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Great African Americans: Picture Books

Find biographies of African Americans who made their mark and fiction that reflects the experiences of ordinary people.
 
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 Rosa
Rosa
by Nikki Giovanni Illustrated by Bryan Collier

Watch the Video Book Trailer

An inspiring account of an event that shaped American history

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Hardcover Picturebooks : $13.56

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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 Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky
Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky
by Faith Ringgold

Young Cassie Louise Lightfoot, who soared above New York City rooftops in the Caldecott Honor Book (and Coretta Scott King Award-winning) Tar Beach, returns for an imaginative historical adventure.

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Cover image for Black Cowboy, Wild Horses: A True Story
Black Cowboy, Wild Horses: A True Story
by Julius Lester Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

Bob Lemmons is famous for his ability to track wild horses. He rides his horse, Warrior, picks up the trail of mustangs, then runs with them day and night until they accept his presence. Bob and Warrior must then challenge the stallion for leadership of the wild herd.

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Cover image for Freedom Summer
Freedom Summer
by Deborah Wiles Illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue

From the book:

John Henry swims better than anyone I know.
He crawls like a catfish,
blows bubbles like a swamp monster,
but he doesn’t swim in the town pool with me.
He’s not allowed.

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Cover image for Harlem: A Poem
Harlem: A Poem
by Walter Dean Myers Illustrated by Christopher Myers

Father and son celebrate a rich and vibrant neighborhood that has been a historic center of African-American culture in New York City. Walter Dean Myers gives poetry a jazz backbeat to tell Harlem's story.

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Cover image for I Have a Dream
I Have a Dream
by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Illustrated by Kathleen A. Wilson

On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a speech that moved and inspired America. Nearly fifty years later that message continues to lead us, like a beacon of light, closer to the realization of a racially harmonious America.

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Cover image for Minty: A Story of Young Harriet Tubman
Minty: A Story of Young Harriet Tubman
by Alan Schroeder Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

Many people know about Harriet Tubman's adult life — how she helped hundreds of slaves escape to freedom along the Underground Railroad. But how many know about Harriet Tubman's life as a child on the Brodas plantation in the late 1820s?

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Cover image for Rap a Tap Tap: Here's Bojangles, Think of That!
Rap a Tap Tap: Here's Bojangles, Think of That!
by Diane Dillon , Leo Dillon Illustrated by Diane Dillon , Leo Dillon
With bold paintings and a simple, rhyming text, Caldecott Medalists Leo & Diane Dillon bring young readers a rap a tap tap celebration of dance that will have readers clapping and tapping along.

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Cover image for Teammates
Teammates
by Peter Golenbock Illustrated by Paul Bacon

The moving story of how Jackie Robinson became the first black player on a major league baseball team and how on a fateful day in Cincinnati, Pee Wee Reese took a stand and declared Jackie his teammate.

1990 Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies.

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Cover image for Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing
Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing
by James Weldon Johnson Illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist

Written by civil rights leader and poet Johnson in 1899, this anthem is sung throughout America. The song is recognized as a testimonial to the struggle and achievements of African-American people-past, present, and future.

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Cover image for Through My Eyes
Through My Eyes
by Ruby Bridges

On November 14, 1960, a tiny, six-year-old black child, surrounded by federal marshals, walked through a mob of screaming segregationists and into her school. From where she sat in the school's office, Ruby Bridges could see parents marching through the halls and taking their children out of classrooms.

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Cover image for We March
We March
by Shane Evans Illustrated by Shane Evans

On August 28, 1963, a remarkable event took place: More than 250,000 people gathered in the U.S. capital to participate in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The march began at the Washington Monument and ended with a rally at the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King Jr.

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Cover image for Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down
Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down
by Andrea Davis Pinkney Illustrated by Brian Pinkney

It was February 1, 1960.

They didn't need menus. Their order was simple.

"A doughnut and coffee, with cream on the side."

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Cover image for Ruth and the Green Book
Ruth and the Green Book
by Calvin Ramsey , Calvin Alexander Ramsey Illustrated by Floyd Cooper

Ruth was so excited to take a trip in her family's new car! In the early 1950s, few African Americans could afford to buy cars, so this would be an adventure. But she soon found out that black travelers weren't treated very well in some towns.

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Cover image for If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks
If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks
by Faith Ringgold

From the viewpoint of a bus, Ringgold's touching, vibrant illustrations and gentle prose tell the story of Rosa Parks, an elderly black woman in Montgomery, Alabama, who refused to give up her bus seat to a white man and encouraged others to stand up for freedom.

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Cover image for Linda Brown, You Are Not Alone: The Brown v. Board of Education Decision
Linda Brown, You Are Not Alone: The Brown v. Board of Education Decision
by Joyce Carol Thomas
While all ten of the writers of this extraordinary collection are famous children's book authors, they never water down the implications of the events they describe. From stories, reflections, and poetry, astute young readers will receive a full view of th
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Cover image for Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins
Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins
by Carole Boston Weatherford Illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue

There are signs all throughout town telling eight-year-old Connie where she can and cannot go. But when Connie sees four young men take a stand for equal rights at a Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, she realizes that things may soon change.

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