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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 Two Friends
Two Friends
by Dean Robbins Illustrated by Selina Alko , Sean Qualls
Some people had rights, while others had none. Why shouldn't they have them, too?Two friends, Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, get together for tea and conversation. They recount their similar stories fighting to win rights for women and African Americans.
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Hardcover Picturebooks: $17.99

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Cover image for Martin's Big Words
Martin's Big Words
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 Story of Ruby Bridges, The (Rev)
Story of Ruby Bridges, The (Rev)
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: $6.29

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Cover image for Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
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 Schol Rdr Lvl 4: Great Black Heroes: Five Brilliant Scientists
Schol Rdr Lvl 4: Great Black Heroes: Five Brilliant Scientists
by Lynda Jones Illustrated by Ron Garnett

This book describes the early lives and notable achievements of five black 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, & True Tales
Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, & 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
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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 Moses
Moses
by Carole Boston Weatherford Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
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Cover image for Only Passing Through
Only Passing Through
by Anne Rockwell Illustrated by Gregory Christie
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Cover image for Richard Wright and the Library Card
Richard Wright and the Library Card
by William Miller Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie , 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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