African-Americans: Honoring the Past

Recommended historical fiction for grades K-8.

Picture Books (JE)

Author Title Call Number
ArmandLove 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.
JE Armand
CooperWillie 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.
JE Cooper
JohnsonWind Flyers
A boy's love of flight takes him from Alabama to Europe. Introduces the contributions of the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II.
JE Johnson
LyonsEllen's Broom
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.
JE Lyons
McKissackGoin' 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.
JE McKissack
RamseyRuth 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.
JE Ramsey
ThomasIn 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.
JE Thomas

Children’s Fiction (J)

Author Title Call Number
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.
J Armstrong
CurtisBud, 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.
J Curtis
LevineHenry'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.
J Levine
MyersThe 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.
J Myers
PatrickMeet Cécile
Cécile Rey, whose prosperous family are free people of color, makes friends with Marie-Grace Gardner in New Orleans in 1853.
J American Marie
PinkneyWith 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.
J Pinkney
TaylorThe Friendship
Four children witness a confrontation between an elderly black man and a white storekeeper in rural Mississippi in the 1930s.
J Taylor

Junior High Fiction (Y)

Author Title Call Number
After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.
Y Anderson
CollierJump Ship to Freedom
A fourteen-year-old slave escapes to freedom during the Revolutionary War period.
Y Collier
CurtisThe 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.
Y Curtis
MyersHarlem Summer
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.
Y Myers
Twelve-year-old Sarny's brutal life as a slave becomes more dangerous when she learns how to read.
Y Paulsen
TaylorRoll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
A black family living in Mississippi during the Depression of the 1930s is faced with prejudice and discrimination.
Y Taylor
Williams-GarciaOne 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.
Y Williams-Garcia
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Last Updated 4/13