Brown v. Board of Education , 1954:
Annotated Bibliography of Selected Children's and Young Adult Books
Dudley, Mark E. Brown v. Board of Education: School Desegregation. Twenty-First Century Books, 1994. 96 pp. Gr. 6-10
"Discusses the issues, the players, and the arguments involved in this important case that successfully challenged school segregation." (Best Books for Young Teen Readers, 2000)
Fireside, Harvey. Brown v. Board of Education : Equal Schooling for All. Enslow, 1994. 128 pp. Gr. 6-10
"Presents background information, the case itself, and the far-reaching impact it has had." (Best Books for Young Teen Readers, 2000)
Good, Diane L. Brown v. Board of Education: A Civil Rights Milestone. Children's Press, 2004. 48 pp. Gr. 5-8
Explains the history of segregation in the United States and cases that tested the law allowing "separate but equal" treatment, including the five cases that came together as Brown v. Board of Education.
McNeese, Tim. Brown v. Board of Education: Integrating America’s schools. Chelsea House, 2007. 144 pp. Gr. 7-12
A detailed look at the legal campaign led by Thurgood Marshall to end segregation in the American school system. Includes background on the origins of the segregation and earlier legal challenges to the “separate but equal” philosophy.
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Miller, Jake. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka: Challenging School Segregation in the Supreme Court. PowerKids Press, 2004. 24 pp. Gr. 1-4
A picture book account of the events leading up to the Supreme Court case, the Court's decision, and the struggle that followed.
Pierce, Alan. Brown v. Board of Education. ABDO Publishing, 2005. 48pp. Gr. 4-8
Traces the history of segregation in the United States and efforts to end it up through the Brown case.
Stokes, John A. Students on Strike: Jim Crow, Civil Rights, Brown and Me: a Memoir. National Geographic, 2008. 127pp. Gr. 5-8.
This autobiography recounts a student led strike to protest the horrendous conditions in their all black school. The NAACP later filed a lawsuit to integrate the school district (Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County) and this case was later combined with others into the Brown v. Board of Education ruling.
Tackach, James. Brown v. Board of Education. Lucent, 1998. 111 pp. Gr. 7-10
"Placed in a historic context, the landmark court case that destroyed the "separate but equal" decree, changed the legal landscape, and laid the groundwork for the civil rights movement, including a discussion of the rise of the NAACP and the work of young Thurgood Marshall." (Best Books for Young Teen Readers, 2000)
Thomas, Joyce Carol. Linda Brown, You Are Not Alone : The Brown v. Board of Education Decision. Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children, 2003. 114 pp.
In this collection of personal reflections, stories and poems, 10 well-known children's authors, who were themselves young people in 1954, share their varied experiences and viewpoints to offer a window to that period in our history.
Tushnet, Mark V. Brown v. Board of Education: The Battle for Integration. Franklin Watts, 1995. 143 pp. Gr. 7-9
Describes the people playing major roles in the battle for desegregation, the smaller court cases that led up to Brown v. The Board of Education, and the results and repercussions of the case.
Bridges, Ruby. Through My Eyes: Ruby Bridges. Scholastic, 1999. 63 pp. Gr. 5-8
Ruby Bridges recounts the story of her involvement, as a six-year-old, in the integration of her school in New Orleans in 1960.
Coles, Robert. Story of Ruby Bridges. Scholastic, 1995. Unpag. Gr. 1-4
For months six-year-old Ruby Bridges must confront the hostility of white parents when she becomes the first African American girl to integrate Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans in 1960.
Elish, Dan. James Meredith and School Desegregation. Millbrook, 1994. 32 pp. Gr. 1-4
Focuses on the events surrounding James Meredith's efforts to be allowed to attend the University of Mississippi in 1962.
Fireside, Harvey. Plessy v. Ferguson: Separate but Equal?. Enslow, 1997. 128 pp. Gr. 6-10
"This book gives a step-by-step account of the hearings in the Supreme Court of this case that challenged the basic underpinnings of segregation laws." (Best Books for Young Teen Readers, 2000)
Fradin, Judith Bloom. The power of One: Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine. Clarion Books, 2004. 178pp. Gr. 6-10.
