in which we live.
Night on Neighborhood Street
by Eloise Greenfield Details
A collection of poems exploring the sounds, sights, and emotions enlivening a black neighborhood during the course of one evening.
The Road to Memphis
by Mildred D. Taylor Details
It is 1941, and while America is on the verge of war, Cassie is fighting a battle of her own. She is not prepared for the violent explosion when her black friend lashes out at his white tormentors, an action unheard of in Mississippi.
Black Dance in America
by James Haskins Details
Surveys the history of black dance in America, from its beginnings with the ritual dances of African slaves, through tap and modern dance to break dancing. Includes brief biographies of influential dancers and companies.
When I Am Old With You
by Angela Johnson Details
A child imagines being old with Grandaddy and joining him in such activities as playing cards all day, visiting the ocean, and eating bacon on the porch.
A Long Hard Journey : The Story of the Pullman Porter
by Patricia C. McKissack Details
A chronicle of the first black-controlled union, made up of Pullman porters, who after years of unfair labor practices staged a battle against a corporate giant resulting in a "David and Goliath" ending.
Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Freedom Movement
by Lillie Patterson Details
The story of King's nonviolent struggle to achieve his goals is the subject of this book. All the significant events of his campaign--the Montgomery bus boycott, the sit-ins, the marches and protests--are lucidly chronicled in this volume.
Nathaniel Talking
by Eloise Greenfield Details
Beautifully composed in a variety of styles--rap, blues, and free verse--these 18 poems offers a black child's insights into his own heart and mind, and into the lives of family and friends. Nine-year-old Nathaniel reflects on what it's like to be curious, smart, and full of ideas.
The Bells of Christmas
by Virgina Hamilton Details
Twelve-year-old Jason Bell waits impatiently for Christmas 1890. Set against the carefully researched background life of a middle-class black family in Ohio a century ago, "Hamilton's story moves along at an elegant pace, giving readers time to savor the holiday preparations."-- School Library Journal
Fallen Angels
by Walter Dean Myers Details
Seventeen-year-old Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high school, enlists in the Army in the summer of 1967 and spends a devastating year on active duty in Vietnam.
A Thief in the Village and Other Stories
by James Berry Details
Nine inviting stories reveal Jamaica from salty shore to sun-drenched village. Nenna and her brother Man-Man sneak from shadow to tree trunk in the dead of night, concealing themselves while tracking a coconut thief. Gusta barely survives a violent hurricane, trying to save his fruit-laden banana tree. Becky begs her mother for a bicycle, and Fanso longs to know his father who walked out of his life thirteen years earlier.
Anthony Burns : The Defeat and Triumph of a Fugitive Slave
by Virgina Hamilton Details
Virginia Hamilton's powerful true account of the sensational trial of a fugitive slave. The year is 1854, and Anthony Burns, a 20-year-old Virginia slave, has escaped to Boston. But according to the Fugitive Slave Act, a runaway can be captured in any free state, and Anthony is soon imprisoned. The antislavery forces in Massachusetts are outraged, but the federal government backs the Fugitive Slave Act, sparking riots in Boston and fueling the Abolitionist movement.
The Friendship
by Mildred D. Taylor Details
Four children witness a confrontation between an elderly black man and a white storekeeper in rural Mississippi in the 1930s.
An Enchanted Hair Tale
by Alexis De Veaux Details
Sudan suffers from the general ridicule of his strange-looking hair, until he comes to accept and enjoy its enchantment.
The Tales of Uncle Remus : The Adventures of Brer Rabbit
by Julius Lester Details
A retelling of the Afro-American tales about the adventures and misadventures of Brer Rabbit and his friends and enemies.
Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World
by Mildred Pitts Walter Details
Suffering in a family full of females, ten-year-old Justin feels that cleaning and keeping house are women's work until he spends time on his beloved grandfather's ranch.
Lion and the Ostrich Chicks and Other African Folk Tales
by Ashley Bryan Details
"In the splendid format of his two previous collections, Ashley Brian presents four stories representing various cultures of Africa, while his dynamic, somewhat stylized . . . illustrations add not only decorative designs but a handsome choreography of animated creatures".--The Horn Book. A Coretta Scott King Honor Book.
