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July 2016 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Black History Books for Youth
Black history and politics get unforgettable personal faces in these Top 10 titles selected from books reviewed in Booklist from February 15, 2005, through January 1 & 15, 2006.
Bolden, Tanya. Maritcha: A Nineteenth-Century American Girl. 2005. illus. Abrams, $17.95 (0-8109-5045-6).
Gr. 4–7. Both an enthralling personal portrait and a piercing history, this biography, illustrated with archival photographs, introduces Maritcha Réymond Lyon, who was born free in the mid-1800s and sued for admission to an all-white high school in Rhode Island.
Giovanni, Nikki. Rosa. Illus. by Bryan Collier. 2005. Holt, $16.95 (0-8050-7106-7).
Gr. 3–5. The history comes clear in this picture-book biography that melds passionate, direct words and beautiful collage illustrations to present Parks as an inspiring solitary force and also part of a dynamic activist community.
Houston, Julian. New Boy.2005. Houghton, $16 (0-618-43253-1).
Gr. 8–11. The first black student in an elite Connecticut boarding school in the late 1950s, Rob, 16, knows he is making history. His narrative is stirring drama, whether it concerns the politics of the times or his personal discovery of failure and courage.
Johnson, Dolores. Onward: A Photobiography of African-American Polar Explorer Matthew Henson. 2005. illus. National Geographic, $17.95 (0-7922-7914-X).
Gr. 5–8. Johnson’s exciting account tells of the sharecropper’s son who was the first to reach the North Pole in 1909 but did not receive full recognition until 2001.
Jurmain, Suzanne. The Forbidden Schoolhouse: The True and Dramatic Story of Prudence Crandall and Her Students. illus. Houghton, $18 (0-618-47302-5).
Gr. 5–8. With terse drama, Jurmain brings to life the history of a young white teacher sued by the people of Canterbury, Connecticut, when she opens a school for girls of color.
Lester, Julius. Day of Tears. 2005. Hyperion/Jump at the Sun, $15.99 (0-7868-0490-4).
Gr. 6–9. The biggest slave auction in American history, in Georgia in 1859, is fictionalized through the stirring voices of adults and young people, including slaves up for sale, the auctioneer, and white families buying and selling.
Lester, Julius. The Old African.2005. Illus. by Jerry Pinkney. Dial, $19.99 (0-8037-2564-7).
Gr. 4–7. With a lyrical magic realism that draws on slave legend and the dream of freedom, words and illustrations tell a dramatic escape fantasy while never denying the brutal history.
Nelson, Marilyn. A Wreath for Emmett Till. Illus. by Philippe Hardy. Houghton, $17 (0-618-39752-3).
Gr. 9–12. The searing poems about Till’s cruel, racially motivated murder form a heroic crown of sonnets in which the rigid poetic form distills the words’ overwhelming emotion into heart-stopping lines.
Wilson, Diane Lee. Black Storm Comin’. 2005. Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry, $16.95 (0-689-87137-6).
Gr. 7–10. Young mixed-race Colton suffers prejudice on a wagon train headed to California in 1860 and, later, delivers an important message as a young rider on the Pony Express. His journey to manhood is an engrossing story.
Woodson, Jacqueline.Show Way. 2005. Illus. by Hudson Talbott. Putnam, $16.99 (0-399-23749-6)
Gr. 3–5. Based on Woodson’s family history, this clear, poetic narrative, illustrated with beautiful mixed-media collages, follows African American women from slavery and the civil rights movement into the present.
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