A biography of Daisy Bates, a journalist and activist who became one of the foremost civil rights leaders in America. In 1957 she mentored the nine black students who were integrated into Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Haskins, James. Separate but Not Equal: The Dream and the Struggle. Scholastic, 1998. 184 pp. Gr. 7-10
"A history of the struggle of African Americans for equality in education beginning from the time of slavery, with coverage of key court cases and incidents." (Best Books for Young Teen Readers, 2000)
Lucas, Eileen. Cracking the Wall: The Struggles of the Little Rock Nine. Carolrhoda, 1997. 48 pp. Gr. 1-3
A brief introduction to the nine African-American students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957.
Lusane, Clarence. Struggle for Equal Education. Watts, 1992. 144 pp. Gr. 8-12
This title describes how efforts to educate blacks have been historically undermined by slavery, segregation, the "separate but equal" legislation, and a failure to reinforce civil rights laws as well as providing extensive information on the legislative history of educational desegregation.
Morrison, Toni. Remember: the Journey to School Integration. Houghton Mifflin, 2004. 78pp. Gr. 2-6
This is a pictorial essay on the fraught subject of school integration. Archival photographs are accompanied by Morrison’s captions which imagine what the participants might be thinking. Photo notes are included at the end and provide dates, locations, and context for the photos.
Rappaport, Doreen. The School is not White! A True Story of the Civil Rights Movement. Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children, 2005. 38pp. Gr. 2-4
Sharecroppers Matthew and Mae Bertha Carter enroll their 7 children in an all-white school in Drew, Mississippi, in 1965.
Rasmussen, R. Kent. Farewell to Jim Crow: The Rise and Fall of Segregation in America. Facts on File, 1997. 168 pp. Gr. 4-6
"This is a history of segregation in the United States in such areas as housing, education, employment, transportation, public accommodations, and efforts to end it." (Best Books for Young Teen Readers, 2000)
Wormser, Richard. The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow: The African-American Struggle Against Discrimination, 1865-1964. Watts, 1999. 144 pp. Gr. 9-12
Discusses the laws and practices that supported discrimination against African Americans from Reconstruction to the Supreme Court decision that found segregation to be illegal.
Bradby, Marie. Momma, Where Are You From?. Orchard Books, 2000. Unpag. Gr. 1-3
"At her daughter's request, an African American woman describes her life in the rural South during segregation." (Best Books for Children, 2002)
Draper, Sharon M. Fire From the Rock. Dutton Children’s Books, 2007. 229pp. Gr. 6-9
In 1957, Sylvia Patterson’s life--that of a normal African American teenager--is disrupted by the impending integration of Little Rock’s Central High when she is selected to be one of the first black students to attend the previously all white school. Includes author’s note and related websites.
Evans, Freddi Williams. A Bus of Our Own. Whitman, 2001. 32 pp. Gr. 1-4
Although she really wants to go to school, walking the five miles is very difficult for Mabel Jean and the other black children, so she tries to find a way to get a bus for them the same as the white children have. Based on real events in Mississippi.
Herlihy, Dirlie. Ludie's Song. Dial, 1988. 212 pp. Gr. 6-8
"A young white girl growing up in the South of the 1950s realizes the injustices of segregation." (Best Books for Junior High Readers, 1991)
Lorbiecki, Marybeth. Sister Anne's Hands. Dial, 1998. 40 pp. Gr. K-3
"In a small-town parochial school during the 1960s, an African American nun, Sister Anne, comes to teach second grade and finds that her students need to know the lessons of segregation and persecution." (Best Books for Children, 2002)
Martin, Ann M. Belle Teal. Scholastic, 2001. 214 pp. Gr. 6-8
As a new school year begins at Coker Creek Elementary School, Belle Teal befriends Darryl, a shy African American boy caught in the crossfire of the town's anger over the desegregation of the school.
McKissack, Patricia C. A Friendship For Today. Scholastic, 2007. 172pp. Gr. 4-7
In 1954, sixth grader Rosemary becomes the first black student in Kirkland, Missouri. At home, she is forced to deal with her parents’ separation.
