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Martin & Mahalia: His Words, Her Song

Martin & Mahalia: His Words, Her Song

By Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Social Studies: African American Heritage, Personal Development: Diversity, Guidance/Health: Women’s Studies

Grades: 1-17


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They were each born with the gift of gospel.

Martin’s voice kept people in their seats, but also sent their praises soaring.

Mahalia’s voice was brass-and-butter — strong and smooth at the same time.

With Martin’s sermons and Mahalia’s songs, folks were free to shout, to sing their joy.


On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and his strong voice and powerful message were joined and lifted in song by world-renowned gospel singer Mahalia Jackson. It was a moment that changed the course of history and is imprinted in minds forever. Told through Andrea Davis Pinkney’s poetic prose and Brian Pinkney’s evocative illustration, the stories of these two powerful voices and lives are told side-by-side — as they would one day walk — following the journey from their youth to a culmination at this historical event when they united as one and inspiring kids to find their own voices and speak up for what is right.



The Black Media Archive – Hosts podcasts and other media featuring noteworthy African Americans.

Hear Mahalia Jackson sing I’m On My Way to Canaan Land.

Watch Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech” on TeacherTube.



A School Library Journal Best Books of the Year

A Booklist Editor’s Choice

An National Council of Teachers of English Notable Book

An Association of Library Services for Children Notable Book


*”[A] colorful, inspirational resource.” — Booklist, starred review


“Sure to become an indispensable part of annual Black History Month celebrations and library nonfiction collections on important African-Americans.” — Kirkus Reviews


*”This fascinating new lens for children on the often-depicted “Dream” speech during the March on Washington reveals how Jackson’s powerful voice stilled the crowds for King’s… Historical context and artistic inspirations wrap up this informative approach to the two icons and the effect of their partnership on history.” — School Library Journal, starred review

I Am Malala

I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World

By Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Personal Development: Self-Discovery, Social Studies: Biographies

Grades: 5-17


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I Am Malala. This is my story.


Malala Yousafzai was only ten years old when the Taliban took control of her region. They said music was a crime. They said women weren’t allowed to go to the market. They said girls couldn’t go to school.


Raised in a once-peaceful area of Pakistan transformed by terrorism, Malala was taught to stand up for what she believes. So she fought for her right to be educated. And on October 9, 2012, she nearly lost her life for the cause: She was shot point-blank while riding the bus on her way home from school.


No one expected her to survive.


Now Malala is an international symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner. In this Young Readers Edition of her bestselling memoir, which has been reimagined specifically for a younger audience and includes exclusive photos and material, we hear firsthand the remarkable story of a girl who knew from a young age that she wanted to change the world — and did.


Malala’s powerful story will open your eyes to another world and will make you believe in hope, truth, miracles and the possibility that one person — one young person — can inspire change in her community and beyond.



★ “A searing and personal portrait of a young woman who dared to make a difference.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)


“Malala Yousafzai isn’t the first to proclaim the pen mightier than the sword, but she is probably the only teenager to emerge defiant after taking a bullet for the right of literacy.” — Los Angeles Times


“Among Yousafzai’s many gifts is the ability to convey both how extraordinary she herself is and how many children might be, too, if someone taught them how to read and write.” —


“Everyone who laid eyes on Malala Yousafzai knew the Pakastani schoolgirl was someone special. When her mountain town of Mingora, in the Swat Valley, fell under Taliban rule, her courage made her a powerful symbol.” — Vanity Fair

Guts & Glory Series by Ben Thompson

In most history books, the people are boring, the places are boring, and the events are boring.




Listen to LB School Podcast with author Ben Thompson.



civil warThe American Civil War

Genre: Juvenile Non-Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Social Studies: History, Social Studies: Biographies, Social Studies: America, Adventure: General

Grades: 3-7


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From courageous cavalry rides deep into enemy territory to harrowing covert missions undertaken by spies and soldiers, the events of the American Civil War were filled with daring figures and amazing feats. This exhilarating overview covers the biggest battles as well as captivating lesser-known moments to entertain kids with unbelievable (and totally true) tales of one of America’s most fascinating conflicts.






vikingsThe Vikings

Genre: Juvenile Non-Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Social Studies: History, Social Studies: Biographies, Adventure: General, Mythology

Grades: 3-7


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From battle-axe-wielding tribes plundering the greatest cities of Europe to powerful kings and queens ruling their dominions with iron fists, the Vikings were some of the most feared and fearless figures in European history. Find the bravest heroes, the most menacing villains, and unbelievably awesome facts and myths inside this action-packed overview that will amaze kids with tales of a people so incredible…it’s hard to believe they were real.






guts & glory wwiiWorld War II

Genre: Juvenile Non-Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Social Studies: History, Social Studies: Biographies, Social Studies: America, Social Studies: Europe/Asia/Africa, Adventure: General

Grades: 3-7


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From massive aerial battles that clouded the skies with planes to deathly secret operations deep behind enemy lines, the events of World War II are some of the most awe-inspiring of all time. Discover legendary commanders, tremendous fights, elite soldiers, and courageous individuals whose deeds truly made the difference in this jaw-dropping guide to the biggest war the world has ever seen.






