Children's Toy & Media Reviews Since 1978

Not An Easy Read: 22 Books about Hate and Prejudice

If we’re not upset, we’re not paying attention. If we’re silent, it will continue. These books may not be lighthearted, but neither were the experiences they describe.

 

I Have a Dream

Ages: All Ages
Author: Martin Luther King
Illustrator: Kadir Nelson
Publisher: Random House
Hardcover Price: $18.99

Cited as the defining moment in the American civil rights movement, King’s “I Have Dream” speech called for the freedom and equality of all people, no matter the color of their skin. This picture book features one remarkable image after another accompanying the  sections of the speech as verse.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

Through My Eyes: Autobiography of Ruby Bridges

Ages: 8 – 12 yrs.
Author: Ruby Bridges
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Hardcover Price: $16.95

Ruby Bridges played a significant role in the history of civil rights. In 1961, as a tiny first-grader escorted by federal agents, she integrated an all-white school in New Orleans. This is Ruby’s recollections of external and internal events.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

Remember the Journey to School Integration

Ages: 9 – 12 yrs.
Author: Toni Morrison
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Children’s Books
Hardcover Price: $18.00

This book tells a photo-history of the difficult period after the Supreme Court ruled segregation in schools unconstitutional.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

Blood Brother

Ages: 10 – 18 yrs.
Author: Rich Wallace
Author: Sandra Neil Wallace
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press/Calkins Creek Books
Hardcover Price: $18.95

This story of one of the first white “freedom fighters” during the historic summer of 1965 chronicles the challenges and dramatic dangers Jonathan Daniels faced in those bloody-racist days in Selma, Alabama.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

Freedom Over Me

Ages: 6 – 10 yrs.
Author: Ashley Bryan
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Hardcover Price: $17.99

In an exquisite palette of muted colors on double-page spreads, the left page show’s each slave’s face illustrated upon a collage of authentic hand written sales documents, captioned only with the price, the name and age of each person. The free verse description of her/his life appears on the opposing page. Turn the page, and bright colors illustrate each person’s dreams in artful text and image. Author/illustrator Ashley Bryan clearly and elegantly contrasts the monetary value assigned to individuals with the priceless nature of their insights and dreams.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March

Ages: 8 & Up
Author: Cynthia Levinson
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers
Hardcover Price: $19.95

This book tells the story of thousands of black children that rose up and stepped into the breach and marched for civil rights.  They were trained in nonviolence. They left schools in droves and marched. They were attacked and arrested by the police. They filled up the jails, and they suffered. Ultimately, the back of segregation was broken, not by adults, but by these heroic children.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

 

Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Ages: 8 – 12 yrs.
Author: Russell Freedman
Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
Hardcover Price: $18.95

This book tells us the story of the men and women who decided to boycott the public bus system in Montgomery.  Refusing to ride the segregated buses, they walked and shared rides for 381 days. Walking for miles and miles in the hostile atmosphere of the segregated south, the freedom walkers strode into history.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

 

I Lay My Stitches Down: Poems of American Slavery

Ages: 10 & Up
Author: Cynthia Grady
Illustrator: Michele Wood
Publisher: Eerdmans
Hardcover Price: $17.00

In unrhymed verse, the poet Cynthia Grady explores the emotions of people who were enslaved in the American south.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

 

Come Juneteenth

Ages: 10 & Up
Author: Ann Rinaldi
Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books
Hardcover Price: $17.00

This historical fiction book tells us the story of Luli, the 13-year-old narrator in a very personal way during the final months of the Civil War. Fearful of financial ruin and a slave uprising, Texas plantation owners, including Luli’s family, keep news of Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation from their slaves for nearly two years.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

 

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement

Ages: 10 & Up
Author: Carole B Weatherford
Illustrator: Ekua Holmes
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Hardcover Price: $17.99

Fannie Lou Hamer may not be a household name, but she should be. This remarkable woman was the daughter of impoverished sharecroppers and became a major force in the struggle against racism, inequality, and disenfranchisement in the South, raising her voice (and risking her life) as she worked-and sang-for voting rights, for integration, for political representation, and for the poor.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

