Tag Archives: Black History Month

More formidable than the Dora Milaje?

I first became aware of this queen (whose name is spelled various ways, including Njinga and Nzinga) when I was on my honeymoon. A statue of her stood in a museum we visited in Virginia.

The main book we own about her in the library is a work of historical fiction, part of the Royal Diaries series about real-life queens and princesses.

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Nzingha: Warrior Queen of Matamba by Patricia C. McKissack

She is also highlighted in Lives of Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels (And What the Neighbors Thought) and The Story of the World volume 3: Early Modern Times. You may be able to find some more information in our online resources such as Gale Virtual Reference Library.

Free Resource for Teachers and Students

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Are you studying any of the Coretta Scott King Award books in your classroom? TeachingBooks.net has a great collection of resources related to nearly 300 books that have won the award. Usually you need an account to access TeachingBooks.net, but “This Curriculum Resource Center was created by TeachingBooks.net with the support of the Coretta Scott King Book Award 40th Anniversary Public Awareness Campaign Committee” and you can access them without an account.

You can watch a meet-the-author video (maybe the one for Bryan Collier, who illustrated the Monarch Award nominee Trombone Shorty), listen to interviews with authors or listen to them read their books aloud. You can look for lesson plans or book discussion questions to go with a title. Teachers can even search for books to match a particular grade level, school subject, or type of reading (for example, poetry or realistic fiction).

Save the date! Sunday, February 25

The Poetic Storyteller: Oba William King – Part of The Great Read
Sunday, February 25, 2-3 p.m.
All ages, preschoolers with an adult
Celebrate Black History Month with stories, songs and drums from storyteller Oba William King. This lively presentation will delight your whole family. Drop in.

 

 

Enjoy The Great Read and other great programs!

Great Reads 2018

Weekly storytimes continue!

Minecraft Club
Tuesday, January 30, 3:30-5 p.m.
Grades 3–12
Join us for open game play! Bring your Fountaindale Public Library card and Minecraft account information. Drop in.

S’mores Book Club – “Who Was…?” Series and Other Biographies
Wednesday, January 31, 4:15-5:15 p.m.
Grades 3–6

Do you devour a book like a great after-school snack? If so, sign up for the S’mores Book Club! We will eat a snack and talk about a different topic each month. Register.

Panera Milk & Cookies Community Storytime – (Off site)
New venue Panera Bread – 855 E. Boughton Road
Thursday, February 1, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Ages 2–6
Enjoy free milk and a cookie while we read a story and play with puppets, music and movement. Please call 630.685.4230 with questions or for assistance with registration.

Thursday, February 1, 3:30-5 p.m.
Grades 3–12
Join us for open game play! Bring your Fountaindale Public Library card and Minecraft account information. Drop in.
White Oak Library – 201 Normantown Rd, Romeoville, IL 60446
Thursday, February 1, 6-8 p.m.

All ages
Professional storyteller Linda Gorham will share the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s youthful experiences with segregation that gave him the impetus to march, write and speak out. Drop in.

Arts and Fables – “Elmer the Elephant”
Friday, February 2, 9:30-10:15 a.m.
Friday, February 2, 10:30-11:15 a.m.
Ages 2–6 with an adult
Join us for a story, and then make a craft about it! Drop in.
Imagineers Club – Kids’ Spa Day
Saturday, February 3, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Grades 2–5

Play games, use new technologies and explore science in this fun and educational program based each month on an exciting book series. Register.

Pete the Cat: I’m Reading in My School Shoes!
Saturday, February 3, 3-5 p.m.
Grades K–1
Do you like to read in your school shoes? Cool! Come in and read a book to us to earn a Pete the Cat headband, reading certificate and bookmark! Drop in.

Martin Luther King, life and legacy

pinkneysA patron came in the other day and asked what new books we had on Martin Luther King. This year, 50 years since he was assassinated, there are some especially beautiful new works like Martin Rising. The poet (Andrea Davis Pinkney) and illustrator (her husband, Brian Pinkney) made a video that lets you see inside the book.

