The Other Side

The Other Side written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis is about a young African American girl named Clover. Clover lives by a fence that segregates her neighborhood from the white side of town, where her friend Anna lives so Clover and Anna have find ways they can still see each other.

Recommended for children of all ages, this book does a great job explaining prejudice and racism and it is a remarkable read. Even though it tackles such a difficult topic it does so in an uplifting yet respectful way and shows both races in a positive light. This book explains this topic though a chid’s perspective where the main characters even question and try to understand why there is racism along with the readers.

 

Resources:

Meet the author and illustrator

Teachers Guide- Before and After Reading

A Little Princess

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett is about a girl named Sara Crewe. Sara’s father dies leaving her with nothing and Sara who started Miss Michin’s boarding school as one of the richest students becomes one of the poorest overnight. She is then forced to work as the school’s maid and live in the attack where she is not treated kindly at all. Will things get better for poor Sara, you’ll have to read to find out.

This book does a great job at telling a triumphant tale about a young girl who is wise beyond her years and very imaginative. I would recommend this book to children 9 and older and can be especially appealing to young girls with its strong female role model. Although this book does have some racism in it so it would be good to have this discussion with your children/students. This book was also turned into a movie which adds an extra addition to book.

Resources:

Lesson Plan/Discussions

Lesson Plan With Curriculum Standards

About the Movie

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a classic story that has won a Pulitzer Prize in 1961, voted one of the greatest novels of all time and was turned into an Academy-Award Winning film. Jean Louise “Scout” Finch along with her bother, dad, and her friend Dill live in Alabama during the Depression. Scout and her friends are curious about the famous mystery man Boo Radley who live in their neighbor. Eager to know if he is really the crazy, evil man that they have heard about they take it upon themselves to investigate. Scout’s father is also a lawyer on a case defending a black man during a time where that was not normal for a White man to do.

This book provides the opportunity to have great and powerful discussions about privilege, race and history, and because of this I would recommend it to children 12 and over. This story also has aspects of racism, sex, rape, violence and drinking so these should be considered when your child/student is reading it. This book really does a great job highlighting tolerance, justice, race, and history. It also does a great job teaching about characters and seeing different perspectives.

Resources:

Lesson Plans

Units and Lesson Plans

Teaching Mockingbird

The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is about a orphan named Mary Lennox who moves into her uncle’s mansion. Mary is a nine-year-old girl who is on the tad spoiled and demanding side. At her uncle’s mansion she discovers their garden as well as another boy (her cousin) named Colin. Mary has met her match with Colin, he is even more difficult than her. Colin has been sheltered his whole life, as he is very ill….well at least that is what he was told and his father can’t stand to look at him because he blames is son for his wife’s death. The two learn from each other and they grow along with the beautiful garden where they spend a lot of their time in.

This story is about overcoming obstacles and you watch these young children grow right before your eyes. This story teaches about the wonders of exploring and repairing what is broken. This is a happy story about learning to think less about yourself and more about all the beautiful things (and people) that nature and this world has to offer. I would recommend this book to children 9 and older. The book has also been turned into a movie for your viewing pleasures.

Resources:

Introduction and About the Author

Lesson Plan Idead

Vocabulary From the Text

Number the Stars

The historical fiction and Newbery Medal award winner of 1990, Number the Stars is by Lois Lowry. This story is about a Jewish Family’s escape from Copenhagen during World War II. The story of 10-year-old Annemarie Johansen does an excellent job at showing what life was like in Denmark during the Nazi takeover, the devastating and tragic ways the Nazi’s took over and the courage it took to survive as a Jew. This courageous tale is an excellent read.

Recommended for children 9 and older this is a great story about the history of World War 1 and the Holocaust and excellent example of a brave, courageous and remarkable female role model. This story provides the opportunity for great discussions about racism, prejudice and historical events.

Resources:

Teach This Lesson

How to Use This Book to Teach About World War I and the Holocaust

Author’s Website

The Story of Ruby Bridges

The Story of Ruby Bridges by Pulizer Prize winner Robert Coles and illustrated by George Ford is about the first African American child to integrate a New Orleans school. The remarkable true story of Ruby Bridges is an inspiring story that should be shared with all children. This was a very important time in America’s history and this story does an excellent job paying tribute. Ruby was a brave young girl who despite the hardships and taunting she faced by being the first African American student at her school, she did not give up even though it was clear her school didn’t want her there. With her head held high, Ruby persevered in a remarkable and inspiring way. This is a great story of a positive role-model for all.

This story is recommended to children of all ages but specifically for children 4 and older. I think this is such an important message for all children and is an excellent story highlighting what life was like in the 1960s.

Resources:

Lesson Plan and Teaching Resources

Grade 3 Lesson Plan

Biography of Ruby Bridges

Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry

Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor is a winner of the Newbery Medal,  a New York Times Book Review Best of Children’s Book, and a National Book Award Nominee. This book is about Cassie and her family as they endure prejudice, racism, and injustice. Cassie and her family fight to keep everything they have, including their beliefs and their rights. This book also has two other equals and a prequel.

This book is about racism, injustice, and the Great Depression. The heart-wrenching and accurate accounts of real acts of racism that occurred during this time period are evident throughout this text. This is an excellent example of the profound racism that occurred and is very eye-opening to children. I would recommend this story to children 11 and older because there is frequent and graphic violence and even death, however these events really did occur and I think it is important children know this. I think this is a great story for children of all races and backgrounds because even though it is heartbreaking to read, it explains a very important time in America’s history and something we should never forget!

Resources:

Meet the Author, Book Readings, Book Guides, Lesson Plans and more

Lesson Plans

White Socks Only

White Socks Only by Evelyn Coleman and illustrated by Tyrone Geter is about a young girl living in the segregated south. This book does a great job showing what serration looked like to children just learning about it for the first time. You learn along with the main character who at first doesn’t understand what “Whites Only” means and thinks it means she can only drink from the drinking fountain in her white socks. This story is about courage and overcoming hate, and is a remarkable and inspiring tale.

This is a very important story about race, segregation, and history. This story allows readers to think about our history and its relation to race. I would recommend this story to all ages but especially to young children around 4-years and older.

Resources:

Discussion Questions, Activities and More

About the Authors, Book Guides, Lesson Plans and More

Bud, Not Buddy

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis was published in 1999. Receiving the Newbery Medal for excellene in American children’s literature and the 2000 Coretta Scott King award. This book is about a 10-year-old orphan named Bud who lives in Flint, Michigan in 1936. Bud who lost his mother to an apparent suicide four years prior had been living in orphanages, foster homes, and even sleeping on the street but decides to embark on a journey to find his father who he has never met but he believes is Herman H. Calloway. Using all the belongings left by his mother,  Bud finally makes it to Grand Rapids where he finds his grandfather Herman E. Calloway, but will he find his forever home with him and does he ever find his father?

I would recommend this story to everyone 9-years and older. This is a great story about determination and hope. Inspiring readers to do anything you set your mind to, Bud, Not Buddy is a truly remarkable tale of one young boys drive.

Published by: Delacorte Books for Adult Readers

Resources:

Lesson Plan for Bud, Not Buddy

Meet the Author: Christopher Paul Curtis

Teachers Guide for Bud, Not Buddy

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