Teenage brothers Sam and Stick live in Chicago in 1968. Their dad, Rev. Roland Childs, is a respected minister and close friend of Dr. Martin Luther King. Sam’s dad believes passionately in non-violent protest and tirelessly organizes and participates in peaceful protest marches.
Older brother Stick has begun to question Dr. King’s nonviolent philosophy and has been secretly attending meetings of the Black Panthers, an organization whose philosophies are more aggressive than Dr. King’s and are different from what Rev. Child’s preaches and teaches his boys at home. Sam is torn between the ideas of has father and the ideas of his older brother, both of whom he respects and admires.
Everybody can relate to being torn between two choices and being torn between the opinions of two people you respect. When it comes down to figuring out what you think for your own self – that’s when things get hard.
After Dr. King is assassinated and Sam witnesses the brutal beating of a friend by police officers, he becomes more interested in the ideas Stick is learning about at the Black Panther meetings. He begins to attend the meetings also. The conversation the teens have at home, at school, and at these meetings are some of the best parts of the book. They are living the civil rights struggle as they face discrimination every day. Listening to these conversations you get a real sense of each philosophy and why it was chosen by the people committed to it.
This book has a pretty explosive, surprising ending. It isn’t a book for the faint hearted. These are really hard issues and there is violence in the book. It isn’t a happy story with a happy ending because it’s not that kind of story. It wasn’t a happy time. The book is true to the historical period so the violence is part of the story being told.
It is hard for Sam and Stick to stand by watching people suffer the injustices of racism. When Sam finds out Leroy, the leader of the student Black Panthers, sneaks away to talk to Rev. Childs, the same way Sam is sneaking off to the Black Panther meetings, he realizes that these issues are hard for everyone. Sam discovers that standing quiet and firm is different than doing nothing and that you can be agressive, without being violent. A really powerful, emotional book. Don’t miss the author’s note at the end – it is a great discussion of the true events, people and groups that appear in this book. Author: Kekla Magoon Award: Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent 2010
A fictionalized account of the night Amelia Earhart flew Eleanor Roosevelt over Washington, D.C. in an airplane.
A thirteen-year-old African American boy in 1960s Greenville, North Carolina, uses his typing skills to make a statement as part of the Civil Rights movement.
Young Maeve feels a strong connection to the mysterious, mummified body of a young girl that her grandfather uncovers while cutting turf in an Irish bog. Includes facts about bogs and the mummies that have been found in them.
The amazing tricks two American soldiers do on a borrowed bicycle are a fitting finale for the school sports day festivities in a small village in occupied Japan.
A single china cup from a tea set left behind when Jews were forced to leave Russia helps hold a family together through generations of living in America, reminding them of the most important things in life.
A ten-year-old bobbin girl working in a textile mill in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the 1830s, must make a difficult decision–will she participate in the first workers’ strike in Lowell?
While riding his new bicycle Desmond is hurt by the mean word yelled at him by a group of boys, but he soon learns that hurting back will not make him feel any better.
When brothers Taro and Jimmy and their mother are forced to move from their home in California to a Japanese internment camp in the wake of the 1941 Pearl Harbor bombing, Taro daringly escapes the camp to find fresh fish for his grieving brother.
By following the directions in a song, “The Drinking Gourd,” taught them by an old sailor named Peg Leg Joe, runaway slaves journey north along the Underground Railroad to freedom in Canada.
Kumar, a young boy living in present-day India, faces bigotry when he goes to visit a classmate from a higher caste family.
Relates the real-life saga of Abbie Burgess, who single-handedly kept the lighthouse lamps lit during a four-week winter storm that lashed the coast of Maine in 1856.
Presents a fictionalized version of the story of a young man who won a contest by flying his kite across Niagara Falls and inspired the construction of the first bridge across the span, connecting Canada and the United States.
When his father leaves to fight in World War I, Mikey joins the Central Park Knitting Bee to help knit clothing for soldiers overseas.
Follow a girl’s perusal of her great-grandfather’s collection of matchboxes and small curios that document his poignant immigration journey from Italy to a new country.
Max the dog and his friend Tori take the first trip to the Moon since the Apollo missions, inspiring the nations of the world to build a Moon colony. Scientific principles that support the story are clearly explained in “Big Kid Boxes” appearing on each page.
As a child Great-aunt Alice Rumphius resolved that when she grew up she would go to faraway places, live by the sea in her old age, and do something to make the world more beautiful–and she does all those things, the last being the most difficult of all.