Which Way Freedom
by Joyce Hansen Details
Based on actual events and revealing little known facts about the lives of runaway slaves, this novel follows the lives of Obi, who had never forgotten the sounds of his mother's screams on the day he was sold away from her, and who runs away as the Civil War begins, and his friend Easter.
The People Could Fly : American Black Folktales
by Virgina Hamilton Details
Retold Afro-American folktales of animals, fantasy, the supernatural, and desire for freedom, born of the sorrow of the slaves, but passed on in hope.
Junius Over Far
by Virgina Hamilton Details
After his grandfather leaves his family and returns to a dangerous situation on his home island in the Caribbean, fourteen-year-old Junius decides to follow him in search of his lost heritage.
Trouble's Child
by Mildred Pitts Walter Details
Martha longs to leave her island home of the Louisiana coast and go to high school where she can learn more than the ways of her midwife grandmother and perhaps someday broaden the lives of the superstitious villagers.
Motown and Didi
by Walter Dean Myers Details
Motown lives in a burned-out building one floor above the rats, searching out jobs every day, working his muscles every night, keeping strong, surviving. Didi lives in her cool dream bubble, untouched by the Harlem heat that beats down on her brother until only drugs can soothe him. Didi escapes, without needles, in her tidy plans and stainless visions, etchings of ivycovered colleges where her true life will begin. Didi can survive inside her own safe mind, until Motown steps into her real world and makes it bearable. Together they can stand the often brutal present. What about the future?
A Little Love
by Virgina Hamilton Details
Though she has been raised lovingly by her grandparents, a black teenager goes in search of her father.
Circle of Gold
by Candy Dawson Boyd Details
After the death of Mattie's father, her mother seems to take out her frustrations on Mattie. But Mattie devises a plan to bring her family back together again. Coretta Scott King Award Honor Book; Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies.
Everett Anderson's Goodbye
by Lucille Clifton Details
Everett Anderson has a difficult time coming to terms with his grief after his father dies.
Because We Are
by Mildred Pitts Walter Details
After a misunderstanding with a white teacher, black honor student Emma is transferred from the integrated high school where she has excelled to a segregated school where she finds a different kind of challenge.
Bright Shadow
by Joyce Carol Thomas Details
Abyssinia Jackson must learn to cope with tragedy when peace is shattered in her Oklahoma countryside and her boyfriend Carl Lee disappears.
Lena Horne
by James Haskins Details
Details Horne's half-century career and describes her hard life as a child, her first appearance at Harlem's Cotton Club, her problems with the film industry and the political blacklist, and the strength and spirit that brought her success.
The Magical Adventures of Pretty Pearl
by Virgina Hamilton Details
One long time ago, Pretty Pearl god child lived high on a mountaintop in Africa with all other gods. Curious about mankind and itching to show off her powers, she came down off the mountain with her brother, know-all best god John de Conquer, and sailed on a slave ship for America. There she saw the suffering of the black people, and felt their sorrow right behind her eyes . Pretty Pearl knew now was her time to act. Brother John gave her a magical necklace, a set of rules to follow, and a warning to be careful. "Them human bein's be awful tricky," he said."they has most winnin' ways." Drawing upon her fabulous storehouse of black legend, myth, and folklore, Virginia Hamilton has ventured into new ways of exploring the human spirit in this extrodinary fantasy filled with mysteries, beauty, and hope.
Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush
by Virgina Hamilton Details
The first time Teresa saw Brother was the way she would think of him ever after. Tree fell head over heels for him. It was love at first sight in a wild beating of her heart that took her breath. But it was a dark Friday three weeks later when it rained, hard and wicked, before she knew Brother Rush was a ghost.Why had he come to her, with his dark secrets from a long-ago past? Was it to help Dab, her retarded older brother, wracked with mysterious pain? Was it for her mother, Vy, who loved them the best she knew how, but wasn't home enough to ease the terrible longing? Whatever secrets he held, Tree knew she must follow. She must follow Brother Rush through the magic mirror, and find out the truth. About all of them.
This Strange New Feeling
by Julius Lester Details
Three powerful short stories about slavery and freedom set in the antebellum South.
