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Black History Resources

Black History Books

Coretta Scott King Award Winners: 2008.

First published January 14, 2008 (Booklist Online).The winners of the Coretta Scott King Award were announced January 14, 2008 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting. For more information, visit the Coretta Scott King Award Home Page.

Author Award

Elijah of Buxton. By Christopher Paul Curtis. Scholastic, $16.99 (0-439-02344-0).

Illustrator Award

Let It Shine: Three Favorite Spirituals. By Ashley Bryan. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, hardcover, $16.99 (0-689-84732-7).

John Steptoe New Talent Award

Brendan Buckley’s Universe and Everything in It. By Sundee T. Frazier. Delacorte, $14.99 (9780385734394).

Coretta Scott King Honor Books: 2008.

First published January 14, 2008 (Booklist Online).The Coretta Scott King honor books were announced January 14, 2008 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting. For more information, visit the Coretta Scott King Award Home Page.

Author Honor Books

November Blues. By Sharon M. Draper. Atheneum, $16.99 (1-4169-0698-3).

Twelve Rounds to Glory: The Story of Muhammad Ali. By Charles R. Smith, jr. Illustrated by Bryan Collier. Candlewick, $19.99 (0-7636-1692-3).

Illustrator Honor Books

The Secret Olivia Told Me. By N. Joy. Illustrated by Nancy Devard. Just Us, $16.95 (9781933491080).

Jazz on a Saturday Night. By Leo Dillon and Diane Dillon. Scholastic/Blue Sky, $16.99 (0-590-47893-1).

Top 10 Black History Books for Youth: 2009.

Ain’t Nothing but a Man: My Quest to Find the Real John Henry. By Scott Reynolds Nelson and Marc Aronson. 2008. illus. National Geographic, $18.95 (9781426300004). Gr. 6–9.

Based on his adult book Steel Drivin’ Man (2006), Nelson recounts his search for the facts of John Henry’s life. A lively, insightful introduction to how history is written.

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation; v.2: The Kingdom on the Waves. 2008. By M. T. Anderson. Candlewick, $22.99 (9780763629502). Gr. 10–12.

In this exceptional sequel to the National Book Award–winning The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation; v.1: The Pox Party, Octavian, a teenage black slave in Revolutionary War–era Boston, joins the Loyalist navy after he is promised emancipation.

Boycott Blues. By Andrea Davis Pinkney. Illus. by Brian Pinkney. 2008. Greenwillow, $16.99 (9780060821180). PreS–Gr. 3.

With dramatic pictures and language that has the beat of the blues, this picture book tells the story of the Montgomery bus boycott.

Chains. By Laurie Halse Anderson. 2008. Simon & Schuster, $16.99 (9781416905851). Gr. 7–10.

Anderson explores elemental themes of power and human strength in this searing, fascinating story about a young black slave in Manhattan during the Revolutionary War.

George Washington Carver. By Tonya Bolden. 2008. illus. Abrams, $18.95 (9780810993662). Gr. 3–6.

Bolden, a Coretta Scott King Honor author, offers a standout biography of scientist Carver, whose original paintings are among the arresting illustrations in this title that resembles an old-fashioned album.

I, Matthew Henson: Polar Explorer. By Carole Boston Weatherford. Illus. by Eric Velasquez. 2008. Walker, $16.95 (9780802796882). Gr. 2–4.

Written in Henson’s voice, the eight-line poems that make up this stirring portrait speak about challenge and adventure, as well as the prejudice that African American Henson encountered as part of Commander Peary’s polar expeditions.

Keeping the Night Watch. By Hope Anita Smith. Illus. by E. B. Lewis. 2008. Holt, $18.95 (9780805072020). Gr. 5–8.

In this sequel to The Way a Door Closes (2003), 13-year-old African American C. J. struggles with his anger after his father, who had left the family, returns home. The beautiful watercolors match the quiet intensity of the free-verse poems.

The Negro Speaks of Rivers. By Langston Hughes. Illus. by E. B. Lewis. 2009. Disney/Jump at the Sun, $16.99 (9780786818679). K–Gr. 3.

In perhaps his most powerful effort to date, Lewis illustrates Langston Hughes’ classic poem with soaring watercolors that honor both African American heritage and the whole human family.

