12 Historical Fiction Chapter Books About African American History

Historical Fiction Chapter Books about African American History

February is Black History Month. As a white woman, I find myself drawn to learn as much as possible. By nature {you know, being white and all}, I have zero knowledge of what it feels like to be black or to have ancestors who endured the trials and hardships I can only read about. I love using books to dive into history. Empathy and understanding tend to strengthen when reading a story based on a person’s life, rather than just reading facts about that person. The fact books are great and needed, but these stories make those facts come to life in a totally different way.

You can see all of the books I am sharing about here on Amazon.

This is in no way an exhaustive list and I have not read all of these yet, but this is my current book list for this year! I didn’t want to wait until I had read all of them before I shared! You can keep up with me on goodreads here, where I share what I am currently reading, want to read, and the books I have finished. You will see all of these somewhere on those lists.

I am listing these books in chronological order, so you can see how the events in history fit together, in case you aren’t a history buff. I have also linked to great websites and lesson plans I have found to help you get to know each book.

Chains {1776-1777}

Chains 1

Chains is the first book in a series of three books focusing on the time of the Revolutionary War. You can read more about this books series by Laurie Halse Anderson here on the Seeds of America Trilogy website. I am reading Chains with my 7th grader right now, I have also pre-read the book myself and loved it. Chains is an incredible book, and I can’t wait to read the next 2 in the series.

The next books in the series…

Forge 2   Ashes

Elijah of Buxton {1860s}

Elijah of Buxton

This one is on my list to read, I haven’t gotten to it yet.

Eleven-year-old Elijah is the first child born into freedom in Buxton, Canada, a settlement of runaway slaves just over the border from Detroit. Read more here on the Scholastic website where you can also find lesson plans.

Crow {1898}

Crow

I LOVED this book. I recently finished it and will be reading it with my son next year {I think} for 8th grade. This book is set in my home state {NC} and presents the history of the Wilmington Race Riots in 1898. Wilmington is not that far from me, yet I had never even heard of this piece of history. You can find lesson plans, photos and MUCH more here on Barbara Wright’s website for her book, Crow.

The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had {1917}

The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had

Another book on my to-read list is The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had. Twelve-year-old Dit, is a white boy who is growing up in a small Alabama town in 1917. He befriends the daughter of the new postmaster, who is black. The racism of their community creates difficulties for them. You can find a curriculum guide here on the publisher’s website. Scroll down to the Novels section and click on “See older guides” and you’ll see one for this book!

Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry {1930s}

Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry

Set in Mississippi at the height of the Great Depression, this is the story of one family’s struggle to maintain their integrity, pride, and independence in the face of racism and social injustice. I will be reading this one soon. Here is a discussion guide from Scholastic.

Stella By Starlight {1932}

Stella By Starlight

I read this book a few weeks ago and couldn’t put it down. Set during the Great Depression, Stella Mills and her brother Jojo witness the Ku Klux Klan burning a cross late one starry night, setting off a chain reaction that leaves their entire community changed. Read more here on author Sharon Draper’s website where you’ll also find lesson plans, videos and more.

Bud Not Buddy and The Mighty Miss Malone {1936}

Bud Not Buddy  The Mighty Miss Malone

Bud, Not Buddy tells the story of a young boy who lives in Michigan during the Great Depression. You can read more here on the Scholastic website and get more ideas for teaching. The main character in The Mighty Miss Malone, Deza Malone, show up first in Bud, Not Buddy.

I recently read The Mighty Miss Malone and loved it. Deza Malone is a spunky girl who brings this story to life. I learned a lot about life during the Great Depression and plan to read it with my kids soon.

Betty Before X {1945}

Betty Before X

Betty Before X focuses on Betty Shabazz (born Betty Dean Sanders) during her middle school years in Detroit, a decade before she met her future husband, Malcolm X. It is a fictionalized retelling of Betty Shabazz’s middle school years as told by her daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz and co-author Renée Watson. I have not read this one yet, but plan to soon!

