Children's Books for Parents and Teachers - book reviews and suggestions for parents and teachers.
History

History is the study of the past, focused on human activity and leading up to the present day. More exactly, history is the continuous, systematic narrative and the research of events in the past of importance to the human race, including the study of events over time and their relation to humanity.

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This Is New York

By: Miroslav Sasek
Publisher: Universe
Level: 8-9

The charm and uniqueness of New York City was never more beautifully and whimsically created for children than in Miroslav Sasek’s This Is New York. First published in 1960, his vision of New York nearly forty years ago still remains fresh: the hustle and bustle of Times Square, the ethnic neighborhoods, the awe-inspiring architecture. Sasek captured the essences of New York that delight children and parents, many of whom who will remember the book from their childhood.

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Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

By: Doreen Rappaport
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
Level: 8-9

This picture-book biography is an excellent and accessible introduction for young readers to learn about one of the world’s most influential leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Doreen Rappaport weaves the immortal words of Dr. King into a captivating narrative to tell the story of his life. With stunning art by acclaimed illustrator Bryan Collier, Martin’s Big Words is an unforgettable portrait of a man whose dream changed America—and the world—forever.

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Harlem Stomp!, A Cultural History of the Harlem Renaissance

Harlem Stomp!, A Cultural History of the Harlem Renaissance

By: Laban Carrick Hill, Nikki Giovanni
Publisher: Little Brown & Co
Level: 12-13

Explores the literary, artistic, and intellectual creativity of the Harlem Renaissance and discusses the lives and work of Louis Armstrong, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and other notable figures of the era.

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An American Plague, The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic Of 1793

An American Plague, The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic Of 1793

By: Jim Murphy
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Level: 12-13

Accompanied by black-and-white archival photos and drawn from first-hand accounts, a compelling true story vividly recreates the devastation rendered to the city of Philadelphia in 1793 by an incurable disease known as yellow fever, …

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Sonia's Song

Sonia’s Song

By: Sonia Korn-Grimani
Publisher: Clay Grouse Press
Level: 14+

At the age of eight, little Sonia Korn is declared an enemy of the German State. She and her family are given the choice to either find a way to leave Germany on their own, without any resources, or be deported. After a series of frightening narrow escapes, Sonia finds that she must give up everything she knows and loves just to survive. This is the complex true story of one girl, who rises from war’s ashes to sing the songs of hope and love world-wide. A heart-wrenching and poignant …

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Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters

By: Barack Obama
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Level: 8-9

Thisbeautiful book directly addresses President Barack Obama’s daughters Malia and Sasha  throughout. It is about the potential within each of us to pursue our dreams and to follow our own paths in life.

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A Young People's History of the United States, Vol. 2: The Spanish-American War to the War on Terror

A Young People’s History of the United States, Vol. 2: The Spanish-American War to the War on Terror

By: Howard Zinn
Publisher: Consortium Book Sales & Dist
Level: 14+

In volume two, Howard Zinn’s lively, clear prose guides the reader through the wars and revolutions of the twentieth century. Zinn continues his retelling up to the policies and resistances that have characterized the war on terror and that shape the United States of America today. Includes a final chapter updating our country’s history to the present moment.

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A Young People's History of the United States, Vol. 1: Columbus to the Robber Barons

A Young People’s History of the United States, Vol. 1: Columbus to the Robber Barons

By: Howard Zinn
Publisher: Consortium Book Sales & Dist
Level: 14+

Praise for A People’s History of the United States:

“Professor Zinn writes with an enthusiasm rarely encountered in the leaden prose of academic history, and his text is studded with telling quotations from labor leaders, war resisters and fugitive slaves. There are vivid descriptions of events that are usually ignored.”-Eric Foner, The New York Times Book Review

Howard Zinn’s first book for young adults is a retelling of US history from the viewpoints of slaves, workers, immigrants, women, and Native Americans with color images, a glossary, and primary sources. Volume one begins …

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Number the Stars

By: Lois Lowry
Publisher: Random House Childrens Books
Level: 14+

The evacuation of Jews from Nazi-held Denmark is one of the great untold stories of World War II. On September 29, 1943, word got out in Denmark that Jews were to be detained and then sent to the death camps. Within hours the Danish resistance, population and police arranged a small flotilla to herd 7,000 Jews to Sweden. Lois Lowry fictionalizes a true-story account to bring this courageous tale to life. She brings the experience to life through the eyes of 10-year-old Annemarie Johannesen, whose family harbors her best friend, …

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Malcolm X: A Fire Burning Brightly

Malcolm X: A Fire Burning Brightly

By: Walter Dean Myers
Publisher: HarperCollins, 2000
Level: 14+

Another important black leader who struggled for civil rights is Malcolm X. Historic quotes, rich prose, and striking paintings make this picture biography a gem–and one that underscores the possibility of overcoming bad times.

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