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Honest-to-Goodness Truth
Patricia C. McKissack
0689853955
December 2002
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
When Libby is caught in her first lie to her mama, she makes a decision: "From now on, only the truth." Soon she's spreading the truth all over town--about the hole in her friend Ruthie May's sock, and the fact that Thomas didn't have lunch money and needed to borrow some from the teacher, and how old Miz Tusselbury's yard looks like a jungle. By now, no one is talking to Libby. Perplexed and glum, she turns to her mama for another lesson on telling the truth. But it isn't until Libby gets a small spoonful of her own medicine that she really grasps the difference between the right way and the wrong way to tell the truth.

Children know just how difficult it is to find that balance between a lie and the honest-to-goodness truth. Award-winning author Patricia McKissack teams up with acclaimed illustrator Giselle Potter...



Mirandy and Brother Wind
Patricia C. McKissack
0679883339
Jan 1997
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
As a prefatory note explains, this picture book was inspired by a photo of the author's grandparents winning a cakewalk"a dance rooted in Afro-American culture"and her grandfather's boast that, in her dancing, his wife had captured the wind. In the book, Mirandy determines to catch Brother Wind and have him for her partner in the upcoming junior cakewalk. She tries a number of tactics springing from folk wisdom, and finally succeeds in trapping her prey in the barn. At the contest, Mirandy chooses to dance with her friend Ezelbut, with Brother Wind to do her bidding, the two friends win the cakewalk in style. Told in spirited dialect and rendered in lavish, sweeping watercolors, this provides an intriguing look at a time gone by. As a story, however, it proves somewhat disappointing. After the colorful...


Nzingha, Warrior Queen of Matamba - Angola 1595
Patricia C. McKissack
0439112109
September 2000
Hardcover
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Book Review
In 1595, Nzingha is the strong, intelligent daughter of the Ngola (leader) of the Mbundu people of Ndongo (in modern-day Angola), loyal to her people and willing to fight for them. Unfortunately, because she is a girl, her brother is the favored child, in training to become the next Ngola, even though he is whiny, stupid, and slow (according to Nzingha). But Ajala, a respected seer, believes that Nzingha is destined to be the leader of Ndongo, and begins preparing her for this future. Nzingha's father fights to keep the Portuguese from taking over their homeland, yet it is Nzingha, ultimately, who acts as the go-between for her people and the Portuguese, negotiating acceptable relations in order to keep peace and power for the Mbundu.

Based on true historical events, places, people, and customs, this novel ...



A Picture of Freedom: The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl , Belmont Plantation, Virginia, 1859 (Dear America Series)
Patricia C. McKissack
0590259881
March 1997
Hardcover
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6. Clotee is an orphan living on the plantation of "Mas' Henley" and "Miz Lilly." Her owners have put her to work fanning Miz Lilly and her young son William during tutoring sessions. William may not be keen to learn, but Clotee is. She has learned to read while looking over the boy's shoulder and eventually she teaches herself how to write. She practices her newfound skills by writing in a makeshift, secret diary, which is found by William's new tutor. Luckily, he turns out to be an abolitionist. Through his work, Clotee helps some of her friends escape to the North, but she herself chooses to stay behind on the plantation as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. Clotee is such a vibrant, fully rounded character that it is almost painful to think of her left on the plantation while her friends...


Lu and the Swamp Ghost
James Carville
0689865600
September 2004
Hardcover
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Book Description
When I was a little boy, my favorite stories where the ones Mama told about the adventures she had growing up....Now that I have two little girls of my own, I want to share one of my mama's stories with them, and with you. And so, approche.... -- James Carville Mama always said, "You're never poor if you have a loving family and one good friend." Well, Lu has a family but no friend -- so maybe she is just a little poor. How all changes one day down on the Louisiana bayou -- when Lu comes face-to-face with a for-real, live swamp ghost -- is at the heart of this flavorful, funny...and compassionate story. Meet a girl with lots of pluck and plenty of courage in this Depression-era tale that's based on an episode in the childhood of James Carville's mother.


Look to the Hills: The Diary of Lozette Moreau, a French Slave Girl (Dear America Series)
Patricia C. McKissack
0439210380
April 2004
Hardcover
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6-Zettie, 12, is a companion to the daughter of a once-wealthy Frenchman. An African slave, she was purchased as a gift for Marie-Louise and although well treated, she longs to be free. After Marie-Louise's father dies, her older brother threatens to sell the slaves and marry off his sister to an older, unattractive, but wealthy man to keep himself out of debtor's prison. Marie-Louise convinces her fiance to purchase Zettie as her wedding gift, and the two girls, with the help of a friend, flee to Spain, and then to America. They sail to a British-controlled fort in the area that would later become New York State. The rest of the book describes life at the fort, the effects of the French and Indian War on the relations with the Native Americans, and Marie-Louise's search for her younger brother, who...


Black Diamond: The Story of the Negro Baseball Leagues
Patricia C. McKissack
059068213X
September 1998
Paperback
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From Booklist
Gr. 6-10. This book goes far beyond the few familiar photographs and names most readers associate with the Negro Baseball Leagues, and it makes the trip in style. We discover, for example, that George Washington's troops were "batting balls and running bases" and that the nineteenth-century relationship between baseball and race was more diverse than many young readers may realize. The McKissacks carefully record the differences of opinion about some events and the difficulty of finding source material. Oral histories from surviving players add startling depth to descriptions of conditions of play and travel, and Jackie Robinson's entry into major league ball becomes a richer and more complicated moment because the authors show where Robinson came from (and how) in addition to where he went. A player roster will be...