Midnight Without a Moon {1955}

Midnight Without a Moon

Set in Mississippi during the summer of 1955, Rose Lee Carter can’t wait to move north. But for now, she’s living with her sharecropper grandparents on a white man’s cotton plantation. There is a sequel to this book also, A Sky Full of Stars. I hope to read both soon. See more about both books here on author Linda Williams Jackson’s website.

The Lions of Little Rock {1958}

The Lions of Little Rock

I just learned of this book and it is on my soon-to-read list. The Lions of Little Rock takes place the year after the milestone events of 1957 in which nine African American students, known as the Little Rock Nine, integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. You can find a curriculum guide here on the publisher’s website. Scroll down to the Novels section.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham {1963}

The Watsons Go To Birmingham

The Watsons Go to Birmingham takes place in 1963, during the Civil Rights Movement. I actually have only seen the movie, but plan to read the book soon. Find a comprehensive book guide here on Scholastic!

Download our free Black History Month Calendar Connections here!

Black History Calendar Connections Printables

Black History Month Chapter Books



7th Grade Reading List

7th Grade Reading List

Yesterday I shared my daughter’s 4th grade reading list and today I am sharing my son’s 7th grade reading list. He is much less of a bookworm, so the visual choice list helps him a LOT. Thankfully he glanced at the list and already saw several books he wants to start with!

7th Grade Reading Book List (1 of 1)

I used many sources to find books I thought he might enjoy and that I wanted him to try. I have not read all of these, but looked at reviews and am comfortable with giving these a try. After deciding on many book choices for him, I created a page with each cover so he can browse and choose his next book easily. We do not own all of these so I have him choose and I put the book on hold at the library!

Some of the books carried over since he didn’t choose them last year. I removed most of what he didn’t choose but left a few I am hoping he will pick this year!

7th Grade Book Checklist

Below you can see Amazon links to all of the books on this list {click over to the blog if you are reading in email}.

Downloads…

I have a few downloads you are welcome to use if you’d like. First, here is a copy of the book choice page featuring the books I chose for him. If you want to create your own visual list, it is easy!  Just grab the book cover images online somewhere {I used Amazon} and then copy them into a document and resize how you want!  I use PowerPoint to create my documents, I like their positioning tools the best.

Here is a blank reading record like his. I just have her write the title, author and rate the book 1-10 based on her opinion.

Reading-Record32

Here’s another reading log we have used.  It is very similar to the one we are using now.

Free-Printable-Reading-Log32

See our Book Lists Pinterest board here!

Booklist Video…

I recently did a Facebook Live video sharing about these visual booklists, and why we love them! You can watch that here!

FB Live 7.24.18[14]

More Book Lists

6th Grade Book List  Slide1741 

3rd-Grade-Book-List8 4th-Grade-Book-Checklist_thumb8

2nd-Grade-Homeschool-Reading-Plan4  1st-Grade-Library-Book-Favorites5



4th Grade Reading List

4th Grade Reading List

This will be our third year using visual reading lists! Today I am sharing my daughter’s 4th grade reading list. She is my bookworm, and veers from the list often. I still created a list for her so we would have ideas throughout the year just in case!

4th Grade Reading Book List (1 of 1)     

I used many sources to find books I thought she might enjoy and that I wanted her to try. I have not read all of these, but looked at reviews and am comfortable with giving these a try. After deciding on many book choices for her, I created a page with each cover so she can browse and choose his next book easily. We do not own all of these so I have her choose and I put the book on hold at the library!

Some of the books carried over since she didn’t choose them last year. I removed most of what she didn’t choose but left a few I am hoping she will pick this year!

4th Grade Book Checklist

Below you can see Amazon links to all of the books on this list {click over to the blog if you are reading in email}.