Let the Circle Be Unbroken
by Mildred D. Taylor Details
Four black children growing up in rural Mississippi during the Depression experience racial antagonisms and hard times, but learn from their parents the pride and self-respect they need to survive.
Lou in the Limelight
by Kristin Hunter Details
Lou and the Soul Brothers leave home hoping for quick success in show business, but encounter, and fall into, most of the traps that await inexperienced performers.
Mary : An Autobiography
by Mary E. Mebane Details
Born in rural North Carolina in 1933, into the last generation before the lines of segregation were broken, the young Mary Mebane felt herself trapped in a "world without options." But even in the face of poverty, racism, and the chilling certainty that her mother's affection would never be won, she vowed to escape. In this powerful autobiography, first published in 1981, Mebane recalls the joys and chores of her country childhood, the pain of her alienation from her family and community, and her dawning awareness that in her gifts for language and learning lay her key to freedom. With her graduation from college comes a triumph that is both hard-won and bittersweet.
Rainbow Jordan
by Alice Childress Details
Her mother, her foster guardian, and 14-year-old Rainbow comment on the state of things as she prepares to return to a foster home for yet another stay.
This Life
by Sidney Poitier Details
An autobiography of the actor who arrived in Miami, from the Bahamas, at age sixteen. Some of his movies have been "A Raisin in the Sun," "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," and "In the Heat of the Night."
Don't Explain : A Song of Billie Holiday
by Alexis De Veaux Details
Presents a prose poem recounting the life of the American jazz singer affectionately known as Lady Day.
The Young Landlords
by Walter Dean Myers Details
If you were looking for a real ghetto dump, you couldn't beat The Stratford Arms. There was Askia Ben Kenobi throwing karate chops upstairs, Petey Darden making booze downstairs, and Mrs. Brown grieving for Jack Johnson, who'd died for the third time in a month and not a rent payer in the bunch. Still, when Paul Williams and the Action Group got the Arms for one dollar, they thought they had it made. But when their friend Chris was arrested for stealing stereos and Dean's dog started biting fire hydrants and Gloria started kissing, being a landlord turned out to be a lot more work than being a kid.
Andrew Young : Young Man with a Mission
by James Haskins Details
An account of the life of Andrew Young, including his activities as a clergyman, civil rights worker, legislator, and United States Ambassador to the United Nations.
Childtimes : A Three-Generation Memoir
by Eloise Greenfield Details
Eloise Greenfield'Three [African-American] women-grandmother, mother, daughter-recall significant aspects of their respective childhoods [from the 1800s through the 1950s]. The effect is poignant and moving [as familiar patterns develop]: household chores, school life and socials, encounters with prejudice, love of family, pride of heritage.' -H. Notable 1979 Children's Trade Books in Social Studies (NCSS/CBC) 1980 Carter G. Woodson Outstanding Merit Book (NCSS) 1979 Children's Book Show (American Institute of Graphic Arts) Children's Books of 1979 (Library of Congress)
James Van Der Zee : The Picture Takin' Man
by James Haskins Details
A biography of the black photographer who has received acclaim for his prints of Harlem.
Let the Lion Eat Straw
by Ellease Southerland Details
Hailed upon publication by writers and critics alike, including Shirley Hazzard and Charles Johnson, Let the Lion Eat Straw is a dazzling novel that tells the story of Abeba Williams, whose mother abandons the poverty of the South -- and in the process her daughter -- for opportunities up North. Missing her mother, she clings to Mamma Habblesham, a woman with enviable reserves of love and hope. Their affection for each other seems boundless -- until Abeba's mother returns to take her to Brooklyn. As Abeba grows up, her exceptional musical talent promises to be an avenue of escape. But a handsome singer distracts her, and opportunities that once seemed so close begin to fall away. Now married with children of her own, she fights to maintain the dignity of her family. Let the Lion Eat Straw is a revelation of the glory in apparently ordinary lives.
Movin' Up
by Berry Gordy Details
The autobiography of Berry Gordy, Sr., son of a slave and father of the founder of Motown Records.
Escape to Freedom
by Ossie Davis Details
Douglass overcame his beginnings as a slave to become the first black man to hold a diplomatic office. He was a great orator and also wrote several books. This play emphasizes his contributions.