McKissack, Patricia C. Goin' Someplace Special. Atheneum, 2001. 36 pp. Gr. 2-5
In segregated 1950s Nashville, a young African American girl braves a series of indignities and obstacles to get to one of the few integrated places in town: the public library.
Nelson, Vaunda Micheaux. Mayfield Crossing. Putnam, 1993. 82 pp. Gr. 3-6
When the school in Mayfield Crossing is closed, the students are sent to larger schools, where the black children encounter racial prejudice for the first time. Only baseball seems a possibility for drawing people together.
Perez, L. King. Remember as You Pass Me By. Milkweed Editions, 2007. 184pp. Gr. 5-9
In small-town Texas in the mid-1950s, twelve-year-old Silvy tries to make sense of her parent’s financial problems, a Supreme Court ruling that will integrate her school, the prejudice of her family and friends, and her own behavior, which always seems to be wrong.
Rodman, Mary Ann. Yankee Girl. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2004. 219pp. Gr. 4-8
When her FBI-agent father is transferred to Jackson, Mississippi, in 1964, eleven-year-old Alice wants to be popular but also wants to reach out to the one black girl in her class in a newly-integrated school.
Shange, Ntozake. Betsey Brown: A Novel. St. Martin's Press, 1985. 207 pp. Gr. 6-9
"A black girl, thirteen year old Betsey, encounters racial prejudice when she attends an all-white school." (Best Books for Senior High Readers, 1991)
Sharenow, Robert. My Mother the Cheerleader: A Novel. Laura Geringer Books, 2007. 288pp. Gr. 6-10
Thirteen-year-old Louise uncovers secrets about her family and her neighborhood during the violent protests over school desegregation in 1960 New Orleans.
Walter, Mildred Pitts. Girl on the Outside. Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, 1982. 149 pp. Gr. 6-9
This novel, based on the events at Little Rock in 1957, tells the story of "Sophia, a white student who resents the integration of her high school, and Eva, one of the nine black students who would be the first to enter the all-white Chatman High School." (Black Books Galore! Guide to Great African American Children's Books, 1998)
Wilkinson, Brenda Scott. Not Separate, Not Equal. Harper and Row, 1987. 152 pp. Gr. 5-8
Malene, one of a group of six blacks to integrate a Georgia public high school in the mid-sixties, experiences hatred and racism, as well as the beginnings of the civil rights movement.
Allen, Zita. Black Women Leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. Watts, 1996. 128 pp. Gr. 6-9
"An overview of the civil rights movement from 1900 to 1964 that focuses on the many and varied contributions that black women made to the cause." (Best Books for Young Teen Readers, 2000)
Basum, Ann. Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the front lines of the civil rights movement. National Geographic, 2006. 79pp. Gr. 6-9
This book chronicles the Freedom Rides of 1961 by focusing on the stories of two men who participated—John Lewis, an African-American who grew up poor in Alabama, and Jim Zwerg, a white man from a middle-class family in Wisconsin.
Bullard, Sara. Free at Last : A History of the Civil Rights Movement and Those Who Died in the Struggle. Oxford, 1993. 112 pp. Gr. 6-10
An illustrated history of the Civil Rights Movement, including a timeline and profiles of forty people who gave their lives in the movement.
Duncan, Alice Faye. The National Civil Rights Museum Celebrates Everyday People. BridgeWater, 1995. 63 pp. Gr. 2-6
"This oversized book pictorially chronicles the events and people involved in the U.S. civil rights movement between 1954 and 1968." (Black Books Galore! Guide to Great African American Children's Books, 1998)
Dunn, John M. The Civil Rights Movement. Lucent Books, 1998. 128 pp. Gr. 8-11
"After summarizing the civil rights struggle of African Americans, the author focuses on the civil rights movement of the 20th century, with boxed excerpts from writings and speeches." (Best Books for Young Teen Readers, 2000)
Engelbert, Phillis. American Civil Rights: Primary Sources. UXL, 1999. 200 pp. Gr. 6-12
Presents fifteen documents, including speeches, autobiographical text, and proclamations, related to the civil rights movement and arranged in the categories of economic rights, desegregation, and human rights.
