Civil Rights, Read Your World

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement By Robert F. Sibert


Back of Book: This welcome biography brings to light one of the civil rights movement’s most inspiring leaders. The youngest of 20 children, Fannie Lou Hamer grew up in a family of sharecroppers in the Mississippi Delta. Forced to leave school after sixth grade, she joined the rest of her family in the fields picking cotton. Still hungry for knowledge, she found strength in the love of her family and through her Christian faith. Weatherford describes the hardships that Hamer endured.

My Review:

This picture book has won many awards! It is the tale of how one woman would not be beat down. I had not heard of Fannie Lou Hamer and found that this story gave me a strong insight and into her life and struggle. The material can be hard to read and is not intended for young children. There is a place in the book that has strong language and could be seen to some readers as offensive. I found that this story was very thought provoking and helped me to understand the fight of Jim Crow Laws a bit better. The illustrations are beautiful show readers a very clear look into one strong woman’s journey. I thought the first person narrative was a nice touch to showing readers the strength behind Fannie Lou Hamer.

Ages 10 and up

56 Pages

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Baseball, Civil Rights, Read Your World

She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story By Audrey Vernick


Back of Book:

 Effa always loved baseball. As a young woman, she would go to Yankee Stadium just to see Babe Ruth’s mighty swing. But she never dreamed she would someday own a baseball team. Or be the first—and only—woman ever inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

From her childhood in Philadelphia to her groundbreaking role as business manager and owner of the Newark Eagles, Effa Manley always fought for what was right. And she always swung for the fences.

My Review:

I did not  grow up around baseball in the same way that other people did. My family is a football family. When I started teaching, I began to realize how many amazing picture books are centered around the game of baseball. I had never heard of Effa Manley until I picked up this story. I feel in love with her strength and pride. This book really tells the story of how one African American woman broke all the stereotypes that were put in her path. This is an excellent story that is perfect for baseball lovers. It also fits into Black History month or National Woman’s month. I truly enjoyed reading it.

Ages 6 and up

32 Pages  

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Civil Rights

Mr. Lincoln’s Way By Patricia Polacco

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Back of Book: Mr. Lincoln is the coolest principal ever! He knows how to do everything, from jumping rope to leading nature walks. Everyone loves him. . . except for Eugene Esterhause. “Mean Gene” hates everyone who’s different. He’s a bully, a bad student, and he calls people awful, racist names. But Mr. Lincoln knows that Eugene isn’t really bad-he’s just repeating things he’s heard at home. Can the principal find a way to get through to “Mean Gene” and show him that the differences between people are what make them special?

My Review: I am a huge fan of Patricia Polacco she has the ability to write beautiful stories about very relevant things. This book discusses the issues of race and bullying. Eugene represents a boy who is being raised to hate anything or anyone who is different than them.  Patricia uses birds to show that every person has their own beauty. Mr. Lincoln is the kind of Principal that every teacher hopes to have. This is a beautiful story to share with children about how everyone is different in their own special way.


Ages 9 and up

48 Pages

Civil Rights, Read Your World

Talkin’ about Besse By Nikki Grimes

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Back of Book: Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman was always being told what she could & couldn’t do. In an era when Jim Crow laws and segregation were a way of life, it was not easy to survive. Bessie didn’t let that stop her. Although she was only 11 when the Wright brothers took their historic flight, she vowed to become the first African -American female pilot. Her sturdy faith and determination helped her overcome obstacles of poverty, racism, and gender discrimination.

My Review: I love finding stories that discuss the amazing advances that women have made throughout history. I found this story particularly intriguing because it is written from other people’s perspectives of her. It begins with her parents and continues to the perspectives of her siblings, classmates, and people who interacted with her. The book discusses her love of knowledge and her determination to fly in a plane. I think this is a great book to bring out for Black History Month or a look at strong women. This is also a good story to do a book report on.

Ages 9 and up

48 pages