Benjamin Banneker
by Lillie Patterson Details
A biography of the distinguished eighteenth-century black astronomer, farmer, mathematician, and surveyor whose accomplishments include having published a popular almanac and constructed the first completely American-made clock.
I Have a Sister, My Sister is Deaf
by Jeanne W. Peterson Details
A young deaf child who loves to run and jump and play is affectionately described by her older sister. 'Can give young children an understanding of the fact that deaf children . . . share all the interests of children with normal hearing.' 'C. 'A friendly, affirmative look [at the everyday experiences of the two sisters].' 'BL. 1979 Coretta Scott King Award Honor Book A Reading Rainbow Selection Children's Books of 1977 (Library of Congress)
Justice and Her Brothers
by Virgina Hamilton Details
An eleven-year-old and her older twin brothers struggle to understand their supersensory powers.
Skates of Uncle Richard
by Carol Fenner Details
With her Uncle's encouragement a nine-year-old takes the first step toward realizing her dream of becoming a figure skater.
Africa Dream
by Eloise Greenfield Details
An African-American child dreams of long-ago Africa, where she sees animals, shops in a marketplace, reads strange words from an old book, and returns to the village where her long-ago granddaddy welcomes her.
Barbara Jordan
by James Haskins Details
A biography of the Congresswoman from Texas, the first black woman ever to be elected to that office from the South.
Coretta Scott King
by Lillie Patterson Details
A biography of the wife of the slain civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr.
Marvin and Tige
by Frankcina Glass Details
An alcoholic former advertising executive and a street-wise eleven-yearold from an Atlanta slum develop a close, loving friendship.
Mary McCleod Bethune
by Eloise Greenfield Details
Biography of Mary Jane McLeod Bethune who made numerous contributions to education for Afro-Americans.
Portia : The Life of Portia Washington Pittman, the Daughter of Booker T. Washington
by Ruth Ann Stewart Details
Tells the story of an independent, commites and courageous woman who refused to bow to pressures of society to conform.
The Days When the Animals Talked : Black Folk Tales and How They Came to Be
by William J. Faulkner Details
Presents more than 20 Afro-American folktales featuring the escapades of Brer Rabbit and more than 10 tales describing the lives of Afro-American slaves.
The Story of Stevie Wonder
by James Haskins Details
A biography of the blind composer, pianist, and singer who was a child prodigy and went on to win nine Grammy awards.
Everett Anderson's Friend
by Lucille Clifton Details
Having eagerly anticipated the new neighbors, a boy is disappointed to get a whole family of girls.
Quiz Book on Black America
by Clarance N. Blake Details
More than seventy quizzes challenge and increase the reader's knowledge of the roles played by blacks in American life.
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
by Mildred D. Taylor Details
A black family living in Mississippi during the Depression of the 1930s is faced with prejudice and discrimination which its children do not understand.
Duey's Tale
by Pearl Bailey Details
A maple seedling becomes separated from his mother tree, makes friends with a bottle and a log, and searches for his own place in life.
Fast Sam, Cool Clyde and Stuff
by Walter Dean Myers Details
New to 116th Street in New York, a young boy soon makes friends and begins a year of unusual experiences. Francis (soon to be nicknamed Stuff) doesn't know anyone when he first moves to 116th Street in Harlem. But all that changes when he meets Fast Sam, Cool Clyde, and Gloria. Stuff and the gang grow close that eventful year, and nothing is ever quite the same....
Julius K. Nyerere : Teacher of Africa
by Shirley Graham Details
A biography of the African nationalist who led Tanganyika to independence, united that country with Zanzibar, and became the first president of Tanzania.
Paul Robeson
by Eloise Greenfield Details
An updated and redesigned edition of Eloise Greenfield's award-winning biography of Paul Robeson, who overcame racial discrimination to become an international entertainer and civil rights activist. Includes a new introduction and afterword by the author, focusing on Robeson's legacy.
Song of the Trees
by Mildred D. Taylor Details
During the Depression, a rural black family deeply attached to the forest on their land tries to save it from being cut down by an unscrupulous white man.
The Legend of Africana
by Dorothy Robinson Details
An allegorical tale of Africa's struggle against the ravishment of its people and country.
