The books listed below may be available through publishers, distributors such as bookstores or online retailers, or library systems.

Independent Reading

EASY
Building a Dream: Mary Bethune's School
by Richard Kelso. Steck-Vaughn, 1993
A teacher, Bethune builds a school for African American girls.
The Friendship
by Mildred D. Taylor. Dial Books, 1987
Cassie Logan witnesses the shocking treatment of an old black man.
Nettie's Trip South
by Ann Turner. Macmillan Publishing, 1987
Nettie takes a trip south and is amazed by her face-to-face confrontation with slaves.
Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World
by Mildred Pitts Walter. Lothrup, Lee & Shepard, 1986
Through reading his great- great grandfather's journal, Justin learns to take pride in his African American heritage.
. . . If You Grew Up With George Washington
by Ruth Belov Gross. Scholastic Inc., 1982
Questions and answers about life in colonial Virginia.
A Williamsburg Household
by Joan Anderson. Clarion, 1988
Actors play the roles of a wealthy white family and the African Americans who work for them.
AVERAGE
Only the Names Remain
by Alex W. Bealer. Little, Brown and Co., 1972
The Cherokee people are driven from their land by the U.S. government along the infamous “Trail of Tears.”
Mississippi Bridge
by Mildred D. Taylor. Dial Books, 1990
In 1930s Mississippi, a bus driver makes all the “colored” people get off a crowded bus and then drives out into a storm.
Shiloh
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Dell Publishing, 1991
Eleven-year-old Marty finds a dog and faces a tough choice.
. . . If You Lived at the Time of Martin Luther King
by Ellen Levine. Scholastic Inc., 1990
This question-and-answer treatment of life at the time of Martin Luther King provides “you are there” type of insights.
CHALLENGING
Ida Early Comes Over the Mountain
by Robert Burch. Viking Press, 1980
A tale set in 1930s Georgia about the orphaned Sutton children, who don't know what a treasure they have in their out-of-the-ordinary housekeeper Ida Early.
Across Five Aprils
by Irene Hunt. Berkley Books, 1964
Jethro Creighton comes to take on more responsibility as his brothers leave to fight in the Civil War.
Two Tickets to Freedom
by Florence B. Freedman. Peter Bedrick Books, 1971
Ellen Craft, a light-skinned slave, and her husband William escape to the North, to Canada, and to England in the 1850s.
Sounder
by William H. Armstrong. Harper, 1969
This classic is among the most heart-wrenching and most appealing stories ever written about an African American family.
Dear Dad
by Mary Z. Holmes. Raintree/Steck-Vaughn, 1992
This “homefront” World War II book tells the story of Max and his friends as they follow the war.

Read Aloud and Reference Books

READ ALOUD BOOKS
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
by Mildred D. Taylor. Puffin Books, 1976
The Logans struggles to hold onto their farm during the Depression and against a backdrop of racial hatred.
Come Sing, Jimmy Jo
by Katherine Paterson. Avon Books, 1985
This novel of growing up is set in the world of contemporary country music.
REFERENCE BOOKS
The Young Reader's Companion to American History
by John A. Garraty. Houghton Mifflin, 1993
Complete reference source, including maps, tables, and a complete index.
Nothing But the Blues
by Lawrence Cohn. Abbeville, 1993
A good source of information on one of the South's -- especially African Americans' -- greatest contributions to American music.