Downloads…

I have a few downloads you are welcome to use if you’d like. First, here is a copy of the book choice page featuring the books I chose for her. If you want to create your own visual list, it is easy!  Just grab the book cover images online somewhere {I used Amazon} and then copy them into a document and resize how you want!  I use PowerPoint to create my documents, I like their positioning tools the best.

Here is a blank reading record like his. I just have her write the title, author and rate the book 1-10 based on her opinion.

Reading-Record32

Here’s another reading log we have used.  It is very similar to the one we are using now.

Free-Printable-Reading-Log32

See our Book Lists Pinterest board here!

Booklist Video…

I recently did a Facebook Live video sharing about these visual booklists, and why we love them! You can watch that here!

FB Live 7.24.18

More Book Lists

7th Grade Book Checklist  6th Grade Book List 

Slide1741  3rd-Grade-Book-List8

2nd-Grade-Homeschool-Reading-Plan4  1st-Grade-Library-Book-Favorites5



3rd Grade Reading List ~ Update

As we close up our homeschool year I wanted to share the books my daughter, who just finished 3rd grade, ended up reading this year!  At the beginning of the year I shared this list with you, which was the list I created to launch from. In that post you can download her exact reading guide, shown in the photo below.

3rd-Grade-Book-List

      

This girl loves to read. I can’t keep up with her. She chose to read MANY of the books on the list and MANY that weren’t on the list! Below you can see her final ratings of each book from the list! I have her put a dot sticker with her 1-10 rating when she finishes a book. We also kept a written list for books not pictured.

Click each image to enlarge.

3rd Grade Reading Log (1 of 2) 3rd Grade Reading Log (2 of 2)

Books from a series are not all listed, these are the names in case I didn’t write it out above!

  • Wings of Fire
  • Sophie Mouse
  • Shelter Pet Squad
  • The Menagerie
  • Pet Rescue Club
  • Dog Diaries
  • Ranger in Time
  • Ragweed, Poppy, Poppy & Rye, Ereth’s Birthday, Poppy’s Return, Poppy & Ereth
  • Toys Go Out, Toys Come Home, Toy Dance Party
  • The Mouse & The Motorcycle, Runaway Ralph, Ralph S. Mouse
  • Leila & Nugget Mystery
  • Dragon Keepers
  • Zoey & Sassafras

Below you can see the books on Amazon {jump to blog if reading in email}



3rd Grade Reading List

3rd Grade Book List

Last year we used visual reading lists for the first time and it was SO helpful! I chose to do this again for this upcoming homeschool year and today I am sharing my daughter’s 3rd grade reading list.

I used many sources to find books I thought she might enjoy and that I wanted her to try. I have not read all of these, but looked at reviews and am comfortable with giving these a try.  After deciding on many book choices for her, I created a page with each cover so she can browse and choose her next book easily. We do not own all of these so I have her choose and I put the book on hold at the library!

3rd Grade Book List

My daughter can read and comprehend beyond a 3rd grade level, but she still enjoys books focused towards the younger crowd. I try to balance this and spent lots of time on this list! She would read Critter Club and Magic Puppy all day long, and I still allow her to read anything she chooses alongside of books I choose. We also always have a basket of picture books she chooses from the library too! You are never too old for picture books!

Below you can see Amazon links to all of the books on this list {click over to the blog if you are reading in email}.

Downloads…

I have a few downloads you are welcome to use if you’d like. First, here is a copy of the book choice page featuring the books I chose for her. If you want to create your own visual list, it is easy!  Just grab the book cover images online somewhere {I used Amazon} and then copy them into a document and resize how you want!  I use PowerPoint to create my documents, I like their positioning tools the best.

Here is a blank reading record like hers. I just have her write the title, author and rate the book 1-10 based on her opinion.

Reading-Record3

Here’s another reading log we have used.  It is very similar to the one we are using now.

Free-Printable-Reading-Log3

See our Book Lists Pinterest board here!

See some of our other book list posts below. Our new 6th grade list is coming soon!

Slide17  2nd Grade Homeschool Reading Plan  1st Grade Library Book Favorites