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HISTORICAL FICTION: African Americans

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Come August, come freedom : the bellows, the gallows, and the black general Gabriel Teen Book Come August, come freedom : the bellows, the gallows, and the black general Gabriel

Amateau, Gigi, 1964-
TEEN AMATEAU

Imagines the childhood and youth of "Prosser's Gabriel", a courageous and intelligent blacksmith in post-Revolutionary Richmond, Virginia, who roused thousands of African-Americans slaves like himself to rebel.




Forge Teen Book Forge

Anderson, Laurie Halse.
TEEN ANDERSO

Separated from his friend Isabel after their daring escape from slavery, fifteen-year-old Curzon serves as a free man in the Continental Army at Valley Forge until he and Isabel are thrown together again, as slaves once more.




Chains Teen Book Chains

Anderson, Laurie Halse.
TEEN ANDERSO

After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.




The kingdom on the waves Teen Book The kingdom on the waves

Anderson, M. T.
TEEN ANDERSO

When Octavian hears that Lord Dunmore, governor of Virginia, will free all slaves who join his "Ethiopian Regiment," the recent runaway gladly signs up. Upon enlisting, Octavian is reunited with his friend Pro Bono. The two comrades, who once shared a master, are thrilled to meet again, but their joy quickly subsides.




The Pox party Teen Book The Pox party

Anderson, M. T.
TEEN ANDERSO

Various diaries, letters, and other manuscripts chronicle the experiences of Octavian, a young African American, from birth to age sixteen, as he is brought up as part of a science experiment in the years leading up to and during the Revolutionary War.




The Watsons go to Birmingham--1963 : a novel Juvenile Book The Watsons go to Birmingham--1963 : a novel

Curtis, Christopher Paul.
J CURTIS

The ordinary interactions and everyday routines of the Watsons, an African American family living in Flint, Michigan, are drastically changed after they go to visit Grandma in Alabama in the summer of 1963.




Mare's war Teen Book Mare's war

Davis, Tanita S.
TEEN DAVIS

Teens Octavia and Tali learn about strength, independence, and courage when they are forced to take a car trip with their grandmother, who tells about growing up Black in 1940s Alabama and serving in Europe during World War II as a member of the Women's Army Corps.




Fire from the rock Teen Book Fire from the rock

Draper, Sharon M. (Sharon Mills)
TEEN DRAPER

In 1957, Sylvia Patterson's life--that of a normal African American teenager--is disrupted by the impending integration of Little Rock's Central High when she is selected to be one of the first black students to attend the previously all white school. Includes author's note and related websites.




A raisin in the sun book A raisin in the sun

Hansberry, Lorraine, 1930-1965.
812.54 HANSBER

In 1950s Chicago, three generations of Youngers live in a run-down apartment. As these black Americans struggle to overcome a variety of challenges, hope suddenly looms on the horizon. The family's matriarch is poised to receive insurance money from her husband's death.




Day of tears : a novel in dialogue Teen Book Day of tears : a novel in dialogue

Lester, Julius.
TEEN LESTER

Emma has taken care of the Butler children since Sarah and Frances's mother, Fanny, left. Emma wants to raise the girls to have good hearts, as a rift over slavery has ripped the Butler household apart. Now, to pay off debts, Pierce Butler wants to cash in his slave "assets", possibly including Emma.




The silence of our friends book The silence of our friends

Long, Mark, 1957-
FIC LONG

This semi-autobiographical graphic novel is set in 1967 Texas, against the backdrop of the fight for civil rights. A white family from a notoriously racist neighborhood in the suburbs and a black family from its poorest ward cross Houston's color line, overcoming humiliation, degradation, and violence to win the freedom of five black college students unjustly charged with the murder of a policeman.




Letters from a slave boy : the story of Joseph Jacobs Teen Book Letters from a slave boy : the story of Joseph Jacobs

Lyons, Mary E.
TEEN LYONS

A fictionalized look at the life of Joseph Jacobs, son of a slave, told in the form of letters that he might have written during his life in pre-Civil War North Carolina, on a whaling expedition, in New York, New England, and finally in California during the Gold Rush.




The rock and the river Teen Book The rock and the river

Magoon, Kekla.
TEEN MAGOON

In 1968 Chicago, fourteen-year-old Sam Childs is caught in a conflict between his father's nonviolent approach to seeking civil rights for African Americans and his older brother, who has joined the Black Panther Party.




Fire in the streets Teen Book Fire in the streets

Magoon, Kekla.
TEEN MAGOON

In the aftermath of Dr. King's assassination in 1968, Chicago fourteen-year-old Maxie longs to join the Black Panthers, whether or not her brother Raheem, ex-boyfriend Sam, or her friends like it, and is soon caught up in the violence of anti-war and civil rights demonstrations.




Fallen angels Teen Book Fallen angels

Myers, Walter Dean, 1937-
TEEN MYERS

Seventeen-year-old Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high school, enlists in the Army in the summer of 1967 and spends a devastating year on active duty in Vietnam.




Riot Teen Book Riot

Myers, Walter Dean, 1937-
TEEN MYERS

In 1863, fifteen-year-old Claire, the daughter of an Irish mother and a black father, faces ugly truths and great danger when Irish immigrants, enraged by the Civil War and a federal draft, lash out against blacks and wealthy "swells" of New York City.




No crystal stair : a documentary novel of the life and work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem bookseller Teen Book No crystal stair : a documentary novel of the life and work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem bookseller

Nelson, Vaunda Micheaux.
TEEN NELSON

In this work of historical fiction, Nelson tells the story of a man with a passion for knowledge and of a bookstore whose influence has become legendary.




The legend of Bass Reeves : being the true and fictional account of the most valiant marshal in the West Juvenile Book The legend of Bass Reeves : being the true and fictional account of the most valiant marshal in the West

Paulsen, Gary.
J PAULSEN

Many "heroic lawmen" of the Wild West, familiar to us through television and film, were actually violent scoundrels and outlaws themselves. But of all the sheriffs of the frontier, one man stands out as a true hero: Bass Reeves. He was the most successful Federal Marshal in the US in his day. True to the mythical code of the West, he never drew his gun first. He brought hundreds of fugitives to justice, was shot at countless times, and never hit. Bass Reeves was a black man, born into slavery. And though the laws of his country enslaved him and his mother, when he became a free man he served the law, with such courage and honor that he became a legend.




Nightjohn Teen Book Nightjohn

Paulsen, Gary.
TEEN PAULSEN

Twelve-year-old Sarny's brutal life as a slave becomes even more dangerous when a newly arrived slave offers to teach her how to read. Sarny, a female slave at the Waller plantation, first sees Nightjohn when he is brought there with a rope around his neck, his body covered in scars. He had escaped north to freedom, but he came back--came back to teach reading. Knowing that the penalty for reading is dismemberment Nightjohn still returned to slavery to teach others how to read. And twelve-year-old Sarny is willing to take the risk to learn.




Flygirl Teen Book Flygirl

Smith, Sherri L.
TEEN SMITH

During World War II, a light-skinned African American girl "passes" for white in order to join the Women Airforce Service Pilots.




Becoming Billie Holiday Teen Book Becoming Billie Holiday

Weatherford, Carole Boston, 1956-
TEEN WEATHER

Jazz vocalist Billie Holiday looks back on her early years in this fictional memoir written in verse.




Crow Juvenile Book Crow

Wright, Barbara, 1951-
J WRIGHT

In 1898, Moses Thomas's summer vacation does not go exactly as planned as he contends with family problems and the ever-changing alliances among his friends at the same time as he is exposed to the escalating tension between the African-American and white communities of Wilmington, North Carolina.




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