The Story of Doctor Dolittle
Hugh Lofting
0060775971
June 2005
Paperback
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Book Description

Doctor John Dolittle loves animals. He loves them so much that his home and office overflow with animals of every description. When Polynesia the parrot teaches him the language of the animals, Doctor Dolittle becomes a world-famous doctor, traveling even as far away as Africa to help his friends. This edition of the beloved children's classic contains black-and-white illustrations by Michael Hague and has been edited by award-winning authors Patricia and Fredrick McKissack for modern audiences.



Sojourner Truth: Ain't I a Woman
Patricia C. McKissack
0590446916
January 1994
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
This work by the authors of A Long Hard Journey--The Story of the Pullman Porter is a great deal more than a biography of a remarkable woman. The forceful narrative also offers a startling portrayal of a pivotal yet appalling era in American history. Born a slave in Ulster County, N.Y., in 1797, "Hardenbergh's Belle" (so named after her first owner) had been bought and sold by several masters by the time she was a teenager. In 1826, betrayed by an owner who reneged on his promise to free her if she "worked extra hard," Belle made the first of many intrepid moves, and escaped with her youngest child. After living for some time in New York City, in 1843 the deeply religious woman followed what she interpreted as a directive from God and, assuming the name of Sojourner Truth, went off "to do the Lord's work." For...


The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle
Hugh Lofting
0060776005
June 2005
Paperback
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4-8-Doctor Dolittle sets sail towards the mysterious Spider Monkey Island accompanied by by nine-and-a-half-year-old Tommy Stubbins. By Hugh Lofting. Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

From AudioFile
To embark on a voyage with Dr. Doolittle is to enjoy a vast world of natural history and gentle satire amid a warm, loving sea of imagination. The creatures with whom the good doctor converses come growling, squeaking, or quacking in Alan Bennett's marvelously adaptable voice. He reads with intensity all the tongue-twisting nomenclatures that Lofting employs. We are at liberty to wholeheartedly sail with that menagerie to an island where, with the assistance of parrots, we may fight a war...


Color Me Dark: The Diary of Nellie Lee Love, the Great Migration North, Chicago, Illinois, 1919 (Dear America Series)
Patricia C. McKissack
0590511599
April 2000
Hardcover
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Book Review
"Some people are so color struck. They think being light-skinned is better than being dark! Mama says that's nonsense and I think so, too."

Nellie Lee Love is an 11-year-old African American girl living in the rural South at the end of World War I. In a year of tumultuous change, victory, and tragedy, she records her thoughts and feelings in a diary given her by her mother. After the white racism in their town becomes too brutally overt to ignore, Nellie and her family pack up and move to Chicago. Delighted with the seemingly endless opportunities in the big city, Nellie is blindsided by the more insidious forms of prejudice that northerners practice: hatred within their own race. But through family unity and integrity, and education by way of W.E.B. DuBois and Marcus Garvey's writings, Nellie and her family gradually...



The Dark Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural
Patricia C. McKissack
0679890068
December 1998
Paperback
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Book Review
These 10 spine-tinglers range from straight-up ghost stories to eerie narratives. The tales in this winner of the 1993 Coretta Scott King Award depict racism, haunting and vengeance in a manner that can be read out loud around a campfire or savored privately, offering middle readers (fourth through eighth graders) thoughtful exposure to important, though frightening, historical themes. One tale, set in the segregated South of the 1940s, tells of a black man's ghost avenging his murder by a white klansman. McKissack's prose is smooth and understated, and its sense of foreboding is powerfully enhanced by Brian Pinkney's black-and-white scratch board illustrations. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly
In these stories?"haunting in both...


Miami Gets It Straight
Patricia C. McKissack
0307265013
Dec 2004
Paperback
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Book Description
The Miami series grew out of a real need that Pat McKissack saw in children’s books: There weren’t many books about middle-class African American kids. “We are professional people,” Pat said about herself and her husband, Fred, in The Dallas Morning News. “Our kids never knew a hungry day. They lived a normal, middle-class life on a street that was very diverse. It’s not that the other kind of stories aren’t important. But I got tired of African American children showing up in literature a day late and a dollar short.”
These three books show Miami Jackson’s third-going-on-fourth-grade life—getting through the last few days of school before summer vacation, finding his place in summer baseball camp, and dealing with a no-nonsense new...


Madam C. J. Walker: Self-Made Millionaire
Patricia McKissack
076601682X
December 2001
Hardcover
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From School Library Journal
Grade 3-4-- The lives of entrepreneur Madam C. J. Walker and writer Zora Neale Hurston are told in abbreviated form, which gives the basic facts of both women's lives while omitting much of their personality and tenacity. The print is large, open, and easy to read, and the black-and-white photographs and soft pencil sketches extend the texts. Brief glossaries have admirably clear definitions, and the one-page indexes are adequate. Since there are no other biographies of these notables for this age group, they are reasonable acquisitions. However, teachers or librarians may wish to give some verbal background as an introduction. Certainly in Hurston's case, telling one of her stories would say just as much as this biography does about the salty nature of the woman. --Ann Welton, Terminal Park Elementary...


Miami Makes the Play
Patricia C. McKissack
0307265056
Dec 2004
Paperback
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From Booklist
Gr. 2-4. In this follow-up to Miami Gets It Straight (2000), school has finally let out, and Miami is off to baseball camp. Miami's best friend, String, and Miami's rival, Destinee Tate, from the previous book, show up at camp, too, along with lively new characters, including Asher, a wildly talented, blind umpire, and Kenneth, a typical bully with a bad attitude. Camp is fun, but there's plenty of friction: Destinee campaigns for coed teams, and Miami teams up with Kenneth to fight the idea, straining his friendship with String. Wise counselor Lincoln reminds the boys about choices, and, in the end, Miami finds his conscience, voting for the coed team and speaking his mind to Kenneth. Humor and authentic dialogue balance the heavy messages in this well-paced chapter book, which raises questions about peer pressure...

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