Black History Month

Books for young readers that bring African-American history alive.



Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice

By Phillip Hoose


Months before Rosa Parks got arrested, Colvin refused to give her bus seat to a white person. The Alabama teen was arrested, but civil-rights leaders wanted a better face for the movement so her battle wasn't taken up as the one for Parks was soon after. This is Colvin's story.



Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don't You Grow Weary

By Elizabeth Partridge


Aimed at the preteen set, award-winner Partridge takes readers to Selma, Alabama, in 1965, the heart of the early civil-rights movement. Packed with stirring photographs, the book follows a group of courageous children who march with Martin Luther King, Jr. in hopes of gaining blacks the right to vote.



Sojourner Truth's Step-Stomp Stride

By Andrea Davis and Brian Pinkney


She was born a slave named Belle, but she finished life as Sojourner Truth, an important crusader in the civil-rights movement who traveled the country -- and faced serious resistance -- to speak against subjects she knew plenty about: injustice to blacks and women. Here's her powerful story targeted for preteens.



Who Will I Be, Lord?

By Sean Qualis


A young African-American girl wonders in this picture book filled with joyful illustrations which relative's footsteps she'll follow: her banjo-playing postman great grandfather? Her grandma teacher? Her pool-shark uncle? Ultimately, she realizes, family history plays a big part, but she will decide just who she'll become when she gets there.



Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott

By Russell Freedman


Aimed at fourth to sixth graders, Freedman's detailed study of the Montgomery Bus Boycott showcases the complicated coordination it took to pull the whole thing off and offers celebration for the many lesser-known everyday heroes (such as those who would get up extra early to drive people to work).


April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.