of the Center for Children's Books
|The Bulletin Dozen is a monthly theme-based booklist
available as an online-only Bulletin feature. Since we're awfully
fond of bakers here at the Bulletin, we thought we'd adopt their
philosophy of generosity and throw in an extra one or two when we have them
to offer--so don't expect an even dozen. Please feel free to copy, download,
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African American History Month: Fighting the Good Fight to Make a Difference
February is African American History month and, as Diane McWhorter says in A Dream of Freedom, one of the books listed below, “The experience of African Americans keeps all Americans mindful of the worst we are capable of as a nation, the inhumanity we are willing to legislate and defend. But it also reveals the best of the human spirit, the potential for the advancement of civilization when an oppressed people raise us all up in the course of lifting up themselves.” Here are some books to aid in the effort.
Adler, David A. Joe Louis: America's Fighter; illus. by Terry Widener. Gulliver/Harcourt, 2005. 7-10 yrs.
From 1932 to 1951, fighter Joe Louis won fans, both black and white, by his matchless skill in the boxing ring. (BCCB 12/05)
Bolden, Tonya. The Champ: The Story of Muhammad Ali; illus. by R. Gregory Christie. Knopf, 2004. Gr. 3-5
Fierce from the moment he was born, Cassius Clay – later Muhammad Ali – took the boxing world by storm and made it his own for more than twenty years. (BCCB 1/05)
Bridges, Ruby. Through My Eyes. Scholastic, 1999. Gr. 4 and up.
While the author narrates her experience as a six-year-old student trying to integrate a formerly all-white school, excerpts from interviews and articles provide a context for her courage. (BCCB 1/00)
Freedman, Russell. The Voice that Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights. Clarion, 2004. Gr. 5-8.
Known and celebrated around the world, contralto Marian Anderson was denied the opportunity to sing in Constitution Hall because of her color. With the help of a First Lady and some influential friends, she took her concert to the people by singing at the Lincoln Memorial. (BCCB 7/04)
Harrington, Janice. Going North; illus. by Jerome Lagarrigue. Kroupa/Farrar, 2004. 5-8 yrs.
When an African-American family leaves the South to make a new life, they must worry about finding friendly places to stop for necessities such as bathrooms and gas. (BCCB 11/04)
McWhorter, Diane. A Dream of Freedom: The Civil Rights Movement from 1954 to 1968. Scholastic, 2004. Gr. 5-9
The author explores the civil rights movement as a process that included powerful, often violent, events and people: “No one knows while it's happening how it will turn out. But everything counts.” (BCCB 1/05)
Morrison, Toni. Remember: The Journey to School Integration. Houghton, 2004. Gr. 2-6.
Sepia-toned photographs with thought-provoking captions illustrate the story of opening white schools to African American students. (BCCB 7/04)
Myers, Walter Dean. Malcolm X: A Fire Burning Brightly; illus. by Leonard Jenkins. HarperCollins, 2000. Gr. 3-6.
“Malcolm X was a complex man living in a complex time of turmoil and change. He had blazed his way through the history of the fifties and sixties in America … And like flames that burn too brightly, his light was too soon extinguished.” (BCCB 4/00)
Nelson, Marilyn. Fortune's Bones: The Manumission Requiem. Front Street, 2004. Gr. 9 and up.
Fortune was a slave while he lived and, although his spirit was freed at death, his body continued to give. He was not buried but continued to serve his master after death by yielding up his bones for medical study. (BCCB 2/05)
Nelson, Marilyn. A Wreath for Emmett Till; illus. by Philippe Lardy. Houghton, 2005. Gr. 9 and up.
An “heroic crown of sonnets” composed in tribute to thirteen-year-old Emmett Till, victim of a notorious lynching in 1955. (BCCB 4/05)
Nelson, Vaunda Micheaux. Almost to Freedom; illus. by Colin Bootman. Carolrhoda, 2003. 5-8 yrs.
When Lindy and her family escape north to freedom, Lindy's doll, Sally, is left behind at a stop on the Underground Railroad. Sally knows Lindy can't return for her, but she hopes that someone will come along and love her as Lindy did. (BCCB 3/04)
Rappaport, Doreen. Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; illus. by Bryan Collier. Jump at the Sun/Hyperion, 2001. 5-8 yrs. With his gift for powerful public speaking, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.used words as his weapon in the battle for equal rights for all Americans. (BCCB 1/02)
Stroud, Bettye. The Patchwork Path; illus. by Erin Susanne Bennett. Candlewick, 2005. 5-8 yrs.
The beautiful patchwork quilt, stitched with loving hands by Hannah's mother, shows the path to freedom for a young girl and her father. (BCCB 1/05)
Weatherford, Carole Boston. Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-ins; illus. by Jerome Lagarrigue. Dial, 2005. 6-9 yrs.
Connie learns about pride and determination as she watches her older sisters and brothers join the college students who are hassled and even arrested when they try to bring change to Greensboro lunch counters. (BCCB 2/05)
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