For Middle Level students

Here are some suggested readings for middle level students:

book cover flower and boy
A WREATH FOR EMMET TILL  by Marilyn Nelson

"This book presents fifteen interlinked sonnets to pay tribute to Emmitt Till, a fourteen-year-old African American boy who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955 for whistling at a while woman, and whose murderers were acquitted.
 " Toledo Library

A discussion guide is available here.

Learn more about Emmett Till at
https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/till/
 
 
face on book cover
SKIN I'M IN by Sondra Flake 
 "Maleeka suffers every day from the taunts of the other kids in her class. If they're not getting at her about her homemade clothes or her good grades, it's about her dark, black skin.
When a new teacher, whose face is blotched with a startling white patch, starts at their school, Maleeka can see there is bound to be trouble for her too. But the new teacher's attitude surprises Maleeka. Miss Saunders loves the skin she's in. Can Maleeka learn to do the same?"
Amazon

(grades 8 +)

Discussion Guide can be found here.
book cover with girl
FOR BLACK GIRLS LIKE ME by Mariana Lockington 
 "Makeda June Kirkland is eleven years old, adopted, and black. Her parents and big sister are white, and even though she loves her family very much, Makeda often feels left out. When Makeda's family moves from Maryland to New Mexico, she leaves behind her best friend, Lena— the only other adopted black girl she knows— for a new life. In New Mexico, everything is different. At home, Makeda’s sister is too cool to hang out with her anymore and at school, she can’t seem to find one real friend.

Through it all, Makeda can’t help but wonder: What would it feel like to grow up with a family that looks like me?"  Houghton Mifflin

Discussion Guide is available here.
bookcover traffic lights and head
GHOST BOYS by Jewell Parker Rhodes
"Twelve-year-old Jerome is shot by a police officer who mistakes his toy gun for a real threat. As a ghost, he observes the devastation that's been unleashed on his family and community in the wake of what they see as an unjust and brutal killing.

Soon Jerome meets another ghost: Emmett Till, a boy from a very different time but similar circumstances. Emmett helps Jerome process what has happened, on a journey towards recognizing how historical racism may have led to the events that ended his life. Jerome also meets Sarah, the daughter of the police officer, who grapples with her father's actions.

Once again Jewell Parker Rhodes deftly weaves historical and socio-political layers into a gripping and poignant story about how children and families face the complexities of today's world, and how one boy grows to understand American blackness in the aftermath of his own death. " from Amazon

A comprehensive reading guide with discussion questions and information and links to learn more about the historic events alluded to in the novel can be found here.
   
   
   

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