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Great African Americans: Books for Beginning Readers

Find biographies of African Americans who made their mark and fiction that reflects the experiences of ordinary people.
 
Cover image for Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra
Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra
by Andrea Davis Pinkney Illustrated by Brian Pinkney

The story of one of America's greatest composers, Duke Ellington, is lavishly told here in jazz-inspired prose.

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Cover image for Great Black Heroes: Five Brilliant Scientists
Great Black Heroes: Five Brilliant Scientists
by Lynda Jones Illustrated by Ron Garnett

Follow the lives of five great scientists:  Susan McKinney Steward, George Washington Carver, Ernest Everett Just, Percy Lavon Julian, and Shirley Ann Jackson.

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Cover image for Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales
Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales
by Virginia Hamilton Illustrated by Diane Dillon , Leo Dillon

This collection of twenty-five African-American folktales focuses on strong female characters and includes "Little Girl and Buh Rabby," "Catskinella," and "Annie Christmas."

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Cover image for I Have Heard of a Land
I Have Heard of a Land
by Joyce Carol Thomas Illustrated by Floyd Cooper
I have heard of a land Where the imagination has no fences Where what is dreamed one night Is accomplished the next day In the late 1880s, signs went up all around America - land was free in the Oklahoma territory. And it was free to everyone: Whites, Blacks, men and women alike.
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Cover image for Langston's Train Ride
Langston's Train Ride
by Robert Burleigh Illustrated by Leonard Jenkins

Clackety clack clack clack...
Can you hear the rhythm of the train?

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Cover image for Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
by Doreen Rappaport Illustrated by Bryan Collier

Martin Luther King, Jr., grew up in a place where people used words that made him feel bad. This beautifully illustrated, award-winning book shows how Martin used words to fight for equal rights for black people.

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Hardcover Picturebooks : $12.79

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Cover image for Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom
Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom
by Carole Boston Weatherford Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Lyrical text describes Harriet Tubman's spiritual journey as she hears the voice of God guiding her North to freedom on that very first trip to escape the brutal practice of slavery.
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Hardcover Picturebooks : $12.79

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Cover image for Only Passing Through: The Story of Sojourner Truth
Only Passing Through: The Story of Sojourner Truth
by Anne F. Rockwell Illustrated by Gregory Christie
A powerful picture book biography of one of the abolitionist movement's most compelling voices. Sojourner Truth traveled the country in the latter half of the 19th century, speaking out against slavery.
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Cover image for The Story of Ruby Bridges: Special Anniversary Edition
The Story of Ruby Bridges: Special Anniversary Edition
by Robert Coles Illustrated by George Ford

This beautiful picture book, illustrated by Coretta Scott King Award-illustrator George Ford, and written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Coles, tells the true story of six-year-old Ruby Bridges. In 1960, Ruby, a young African-American girl, entered a whites-only school in New Orleans.

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Paperback Picturebooks : $5.59

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Cover image for Richard Wright and the Library Card
Richard Wright and the Library Card
by William Miller Illustrated by Gregory Christie , R. Gregory Christie

Many years before author Richard Wright achieved international acclaim for his classic novel, Native Son, he lived in Memphis and worked for an optical company where he swept floors and ran errands for his white employers.

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