Coretta Scott King Award Books Discussion Guide: Pathways to Democracy

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors
  • Reviews

Spotlighting titles appropriate for grades K-12, this discussion guide builds on the rich legacy of the Coretta Scott King award-winning books to offer an important educational resource for teachers, librarians, parents, and other caregivers. This guide identifies within the plot, character, and themes of each book those values that relate to being an American citizen and to living in a democratic society, and then shows how to use the book as a springboard for discussion. Ideal for use in the classroom, the library, and the home, this guide

  • Includes a foreword by Linda M. Pavonetti, EdD, Vice-President, International Board on Books for Young People
  • Organizes titles by grade-specific chapters, making it easy to find suitable books
  • Features bibliographic information and a brief summary of each book, along with suggested opening questions to get the discussion started, and "Beyond the Book" questions that encourage children to talk about their own experiences
  • Suggests hundreds of books for further discussion

With the assistance of this practical resource, educators, librarians, and others who work with children can use Coretta Scott King award-winning books to foster discussions about what it means to be a citizen in a democratic society.

ForewordIntroduction Acknowledgments
Chapter 1 Grades K–3
The Bat Boy and His Violin Beautiful BlackbirdBlack CatThe Blacker the BerryDave the Potter: Artist, Poet, SlaveAn Enchanted Hair TaleGoin' Someplace SpecialJazzy Miz MozettaMirandy and Brother WindMy Family Plays MusicMy Rows and Piles of CoinsNeeny Coming, Neeny GoingNight on Neighborhood StreetThe Patchwork QuiltThe Piano ManRunning the Road to ABCStorm in the NightTar BeachUncle Jed's BarbershopUnderground: Finding the Light to FreedomUptownVirgie Goes to School with Us BoysWorking Cotton
Chapter 2 Grades 2–4
The Bells of Christmas BirdThe Great MigrationJimi Sounds Like a Rainbow: A Story of the Young Jimi HendrixThe Secret Olivia Told MeSeeds of ChangeThunder Rose
Chapter 3 Grades 3–6
Almost to FreedomBad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. MarshalBrendan Buckley's Universe and Everything in ItBrothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of SudanChristmas in the Big House, Christmas in the QuartersCircle of GoldElijah of BuxtonFreedom RiverFreedom SummerThe FriendshipI Have Heard of a LandJazzJustin and the Best Biscuits in the WorldLet It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom FightersLocomotionNever ForgottenThe People Could Fly: The Picture BookThe Red Rose BoxTales of Uncle Remus: The Adventures of Brer Rabbit
Chapter 4 Grades 4–8
Black Diamond: The Story of the Negro Baseball LeaguesBud, Not BuddyHer Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True TalesI Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly: The Diary of Patsy, a Freed GirlKeeping the Night Watch Money Hungry The Negro Speaks of RiversNinth WardThe People Could Fly: American Black FolktalesRemember: The Journey to School IntegrationThe Road to ParisStanding Against the WindTalkin' About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth ColemanThe Watsons Go to BirminghamThe Way a Door ClosesWhich Way Freedom?Zora and Me
Chapter 5 Grades 6–10
Becoming Billie HolidayThe CaptiveCarver: A Life in PoemsDay of TearsJunius Over FarThe Legend of Buddy BushA Long Hard Journey: The Story of the Pullman PorterMare's WarMartin Luther King, Jr. and the Freedom MovementMiracle's BoysMississippi ChallengeNow Is Your Time! The African-American Struggle for FreedomOne Crazy SummerRebels Against Slavery: American Slave RevoltsThe Skin I'm InTwelve Rounds to Glory: The Story of Muhammad AliWe Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball
Chapter 6 Grades 7–12
Another Way to DanceThe Battle of JerichoBecause We AreBlack Dance in AmericaBronx MasqueradeDays of Jubilee: The End of Slavery in the United StatesFallen AngelsForged by FireFortune's Bones: The Manumission RequiemFrom the Notebooks of Melanin SunHeart and Soul: The Story of America and African AmericansJimi and MeThe LandLena HorneLet the Circle Be UnbrokenLike Sisters on the HomefrontLockdownMaritcha: A Nineteenth-Century American GirlNovember BluesThe Other Side: Shorter PoemsRainbow JordanThe Road to MemphisThe Rock and the RiverSomewhere in the DarknessSweet Whispers, Brother RushTrouble's ChildYummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty
Chapter 7 Grades 9–12
Copper SunDark SonsThe First Part LastWho Am I Without Him? Short Stories About Girls and the Boys in Their LivesA Wreath for Emmett Till
About the Authors

Adelaide Poniatowski Phelps

Adelaide Poniatowski Phelps has a master's degree in library and information science from Wayne State University in Detroit and a second master's degree in English literature from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. She is the recently retired coordinator of the Educational Resources Lab in the School of Education and Human Services at Oakland University and a former lecturer in children's literature for the reading department there. She is a member of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee and served two terms (2007-2008) on the awards jury. In addition, she was a reviewer for the journal Multicultural Review; a contributing reviewer for the fourth edition of The Coretta Scott King Awards book, edited by Henrietta M. Smith; a contributing author for the article (2008), "Weaving the Threads of Diversity: A School of Education's Reflection on Current Practices" in the journal Issues in Education: Preschool through Graduate School; and coauthor of the chapter, "Information and Instruction Services" in A Guide to the Management of Curriculum Materials Centers for the 21st Century: The Promise and the Challenge (2001), edited by Jo Ann Carr and prepared by the Ad Hoc Management of Curriculum Materials Committee, Education and Behavioral Sciences Section, Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).

Carole J. McCollough

Carole J. McCollough was an associate professor and dean of the library and information science program at Wayne State University in Detroit. With the Children’s Defense Fund, McCollough conducted workshops for college interns training to run summer literacy (Freedom School) programs. She was chair of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Task Force from 2000 to 2004, chaired the Coretta Scott King Book Award jury six times, and coedited two editions of The Coretta Scott King Awards, including the 50th anniversary edition published in 2019. McCollough also served on the boards of Southfield (Mich.) Public Library and Langston Hughes Library in Clinton, Tennessee.

"Busy librarians, parents, and teachers will find this resource invaluable … Highly recommended for public, academic, and school libraries."
— Booklist

"The authors provide an extremely useful bibliography and book conversation guide which focuses on identified core democratic values, including liberty, diversity, equality, common good, justice, life, personal freedom, rule of law and pursuit of happiness … This text will appeal to anyone involved in creating lesson plans, including K-12 teachers, as well as to any educator or librarian charged with running a children's or a young adult book club. In the academic library arena, this book is most useful to curriculum resource collections and programs that prepare teacher candidates."
— Reference Reviews

"With this focused guide in hand, K-12 teachers and school media specialists will have ample inspiration for incorporating the best youth literature about African Americans into civics education."

"With many long overdue conversations about the necessity of incorporating diverse books into our collections, it is a joy to be reminded of the rich history of the Coretta Scott King Award winners ... This work will prove to be a valuable educational resource for educators and a useful tool in facilitating book discussion groups or read-aloud sessions. This guide is also an important reader's advisory source and collection development aid, as each title offers suggestions of similar books."
— School Library Journal