“Mae Among the Stars” by Roda Ahmed

A great classroom and bedtime read-aloud, Mae Among the Stars is the perfect book for young readers who have big dreams and even bigger hearts! Little Mae’s curiosity, intelligence, and determination, matched with her parents’ encouraging words, paved the way for her incredible success at NASA as the first African American woman to travel in space. This book will inspire other young girls to reach for the stars, to aspire for the impossible, and to persist with childlike imagination.


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“1,001 Ants” by Joanna Rzezak

About 1,001 Ants: We’re on an adventure with 1,001 ants! Come visit the ants in their home, meet their queen, and discover how they look after their colony. Then join them on a walk through the countryside, discovering plants, insects, mushrooms, and animals that live outside and in our yards. Spot the ant with red socks hidden on every double page, and enjoy a pleasant stroll through the undergrowth―seeing things that humans are usually too big to notice! 1,001 Ants is an engaging nonfiction storybook for children full of fascinating facts about nature. With lively and appealing illustrations, it’s a must-have for children who are curious about bugs and the animal kingdom.


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“Little Libraries, Big Heroes” 
 By Miranda Paul, Illustrated By John Parra

Todd and his friends love heroes. But in school, Todd doesn’t feel heroic. Reading is hard for him, and he gets scolded for asking too many questions. How will he ever become the kind of hero he admires? Featuring stunning illustrations that celebrate the diversity of the Little Free Library movement, here is the story of how its founder, Todd Bol, became a literacy superhero. Thanks to Todd and thousands of volunteers—many of whom are kids—millions of books have been enjoyed around the world. This creative movement inspires a love of reading, strengthens communities, and provides meeting places where new friendships, ideas—and heroes!— spring to life.

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Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer Ann Cole Lowe

A beautiful picture book about Ann Cole Lowe, a little-known African-American fashion designer who battled personal and social adversity in order to pursue her passion of making beautiful gowns and went on to become one of society’s top designers. Having made dresses for Jackie Kennedy and Olivia de Havilland, Lowe became “society’s best kept secret.” This beautiful picture book shines the spotlight on a little-known visionary who persevered in times of hardship, always doing what she was passionate about: making elegant gowns for the women who loved to wear them. Source: simonandschuster.com.


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“The Quickest Kid Clarksville” 
By Pat Zietlow Miller; Illustrated By Frank Morrison

It’s the day before the big parade. Alta can only think about one thing: Wilma Rudolph, three-time Olympic gold medalist. She’ll be riding on a float tomorrow. See, Alta is the quickest kid in Clarksville, Tennessee, just like Wilma once was. It doesn’t matter that Alta’s shoes have holes because Wilma came from hard times, too. But what happens when a new girl with shiny new shoes comes along and challenges Alta to a race? Will she still be the quickest kid? The Quickest Kid in Clarksville is a timeless story of dreams, determination, and the power of friendship.


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Richard Wright And The Library Card

As a young black man in the segregated South of the 1920s, Wright was hungry to explore new worlds through books, but was forbidden from borrowing them from the library. This touching account tells of his love of reading, and how his unwavering perseverance, along with the help of a co-worker, came together to make Richard’s dream a reality An inspirational story for children of all backgrounds, Richard Wright and the Library Card shares a poignant turning point in the life of a young man who became one of this country’s most brilliant writers, the author of Native Son and Black Boy. This book is the third in a series of biographies by William Miller, including Zora Hurston and the Chinaberry Tree and Frederick Douglass: The Last Day of Slavery. All focus on important moments in the lives of these prominent African Americans.

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Ruth And The Green Book By Calvin Alexander Ramsey

Ruth was so excited to take a trip in the new family car! But she soon found out that black travelers weren’t treated well in some towns. Many hotels and gas stations refused service to black people. Finally, a friendly gas station attendant gave Ruth’s family The Green Book. This book listed all the places that would welcome black travelers. With this guidebook, Ruth’s family could finally make a safe journey from Chicago to Alabama to see her grandma.

The Green Book and its role in helping a generation of black travelers avoid some of the indignities of Jim Crow are historical fact.

As an award-winning Atlanta book author and playwright, Calvin Alexander Ramsey concentrates on what he calls “unknown pages in African American history”. In fact, Ramsey’s first work, titles The Green Book, is based on the guidebook discussed in Ruth and the Green Book, and performed in 2007. In his play, Ramsey sought to recapture interviews with scores of African Americans whom recalled emotions of peril and fear while traveling. The play sold out many performances and won recognition as a finalist in the 12th Annual Last Frontier Conference. Visit calvinalexdanderramseysr.com for more information and other work completed by the author.

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“The Bobbin Girl” By Emily Arnold McCully

Rebecca Putney is a bobbin girl who helps support her struggling family by working all day in a cotton mill. Working conditions at the mill are poor, and there is talk of lowering the workers’ wages. Rebecca’s friend Judith wants to protest the pay cut — but troublemakers at the mill are dismissed. Does Rebecca have the courage to join the protest?

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“Brave Girl: Clara And The Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike Of 1909” By Michelle Markel

As a young immigrant girl, Clara Lemlich lands in New York City “dirt poor, just five feet tall, and hardly speaks a word of English.” Her father is unable to find work, but Clara does as a seamstress in a garment factory. Full of grit and determination, Clara recognizes the injustices of the garment industry on the workers and organizes the girls to strike in the winter of 1909. Thousands of young girls line the streets of New York in protest of the working conditions. Readers of this young heroine will be moved by the power of all of the girls banding together to create social change.

Michelle Markel penned stories and poems for student publications throughout secondary school and college (USC and UCLA, in pursuit of a BA and MA in French literature). Choosing to explore a career in writing, she obtained a second BA in Journalism at California State University, Northridge. This gave her the opportunity to intern at The Los Angeles Times.

Later, as a freelance journalist, Michelle’s stories and opinion pieces were published in The Wall Street JournalThe Los Angeles Times, and other newspapers and magazines. Michelle is also a founding member of the Children’s Authors Network and teaches classes in writing for young people for UCLA Extension’s Writer’s Program.
Source: michellemarkel.com/bio.

Starred review of Brave Girl: School Library Journal, Kirkus A Junior Library Guild selection.

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“Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story” By Caren Stelson

This striking work of narrative nonfiction tells the true story of six-year-old Sachiko Yasui’s survival of the Nagasaki atomic bomb on August 9, 1945, and the heartbreaking and lifelong aftermath. This special book offers readers a remarkable new perspective on the final moments of World War II, the fifty years that followed, and the courage it took for one woman to tell her story of nuclear war and peace. Awarded the 2017 Robert F. Sibert Honor Award for Information Books, ALSC and 2017 Bank Street College Best Children’s Books of the Year List.

In order to write Sachiko, Caren Stelson conducted extensive interviews with Sachiko Yasui, and chronicled her long journey toward peace. On top of having a Master’s Degree in Education and MFA in Writing, Stelson’s extensive experience in education also includes being a reading specialist, a classroom teacher, a writer and editor for classroom curriculum materials, an educational software designer, a writer-in-residence, and an author. All these jobs demanded imagination, writing skills, and patience with the creative process. Currently, Stelson resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Find out more about Caren Stelson’s work at carenstelson.com/about.

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