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Bird in a Box

Bird in a Box

By Andrea Davis Pinkney

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Personal Development: Friendship, Guidance/Health: Disability, Social Studies: African American Heritage

Grades: 3 – 7

In a small upstate New York town during the Great Depression, three children–Hibernia, Willie, and Otis–are about to meet.

Hibernia dreams of becoming a famous singer and performing at Harlem’s swanky Savoy Ballroom.
Willie is recovering from a tragedy that prevents him from becoming a junior boxing champ.
Otis spends every night glued to the radio, listening to the voices that remind him of Daddy and Ma.
Each of them is looking for hope, and they all find it in the thrilling boxing matches of young Joe Louis. They know Joe has a good chance of becoming the country’s next heavyweight champion. What they don’t know is that during this unforgettable year, the three of them will become friends.

 

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PRAISE

 

*”The artfully orchestrated novel is related with grace, restraint and a wealth of historical detail” –Kirkus, starred review

“Pinkney weaves quite a bit of 1930s history into her story and succeeds admirably in showing how Louis came to represent so much more than his sport. Her detailed notes make this an accessibly and inspiring piece of historical fiction that belongs in most collections” –School Library Journal

“Children who have graduated from Matt de la Pena and Kadir Nelson’s excellent A Nation’s Hope (2011) will be shown just how culturally significant louis really was with this stirring novel, which also scores high marks as a satisfying read for both boys and girls” –Booklist

“[A] well-researched historical novel” –Horn Book

By the Great Horn Spoon

By the Great Horn SpoonBy the Great Horn Spoon

By Sid Fleischman

Genre: Historical Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Social Studies: Old West; Humor

Grades: 3 – 7

In this rollicking adventure set during the California Gold Rush, Jack’s aunt is forced to sell her beloved mansion to meet her debts. She is still unable to raise enough money to pay her creditors, and twelve-year-old Jack goes to California in search of gold to help her. Joined by his trusty butler, Praiseworthy, Jack finds adventure and trouble at every turn. Will Jack strike gold in San Francisco or come home empty-handed?

 

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PRAISE

 

“Another uncommonly original…delectable story, told, and illustrated with zest and gusto to the very last page.” –Horn Book

 

Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down

sit inSit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down

By Andrea Davis Pinkney

Illustrated by Brian Pinkney

Genre: Non-fiction

Curriculum subject: Social Studies: History; Social Studies: African Americn Heritage

Grades: All

 

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This picture book is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the momentous Woolworth’s lunch counter sit-in, when four college students staged a peaceful protest that became a defining moment in the struggle for racial equality and the growing civil rights movement.

 

Andrea Davis Pinkney uses poetic, powerful prose to tell the story of these four young men, who followed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words of peaceful protest and dared to sit at the “whites only” Woolworth’s lunch counter. Brian Pinkney embraces a new artistic style, creating expressive paintings filled with emotion that mirror the hope, strength, and determination that fueled the dreams of not only these four young men, but also countless others.

 

PRAISE

Carter G. Woodson Book Award Winner

Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Finalist

 

★ “Food-related wordplay adds layers to the free verse… [and] at the core of the exciting narrative are scenes that show the difficulty of facing hatred… Even young children will grasp the powerful, elemental, and historic story of those who stood up to oppressive authority and changed the world.” – Booklist

When Bob Met Woody

When Bob Met WoodyWhen Bob Met Woody

By Gary Golio

Illustrated by Marc Burckhardt

Genre: Non-fiction

Curriculum subject: Social Studies: Biography; Social Studies: America

 

Bob Dylan is a musical icon, an American legend, and, quite simply, a poet. But before he became Bob Dylan, he was Bob Zimmerman, a kid from rural Minnesota.

 

This lyrical and gorgeously illustrated picture book biography follows Bob as he renames himself after his favorite poet, Dylan Thomas, and leaves his mining town to pursue his love of music in New York City. There, he meets his folk music hero and future mentor, Woody Guthrie, changing his life forever.

 

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PRAISE

“Sensitively written, meticulously researched.” –Kirkus

 

“A stirring introduction to two music legends.” –Booklist

Invincible Louisa

Invincible Louisa by Cornelia MeigsInvincible Louisa

By Cornelia Meigs

Genre: Biography

Curriculum Subject: Biography; Women’s Studies

Grades: 3 – 7

 

This biography traces the fascinating life of Louisa May Alcott from her happy childhood in Pennsylvania and Boston to her success as a writer of such classics as Little women.

 

PRAISE

1934 Newbery Medalist

47

47 by Walter Mosley47

By Walter Mosley

Genre: Historical Fantasy

Curriculum Subject: Social Studies: History; Social Studies: African American Heritage: Adventure: Science Fiction

Grades: 7 & Up

 

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Number 47, a fourteen-year-old slave boy growing up underthe watchful eye of a brutal master in 1832, meets the mysterious TallJohn, who introduces him to a magical science and also teaches him the meaning of freedom.