Before There Was Mozart

Ages: 5 – 9 yrs.
Author: Lesa Cline-Ransome
Illustrator: James Ransome
Publisher: Random House
Hardcover Price: $18.99

This book sheds  light on a lesser-known musical talent, Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-George. Joseph was a violinist and composer who performed for Marie Antoinette at Versailles, eventually becoming her music teacher as well. But his life began less auspiciously, in slavery.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

Unspoken: A Story From the Underground Railroad

Ages: 4 – 8 yrs.
Author: Henry Cole
Illustrator: Henry Cole
Publisher: Scholastic
Hardcover Price: $16.99

This wordless picture book illustrates the story of a young farm girl and a runaway slave. It’s a moving lesson of ethics for readers of all ages, one that is rooted in a trying period in American history.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

 

No More! Stories and Songs of Slave Resistance

Ages: 9 – 12 yrs.
Author: Doreen Rappaport
Illustrator: Shane E Evans
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Hardcover Price: $17.99

This large-format, handsomely illustrated collection consists of slave narratives, black spirituals and folktales, and sensitively selected moments in U.S. slave history from colonial times to the close of the Civil War.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

 

Darkness Over Denmark: The Danish Resistance and the Rescue of the Jews

Ages: 10 & Up
Author: Ellen Levine
Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
Hardcover Price: $18.95

The Danish people, in one night, rose up against the Nazis. They hid and ultimately saved almost their entire Jewish population.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

 

More Than a Cup of Kindness

Ages: 10 & Up
Producer: Silver Birch Production
CD Price: $12.00

This CD contains the the compelling true-life account of Holocaust survivor and nurse Luba Tryszynska-Frederick, who, incredibly, while imprisoned in the Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camp, saw to the survival of dozens of Dutch-Jewish children there, many of whom would be on hand to when she was honored in Amsterdam in 1995.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi

Author: Neil Bascomb
Ages: 12 & Up
Publisher: Scholastic
Hardcover Price: $16.99

Nazi Hunters opens with the experiences of a few Jewish men, who, although their loved ones did not, managed to survive Nazi concentration camps. They later became involved in the relentless worldwide pursuit of the execrable Nazi, Adolf Eichmann.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

 

The Hiding Game

Ages: 7 – 12 yrs.
Author: Gwen Strauss
Illustrator: Herb Leonhard
Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company
Hardcover Price: $17.99

Art and survival make for a riveting mix in this real-life, age-appropriate World War II-Era story for older children about an unusual way station for individuals and families fleeing the Nazis in occupied France.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

Projekt 1065: A Novel of World War II

Ages: 9 – 12 yrs.
Author: Alan Gratz
Publisher: Scholastic
Hardcover Price: $16.99

This book places its 13-year-old protagonist, directly in the line of fire in this suspenseful and highly dramatic World War II fictional account of a kid spy behind the battle lines.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

 

Somewhere There Is Still A Sun

Ages: 10 – 14 yrs.
Author: Michael Gruenbaum
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Hardcover Price: $17.99

This superbly written story of a young Holocaust survivor and his family manages to be hopeful and poignant, without shying away from dark truths.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

 

The Book Thief

Ages: 14 & Up
Author: Markus Zusak
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books/Knopf
Hardcover Price: $16.95

This book shows how important small triumphs can be in the most devastating circumstances. Rich characters populate this book throughout but the most profound and important characters don’t move. They’re words.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

 

Flowers for Sarajevo

Ages: 5 – 8 yrs.
Author: John McCutcheon
Illustrator: Kristi Caldwell
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers
Hardcover Price: $19.95

Drasko enjoys helping his father sell flowers in a street market of Sarajevo where Christians, Muslims, and Serbs and Croats mingle and shop. It is the story of a boy who finds the beauty amidst the chaos of war.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.

 

 

I AM MALALA

Ages: 10 & Up
Author: Malala Yousafzai
Author: Patricia McCormick
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Hardcover Price: $17.00

I Am Malala is the extraordinary story of an extraordinary person, in her own words.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review.