Finlayson, Reggie. We Shall Overcome: The History of the American Civil Rights Movement. Lerner, 2003. 96 pp. Gr. 6-10
Uses the words of spirituals and other music of the time to frame a discussion of the civil rights movement in the United States, focusing on specific people, incidents, and court cases.
Freedman, Russell. Freedom Walkers: the story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Holiday House, 2006. 114pp. Gr. 5-8.
Award winning account of the Montgomery Bus Boycott that focuses on key individuals and events of the yearlong protest.
Fremon, David K. The Jim Crow Laws and Racism in American History. Enslow, 2000. 128 pp. Gr. 5-9
"This is a history of racism in America from the end of the Civil War to the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1968." (Best Books for Children, 2002)
Halberstam, David. The Children. Random House, 1998. 783 pp. Gr. 10-12
"This prize-winning reporter profiles the 8 courageous students who launched the sit-ins in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1960, outlines the moral and political roots of the civil rights movement and the philosophical divisions that developed, and assesses the impact of television coverage of the movement." (Best Books for Young Teen Readers, 2000)
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Haskins, James. John Lewis in the Lead: A Story of the Civil Rights Movement. Lee & Low, 2006. 32pp.
A biography of John Lewis, Georgia Congressman and one of the ‘Big Six’ civil rights leaders of the 1960s, focusing on his youth and culminating in the voter registration drives that sparked ‘Bloody Sunday,’ as hundreds of people walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. Includes a note by Congressman Lewis and a timeline.
Herr, Melody. Sitting for Equal Service: Lunch Counter Sit-ins, United States, 1960s. Twenty-First Century Books, 2011. 160 pp. Gr. 8-12
On February 1, 1960, four black college students sat down at the whites-only lunch counter in a Woolworth's department store in Greensboro, North Carolina. The young men knew the waitress couldn't take their order because of the store's segregationist policies. But the young men hadn't come to eat-they had come to make a peaceful stand for equality.
Hoose, Phillip. Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice. Melanie Kroupa Books, c2009. 133 pp. Gr. 5-10
On March 2, 1955, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. In her own words, Claudette gives a detailed look at segregated life in 1950s Memphis and the start of the civil rights movement.
King, Casey. Oh, Freedom! : Kids Talk About the Civil Rights Movement with the People Who Made It Happen. Knopf, 1997. 137 pp. Gr. 5-8
Interviews between young people and people who took part in the civil rights movement accompany essays that describe the history of efforts to make equality a reality for African Americans.
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Kittinger, Jo. Rosa’s Bus. Calkins Creek, 2010. 32 pp. Gr. 2-5
The story of an ordinary bus... until a woman named Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat which became a pivotal event in the Civil Rights movement. Follows the bus's history from the streets of Montgomery to the Henry Ford Museum.
Levine, Ellen. Freedom's Children : Young Civil Rights Activists Tell Their Own Stories. Putnam, 1993. 167 pp. Gr. 6-12
"In this collection of oral histories, 30 African Americans who were part of the civil rights struggles in the 1950s-1960s South as children or teenagers recall what it was like." (Best Books for Young Teen Readers, 2000)
Lucas, Eileen. Civil Rights: The Long Struggle. Enslow, 1996. 112 pp. Gr. 5-8
"After a discussion of the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, this account focuses on the civil rights struggles of African Americans." (Best Books for Children, 2002)
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McKissack, Patricia. The Civil Rights Movement in America : From 1865 to the Present (2nd ed.). Children's Press, 1991. 320 pp. Gr. 5-9
"A history of the struggle by various minorities, with emphasis on black Americans, to achieve equality in America." (Best Books for Junior High Readers, 1991)
McNeese, Tim. The Civil Rights Movement: Striving For Justice. Chelsea House, 2008. 156pp. Gr. 7-12.
