Illustration by Robert Casilla.  Copyright (c) by Houghton Mifflin Company.  
Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.  All rights reserved.
Illustration by Robert Casilla. © by Houghton Mifflin Co.
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Prejudice & Discrimination
 • Ableism
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Books in this category address a wide range of historical and current forms of bigotry, prejudice that is both intentional and systemic and prejudice that is unintentional, but just as hurtful. In some books prejudice is the primary focus of the story; in others it is part of the fabric of the book but not its central theme.
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1.   ...If You Lived When Women Won Their Rights
Anne Kamma (Author), Pamela Johnson (Illustrator)
There was a time that girls and women in the U.S. could not wear pants, play sports on a team, ride a bicycle or go to college. That all began to change in 1848 after the first convention for women's rights. In question-and-answer format, this book tells the story of how women worked for equal rights, culminating in the 19th amendment to the Constitution, giving women the right to vote. Readers find out what life was like for girls in those days and meet pioneering figures in the movement, including Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth and Alice Paul.
[Grade Level: 3 - 6]
2.   A Woman for President: The Story of Victoria Woodhull
Kathleen Krull (Author), Jane Dyer (Illustrator)
Victoria Woodhull was the first woman to do many things: the first woman to own a newspaper, to speak before Congress, and to have a seat on the stock exchange. But her boldest act was announcing herself as the first female candidate for the presidency of the United States in 1872—before women even had the right to vote. Arguably one of the most revolutionary women in American history, she was breaking boundaries many years ahead of her time.
[Grade Level: 2 - 5]
3.   Eleanor Roosevelt: An Inspiring Life
Written by
Elizabeth MacLeod
In fourteen brief chapters with short blocks of text and many photographs, the author describes Roosevelt’s privileged but sad childhood, her marriage, political and family life, and post-FDR humanitarian work. The importance of Roosevelt’s contributions to the world are emphasized, including her work on civil rights, women’s rights, and her role in creating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
[Grade Level: 3 - 6]
4.   Elegy on the Death of Cesar Chavez
Rudolfo A. Anaya (Adapter), Gaspar Enriquez (Illustrator)
Chicano novelist Rudolfo Anaya was greatly influenced by the heroic life of labor and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez. This poem eulogizes Cesar and his work, expressing the grief of la gente and calling all peoples together to continue the nonviolent struggle for freedom and justice. Includes a chronology of Cesar's life.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
5.   I Could Do That!: Ester Morris Gets Women the Vote
Linda Arms White (Author), Nancy Carpenter (Illustrator)
“I could do that,” says six-year-old Esther as she watches her mother making tea. Start her own business at the age of nineteen? Why, she could do that, too. But one thing Esther and other women could NOT do was vote. Only men could do that. With lively text and illustrations, this picture book biography shows how one girl’s gumption propels her through a life filled with challenges until, in 1869, she wins the vote for women in Wyoming Territory -– the first time ever in the United States.
[Grade Level: 2 - 4]
6.   John Lewis in the Lead: A Story of the Civil Rights Movement
James Haskins (Author), Kathleen Benson (Author), Benny Andrews (Illustrator)
This illustrated biography celebrates the life of a living legend of U.S. history, a sharecropper’s son who grew up to become a major civil rights leader. Stirred by his experience of segregation and inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Lewis joined Dr. King and other civil rights leaders after graduating high school, and was in the forefront of the major civil rights protests of the 1960s. In the face of physical attacks, he persevered with dignity and a devotion to nonviolence, helping southern black people gain the right to vote. Lewis has continued his commitment to human rights since that time and, in 1986, he was elected to represent Georgia in the U.S. Congress, where he continues to serve today.
[Grade Level: 3 - 5]
7.   Julia Ward Howe
Written by
Elizabeth Raum
A biography of the nineteenth-century peace and social justice activist who wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation in 1870 calling for a “Mother’s Day for Peace,” which eventually led to the holiday known today as Mother’s Day. Ward is most famous for writing the poem that became "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and is also known for her work against slavery and in support of a woman’s right to vote.
[Grade Level: 2 - 4]
8.   Kids Have Rights Too!
Written by
Janine Scott
This concise history describes the evolution of the idea of children’s rights and the major events in the struggle for children’s rights from the 18th century to the present. The author uses a multitude of historic and contemporary photographs and anecdotes about the experiences of real children to illustrate topics including child labor, sweatshops, bonded labor and discrimination against children with disabilities. She also chronicles the civil and political activities that led to early labor laws and eventually to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
[Grade Level: 3 - 6]
9.   Let Them Play
Margot Theis Raven (Author), Chris Ellison (Illustrator)
In 1955 the all-black Cannon Street YMCA All-Stars team was formed in Charleston, South Carolina in the hopes of playing in the state’s annual Tournament, but all of the white teams pull out of the official Little League program rather than play against All-Stars. This boycott gives the team a legitimate spot in the Little League Baseball World Series held in Pennsylvania, but while the team is invited to attend as guests, they are not allowed to participate since they have not officially “played” and won their state’s tournament. The title of this true story takes its name from the chant shouted by the spectators who attended the World Series final.
