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Featured books by Carole Boston Weatherford

Carole Boston Weatherford is a storyteller and a poet, evident in all of her books whether they are nonfiction or fiction, for the very young or older readers. Her language cries to be read aloud as she introduces jazz greats like Billie Holiday and John Coltrane. It slides off the tongue at a party and even as she examines tough historical events. Read about what interests and stirs her and become inspired yourself.

A Negro League Scrapbook

By: Carole Boston Weatherford
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

This brief, often poetic, and informative introduction to the Negro Leagues uses period photographs to enhance the information. The period in American history is one of segregation and sadness but also of great joy and achievement.

Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane

By: Carole Boston Weatherford
Illustrated by: Sean Qualls
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

John's music began when he listened to the music in his childhood. Semi-abstract illustrations vivify sound-filled poetry, together introducing a boy who would grow up to become the great John Coltrane.

Champions on the Bench

By: Carole Boston Weatherford
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A boy narrates his disappointment that his "colored" team cannot play in the 1955 Little League baseball playoffs in Williamsport (PA), rebuffed by the white groups. Dramatic illustrations are used in this story based on actual events.

Dear Mr. Rosenwald

By: Carole Boston Weatherford
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A 10 year old girl narrates this fictionalized story, based on real events and people, of how her rural southern town builds a new school for African American children with the help of Julius Rosenwald (then president of Sears Roebuck).

Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins

By: Carole Boston Weatherford
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A girl and her mom want to have a sweet treat on a hot day but cannot sit at the soda fountain simply because they are "colored." Impressionistic paintings soften the harshness of the story of segregation in the South during a turbulent time.

I, Matthew Henson

By: Carole Boston Weatherford
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Matthew Henson, an African American, accompanied Robert Peary to the North Pole where together they placed a flag. The courage and perseverance of this remarkable man is revealed through his voice and luminous illustrations.

Jesse Owens: Fastest Man Alive

By: Carole Boston Weatherford
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Subtle references and evocative language introduce Jesse Owens and what he faced as a Gold Medalist — an African American in Hitler's 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany. An endnote provides more information.

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom

By: Carole Boston Weatherford
Illustrated by: Kadir Nelson
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Dramatic full color illustrations (which won a Caldecott Honor) and splendid, poetic language depict the bravery of Harriet Tubman, who escaped slavery on a Maryland plantation only to return again and again to help other slaves escape. Deeply religious, Harriet became known as the Moses of her people and a conductor on the Underground Railroad.

Interested in wonderful interviews with tween and teen authors? Hop on over to our sister site, AdLit.org, and browse the library.

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"Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift." — Kate DiCamillo