Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson

Brown Girl DreamingSummary:  Jacqueline Woodson, one of today’s finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse. Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.

Nancy Paulsen

Frida and Diego: Art, Love, Life, by Catherine Reef

Frida and DiegoSummary:  Nontraditional, controversial, rebellious, and politically volatile, the Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera are remembered for their paintings as well as for their deep love for each other. Their marriage was one of the most tumultuous and infamous in history—filled with passion, pain, betrayal, revolution, and, above all, art that helped define the twentieth century.

Clarion

Ida M. Tarbell: The Woman Who Challenged Big Business–and Won! by Emily Arnold McCully

Ida M. TarbellSummary:  Born in 1857 and raised in oil country, Ida M. Tarbell was one of the first investigative journalists and probably the most influential in her time.  Her series of articles on the Standard Oil Trust, a complicated business empire run by John D. Rockefeller, revealed to readers the underhanded, even illegal practices that had led to Rockefeller’s success. Rejecting the term “muckraker” to describe her profession, she went on to achieve remarkable prominence for a woman of her generation as a writer and shaper of public opinion.

Houghton Mifflin

 

Josephine: the Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker, by Patricia Powell

JosephineSummary:  Presents an introduction to the life of the passionate performer and civil rights activist that traces her journey from the slums of St. Louis to the world’s most famous stages.

Chronicle

Find it at WCPL

Searching for Sarah Rector, by Tonya Bolden

Searching for Sarah RectorSummary:  Recounts the story of the 1914 disappearance of eleven-year-old Sarah Rector, an African American who was part of the Creek Indian people and whose land had made her wealthy, and what it reveals about race, money, and American society.

Abrams

Find it at WCPL

The Boy on the Wooden Box: how the impossible became possible…on Schindler’s list, by Leon Leyson

Boy on the Wooden BoxSummary:  Traces the story of Holocaust survivor Leon Leyson, who was the youngest child in his family and possibly the youngest of the hundreds of Jews rescued by Oskar Schindler.

Atheneum

Find it at WCPL

I am John F. Kennedy, by Grace Norwich

I am John F KennedySummary:  The leadership skills I learned as a commander in the U.S. Navy helped earn me a place first as a congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives, and later as a U.S. senator-but that was just the beginning. I became another kind of commander, the commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces, when I was elected president. Though I accomplished a great deal in my short life, I was assassinated at the age of forty-six. Still, my brave choices changed the lives of generations to come. I am John F. Kennedy.

Scholastic

Native American Heroes, by Ann McGovern

Native American HeroesSummary:  Osceola, Cochise, and Tecumseh are three Native American heroes who fought valiantly for their land and for their people. This book is divided into three parts–each part recounting the life of one of these great heroes. Their true stories are emotionally gripping and tragic, and Ann McGovern handles delicate topics, such as violence and racism, expertly for young readers.

Scholastic

Becoming Ben Franklin, by Russell Freedman

Becoming Ben FranklinSummary: An introduction to the life of young Benjamin Franklin describes how, as a rebellious teen in 1732, he ran away from his family and a Boston apprenticeship to Philadelphia, and how throughout subsequent decades he rose to become a distinguished statesman, renowned author and world-famous scientist.

Holiday House

Find it at WCPL

From Hardships to Championships, by Glenn Stout

From Hardships to ChampionshipsGood Sports series
Summary:  Baseball is a great sport, but not all players had the home life as kids that nurtured their talent. Babe Ruth, Jim Peirsall, Torii Hunter, Ron LeFlore, and Joe Torre dealt with poverty, abuse, and addiction when young, and had to turn their lives around to play the game they loved. A moving look at the lives of these four great players.

Sandpiper/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Etched in Clay, by Andrea Cheng

Etched in ClaySummary:  The life of Dave, an enslaved potter who inscribed his works with sayings and poems in spite of South Carolina’s slave anti-literacy laws in the years leading up to the Civil War.

Lee & Low Books

Find it at WCPL

Zora!: the life of Zora Neal Hurston, By Dennis Brindell Fradin

Summary:  Zora Neale Hurston was confident, charismatic, and determined to be extraordinary. As a young woman, Hurston lived and wrote alongside such prominent authors as Langston Hughes and Alain Locke during the Harlem Renaissance. But unfortunately, despite writing the luminary work Their Eyes Were Watching God, she was always short of money. Though she took odd jobs as a housemaid and as the personal assistant to an actress, Zora often found herself in abject poverty. Through it all, Zora kept writing. And though none of her books sold more than a thousand copies while she was alive, she was rediscovered a decade later by a new generation of readers, who knew they had found an important voice of American Literature.

Clarion

Yes she can!: Women’s Sports Pioneers, by Glenn Stout

Summary: Brief biographies of Trudy Ederle, Louise Stokes, Tidye Pickett, Julie Krone and Danica Patrick.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Find it at WCPL

Alexander Hamilton the Outsider, by Jean Fritz

Summary:  An acclaimed biographer writes the remarkable story of Alexander Hamilton, one of America’s most influential and fascinating founding fathers, and his untimely death in a duel with Aaron Burr.

G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Find it at WCPL

Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart, by Candace Fleming

Summary:  Tells the story of Amelia Earhart’s life – as a child, a woman, and a pilot – and describes the search for her missing plane.

Schwartz & Wade Books

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