by Melba Pattillo Beals
From the legendary civil rights activist and author of the million-copy selling Warriors Don’t Cry comes an ardent and profound childhood memoir of growing up while facing adversity in the Jim Crow South.
Long before she was one of the Little Rock Nine, Melba Pattillo Beals was a warrior. Frustrated by the laws that kept African-Americans separate but very much unequal to whites, she had questions. Why couldn’t she drink from a “whites only” fountain? Why couldn’t she feel safe beyond home — or even within the walls of church? Adults all told her: Hold your tongue. Be patient. Know your place. But Beals had the heart of a fighter — and the knowledge that her true place was a free one.
The Awakening of Malcolm X
by Ilyasah Shabazz and Tiffany D. Jackson
In Charlestown Prison, Malcolm Little struggles with the weight of his past. Plagued by nightmares, Malcolm drifts through days unsure of his future. Slowly, he befriends other prisoners and writes to his family. He reads all the books in the prison library, joins the debate team and the Nation of Islam. Malcolm grapples with race, politics, religion, and justice in the 1940s. And as his time in jail comes to an end, he begins to awaken – emerging from prison more than just Malcolm Little: Now, he is Malcolm X.
The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil by a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does – or does not – say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
The Black Kids
by Christina Hammonds Reed
This coming-of-age debut novel explores issues of race, class, and violence through the eyes of a wealthy black teenager whose family gets caught in the vortex of the 1992 Rodney King Riots. Suddenly, Ashley’s not just one of the girls. She’s one of the black kids.
As violent protests engulf LA and the city burns, Ashely tries to continue on as if life were normal. With her world splintering around her, Ashley, along with the rest of LA, is left to question who is the us? And who is the them?
Long Way Down
by Jason Reynolds
An ode to Put the Damn Guns Down, this is New York Times bestseller Jason Reynolds’s fiercely stunning novel that takes place in sixty potent seconds – the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he’s going to murder the guy who killed his brother.
Told in short, fierce staccato narrative verse, Long Way Down is a fast and furious, dazzlingly brilliant look at teenage gun violence, as could only be told by Jason Reynolds.
The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person
by Frederick Joseph
From the perspective of the friend everyone should have, Frederick Joseph offers an essential read for white people who want to be better about race — and people of color who long to see their experiences validated.
“We don’t see color.” “I didn’t know Black people liked Star Wars!” “What hood are you from?” For Frederick Joseph, life in a mostly white high school as a smart and increasingly popular transfer student was full of wince-worthy moments that he often simply let go.
Speaking directly to the reader, The Black Friend calls up race-related anecdotes from the author’s past, weaving in his thoughts on why they were hurtful and how he might handle things differently now.
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You
by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
Stamped traces the history of racism and the many political, literary, and philosophical narratives that have been used to justify slavery, oppression, and genocide. Framed through the ideologies and thoughts of segregationists, assimilationists, and antiracists throughout history, the book demonstrates that the “construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, whether financially or politically,” and that this power has been used to systemically and systematically oppress Black people in the United States for more than four hundred years.
Just Mercy (adapted for Young Adults)
by Bryan Stevenson
In this very personal work – adapted from the original #1 bestseller, which the New York Times calls “as compelling as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so” – acclaimed lawyer and social justice advocate Bryan Stevenson offers a glimpse into the lives of the wrongfully imprisoned and his efforts to fight for their freedom.
Stevenson’s story is one of working to protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society – the poor, the wrongly convicted, and those whose lives have been marked by discrimination and marginalization. Through this adaptation, young people of today will find themselves called to action and compassion in the pursuit of justice.
Freedom Summer (for Young People)
by Bruce Watson (adapted by Rebecca Stefoff)
In the summer of 1964, as racial tensions reached a fever pitch in the United States, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) sent more than seven hundred college students to Mississippi to help black citizens register to vote. Less than twenty-four hours after they arrived, three volunteers went missing, presumed victims of the Ku Klux Klan. It was a sinister start to what should have been a peaceful mission, and it was only the beginning.
In the days and weeks that followed, volunteers and their allies faced intimidation, threats, and violence from locals who didn’t believe blacks should have the right to vote. Still they continued their work, never wavering in their commitment to justice and their belief that a fairer future was possible. What came to be known as Freedom Summer brought out the worst in its citizens, but also the best, and contained within these pages are powerful stories of everyday people fighting for freedom.
Following several individual volunteers and culminating in the 1964 Democratic National Convention, Freedom Summer for Young People is a riveting account of a decisive moment in American history, sure to move and inspire readers.
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Contact the Teen/Young Adult Librarian
Telephone: 409.763.8854 Ext. 140
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