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Management through Cooperative Groups
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A Multicultural Look at Inspirational Resources During Black History Month
by Charlene Davis
Black History Month 2010 is quickly exiting. As I poked around on the internet to explore the latest and greatest that’s going on for this very important time of acknowledgment of crucial contributions to America’s complex history, I found some exciting books to explore! I also found some impressive websites that I’ll be returning to, time and time again as BHM isn’t just a February thing!
Here are a few suggested websites, in the order of depth that I feel they offer:
- Brown Sugar & Spice: African-American & Multicultural Children’s Books
This one is my favorite for this year! It’s a full-color site that shows the books’ covers, as well as a short description of each book as you click on it. Elementary through high school books are featured.
- Black Books Direct: Discount African American Books and DVDs
“Learning from our past…reading into our future” is their BHM theme. As a lifelong learner, I find that theme to have universal appeal. Click on Children’s Books, to the left. Once there, you can click on the Teen Fiction section for older children. What may be helpful is that the book titles are arranged alphabetically!
- Reading is Fundamental
Reading is Fundamental offers two listening activities, and an interview of Caribbean author-illustrator Ashley Bryan as their BHM feature. Ezra Jack Keat’s The Snowy Day, and the African-American lullaby All the Pretty Little Horses are the listen-alongs. Of course, RIF is an important literacy organization, which I’d say is worthy of widespread support from our educational community.
- Black Books Galore: A Children’s Book Service
“Founded in 1992 by three African American mothers, who, as the result of their challenges in finding quality books reflecting positive images for their children, dedicated themselves to identifying and distributing great African American children's books,” BBG offers book lists, books festivals, and guides to children’s books for girls and boys.
- Bank Street Books
Go to the “Browse by Category” menu and click on “African American Characters“ or “African American History” for selections for black history. Of course, Bank Street Bookstore is well-known as a stellar children’s book source. They do offer a newsletter!
- Don Tate www.dontate.com, and Kelly Starling Lyons www.kellystarlinglyons.com
host two author-direct sites that I also enjoyed! The first has seven books featured: the author-illustrator also has a blog where he shares his writer’s process, as well as a school visit information section. On Starling Lyons’ site, be sure to click on “For Writers” for tips for aspiring writes and “For Readers,” for book lists organized by reading level and subject. Good stuff!
Some suggested books of interest are below, I hope you’ll find them enlightening and enjoyable:
- Molly Bannaky, by Alice McGill. This is the story of Benjamin Banneker’s grandmother – an indentured servant who married an African prince. [picture book]
- Barack, by Jonah Winter. A children’s book about our current president (there are several). [ages 5-8, picture book]
- Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope, by Nikki Grimes and Bryan Collier.
- Vision of Beauty: the Story of Sarah Breedlove Walker, by Kathryn Lasky. [paperback]
- Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom; Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins; and Sink or Swim: African-American Lifesavers of the Outer Banks, all by Carole Boston Weatherford.
- Circle Unbroken, by Margot Theis Raven. [on the South Carolina Gullah culture]
- Neeny Coming, Neeny Going, by Karen and Synthia Saint James English. [Gullah culture]
- The Kidnapped Prince: The Life of Olaudah Equiano, by Ann Cameron.
- Just for You!, [twelve-book Scholastic series about African–American boys. ages 5-8]
- York's Adventures with Lewis and Clark: An African-American's Part in the Great Expedition, by Rhoda Blumberg. [ages 9-12]
- We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball, by Kadir Nelson. [ages 9-12]
- Sky Kings: Black Pioneers of Professional Basketball, by Bijan Bayne.
- Friend on Freedom River (Tales of Young Americans), by Gloria Whelan. [about the Detroit Underground Railroad]
- The Jacket, by Andrew Clements. [deals with the theme of hidden perceptions]
- African-Americans in the Thirteen Colonies (Cornerstones of Freedom), by Deborah Kent.
- Osceola: Memories of a Sharecropper’s Daughter, by Alan Govenar.
- Leon’s Story, by Leon Walter Tillage and Susan L. Roth. [about growing up sharecropping—excellent!]
- Ain’t Nothing But a Man: My Quest to Find the Real John Henry, by Scott Nelson and Marc Aronson. [about the African-American men who built and repaired southern railroad tracks]
- Eighth Grade Superzero, by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich. [Reggie, a New York middle school student, finds a life purpose out of despair]
- Ron’s Big Mission, by Rose Blue and Corrine J. Naden; illustrated by Don Tate. [astronaut Ronald McNair’s, South. Carolina library card experience]
- Richard Wright and the Library Card, by William Miller and Gregory Christie.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to e-mail me.