The American Revolution

Genre: Juvenile Non-Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Social Studies: America, Social Studies: Biographies, Social Studies: History

Grades: 3-7


From George Washington crossing the icy Delaware, to Molly Pitcher fearlessly firing her cannon, the people of the American Revolution were some of the bravest and most inspiring of all time. Jump into a riot in the streets of Boston, join the Culper Spy Ring as they steal secrets in the dead of night, and watch the signing of the Declaration of Independence in this accessible guide to the birth of the United States.











“An entertaining overview…. What brings these events to life, particularly for reluctant readers, is Thompson’s spirited, conversational narration…. Should keep students engaged.” —Booklist


“The book’s greatest strength is its colloquial storytelling…. Thompson’s passion for his subject is infectious…. An easy, breezy series opener that should help create a few new history buffs.” —Kirkus Reviews


“Action-packed…. Thompson adopts an urgent and sometimes humorous tone that conveys infectious enthusiasm…. A rousing introduction to this defining conflict that makes the history appealing and relatable.” —Publishers Weekly


“Thompson displays a solid knowledge of the Civil War…. He ably covers major battles, campaigns, and figures…mixing informational passages and fact boxes with colorful action sequences.” — School Library Journal

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.



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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“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.



1934 Newbery Medalist



Genre: Non-fiction

Curriculum subject: Science

Grades: 3 – 7


From physics to forensics, from the largest clouds to the tiniest ants, from Issac Newton to elephant dung, Exploratopia overflows with things readers can explore using the simplest, everyday items, such as eggs, paper clips, soda bottles, vinegar, and plastic cups. Kids will love these innovative activities and will have fun learning all at the same time.



“Practiced young experimenters ready to strike out on their own will find enticing science demonstrations on nearly every page of this inviting collection. Each of the 21 sections contains a half dozen or more entries that feature easily gathered ingredients, clear directions, and color photos or diagrams that are not only informative but often arresting as well.” –SLJ


“With many color photos, cartoon-style drawings, and well-labeled diagrams, the book is brightly illustrated and visually appealing, from its eye-catching endpapers right through to the appended (and sure-to-be-consulted) “Hints, Tips, & Answers.” Better written and more engaging than most science experiment books, this book encourages children to learn through reading, observations, and experimentation.” —Booklist


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 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


Harlem Stomp

Harlem StompHarlem Stomp: A Cultural History of the Harlem Renaissance

By Laban Carrick Hill

Genre: Non-Fiction

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

Grades: 7 & Up


Meticulously researched and lavishly illustrated, the book is a veritable time capsule packed with poetry, prose, photographs, full-color paintings, and reproductions of historical documents.


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National Book Award Finalist

★”A visual feast….Together, the words and images bring this extraordinary period to life.” -SLJ

★”This energetic, elegantly designed volume documents the artistic, literary and musical surge of black culture in Harlem.” –Publishers Weekly

★”With a beautiful open design, this illustrated history combines the politics of the black metropolis in the roaring 1920s with….detailed chapters on the ‘blazing creativity’ of performers, writers, visual artists, and intellectuals….wonderful for browsing.” –Booklist


Rapture Practice

Rapture Practice by Aaron HartlerRapture Practice

By Aaron Hartzler

Genre: Non-fiction

Curriculum Subjects: Teen: Life Religion; Family, Personal Development: Self-Discovery

Grade: 10 & Up


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Sometimes salvation is found in the strangest places: a true story.


Aaron Hartzler grew up in a home where he was taught that at any moment the Rapture could happen. That Jesus might come down in the twinkling of an eye and scoop Aaron and his family up to heaven. As a kid, Aaron was thrilled by the idea that every moment of every day might be his last one on planet Earth.


But as Aaron turned sixteen, he found himself more attached to his earthly life and curious about all the things his family forsakes for the Lord. In this funny and heartfelt coming-of-age memoir, Hartzler recalls his teenage journey to find the person he is without losing the family that loves him.




★ “His story emphasizes discovery more than rebellion, and the narrative is carefully constructed to show and not judge the beliefs of his family and their community… Hartzler’s laugh-out-loud stylings range from the subtle to the ridiculous…A hilarious first-of-its-kind story that will surely inspire more.”  — Kirkus Reviews


“Effervescent and moving, evocative and tender.” — The New York Times Book Review


“Hartzler writes with a keen eye for detail… he is equally sure-footed describing his inner turmoil… One of the best things, however, is how lovingly Hartzler portrays his parents, even as they anger him.” — Booklist


“What rings very true… is the author’s thoughtful search for answers to his heart’s biggest questions, and his pragmatism and sense of humor on the journey.” — Publishers Weekly


“[Aaron Hatzler’s] memoir is appealing because of his honesty, and forthrightness… clear and lively.” — School Library Journal