As Nasreddine and his father take dates, wool, chickens, or watermelon to market, people tease them no matter who is riding their donkey, and this causes Nasreddine embarrassment until his father helps him to understand.
When Tai Shan and his father, Baba, are separated during China’s Cultural Revolution, they are able to stay close by greeting one another every day with flying kites until Baba, like the kites, is free. Includes historical note.
In 1945, when young Thomas, his mother, and his new baby brother leave war-torn England to join his stepfather, an American soldier named Jack, in Chicago, Thomas finds a way to give courage to a fellow traveler on the Queen Mary. Includes historical note about war brides.
The Great Depression is a time in United States history during which a large number of people were unemployed. A lot of businesses failed because people did not have money to buy anything. The Great Depression started when stock market prices began to fall on September 4, 1929 and then crashed on October 29, 1929, also known as Black Tuesday. The Great Depression lasted through the middle of the 1930s.
Dorothea Lange was a photojournalist. A photojournalist is someone who takes photos to tell a story. Dorothea is well known for her photographs of people during The Great Depression, many of them poor and unemployed. Her pictures made the experience of the Depression personal by giving it a face. In Dorothea Lange the Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression you can learn about how her photos told the stories of the people who lived at a very challenging time.
The websites and books on this page will help you learn even more about what life was like during The Great Depression. It was a very hard time but many, many people who lived through it remember it fondly as a time when families and friends helped each other and relied on each other for even basic needs like food and shelter. To give you a start looking at what life was like back than, here are some Depression era Artifacts at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
Spartan Blue Bird Radio – “Radio was the most important source of news and entertainment in a 1930s home, but few Americans could afford a rare blue-mirror radio during the Great Depression. In 1936, designer Walter Dorwin Teague created this streamlined Moderne or Deco styleradio with the idea that an object’s appearance is as important as its technology.”
U.S. History in Context:Great Depression is a database you can use in any IndyPL Library Branch or at home with your IndyPL Library Card. Login using your library card number. It will show you biographies, magazines, videos and more about the Great Depression.
NoveList K-8: Stories about the Great Despression is a database you can use in any IndyPL Library Branch or at home. Login using your library card number. Novelist will show you fiction chapter books and picture books you can read set in the time of the Great Depression. Click on “Check the Library Catalog” to see if IndyPL has the book.
Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books at any of our locations. Click on a book jacket below to request the book. You will be notified when it is available for you to pick up. Need help? Call or ask a Library staff member at any of our locations, text a librarian at 317 333-6877, or leave a comment.
Claudette Colvin grew up in Alabama in the 1940s and 1950s. At that time, Jim Crow rules dominated her life. Jim Crow rules were designed to keep black people and white people separated. These are the rules that said black people could not eat in certain restaurants or sit in certain seats on a city bus. When Claudette was 15 years old she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white person, so she was arrested. You’re probably thinking, no, that was Rosa Parks. It’s true, Rosa Parks did the same thing, but Claudette did it too! A lawsuit was filed on behalf of several people, including Claudette and Rosa, to end bus segration, and eventually, they won. Rosa is more well known, but Claudette was right there too, and she was just a kid! Reading her story helps you understand that it took lots of people, young and old, to change the Jim Crow rules. A lot of people were brave enough to stand up and say, “no more!”
This book includes interviews with Claudette herself, so you get the story straight from her. She talks about what it felt like to live with Jim Crow; to constantly be told, “you can’t”. When you hear a real person talking about it, it seems much more real than reading a plain description. Claudette was there and she can speak for herself. If you like reading about Claudette, try Marching For Freedom. That one tells the story of kids who marched in Selma, Alabama to help win black people the right to vote. It’s really good too and includes interviews with people who were kids back then and were actually there.
If you like Claudette’s story you might like finding out about a strong Hoosier woman who fought for her rights. When Indiana became a state in 1816, the constitution stated, “there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude.” In early 1816, Mary Bateman Clark, a slave in Kentucky, was sold and brought to Knox County, Indiana, as an “indentured servant.”
In 1821 Clark filed suit for her freedom. The Knox County Circuit Court ruled against Clark’s petition to end her indentured servitude. Clark appealed to the Indiana Supreme Court, which ruled that Clark’s status was clearly not voluntary. The court awarded Clark her freedom and in doing so set a precedent for freedom for other indentured blacks held in Indiana.