Ray Charles
by Sharon Bell Mathis Details
As a young boy he fell in love with music, and as a man, the world fell in love with his music. Ray Charles and his soulful, passionate rhythms and melodies have been embraced around the world for decades. Now, in this beautiful new edition of an award-winning biography, readers can follow Charles from his boyhood, when he lost his sight and learned to read and write music in Braille, until the age of 40, when he had become a world-renowned jazz and blues musician packing auditoriums and stadiums.
A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich
by Alice Childress Details
The life of a thirteen-year-old Harlem youth on his way to becoming a confirmed heroin addict is seen from his viewpoint and from that of several people around him.
Don't You Remember?
by Lucille Clifton Details
Until her birthday a young girl is convinced everyone makes promises to her that only she remembers.
Guests in the Promised Land
by Kristin Hunter Details
Eleven short stories explore the experience of being black in a white world.
Ms. Africa : Profiles of Modern African Women
by Louise Crane Details
Brief biographies of thirteen prominent African women emphasizing their achievements in their chosen careers. Included are Angie Brooks, Margaret Kenyatta, and Miriam Makeba.
Mukasa
by John Nagenda Details
Although his ancestors have always been goat herders, a young Ugandan boy's mother is determined to send him to school.
I Never Had it Made : The Autobiography of Jackie Robinson
by Jackie Robinson Details
Before Barry Bonds, before Reggie Jackson, before Hank Aaron, baseball's stars had one undeniable trait in common: they were all white. In 1947, Jackie Robinson broke that barrier, striking a crucial blow for racial equality and changing the world of sports forever. I Never Had It Made is Robinson's own candid, hard-hitting account of what it took to become the first black man in history to play in the major leagues. I Never Had It Made recalls Robinson's early years and influences: his time at UCLA, where he became the school's first four-letter athlete; his army stint during World War II, when he challenged Jim Crow laws and narrowly escaped court martial; his years of frustration, on and off the field, with the Negro Leagues; and finally that fateful day when Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers proposed what became known as the "Noble Experiment" -- Robinson would step up to bat to integrate and revolutionize baseball. More than a baseball story, I Never Had It Made also reveals the highs and lows of Robinson's life after baseball. He recounts his political aspirations and civil rights activism; his friendships with Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, William Buckley, Jr., and Nelson Rockefeller; and his troubled relationship with his son, Jackie, Jr. Originally published the year Robinson died, I Never Had It Made endures as an inspiring story of a man whose heroism extended well beyond the playing field.
17 Black Artists
by Elton C. Fax Details
Biographies of seventeen black artists.
Black Means
by Gladys Groom Details
Records the feelings of New York elementary school children toward the word "black."
Ebony Book of Black Achievement
by Margaret W. Peters Details
Brief biographies of twenty-one lesser known black men and women who made significant contributions to history and the black heritage from the fourteenth to the twentieth centuries.
Every Man Heart Lay Down
by Lorenz Graham Details
Here is the story of the birth of Jesus retold in the idiom of Liberians newly acquainted with the English language. To the storytellers of Liberia, Bible stories become poems, or spoken songs. So it is with this simple and tender version of the Nativity. Long out of print, this special picture book is available again to a new generation of readers.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
by Maya Angelou Details
A black woman recalls the anguish of her childhood in Arkansas and her adolescence in northern slums.
Mary Jo's Grandmother
by Janice May Udry Details
When her grandmother is hurt in a fall, Mary Jo must get help to the remote farm where they live.
The Voice of the Children
by June Jordan Details
Twenty black and Puerto Rican children write their poetic impressions of growing up in the ghettos of America.
Unbought and Unbossed
by Shirley Chisholm Details
Unbought and Unbossed is Shirley Chisholm's account of her remarkable rise from young girl in Brooklyn to America's first African-American Congresswoman. She shares how she took on an entrenched system, gave a public voice to millions, and sets the stage for her trailblazing bid to be the first woman and first African-American President of the United States. By daring to be herself, Shirley Chisholm shows us how she forever changed the status quo.
Martin Luther King, Jr. : Man of Peace
by Lillie Patterson Details
A biography of the minister, orator, and crusader for equal civil rights who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
Updated 01/27/2014
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