Beginning with an explanation of the historical roots of racial segregation, the author traces the efforts of African American groups, including the NAACP, to achieve equal rights. The volume focuses mainly on events of the 1950s and 1960s and ends with the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
McWhorter, Diane. A Dream of Freedom: the Civil Rights Movement from 1954 to 1968. Scholastic, 2004. 160pp. Gr. 5-9.
In this history of the modern Civil Rights movement, the author focuses on the monumental events that occurred between 1954 (the year of Brown v. the Board of Education) and 1968 (the year that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated). Beginning with an overview of the movement since the end of the Civil War, McWhorter also discusses such events as the 1956 MTGS bus boycott, the 1961 Freedom Rides, and the 1963 demonstration in Birmingham, Alabama, among others.
Parks, Rosa. Dear Mrs. Parks: A Dialogue with Today's Youth. Lee & Low, 1996. 111 pp. Gr. 4-6
"In this frank question and answer book, Mrs. Parks openly answers the questions most asked of her by young people." (Black Books Galore! Guide to Great African American Children's Books, 1998)
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Partridge, Elizabeth. Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don’t You Grow Weary. Viking, 2009. 72 pp. Gr. 6-10
Award-winning author Elizabeth Partridge leads you straight into the chaotic, passionate, and deadly three months of protests that culminated in the landmark march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. Focusing on the courageous children who faced terrifying violence in order to march alongside King, this is an inspiring look at their fight for the vote. Stunningly emotional black-and-white photos accompany the text.
Patterson, Charles. The Civil Rights Movement. Facts on File, 1995. 138 pp. Gr. 6-12
Background information on slavery, the Civil War, & Reconstruction lead to chapters on court cases, school desegregation, freedom rides, marches, voting rights, & militant unrest.
Ringgold, Faith. If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks. Simon & Schuster, 1999. 32 pp. Gr. K-4
In this imaginative biography, young Marcie boards a bus full of riders who tell her the story of Rosa Park's life. (Black Books Galore! Guide to More Great African American Children's Books, 2001)
Rochelle, Belinda. Witnesses to Freedom : Young People Who Fought for Civil Rights. Lodestar, 1993. 97 pp. Gr. 3-6
"This book explores the stories of the young people who took stands, along with adults, to make a difference" in the civil rights era. (Black Books Galore! Guide to More Great African American Children's Books, 2001)
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Shelton, Paula Young. Child of the Civil Rights Movement. Schwartz & Wade Books, 2010. 48 pp. Gr. 1-4
Paula Young Shelton shares her memories of the civil rights movement and her involvement in the historic march from Selma to Montgomery.
Taylor, Kimberly Hayes. Black Civil Rights Champions. Oliver Press, 1995. 160 pp. Gr. 6-12
"In separate chapters, 7 civil rights leaders, including W. E. B. Du Bois, James Farmer, Ella Baker, & Malcolm X, are profiled, with an 8th final chapter that gives thumbnail sketches of many more." (Best Books for Young Teen Readers, 2000)
Tillage, Leon. Leon's Story. Farrar Straus Giroux, 1997. 107 pp. Gr. 4-9
"An autobiographical account of growing up black and poor in the segregated South and of participating in the civil rights movement." (Best Books for Young Teen Readers, 2000)
Walter, Mildred Pitts. Mississippi Challenge. Bradbury Press, 1992. 205 pp. Gr. 7-12
This "sobering text begins with a review of the historic background that led to the legal and social struggle for the basic rights of citizenship for blacks" and "unfolds with frightening details about the dramatic events of this explosive period." (Black Books Galore! Guide to Great African American Children's Books, 1998)
Weber, Michael. Causes and Consequences of the African-American Civil Rights Movement. Raintree Steck-Vaughn, 1998. 79 pp. Gr. 6-10
"The author traces the legal and social history of African Americans that led up to the historic 1963 March on Washington, recounts events of the 1950s and 1960s such as the integration of schools, the growing urban tensions, and the rise of the black power movement." (Best Books for Young Teen Readers, 2000)
Welch, Catherine A. Children of the Civil Rights Era. Carolrhoda, 2001. 48 pp. Gr. 2-5
Recounts the courageous involvement of many young people who marched, protested, were arrested, and risked their lives to end racial discrimination in the South during the 1950s and 1960s.
