Gunner, Football Hero
Short and round, Gunner Smith didn't look like a football player but he practiced hard enough to make third-string quarterback on his town's Pee Wee team. Gunner gets his chance to use his arm in the championship game in this bright tale with a surprise ending.
New Red Bike!
Tom rides his new red bike to his friend's house but the bike disappears when he knocks at Sam's door. Sam has taken it for a spin, much to Tom's irritation. Expressive illustrations and minimal text depict the friendship, chagrin, and ultimate resolution in a satisfying saga.
Books illustrated by James Ransome
Be a King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream and You
Young readers are called to action, because it is possible that “You can be a King” in small everyday ways. Brief, recognizable scenes and sophisticated ideas are realistically interspersed with simpler, child-like classroom goings-on to bring the concept closer to familiar experiences. The result is a lyrical book just right to launch discussions.
Before She Was Harriet
“Here she sits/an old woman/tired and worm/her legs still/her back achy … but before wrinkles formed” she was a young woman who could walk for miles, worked for women’s right to vote and much, much more. This unique and touching introduction to Harriet Tubman is lovingly revealed and handsomely illustrated.
Bruh Rabbit and the Tar Baby Girl
Bruh Rabbit outwits farmer Bruh Wolf again — even after the shrewd hare is stuck fast to the pretty baby girl made of tar. Told in the cadence of the Gullah with full-color illustrations, this version is sure to delight readers and listeners of all ages.
For Rosa and her family, Emancipation means education and schooling. The child's narration accompanied by richly hued illustrations, reveals the strength in community and the power of learning in the face of adversity and opposition in a post-Civil War South.
Gridiron: Stories from 100 Years of the National Football League
Stories from the NFL’s long history intertwine with American history in this handsome and accessible examination of the sport. Captured in a conversational tone and dramatic illustrations this well-organized volume is sure to intrigue sports fans.
How Many Stars in the Sky?
When a boy can't sleep, he and his father drive out to the country, away from the city lights. There they try to count the stars. Lush paintings show the warmth of the evening and the loving relationship between father and son.
It Is the Wind
As he sits on the edge of his bed and peers out the window, a young boy wonders what is making the noise outside as he tries to sleep. It could be a cow and her calf, or many other things on the farm, but ultimately, the child sleeps; only the reader realizes it is a cat that has created the noise. Poetic text and luminous illustrations present a graceful story.
Major Taylor, Champion Cyclist
Marshall Taylor’s bike stunts get him a job at the famous Indiana bike shop Hay and Willits. But he’s meant for even bigger things — namely the 1899 World Cycling championship — where his skin color attracts as much attention as his domination on the racetrack.
My Name Is Truth: The Life of Sojourner Truth
Isabella Baumfree was born into slavery but she would not remain enslaved. Instead, she took the name Sojourner Truth and a famous orator for the abolition of slavery and for women's rights. Sojourner's words swirl throughout deeply colored pages of expressive illustrations.
Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt
Clara is born into slavery but learns an important skill when she becomes a seamstress. Her quilting ability allows Clara to put together directions to escape north to freedom when she overhears a conversation about a route to Canada.
This Is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration
The story of one family’s journey north during the Great Migration starts with a little girl in South Carolina who finds a rope under a tree one summer. She has no idea the rope will become part of her family’s history.
Under the Quilt of Night
An enslaved family escapes bondage via the Underground Railroad. Tension builds as they are travel, hide, and are almost discovered in both text and darkly hued, dramatic paintings. The young narrator’s hopes soar with the brilliant sunrise.
A girl and her grandmother prepare to visit the girl's father by packing a big lunch then boarding a bus. The joyful reunion takes place in a prison, emphasizing the love between a father and his daughter. Notes from both the author and illustrator complete this book.
What Lincoln Said
Lincoln's own words punctuate this overview of his life and times including lighter moments. Full color illustrations exaggerate Lincoln's physical features but complement the man's complexity.
When Grandmama Sings
Belle goes with her talented grandmother on a singing tour during a time of racial segregation in the south in the 1950s. Grandmama decides to continue performing up north "where things were a little easier for black people." Realistic watercolors help define the setting.
Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglass
A young Frederick Douglass narrates this handsome, moving, and authentic story of his early life as a slave, his desire to learn, and plans to escape slavery. The child who grew up to be an abolitionist, memorable writer, and orator knew that words — reading — would set him free.
Ten-year-old James is intrigued by the K-Bones, a local gang, and considers joining. But when his six-year-old brother witnesses him vandalize a sign, he begins to have second thoughts. A tough topic is handled in a brief but effective way, sure to launch discussion.
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