African-Americans: Honoring the Past
Recommended historical fiction for grades K-8.
Picture Books (JE)
|Armand||Love Twelve Miles Long|
In 1820s Maryland, Frederick Douglass' mother, who is a slave on a different plantation, walks twelve miles each way for a nighttime visit with her son.
|Cooper||Willie and the All-Stars |
In 1934 Chicago, Willie sees a game at Wrigley Field between the Negro League All-Star team and the Major League All-Stars.
A boy's love of flight takes him from Alabama to Europe. Introduces the contributions of the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II.
The broom hanging on Ella's wall is a symbol of her parents' wedding during slave days, so Ella carries it to the courthouse when the marriage becomes legal.
|McKissack||Goin' Someplace Special |
In segregated 1950s Nashville, a young African-American girl braves a series of obstacles to get to one of the few integrated places in town: the public library.
|Ramsey||Ruth and the Green Book|
When Ruth and her parents drive from Chicago to Alabama, they rely on "The Negro Motorist Green Book" to find places that will serve them.
|Thomas||In the Land of Milk and Honey |
A young girl journeys by train from Oklahoma to California in 1948 to begin a new life with her family, and finds there a joyous welcome.
Children’s Fiction (J)
Humiliated when his sharecropper father is jailed for stealing food, a young black boy grows in courage with the help of the devoted dog Sounder.
|Curtis||Bud, Not Buddy|
Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and searches for his father.
|Levine||Henry's Freedom Box|
A fictionalized account of how in 1849 a Virginia slave escapes to freedom by shipping himself in a wooden crate from Richmond to Philadelphia.
|Myers||The Journal of Joshua Loper : A Black Cowboy|
In 1871 Joshua Loper, a sixteen-year-old black cowboy, records his first cattle drive in his journal.
Cécile Rey, whose prosperous family are free people of color, makes friends with Marie-Grace Gardner in New Orleans in 1853.
|J American Marie|
|Pinkney||With the Might of Angels : The Diary of Dawnie Rae Johnson|
In 1955 Hadley, Virginia, twelve-year-old Dawnie Rae Johnson becomes the first African American student to attend an all-white school.
Four children witness a confrontation between an elderly black man and a white storekeeper in rural Mississippi in the 1930s.
Junior High Fiction (Y)
After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.
|Collier||Jump Ship to Freedom |
A fourteen-year-old slave escapes to freedom during the Revolutionary War period.
|Curtis||The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 : A Novel |
The routines of the Watsons, an African-American family from Flint, Michigan, are changed after they go to Alabama in the summer of 1963.
In 1920s Harlem, Mark finds a job working for W. E. B. DuBois' magazine, The Crisis, where he meets leading figures of the Harlem Renaissance.
Twelve-year-old Sarny's brutal life as a slave becomes more dangerous when she learns how to read.
|Taylor||Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry |
A black family living in Mississippi during the Depression of the 1930s is faced with prejudice and discrimination.
|Williams-Garcia||One Crazy Summer|
After arriving in Oakland, California in 1968 to visit their mother, eleven-year-old Delphine and her younger sisters attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.