Curtis, Christopher Paul. Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963. Delacorte, 1995. 210 pp. Gr. 5-8
This Newbery honor winning novel tells of the Watson family's trip to the south "in the midst of the turbulent summer of 1963. The Watsons experience the unfamiliar oppression of segregation and the supercharged racial hatred of the Deep South." (Black Books Galore! Guide to Great African American Children's Books, 1998)
Davis, Ossie. Just Like Martin. Simon & Schuster, 1992. 215 pp. Gr. 5-8
Following the deaths of two classmates in a bomb explosion at his Alabama church, fourteen-year-old Stone organizes a children's march for civil rights in the autumn of 1963.
Houston, Julian. New Boy. Houghton Mifflin, 2005. 282pp. Gr. 6-10.
Rob Garrett becomes the first African American student at an exclusive Connecticut boarding school. He participates in the burgeoning civil rights movement by joining a sit-in at a Virginia Woolworth’s lunch counter.
Littlesugar, Amy. Freedom School, Yes!. Philomel, 2001. 40 pp. Gr. P-3
When their house is attacked because her mother volunteered to take in the young white woman who has come to teach black children at the Freedom School, Jolie is afraid, but she overcomes her fear after learning the value of education.
Miller, William. Bus Ride. Lee & Low, 1998. Unpag. Gr. K-3
"Young Sara does not understand why she, her mother, and other African Americans cannot ride in the front of the bus as the white people do. One day, she walks to the front…and sets the wheels in motion for a boycott by black riders." (Black Books Galore! Guide to More Great African American Children's Books, 2001)
Mitchell, Margaree King. Granddaddy's Gift. BridgeWater, 1997. Unpag. Gr. 2-5
"Little Joe lives through a life-changing experience when she witnesses her granddaddy's stand against racial discrimination. Granddaddy is the first black to register to vote in their rural Mississippi town." (Black Books Galore! Guide to More Great African American Children's Books, 2001)
Moore, Yvette. Freedom Songs. Orchard, 1991. 168 pp. Gr. 6-12
"In 1968, Sheryl, 14, witnesses and then experiences acts of prejudice while visiting relatives in North Carolina." (Best Books for Young Teen Readers, 2000)
Murphy, Rita. Black Angels. Delacorte, 2001. 152 pp. Gr. 5-7
"In this exciting novel set in Mystic, Georgia, in 1961, an 11-year-old girl is caught up in the struggle that pits the freedom riders and black leaders against racists, including the Klan." (Best Books for Children, 2002)
Myers, Walter Dean. Glory Field. Scholastic, 1994. 375 pp. Gr. 7-10
Follows a family's two hundred forty-one year history, from the capture of an African boy in the 1750s through the lives of his descendants, as their dreams and circumstances lead them away from and back to the small plot of land in South Carolina that they call the Glory Field.
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Pinkney, Andrea Davis. Sit-in: How Four Friends Stood up by Sitting Down. Little, Brown, 2010. 32 pp. Gr. 3-5
This picture book is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the momentous Woolworth's lunch counter sit-in, when four college students staged a peaceful protest that became a defining moment in the struggle for racial equality and the growing civil rights movement.
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Reynolds, Aaron. Back of the Bus. Philomel Books, 2010. 32 pp. Gr. 1-3
From the back of the bus, an African American child watches the arrest of Rosa Parks.
Taylor, Mildred D. Gold Cadillac. Dial Books, 1987. 43 pp. Gr. 2-5
Daddy buys a brand new gold 1950 Cadillac and, despite warnings, drives it down to Mississippi on a family trip. Here, "the proud family is confronted with racism they never knew, being denied access to motels and restaurants, and, even worse, Daddy is arrested by policemen who don't believe that a black man could own such a fine automobile." (Black Books Galore! Guide to Great African American Children's Books about Girls, 2001)
Weatherford, Carole Boston. Freedom on the Menu: the Greensboro Sit-ins. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2005. 30 pp. Gr. K-3.
The 1960 civil rights sit-ins at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, are seen through the eyes of a young Southern black girl.