Children's Book List

Reviews of Children's Literature

New Shoes

Written By: Susan Lynn Meyer
Illustrated By: Eric Velasquez


New Shoes

Summary: In this historical fiction picture book, Ella Mae and her cousin Charlotte, both African American, start their own shoe store when they learn that they cannot try on shoes at the shoe store.

Rating: 5 *****

A wonderful story about civil rights told in a way that young children can understand the injustices black Americans faced every day.

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All Different Now

Written By: Angela Johnson
Illustrated By: E.B. Lewis


All different now : Juneteenth, the first day of freedom

In 1865, members of a family start their day as slaves, working in a Texas cotton field, and end it celebrating their freedom on what came to be known as Juneteenth.

Rating: 5 *****

A lovely poetic story. Even better than the story is the explanation of Juneteenth in the back of the book and the personal notes from the author and illustrator.

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My Daddy Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Written by Martin Luther King III
Illustrated by AG Ford


My Daddy Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

An account of the author’s brief years shared with his civil rights leader father offers insight into their special bond, their separation during Dr. King’s imprisonment, and the author’s five-year-old witness to the famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

Rating: 4****

This would make a better book for adults. There are several references to first-hand incidents Martin Luther King III experienced but because it’s a children’s story he only mentions them. It does open a great dialogue for discussion though with younger children.

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This is the Rope

By Jacqueline Woodson

This is the Rope – A Story from the Great Migration
Reviewed by Children’s Book List

A rope passed down through the generations frames an African American family’s story as they journey north during the time of the Great Migration.

Rating: 4 ****

The story is told from the eyes of a child as she grows up. The rope’s importance is always show in how each member of the family uses it and it ties them together as a family.

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Martin and Mahalia

By Andrea Davis Pinkney


Martin & Mahalia

Explores the intersecting lives of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and gospel singer Mahalia Jackson at the historic moment when their joined voices inspired landmark changes.

Rating: 4****

Discusses the great march and the path to finding the way. The illustrations point the way as much if not more than the words.

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