Piano Starts Here: The Young Art Tatum. By Robert Andrew Parker. Illus. by the author. 2008. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $16.99 (9780375839658). Gr. 2–4.

Writing in the voice of jazz great Art Tatum, Parker offers a moving picture-book biography, illustrated with vibrant watercolors depicting the pianist throughout his life.

We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball. By Kadir Nelson. Illus. by the author. 2008. Hyperion/Jump at the Sun, $18.99 (9780786808328). Gr. 5–8.

In his authorial debut, award-winning illustrator Nelson presents an arresting tribute to the Negro Leagues.

Top 10 Black History Nonfiction: 2009.

The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood. By Ta-Nehisi Coates. 2008. Spiegel & Grau, $22.95 (9780385520362); paper, $14 (9780385527460).

Coates grew up in a tough Baltimore neighborhood, but his father kept his sons on the right path with the Knowledge, beginning with the need to confront and beat fears and bullies to live in peace.

Crossing the Continent, 1527–1540: The Story of the First African-American Explorer of the American South. By Robert Goodwin. 2008. HarperCollins, $25.95 (9780061140440).

The story of enslaved explorer Esteban Dorantes is also concerned with the writing of history, for why did someone so prominent in Spanish exploration from Florida to California go unrecognized for centuries?

Freedom’s Prophet: Bishop Richard Allen, the AME Church, and the Black Founding Fathers. By Richard S. Newman. 2008. NYU, $34.95 (9780814758267).

Colonial slave Richard Allen bought his freedom and eventually founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Championing abolition, racial uplift, and immigration to Haiti and Africa, he prepared the ground for modern black nationalism.

Hard Driving: The Wendell Scott Story; The American Odyssey of NASCAR’s First Black Driver. By Brian Donovan. 2008. Steerforth, $25.95 (9781586421441).

Like other early-1950s stock-car racers, Wendell Scott was a poor boy averse to mill, mine, and farm work who had driven moonshine around a bit. But he broke the color line in his sport alone.

The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family. By Annette Gordon-Reed. 2008. Norton, $35 (9780393064773).

The sequel to Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings (1997) powerfully limns the African American family whose labors helped make Monticello a font of American culture, despite biracial relationships that immensely complicated everyday life.

Ida: A Sword among Lions; Ida B. Wells and the Campaign against Lynching. By Paula J. Giddings. 2008. HarperCollins/Amistad, $35 (0-06-051921-5); paper, $19.99 (9780060797362).

Journalist Wells, not always celebrated by contemporaries because of her difficult personality, crusaded against lynching, not least by revealing the connection between racism and sexuality.

In Search of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans Reclaimed Their Past. By Henry Louis Gates Jr. 2009. Crown, $27.50 (9780307382405).

In this PBS series companion, Gates details the long, arduous efforts that the disruption of the Middle Passage and the secrets of race-mixing required of researchers tracing the genealogies of 19 prominent African Americans.

Jackie Ormes: The First African American Woman Cartoonist. By Nancy Goldstein. 2008. Univ. of Michigan, $35 (9780472116249).

Goldstein’s exciting profile of the glamorous activist who entertained, inspired, and provoked mid-twentieth-century black-newspaper readers with her unique female characters includes an excellent selection of her cartoons.

The Scurlock Studio and Black Washington: Picturing the Promise. Ed. by Paul Gardullo and others. 2009. Smithsonian, $35 (9781588342621).

Addison Scurlock’s photography studio opened in 1911 and pictorially chronicled Washington, D.C.’s black community into the 1990s. Showcasing more than 100 images, this is a proud celebration, indeed.

The Slaves’ War: The Civil War in the Words of Former Slaves. By Andrew Ward. 2008. Houghton, $28 (0-618-63400-2).

Presenting testimonials, diaries, and letters in chronology, Ward conveys the experiences and attitudes of slaves who endured the Civil War from before hostilities commenced to the aftermath of Appomattox.

Black History Internet Resources

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ms. Hicks, your friendly Fiske Librarian @ 12:36 pm Edit This

Following are a handful of excellent resources for developing a list of famous Black Americans that students can select from:


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