[Grade Level: 1 - 5]
10.   Madam President: The Extraordinary, True (and Evolving) Story of Women in Politics
Catherine Thimmesh (Author), Douglas B. Jones (Illustrator)
This book provides 23 thumbnail sketches of women involved in politics in the United States and abroad. The subjects are divided into six categories and tied together by cartoon vignettes of a young girl who wants to be president. The author briefly highlights each individual's primary achievements and importance, and includes a quotation from each one. Subjects include Abigail Adams, Eleanor Roosevelt, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Sandra Day O'Connor, Geraldine Ferraro, Margaret Thatcher, Vigdis Finnbogadottir, Nancy Pelosi, and Mrs. J. L. Burn.
[Grade Level: 3 - 6]
11.   Right to Vote
Sean Connolly (Author), Ting Morris (Author)
The Right to Vote provides an introduction to the evolution and importance of the right to vote and an involved citizenry. It presents an overview of democratic participation, beginning in Ancient Greece and continuing up to the international process found in the United Nations General Assembly. The book also includes chapters on the expansion of voting rights to women and persons of color around the globe.
[Grade Level: 5-8]
12.   Story of Latino Civil Rights: Fighting for Justice
Jose E. Limon (Author), Miranda Hunter (Author)
Today, there are millions of Hispanics in the country, spread across every state of the nation. They are the fastest growing minority in the United States-but the fact that they are spread out tends to weaken their influence in any single region. Hispanics must unite to make their case known. This book explains both the history and the current reality of the Latino civil rights movement.
[Grade Level: 4 & Up]
13.   Sweet Land of Liberty
Deborah Hopkinson (Author), Leonard Jenkins (Illustrator)
On Easter Sunday in 1939, singer Marian Anderson performed at the Lincoln Memorial for over 75,000 people. The person largely responsible for putting her there was a white man, Oscar Chapman, assistant secretary of the interior under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. When Chapman learned that Anderson was not allowed to sing at Constitution Hall because of the color of her skin, he took it upon himself to find her an appropriate venue for a concert and make an important statement about equality. With support from the highest levels of U.S. government, Chapman helped produce a landmark concert that - for at least one evening - bridged the color divide to bring a city and much of the nation together.
[Grade Level: K-4]
14.   The NAACP: An Organization Working to End Discrimination
Written by
Andrew Santella
This book traces the history of one of the nation's oldest and most important civil rights organizations, from the formation of the Niagara Movement on 1905 to modern-day protests over the flying of Confederate flags. Prominent NAACP leaders--such as W.E.B. DuBois, Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Thurgood Marshall--are profiled and milestones in the struggle for equal rights are discussed, including anti-lynching and desegregation efforts. The book includes a timeline, glossary and lots of photographs that break up the text and make the book accessible to younger readers.
[Grade Level: 3 - 6]
15.   The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights
Written by
Russel Freedman
This book is a chronological account of one of the nation's greatest African-American vocalists, from her childhood in Philadelphia through her acclaimed U.S. and European concert tours in the 1920s and 1930s. Though Anderson did not set out to be a political activist, her prominence put her in a position to expose the injustices of segregation. Anderson’s historic 1939 Easter concert at the Lincoln Memorial—a response to the Daughters of the American Revolution's refusal to allow her to appear at Constitution Hall—is a milestone in both musical and civil rights history. The book includes archival photographs and a selected bibliography and discography.
[Grade Level: 4 - 9]
16.   Triumphs and Struggles for Latino Civil Rights
Written by
Bárbara C. Cruz
Over 42 million Latinos live in the United States, making up America's largest ethnic minority group. As their population grows, Latino people and organizations continue to fight for improved education, equal employment opportunities, and fair immigration laws. Author Barbara C. Cruz describes the long journey of Latinos in the United States, from the founding of the oldest city on the American mainland at St. Augustine, Florida, to the continued struggle for civil rights today.
[Grade Level: 4 & Up]
17.   Universal Declaration of Human Rights: An Adaptation for Children
Ruth Rocha (Author), Otavio Roth (Illustrator)
This adaptation of the original Universal Declaration of Human Rights includes simplified text and serves as an excellent introduction to human rights for children. Each article of the declaration has been summarized in one or two lines and is accompanied by vivid linocut illustrations by Brazilian artist Otavio Roth.
[Grade Level: 2 - 6]
18.   You Come to Yokum
Carol Otis Hurst (Author), Kay Life (Illustrator)
It is 1921, and Frank and his brother move with their family to Yokum Pond to run a hunting and vacation lodge. While their father struggles to master driving the "tarnatious machine," their new Model T Ford, their mother is busy campaigning for ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. Undeterred by the rural setting and less-than-receptive neighbors, she brings the fight for suffrage to the farmers' wives and millworkers of the surrounding towns, much to the consternation of her husband and a number of the lodge's guests.
[Grade Level: 3 - 6]
19.   You Wouldn't Want to Be a Suffragist!: A Protest Movement Thats Rougher Than You Expected
Fiona MacDonald (Author), David Antram (Illustrator)
This book tells the story of the struggle for a woman's right to vote through the voices of two feisty aunts-- Edith from the U.S. and Mabel from the U.K.--who describe the movement to their young American niece in 1920. Using cartoon-like illustrations and timelines, the author introduces readers to the pioneers of the suffrage movement, important events of the time and the tactics used by suffragists and protesters to win equal rights.
[Grade Level: 2 - 5]
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