The Missouri Reader Vol. 43, Issue 1 | Page 15


A different type of bird is featured in Hawk Mother: The Story of a Red-Tailed Hawk who Hatched Chickens b



Tuck, P.M. (2013). As fast as words could fly. New York: Lee & Low Books. Grades 2-3.

At 14, Mason Steele helps his father’s civil rights group write letters, and he is thrilled when they buy him a manual typewriter. Then the adult activists win the right to integrate high school, but Mason and his brothers face harassment on the school bus and in the classroom. As the fastest typist in his class, Mason is chosen to represent his school in a high-school typing tournament, and he wins, breaking all the records.

Older Readers

Beals, M. P. (1995). Warriors don’t cry (abridged). New York: Simon. Grades 7-up.

Based on her diary and mother’s notes kept during her youth, Beals, one of the nine Black teenagers who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, tells an incredible story of faith, family love, friendships and strong personal commitment.

Kanefield, T. (2014). The girl from the tar paper school: Barbara Rose Johns and the advent of the civil rights movement. New York: Abrams. Grades 6-up.

Before the Little Rock Nine, before Rosa Parks, before Martin Luther King Jr. and his March on Washington, there was Barbara Rose Johns, a teenager who used nonviolent civil disobedience to draw attention to her cause. In 1951, witnessing the unfair conditions in her racially segregated high school, Barbara Johns led a walkout--the first public protest of its kind demanding racial equality in the U.S.--jumpstarting the American civil rights movement. Her school's case went all the way to the Supreme Court and helped end segregation as part of Brown v. Board of Education.

King, C., & Osborne, L. B. (1997). Oh, freedom! Kids talk about the civil rights movement with the people who made it happen. New York: Knopf. Grades 4-8.

Based on a fourth-grade assignment, children ask family members, friends and neighbors about the part they played in the civil rights movement. The 31 lively interviews are arranged in three sections, each introduced with a historical photo essay: Life Under Segregation, Movement to End Legalized Segregation and Struggle to End Poverty and Discrimination.

Levin, E. (1993). Freedom’s children: Young civil rights activists tell their own stories. New York: Putnam. Grades 4-6.

In a collection of true stories, thirty African-Americans who were children or teenagers in the 1950s and 1960s tell about their civil rights experiences.

McKissack, P. (2007). A friendship for today. New York: Scholastic. Grades 5-8.

The author blends fact and fiction in her semiautobiographical story of Rosemary Patterson's pivotal sixth-grade year (1954–'55). The landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision closed the doors of Rosemary's colored school in Kirkland, MO, and dispersed students into two white elementary schools. Determined to prove she does not need remediation, Rosemary excels academically and refuses to be racially intimidated or stereotyped. An unlikely friendship with mean Grace Hamilton opens Rosemary's eyes to shared experiences of prejudice, parental strife, peer pressure, and loneliness.

Morrison, T. (2004). Remember: The journey to school integration. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Grades 5-up.

Using archival photographs that depict historical events surrounding school desegregation, this is a fictional account of the dialogue and emotions of the children who lived during this “separate but equal” schooling era.

Pinkney, A. D. (2011). Dear America: The diary of Dawnie Rae Johnson (With the Might of Angels). New York: Scholastic. Grades 3-7.

In the fall of 1955, twelve-year-old Dawn Rae Johnson's life turns upside down. After the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, Dawnie learns she will be attending a previously all-white school. She's the only one of her friends to go to this new school and to leave the comfort of all that is familiar to face great uncertainty in the school year ahead.

Charline Barnes Rowland is the Diversity Program Coordinator/Teaching Consultant for the University Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Pittsburgh. A former public school classroom teacher and reading specialist, she has served on the Board of Directors for the International Literacy Association .

Elizabeth Anne Pegram is a career educator from Petersburg, VA, who recently retired from Fairfax County (VA) Public Schools where she served as a classroom teacher and English department chairperson.

Sharon B. Yates is a career educator from Dinwiddie, VA, who recently retired from Dinwiddie County Public Schools with 41 years of service. During her tenure, she served as an English teacher, Alternative Education teacher and coordinator, assistant principal, coordinator of staff development and Director of Secondary and Career/Technical Education.