Featured books by Kekla Magoon
Set in the modern-day suburbs of Las Vegas, biracial sixth-grader Ella Cartwright finds herself caught between two worlds. She is drawn to the popular new boy, Bailey — the only other black student in the school — but also loyal to her best friend, Z, a geeky boy whose social status, like hers, is bottom-rung, and with whom she has shared an incomparable friendship. A relationship with Bailey means a chance at popularity for Ella, but Z is far too weird to ever be accepted by his classmates. When push comes to shove, where will Ella turn for real friendship?
Chester Keene Cracks the Code
Chester likes his routines, but his new friend is the complete opposite. Nonetheless, the pair work together to solve the riddle behind the mysterious notes that Chester thinks are from his father — all while dealing with a bully and trying to prevent his mother from worrying. Likeable characters and an engaging mystery fill this satisfying novel.
How It Went Down
When 16-year-old Tariq Johnson dies from two gunshot wounds, his community is thrown into an uproar. Tariq was black. The shooter, Jack Franklin, is white. In the aftermath of Tariq’s death, everyone has something to say, but no two accounts of the events line up. By the day, new twists and turns further obscure the truth. Tariq’s friends family and community struggle to make sense of the tragedy, and of the hole left behind when a life is cut short. In their own words, they grapple for a way to say with certainty: This is how it went down.
Shadows of Sherwood
The night her parents disappear, 12-year-old Robyn Loxley must learn to fend for herself. Her home, Nott City, has been taken over by a harsh governor, Ignomus Crown. After fleeing for her life, Robyn has no choice but to join a band of strangers — misfit kids, each with their own special talent for mischief. Setting out to right the wrongs of Crown’s merciless government, they take their outlaw status in stride. But Robyn can’t rest until she finds her parents. This is the first book in the Robyn Hoodlum Adventure series (see Rebellion of Thieves and Reign of Outlaws).
She Persisted: Ruby Bridges
As a first grader, Ruby Bridges was the first Black student to integrate William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana. This was no easy task, especially for a six-year-old. Ruby's bravery and perseverance inspired children and adults alike to fight for equality and social justice. (From the She Persisted series)
The Highest Tribute: Thurgood Marshall’s life, Leadership, and Legacy
Born in Baltimore (MD), Thurgood Marshall would grow up to be one of the most powerful forces in rights for Black citizens. Clearly illustrated with an accessible text, Marshall’s life and legacy are presented, complete with a timeline, major cases, and more.
The Rock and the River
A young Black boy wrestles with conflicting notions of revolution and family loyalty as he becomes involved with the Black Panthers in 1968 Chicago. Thirteen-year-old Sam Childs finds himself caught between his father (a well-known civil rights leader) and his older brother, Stick, who joins the Black Panther Party. When escalating racial tensions throw Sam’s community into turmoil, he faces a difficult decision. Will Sam choose to follow his father, or his brother? His mind, or his heart? The rock, or the river? (For middle grade readers and older.)
The Season of Styx Malone
Caleb Franklin and his big brother Bobby Gene are excited to have adventures in the woods behind their house. But Caleb dreams of venturing beyond their ordinary small town. Then Caleb and Bobby Gene meet new neighbor Styx Malone. Styx is sixteen and oozes cool — and he leads the brothers on a one-thing-leads-to-another adventure in which friendships are forged and loyalties are tested.
X: A Novel
Cowritten by Malcolm X’s daughter, this fictionalized biography follows the formative years of Malcolm X, from his childhood to his imprisonment for theft at age twenty, when he found the faith that would lead him to forge a new path and command a voice that still resonates today.
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