The civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s witnessed great changes in American society. From Brown v. Board of Education to the Montgomery bus boycott, the march on Washington, the freedom rides, the Black Power movement, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the era guaranteed basic civil rights for all Americans, regardless of race. The following scholars recommend both fiction and nonfiction on the personalities and key events of a period defined by race, violence, and democracy.
Carole Boston Weatherford has written 20 children's books, including Champions on the Bench: The Cannon Street YMCA All-Stars; Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-ins; and The African-American Struggle for Legal Equality. Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom was a Caldecott Honor Book. She teaches at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina.
MARTIN'S BIG WORDS
The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
By Doreen Rappaport, illustrated by Bryan Collier (2001)
* CALDECOTT HONOR BOOK
* CORETTA SCOTT KING HONOR BOOK
In this picture-book biography, Doreen Rappaport, who lived through the civil rights movement, shows young readers how the power of words can move the masses and effect change. Well-chosen quotations in big, bold type punctuate Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life story as Bryan Collier's watercolor and collage illustrations document King's deeds--from the Montgomery bus boycott and the march on Washington to the Memphis sanitation workers' strike. A time line and a bibliography enhance this splendid introduction to a great leader. Ages 5 and up.
THE OTHER SIDE
By Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E. B. Lewis (2001)
* ALA NOTABLE BOOK
* BOOKLIST EDITOR'S CHOICE
Poignant and poetic, The Other Side uses a fence as a metaphor for racial separation in a southern town. Clover, an African American girl, and Annie, a white girl, are both forbidden to play on the other side of the fence. For weeks, the girls watch each other from afar--until they dare to sit on the fence together. The two new friends hope that the fence will one day be torn down. E. B. Lewis's shimmering watercolors capture the pre-civil rights era and the young characters' innocence. Ages 5 and up.
GOIN' SOMEPLACE SPECIAL
By Patricia McKissack, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney (2001)
Based in part on Patricia McKissack's Nashville childhood, Goin' Someplace Special follows...