 

 

PRAISE

ALA/YALSA Best Books for Young Adults

 

★”Equal parts history and tall tale, this engaging story related by an endearing narrator is so full of dramatic tension that few readers will realize they’re learning something, too.” – Publishers Weekly

 

“Walter Mosley is a force to be reckoned with in this lifetime and those to come. His infinite imagination makes this incredible reading.” – Black Issues Book Review

 

“A stirring story of escape from slavery in which [science fiction] and African American myth blend with the realism of plantation brutality and the courage of resistance.” – Booklist

 

“Thrilling on many levels, the books voices, sacrifices, climatic battles, and satisfying escapes will dazzle and provoke readers.” – The Horn Book

 

 

 

The House Baba Built

The House Baba Built

By Ed Young

Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction

Curriculum Subject:   Social Studies: Biographies, Social Studies: Europe/Asia/Africa, Family Life: Daily Life and Play, Family Life: Parents/Siblings/Babies

Grades: P – 17

In Ed Young’s childhood home in Shanghai, all was not as it seemed: a rocking chair became a horse; a roof became a roller rink; an empty swimming pool became a place for riding scooters and bikes. The house his father built transformed as needed into a place to play hide-and-seek, to eat bamboo shoots, and to be safe.

For outside the home’s walls, China was at war. Soon the house held not only Ed and his four siblings but also friends, relatives, and even strangers who became family. The war grew closer, and Ed watched as planes flew overhead and frends joined the Chinese air force. But through it all, Ed’s childhood remained full of joy and imagination.

                                                                                             This powerful, poignant, and exquisitely illustrated memoir is the story of one of our most beloved children’s illustrators and the house his baba built.

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PRAISE

Praise for Wabi Sabi:

A New York Times Bestseller

A New York Times Notable Children’s Book

A New York Times Best Illustrated Book

“Ingeniously layered text…and gorgeous collage art.” – – The New York Times Book Review

* “A glorious piece of bookmaking.” – Booklist

* “Simply beautiful.” – Kirkus

“Young’s art is as striking and thought-provoking as ever, emplying large swaths of phographic images to create blocks of texture that seem to pop off the page.” – The Horn Book

Praise for Beyond the Great Mountains:

“A stunning and uniquely designed picture book.” – School Library Journal

“A world of stunning beauty.” – Publishers Weekly

Praise for The Emperor and the Kite:

“A familiar jewel polished to unaccustomed brilliance.” – Booklist

 

Strawberry Hill

Strawberry HillStrawberry Hill

By Mary Ann Hoberman

Genre: Historical Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Social Studies: History; Personal Development: Friendship; Family Life: School

Grades: 3 – 7

When 10-year-old Allie learns that her family will be moving from a two-family home to their very own house, she’s hesitant until she finds out they will be living on a street with the magical name of Strawberry Hill. That changes everything! But strawberries aren’t the only things Allie will have to look for in her new neighborhood. As Allie struggles to find a new “best friend” and adjust to all of the changes she faces, she takes readers on her journey to make Strawberry Hill feel like home.

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PRAISE

A New York Times Editor’s Choice

 

★ “Highly evocative… With story lines that are simple but never simplistic and perfectly crafted chapters in which the ordinary has the opportunity to become special.” – Booklist

 

“[Hoberman] knows how to bring detail and language into just the right balance…to pull you into the story.” – The New York Times

 

“Rich details bring the period to life…This is a gentle story with the sensibility of a novel written in an earlier time.” – SLJ

 

“Allie’s plight will be utterly relatable to contemporary readers and the resolution is both satisfying and realistic.” – Publishers Weekly

 

Celeste’s Harlem Renaissance

Celeste's Harlem RenaissanceCeleste’s Harlem Renaissance

By Eleanora E. Tate

Genre: Historical Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Social Studies: History; Social Studies: African American Heritage

Grades: 3 – 7

 

It’s 1921, and when Celeste Lassiter Massey goes to stay with her Aunt Valentina in Harlem, she is not thrilled to trade her friends and comfortable North Carolina surroundings for scary big city life with a famous actress. While Celeste absorbs the excitement of the Harlem Renaissance in full swing, she sees as much grit as glamour. A passionate writer, talented violinist, and aspiring doctor, Celeste eventually faces a choice between ambition and loyalty, roots and horizons. The decision will change her forever.

 

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PRAISE

“[Tate] draws her characters with charming humor and multidimensional candor.” -SLJ

 

“Tate has created a fully realized heroine….Readers will likely happily accompany Celeste on her journey.” –Publishers Weekly

 

“Complex, distinctive, and well developed. Celeste’s wide-eyed observations…pull readers in.” –The Horn Book

 

“Readers will connect with [Celeste’s] strong, regional voice. Both sobering and inspiring, Tate’s novel is a moving portrait of growing up black and female in 1920s America.” –Booklist

“Tate has an eye, and an ear, for the ambience of the era. Celeste and her friends and family are well-conceived individuals, both real and imagined….Absorbing.” –Kirkus

 

 

Mr. Revere and I

Mr. Revere & I by Robert LawsonMr. Revere and I

By Robert Lawson

Genre: Historical Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Social Studies: History; Social Studies Patriotism

Grades: 3 – 7

 

Paul Revere didn’t make his famous midnight ride alone. Meet a patriot unlike any other: Scheherazade, the mare who doesn’t mind mentioning she was once the fastest and most admired horse in the King’s army. But on arrival in America, “Sherry” is quickly let down by her British rider and recruited by Sam Adams to join the Sons of Liberty. Before long, she finds herself teamed with Raul Revere to play a key-if unnoticed-role in the American Revolution. Full of wit and wisdom, this beloved classic presents an unforgettable view to the birth of a nation-straight from the horse’s mouth!

 

Explore this historical time period even further in this new edition of award-winning author Robert Lawson’s classic tale, with additional bonus material, including a map of Paul Revere’s ride!

 

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