The Classroom Bookshelf
Inside The Classroom Bookshelf

The Spoken Word in Picture Books

  I, Too, Am America  Written by Langston Hughes, Illustrated by Bryan Collier Simon and Shuster, 2012 ISBN 978-1-4424-2008-3 I Have a Dream Written by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Illustrated by Kadir Nelson Schwartz & Wade, 2012 ISBN 978-0-375-85887-1 All Ages  Book Review “I, too, sing America/I am the darker brother.” So begins one […]

2012 Coretta Scott King Award for Writing, Honor Book for Illustration: Heart and Soul

Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans Written and Illustrated by Kadir Nelson Balzar and Bray, 2011 ISBN: 978-0-06-173074-0 Review This extraordinary work of art tells the story of America through the lens of African American history. It is at once familiar and yet unfamiliar to all too many. Even author-illustrator Kadir […]

The Mighty Miss Malone

The Mighty Miss Malone By Christopher Paul Curtis Published by Wendy Lamb Books, Random House Children’s Books ISBN: 978-0-385-73491-2 Grades 4-8 Book Review Prompted by fans discouraged by a lack of female protagonists in his body of work, Christopher Paul Curtis created Deza Malone, an irrepressible twelve-year old surviving the Great Depression with savvy, strength, […]

2011 ALA Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award: Dave the Potter

Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave Written by Laban Carrick Hill; Illustrated by Bryan Collier Little Brown, and Company, New York 2010 ISBN 978-0-316-10731-0 Book Review Dave the Potter, sometimes known as David Drake, was taught to read in South Carolina in the early 19th century, when it was against the law for an enslaved […]

2011 Coretta Scott King Author Award: One Crazy Summer

One Crazy Summer By Rita Williams-Garcia Winner of the 2011 Coretta Scott King Award Published by Amistad, an Imprint of Harper Collins ISBN 978-0-06-076088-5 Grades 5 and Up Book Review In 1968, the nation was in tumult; Martin Luther King was shot in April, Bobby Kennedy in early June. Right in the middle of this year […]


Forge By Laurie Halse Anderson ISBN: 9781416961444 Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2010 Grades 6 and Up Book Review In book two of the trilogy that began with National Book Award Finalist Chains, Curazon, the perhaps-free, perhaps-still enslaved African-American soldier liberated from a British prison in Manhattan by Isabel at the end of […]

Sugar Changed the World

Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom, and Science   Written by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos Published by Clarion Books, 2010 ISBN: 978-0-618-57492-6 Grades 7 and Up Of the over 2 million slaves shipped from Africa during the trans-Atlantic slave trade of the 17th-19th centuries, only 4 % came to […]