This year, The Great Read will focus on the life and legacy of Dr. King. Fountaindale and other local libraries will be offering special activities next month, and an art contest you can enter now through February 14.

Here are the latest books to inspire you:

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Be a King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s Dream and You by Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrated by James E. Ransome
In this picture book, a class of children learns about the life of Dr. King and how they can be like him.

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Dream March: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the March on Washington by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson; illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
A book for beginning readers introduces the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. King’s famous speech.

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Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson; illustrated by Frank Morrison
Under the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, children and teenagers march against segregation in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963. This picture book includes historical notes and photographs.

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Martin Rising: Requiem for a King by Andrea Davis Pinkney & Brian Pinkney
In a rich embroidery of visions, musical cadence, and deep emotion, Andrea and Brian Pinkney convey the final months of Martin Luther King’s life — and of his assassination — through metaphor, spirituality, and multilayers of meaning.

African American History Biographies, part 2

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Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe
Jean-Michael Basquiat and his unique, collage-style paintings rocked to fame in the 1980s as a cultural phenomenon unlike anything the art work had ever seen. But before that, he was a little boy who saw art everywhere: in poetry books and museums, in games and in the words that we speak, and in the pulsing energy of New York City. Now, award-winning illustrator Javaka Steptoe’s vivid text and bold artwork echoing Basquiat’s own introduce young readers to the powerful message and art doesn’t always have to be neat or clean–and definitely not inside the lines–to be beautiful.
(If you’re not sure you know his work, that painting being hung at the end of the last episode of Luke Cage is a Basquiat.)
The stickers on the cover indicate that artist Javaka Steptoe (whose father has his own award named after him) won the Caldecott Medal and was the 2017 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Illustrator Winner.

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A Spy Called James: The True Story of James Lafayette, Revolutionary War Double Agent by Anne Rockwell; illustrated by Floyd Cooper
The true story of James Lafayette, a slave who spied for George Washington’s army during the American Revolution. But while America celebrated its newfound freedom, James returned to slavery. His service hadn’t qualified him for the release he’d been hoping for. For James the fight wasn’t over; he’d already helped his country gain its freedom, now it was time to win his own.

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Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World about Kindness by Donna Janell Bowman; illustrated by Daniel Minter
A picture book biography of Dr. William Key, a former slave and self-trained veterinarian who taught his horse, Jim, to read and write and who together with Jim became one of the most famous traveling performance acts around the turn of the twentieth century.

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Strong Inside: The True Story of How Perry Wallace Broke College Basketball’s Color Line by Andrew Maraniss
Perry Wallace was born at an historic crossroads in U.S. history. He entered kindergarten the year that the Brown v. Board of Education decision led to integrated schools, allowing blacks and whites to learn side by side. A week after Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Wallace enrolled in high school and his sensational jumping, dunking, and rebounding abilities quickly earned him the attention of college basketball recruiters from top schools across the nation. In his senior year his Pearl High School basketball team won Tennessee’s first racially-integrated state tournament. The world seemed to be opening up at just the right time, and when Vanderbilt University recruited Wallace to play basketball, he courageously accepted the assignment to desegregate the Southeastern Conference. The hateful experiences he would endure on campus and in the hostile gymnasiums of the Deep South turned out to be the stuff of nightmares. Yet Wallace persisted, endured, and met this unthinkable challenge head on. This insightful biography digs deep beneath the surface to reveal a complicated, profound, and inspiring story of an athlete turned civil rights trailblazer.

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Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas by Gwendolyn Hooks; illustrated by Colin Bootman
Biography of Vivien Thomas, an African-American surgical technician who pioneered the procedure used to treat babies with a heart defect known as ‘blue baby syndrome.’

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Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton; illustrated by Don Tate
Chronicles the life and achievements of the NASA engineer and inventor, from his childhood to his accidental invention of the Super Soaker water gun.

