There’s no time like the present to study the past. This season we have fascinating historical fiction and nonfiction titles spanning over 150 years. Meet a heroine of the Civil Rights Movement, learn about the childhoods of famous figures, and navigate the perils of the Transcontinental Railroad.
With each title in this blog post you’ll travel further and further back in time. Read on to find reviews, author info, and links to review each title for free on NetGalley!
Call Me Miss Hamilton: One Woman’s Case for Equality and Respect by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Jeffery Boston Weatherford
Coming February 1st 2022! Ages 7 – 11 Nonfiction
Mary Hamilton was born in 1935 and she grew up to be an active participant in the Civil Rights Movement. She was proud to be Black, and when the chance came along to become a Freedom Rider, she was eager to fight for what she believed in. Mary was arrested again and again—and she did not back down when faced with insults or disrespect. In an Alabama court, a white prosecutor called her by her first name, but she refused to answer unless he called her “Miss Hamilton.” The judge charged her with contempt of court, but that wasn’t the end of it. Miss Mary Hamilton fought the contempt charge all the way to the Supreme Court.
Powerful free verse from Carole Boston Weatherford and striking scratchboard illustrations by Jeffery Boston Weatherford, accompanied by archival photographs, honor this unsung heroine who took a stand for respect—and won.
Carole Boston Weatherford is the award-winning author of numerous children’s books. When she’s not traveling or visiting museums, Carole is mining the past for family stories, fading traditions, and forgotten struggles. She lives in North Carolina.
Jeffery Boston Weatherford is a two-time NAACP Image Award winning artist, spoken word poet, and illustrator based in Maryland. Jeffery earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Howard University, and founded the global hip hop collective Triiibe Worldwide.
Praise for Call Me Miss Hamilton
★”Weatherford introduces young readers to this lesser-known changemaker who challenged the court system for due respect. . . . Lending to this powerful story is mixed-media artwork that blends expressive black-and-white scratchboard illustrations with tinted photos from the time period.”—starred, Booklist
“Essential reading for teaching children about the importance of demanding equality and respect.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Carole Boston Weatherford provides unflinching narration . . . Collages made of photographs and fine-lined sketches on scratchboard by Jeffery Boston Weatherford, combined with boldly graphical book design, give the picture book a cinematic quality, placing due emphasis on Miss Hamilton’s landmark case.”—Publishers Weekly
10 at 10: The Surprising Childhoods of Ten Remarkable People by Carlyn Beccia
Coming April 5th 2022! Ages 8-12 Nonfiction
Be prepared to see history’s famous figures as you’ve never seen them before…as ten-year-olds! Carlyn Beccia, author of the award-winning title Monstrous, presents ten brief and beautifully illustrated biographies to give young readers a fresh look at the lives of people they may only know through history books. Colorful timelines provide context and add additional details about these extraordinary lives, while the fun, browseable format appeals to even the most reluctant readers
Carlyn Beccia lives in Massachusetts. She’s an author, illustrator, graphic designer, and historian.
The Deep Blue Between by Ayesha Harruna Attah
Coming March 1st 2022! Ages 12 – 18 Fiction
In 1890s West Africa, sisters Hassana and Husseina are torn apart when their town is raided by enslavers. After their separation, each girl finds freedom and new opportunities. Hassana ends up in the city of Accra, where she becomes active in politics and social causes. Husseina, renamed Vitoria, travels to Salvador, Brazil, where she works with a priestess of the Umbanda faith, worshipping spirits that bridge the motherland and the new world. But despite their very different lives and choices, the sisters remain linked by their dreams, and slowly they are drawn back together.
Ayesha Harruna Attah is a Ghanaian-born writer living in Senegal. She was educated at Mount Holyoke College, Columbia University, and New York University. She is the author of three adult novels, including the widely acclaimed The 100 Wells of Salaga.
Praise for The Deep Blue Between
★”This sweeping story is rich in detail, and the settings are vividly evoked. . . . A successful exploration of rich cultural experiences and enduring familial connections.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews
Gold Mountain by Betty G. Yee
Coming Arpil 5th 2022! Ages 11 – 18 Fiction
Growing up in 1860s China, Tam Ling Fan has lived a life of comfort. Her father, a magistrate, is wealthy enough to provide for his family yet nontraditional enough to spare Ling Fan from the debilitating foot-binding required of most well-off girls. But her life is upended when her brother, Jing Fan, dies and their father is imprisoned under false accusations. To earn the money that will secure her father’s release, Ling Fan disguises herself as Jing Fan and takes his contract to work as a laborer on the Transcontinental Railroad in America. Once there, she must face grueling work conditions, avalanches, treachery, and racism to save what is left of her family.
Betty G. Yee is a writer and elementary teacher based in Medford, Massachusetts. She spends most of her time writing, reading, traveling, and teaching. Gold Mountain is her first YA novel.
Praise for Gold Mountain
“An adventure-filled glimpse into history through the eyes of a determined daughter.”—Kirkus Reviews
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