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If You Liked Melody Ellison, Try...

 

If you enjoyed reading about Melody Ellison, the American Girl character who lives in Detroit in the 1960s, you might be interested in these titles.

Fiction

To gain leadership skills needed to run a cupcake-baking empire when she grows up, Brianna runs for president of the fifth grade--expecting little competition--until a new girl enters the race.

The ordinary interactions and everyday routines of the Watsons, an African-American family living in Flint, Michigan, are drastically changed after they go to visit Grandma in Alabama in the summer of 1963.

Finding someplace by Denise Lewis Patrick

The weekend she turns thirteen, aspiring clothing designer Teresa "Reesie" Boone is separated from her family by Hurricane Katrina but, during the horrific storm and its aftermath, begins to find strength in herself.

One crazy summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.

Stella by starlight by Sharon M. Draper

When a burning cross set by the Klan causes panic and fear in 1932 Bumblebee, North Carolina, fifth-grader Stella must face prejudice and find the strength to demand change in her segregated town.

Betty before X by Ilyasah Shabazz

Raised by her aunt until she is six, Betty, who will later marry Malcolm X, joins her mother and stepfamily in 1940s Detroit, where she learns about the civil rights movement.

The mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis

Deza Malone, the smartest girl in her class in Gary, Indiana, accompanies her mother and older brother on a trip to find her father, an African American man who left to find work after the Great Depression hit. They end up in a Hooverville outside of Flint, Michigan, and her brother attempts to be a performer while Deza and her mother search for a home.

The lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

Twelve-year-old Marlee develops a strong friendship with Liz, the new girl in school, but when Liz suddenly stops attending school and Marlee hears a rumor that her friend is actually an African American girl passing herself off as white, the two young girls must decide whether their friendship is worth taking on integration and the dangers it could bring to their families.

Nonfiction

Illustrations and rhythmic text recall the December, 1955 bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama.

This title will inform readers about Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, others who were involved, like Martin Luther King Jr., the Supreme Court's decision to desegregate public buses, and the national civil rights movement to follow. Vivid details, well-chosen photographs, and primary sources bring this story and this case to life.

Presents the life of nine-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks who became the youngest known child to be arrested for picketing against Birmingham segregation practices in 1963.

Freedom Summer, 1964 by Carla Mooney

Examines the Mississippi Summer Project of 1964, which asked both black and white volunteers to travel throughout Mississippi, registering black Mississippians to vote, establishing "Freedom Schools" for black children, and organizing the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.

My people by Langston Hughes

Hughes's spare yet eloquent tribute to his people has been cherished for generations. Now, acclaimed photographer Smith interprets this beloved poem in vivid sepia photographs that capture the glory, the beauty, and the soul of being a black American today.

Brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

The author shares her childhood memories and reveals the first sparks that ignited her writing career in free-verse poems about growing up in the North and South.

Words with wings by Nikki Grimes

Gabby daydreams to tune out her parents' arguments, but when her parents divorce and she begins a new school, daydreaming gets her into trouble. Her mother scolds her for it, her teacher keeps telling her to pay attention, and the other kids tease her...until she finds a friend who also daydreams and her teacher decides to work a daydreaming-writing session into every school day. With a notebook "thick with daydreams," Gabby grows more confident about herself and her future. This verse novel poignantly celebrates the power of writing and the inspiration a good teacher can deliver.

Biographies

Elizabeth Cotten was only a little girl when she picked up a guitar for the first time. It wasn't hers (it was her big brother's), and it wasn't strung right for her (she was left-handed). But she flipped that guitar upside down and backwards and taught herself how to play it anyway. By age eleven, she'd written "Freight Train," one of the most famous folk songs of the twentieth century. And by the end of her life, people everywhere from the sunny beaches of California to the rolling hills of England knew her music.

Little Melba and her big trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown

A biography of African American musician Melba Doretta Liston, a virtuoso musician who played the trombone and composed and arranged music for many of the great jazz musicians of the twentieth century. Includes afterword, discography, and sources.

Through my eyes by Ruby Bridges

Ruby Bridges recounts the story of her involvement, as a six-year-old, in the integration of her school in New Orleans in 1960.

Little Stevie Wonder by Quincy Troupe

A poem tribute to blind musician and composer Stevie Wonder.

Coretta Scott by Ntozake Shange
Mae Jemison by Laurie Calkhoven

A biography of Mae Jemison, the first female African-American astronaut.

Presents the life of Sarah Breedlove Walker who, though born in poverty, pioneered in hair and beauty care products for black women, and became a great financial success.

Katherine Johnson by Thea Feldman

Details the life and career of the brilliant mathematician who worked at NASA and helped plan the trajectories for the Mercury and Apollo missions, including the one that landed a man on the moon.

Oprah : the little speaker by Carole Boston Weatherford

An illustrated biography that depicts television host Oprah Winfrey's childhood, covering her desire from a young age to talk for a living and other details of her upbringing.

A picture book biography of urban environmental artist Tyree Guyton, discussing his childhood in 1950s Detroit and the way he used art to transform his decaying, crime-ridden neighborhood into an internationally-recognized exhibit.

Who was Rosa Parks? by Yona Zeldis McDonough

An illustrated biography of Rosa Parks that discusses her childhood, schooling, role in the civil rights movement, family life, and other related topics.

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