African American History in Poetry

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Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
As slaves relentlessly toiled in an unjust system in 19th century Louisiana, they all counted down the days until Sunday, when at least for half a day they were briefly able to congregate in Congo Square in New Orleans. Here they were free to set up an open market, sing, dance, and play music. They were free to forget their cares, their struggles, and their oppression. This story chronicles slaves’ duties each day, from chopping logs on Mondays to baking bread on Wednesdays to plucking hens on Saturday, and builds to the freedom of Sundays and the special experience of an afternoon spent in Congo Square.
This title received honors as a Caldecott Honor Book and a King Illustrator Honor Book this year.

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Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph by Roxanne Orgill; illustrated by Francis Vallejo
When Esquire magazine planned an issue to salute the American jazz scene in 1958, graphic designer Art Kane pitched a crazy idea: how about gathering a group of beloved jazz musicians and photographing them? He didn’t own a good camera, didn’t know if any musicians would show up, and insisted on setting up the shoot in front of a Harlem brownstone. Could he pull it off? In a captivating collection of poems, Roxane Orgill steps into the frame of Harlem 1958, bringing to life the musicians’ mischief and quirks, their memorable style, and the vivacious atmosphere of a Harlem block full of kids on a hot summer’s day. Francis Vallejo’s vibrant, detailed, and wonderfully expressive paintings do loving justice to the larger-than-life quality of jazz musicians of the era. Includes bios of several of the fifty-seven musicians, an author’s note, sources, a bibliography, and a foldout of Art Kane’s famous photograph.

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Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin, and Turn It Out! Games, Songs, & Stories from an African American Childhood collected by Patricia C. McKissack; illustrated by Brian Pinkney
Parents and grandparents will delight in sharing this exuberant book with the children in their lives. Here is a songbook, a storybook, a poetry collection, and much more, all rolled into one. Find a partner for hand claps such as “Eenie, Meenie, Sassafreeny,” or form a circle for games like “Little Sally Walker.” Gather as a family to sing well-loved songs like “Amazing Grace” and “Oh, Freedom,” or to read aloud the poetry of such African American luminaries as Langston Hughes, James Weldon Johnson, and Paul Laurence Dunbar. And snuggle down to enjoy classic stories retold by the author, including Aesop’s fables and tales featuring Br’er Rabbit and Anansi the Spider.

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One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes
In this collection of poetry, Nikki Grimes looks afresh at the poets of the Harlem Renaissance — including voices like Langston Hughes, Georgia Douglas Johnson, and many more writers of importance and resonance from this era — by combining their work with her own original poetry. Using “The Golden Shovel” poetic method, Grimes has written a collection of poetry that is as gorgeous as it is thought-provoking. This special book also includes original artwork in full-color from some of today’s most exciting African American illustrators, who have created pieces of art based on Nikki’s original poems.
Nikki Grimes is the 2017 winner of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for her “substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.”

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A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day by Andrea Davis Pinkney
A celebration of the extraordinary life of Ezra Jack Keats, creator of The Snowy Day. The story of The Snowy Day begins more than one hundred years ago, when Ezra Jack Keats was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. The family were struggling Polish immigrants, and … it was many years before Keats’s greatest dream was realized and he had the opportunity to write and illustrate his own book. For more than two decades, Ezra had kept pinned to his wall a series of photographs of an adorable African American child. In Keats’s hands, the boy morphed into Peter, a boy in a red snowsuit, out enjoying the pristine snow; the book became The Snowy Day, winner of the Caldecott Medal, the first mainstream book to feature an African American child. It was also the first of many books featuring Peter and the children of his — and Keats’s — neighborhood. Andrea Davis Pinkney’s lyrical narrative tells the inspiring story of a boy who pursued a dream, and who, in turn, inspired generations of other dreamers

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You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen by Carole Boston Weatherford; art by Jeffery Boston Weatherford
This history in verse celebrates the story of the Tuskegee Airmen: pioneering African-American pilots who triumphed in the skies and past the color barrier.