Books: Non-Fiction, Grades 3-5

Cause: Reconstruction America, 1863-1877

Book – Non-fiction. By Tonya Bolden. 2014. 138 pages. One of the few non-fiction texts on Reconstruction aimed at young readers, Cause is a strong alternative to the textbook treatment of the era.
Time Periods: Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876
Themes: African American, Reconstruction, Racism & Racial Identity
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Before Columbus: The Americas of 1491

Book - Non-fiction. By Charles C. Mann. 2009. An illustrated book for young readers based on 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus.
Time Periods: Colonization: 1492 - 1764
Themes: Food, Native American
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Dark Sky Rising (Book) | Zinn Education Project

Dark Sky Rising: Reconstruction and the Dawn of Jim Crow

Book - Non-fiction. By Henry Louis Gates Jr. with Tonya Bolden. 2019. Readers trace the rise and fall of racial equity during Reconstruction as increasingly violent white supremacy and new forms of oppression take hold at the turn of the 20th century.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876, Industrial Revolution: 1877 - 1899, Turn of the Century: 1900 - 1909
Themes: African American, Reconstruction, Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Organizing
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Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Book - Non-fiction. By Russell Freedman. 2006. 114 pages. Written for middle school, the story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, in which Rosa Parks played a role but was not the sole hero.
Time Periods: 20th Century, Cold War: 1945 - 1960
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Organizing
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Freedom in Congo Square

Book – Non-fiction. By Carole Boston Weatherford. Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. 2016. Introduces children to the brutality of slavery and the role of culture in resistance.
Time Periods: 18th Century, 19th Century
Themes: African American, Slavery and Resistance
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Helen Keller: Rebellious Spirit

Book - Non-fiction. By Laurie Lawlor. 2001. A biography that sheds light on Helen Keller as rebel and activist.
Time Periods: 20th Century, World War I: 1910 - 1919, Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944
Themes: Women's History
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I and I: Bob Marley

Book - Non-fiction. By Tony Medina. Illustrations by Jesse Joshua Watson. 2009. The life of Bob Marley told through poems and illustrations.
Themes: Art & Music
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John Lewis in the Lead: A Story of the Civil Rights Movement

Book - Non-fiction. By Jim Haskins and Kathleen Benson. Illustrated by Benny Andrews. 2006. The life of Civil Rights Movement activist and now Congressman, John Lewis.
Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements
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Kid Blink Beats the World

Book - Non-fiction. By Don Brown. 2004. The story of the 1899 strike by the children who sold newspapers on the street for grades K-4.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Industrial Revolution: 1877 - 1899
Themes: Labor, Organizing
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This Land is Your Land

Book - Non-fiction. By Woody Guthrie. 2008. The full version of Woody Guthrie's famous song, illustrated for young children.
Themes: Art & Music
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Malcolm X

Book - Non-fiction. By Gail Fay. 2012. A comprehensive introduction to the life of Malcolm X (Malik El-Shabazz) appropriate for third grade (age 9) and above.
Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Racism & Racial Identity
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Many Thousand Gone: African-Americans from Slavery to Freedom

Book - Non-fiction. By Virginia Hamilton. 2002. An illustrated account of slavery for children based on historical records, personal narratives, and biographies for ages 8 - 12. Includes profiles of Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and Frederick Douglass.
Time Periods: 18th Century, 19th Century
Themes: Organizing, Slavery and Resistance
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Midnight Teacher 9781620141632 | Zinn Education Project

Midnight Teacher: Lilly Ann Granderson and Her Secret School

Book – Non-fiction. By Janet Halfmann. Illustrated by London Ladd. 2018. 40 pages. Tells the story of Lilly Ann Granderson, an enslaved woman who taught hundreds of people in Kentucky and Mississippi to read.
Time Periods: Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864
Themes: African American, Education, Slavery and Resistance
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Murals: Walls That Sing

Book - Non-fiction. By George Ancona. 2003. Beautiful photo-essay of murals from all over the United States, primarily in Latino communities.
Themes: Art & Music, Latinx
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