Our Stories: The African-American Experience for Teens

The Rock and the River

By Kekla Magoon

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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.

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A Wreath for Emmett Till

By Marilyn Nelson

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In 1955, people all over the United States knew that Emmett Louis Till was a fourteen-year-old African American boy lynched for supposedly whistling at a white woman in Mississippi. Award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson reminds us of the boy whose fate helped spark the civil rights movement.

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They Called Themselves the KKK: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group

By Susan Campbell Bartoletti

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Documents the history and origin of the Ku Klux Klan from its beginning in Pulaski, Tennessee, and provides personal accounts, congressional documents, diaries, and more.

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Sunrise Over Fallujah

By Walter Dean Myers

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Robin Perry, from Harlem, is sent to Iraq in 2003 as a member of the Civilian Affairs Battalion, and his time there profoundly changes him.

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Students On Strike: Jim Crow, Civil Rights, Brown, and Me: A Memoir

By John A. Stokes with Lois Wolfe and Herman J. Viola

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Told in Stokes’ own words, the story vividly conveys how his passion for learning helped set in motion one of the most powerful movements in American history, resulting in the desegregation of schools in the United States.

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Storm Warriors

By Elisa Carbone

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In 1895, after his mother's death, twelve-year-old Nathan moves with his father and grandfather to Pea Island off the coast of North Carolina, where he hopes to join the all-black crew at the nearby lifesaving station, despite his father's objections.

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Riot

By Walter Dean Myers

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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.

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Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America

By Sharon Robinson

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A biography of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in the major leagues, as told by his daughter.

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Mare's War

By Tanita S. Davis

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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.

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Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

By Gary D. Schmidt

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In 1911, Turner Buckminster hates his new home of Phippsburg, Maine, but things improve when he meets Lizzie Bright Griffin, a girl from a poor, nearby island community founded by former slaves that the town fathers--and Turner's--want to change into a tourist spot.

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