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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Middle Grade and Young Adult Books to Celebrate Black History Month

We continue celebrating Black History Month with this list of books for middle graders and young adults. We hope to encourage young readers to read diverse books and to support identity and culture through books.

Elijah of Buxton
by Christopher Paul Curtis:

Elijah is a young boy living in a settlement for runaway slaves in Buxton, Canada. He is the first in his family to be born into freedom. However, when Elijah travels to America to help a friend he witnesses firsthand the struggles that his parents endured as slaves.

The Hero Two Doors Down 
by Sharon Robinson

Young Steven is a native New Yorker and loves the Dodgers. He is thrilled to hear that the one and only Jackie Robinson is moving two doors down from him. However, some of the neighbors are not so excited to hear that an African American family is moving to this all-Jewish neighborhood.

One Crazy Summer
by Rita Williams-Garcia

This story follows a young girl as she spends the summer attending a Black Panther summer camp in the late 1960's.

The Watsons Go To Birmingham-1963
by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Watson family decides to take a road trip to visit grandma in Birmingham, Alabama, when older brother Byron gets into some trouble. The trip turns out to be a vital learning experience for the whole family as they witness segregation in the deep South.

The Logan Family Series 
By Mildred D. Taylor

This series by Mississippi author Mildred D. Taylor tells the struggles of African Americans living in the South. 

Midnight Without a Moon
by Linda Williams Jackson

This is Mississippi author Linda Williams Jackson's debut novel that follows a young girl living in Mississippi during the time of Emmett Till's murder.

Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case
by Patricia Hruby Powell and Shadra Strickland

This book tells the story of Richard and Mildred Loving as they fight to legalize their interracial marriage in the Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia.

Brown Girl Dreaming
by Jacqueline Woodson

With beautiful poetry Woodson shares what it was like growing up during the Civil Rights Movement.

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom
by Lynda Blackmon Lowery, Elspeth Leacock, Susan Buckley and P.J. Loughran

Lynda Blackmon Lowery at the age of 15 was the youngest to march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, during the 1965 voting rights march. This memoir shares her experiences during the march and the many times that Lowery fought for change in America.

Rhythm Ride
by Andrea Davis Pinkney

This memoir shares how Berry Gordy used his music scene to inspire the Civil Rights Movement.

The Hate U Give
By Angie Thomas

Starr Carter's world comes crashing down when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Mississippi author Angie Thomas was inspired to write this book by the Black Lives Matter community. Be sure to look for this book on its release date, February 28th. We also hear that a movie adaptation is in the works.

Dear Martin 
by Nic Stone

Justyce McAllister is wrongfully arrested and now must cope with the aftermath. To do this he starts a journal to Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. Dear Martin is set to be published October 17th. Be sure to check it out then.

Dreamland Burning
by Jennifer Latham

Based on the Tulsa race riot of 1924 this novel interweaves alternate perspectives of a painful century-old murder. Look for this book on February 21st.

Into White
by Randi Pink

LaToya Williams, a black teenager, prays to be white so that she will fit in at her mostly white school. Her wish comes true when she wakes up one morning with blonde hair, blue eyes, and pale skin.

by Tiffany D. Jackson

Mary B. Addison was accused of killing a white baby when she was nine-years-old. She has spent the past six years in jail; however, now she has something to live for and must revisit the past to clear her name.

March Book One, Two and Three 
by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell

These graphic memoirs follow John Lewis' life and involvement in the Civil Rights Movement.

How It Went Down 
by Kekla Magoon

Tariq Johnson is fatally shot by a white man named Jack Franklin. Now Tariq's friends and family are left to make sense of the tragedy by giving their version of what happened that day. 

by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon

Follow Malcolm X from childhood to his imprisonment for theft in this young adult novel co-written by Malcolm X's daughter.  

Until next time, happy reading!

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