Category Archives: African American history

Driving the Green Book Macmillan Podcast

Driving the Green Book Macmillan Podcast

Driving the Green Book is a brilliant podcast series hosted by Alvin D. Hall that explores travel and the Green Book during the era of legal segregation in the United States. Listen to stories from African Americans who used the guide to travel safely. And Hall makes connections to today’s events involving traffic stops and unfair treatment of Black travelers.

Read more about it and listen to the first episode at USA TODAY. And then subscribe!

OPENING THE ROAD: The Story Behind the Story

OPENING THE ROAD: The Story Behind the Story

OPENING THE ROAD is the true story behind the Green Book guide Black Americans used to travel safely during legal segregation and the mail carrier who wrote it. I was honored to reveal the cover of my upcoming release on author Tara Lazar’s blog. Click on the cover to see a sample spread from the book by the talented artist Alleanna Harris.

I also wrote about my inspiration, the story behind the story, and a little about my road to publication.

BEEP! BEEP! On our way, be there January 26, 2021!

And there’s a GIVEAWAY! Comment on the blog post to enter a chance to win a copy of OPENING THE ROAD: Victor Hugo Green and His Green Book.

Beaming Books | ISBN: 978-1506467917
40 pages | ages 4-8

Pre-order wherever books are sold!

Bookshop | Blue Manatee Literacy Project | Beaming Books | Amazon | B&N

Picture Book Summit 2020 Author Study #2

Picture Book Summit 2020 Author Study #2

Register for Picture Book Summit to hear the very talented picture book author Lesa Cline-Ransome! Read the author study to learn more about her and while there register for the virtual conference.

A SONG FOR GWENDOLYN BROOKS by Alice Faye Duncan

A SONG FOR GWENDOLYN BROOKS by Alice Faye Duncan

Today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday pick is…

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A SONG FOR GWENDOLYN BROOKS

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Written by: Alice Faye Duncan

Illustrated by: Xia Gordon

Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books (January 2019)

Suitable for ages: 5-8

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Themes/Topics: biography, poetry, African-American life

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Brief Synopsis:

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A Song for Gwendolyn Brooks is about the African-American poet and author Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000) who wrote about the urban African-American experience.

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The book is part of the “People Who Shaped Our World” series. Alice Faye Duncan captured the life and work of Brooks, beginning in 1925 at age eight, ending in 1950, the year she became the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

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Why I like this book:

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Duncan writes in lyrical text and shows observations informed the poet’s writing, even from an early age.

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The author also gives examples of the kinds of struggles Brooks faced as a young, gifted writer as well as the support she received from her family. Brooks struggled with her confidence and her words. A teacher once accused Brooks of plagiarism so her mother had the young poet write a poem in front of her. As a teen when others were looking for work, Gwendolyn’s parents supported her dream and allowed her to “sit and think”. And from all her years of hard work, an adult Brooks realizes her dream and became a professional writer.

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Back matter includes an author’s note, timeline, suggested readings by Gwendolyn Brooks and bibliography to learn more about one of America’s most influential writers.

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I read the ARC for this review; the book release date is January 1, 2019. This book would be a great addition to the home, school, and library.

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Resources:

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  • For more about poetry for kids, see the Poetry4kids website.

  • A lesson plan about Gwendolyn Brooks  (grades 3-12).

  • A lesson plan for Gwendolyn Brooks (grades 5-6).

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To read lots more Perfect Picture Book Friday reviews visit author Susanna Hill’s blog.

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Happy reading!

Photography – Non-fiction biographies about photographers

Photography – Non-fiction biographies about photographers

This Perfect Picture Book Pair is dedicated to two nonfiction biographies about American photographers. Both artists chose to capture current events by taking pictures of people  during important eras in our nation’s history.

Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee! by Andrea Loney, illustrated by Keith Mallet, published by Lee & Low is about photographer James Van Der Zee whose pictures depict an important era and people in American history – the Harlem Renaissance.

Dorothea Lange Photographs the Truth by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Gérard Dubois, published by Calkins Creek Books is about photographer Dorothea Lange whose pictures depict an important era and people in American history – the Great Depression.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYsY09hktc0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAeKTKMWpkM

Perfect Picture Book Pair showcases two books with universal themes, but one must include a diverse setting, or life experience,  or main character. My goal is to support books in the market that contribute to diversity in children’s literature.

Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…” I believe reading is too!

Kids love to see their reflections in books. Join me and #ReadYourWorld!