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Recommendations for the #1000BlackGirlBooks Campaign


A few weeks ago I read a news story about 11 year-old Marley Dias and her campaign to collect 1000 books to donate to a library in Jamaica.  More specifically, Marley was looking for books with strong, black, female protagonists. The 6th grader was tired of reading books about "white boys and their dogs" in school. Understandably, Marley wanted to read books she could relate to. As soon as I heard her story, I started compiling a list of my favorite titles. I am happy to report that Marley has achieved her goal.  You can see follow her story on Twitter with #1000BlackGirlBooks.    

Here are some books that I recommend to 5th-6th graders coming into the Children's Center.  Ninth Ward and The Other Side of Truth are two of my favorites and ones that I regularly booktalk with older classes.     

The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Brenda Woods (2014)
Now that she is eleven, Violet feels it is time to learn about her African American heritage, so she seeks out her paternal grandmother.



Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (2014)
A childhood memoir about growing up in the North and South.




Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton (2015)
It is 1969 and Mimi has just moved to small town Vermont with her family.  



A Girl Named Disaster by Nancy Farmer (1996)
Nhamo, an eleven-year-old Shona girl, struggles to survive as she travels from Mozambique to Zimbabwe.  



The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste (2015)
Corinne mixes courage and ancient magic to battle an evil spirit threatening her Caribbean home.



Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes (2010)
Lanesha survives Hurricane Katrina, but will she make it though the darkness that comes afterwards? 



The Other Side of Truth by Beverley Naidoo (2001)
Sade and her brother must survive on the streets of London after getting smuggled out of Nigeria.



The Perfect Place by Teresa E. Harris (2014)
Treasure Daniels quickly learns not to mess with Great-Aunt Grace (aka GAG).



The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney (2014)
Amira, a young Sudanese girl, finds hope and friendship in a refugee camp. 



Serafina's Promise by Ann E. Burg (2013)
Serafina must find her father and get medicine for her baby brother after an earthquake hits Haiti.



Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper (2015)
Fifth grader Stella faces prejudice and fear in 1932 Bumblebee, North Carolina.



Zora and Me by Victoria Bond and T.R. Simon (2010)
A fictionalized account of Zora Neale Hurston's childhood in Eatonville, Florida.



One Crazy Summer (2010), P.S. Be Eleven (2013) and Gone Crazy in Alabama (2015) by Rita Williams-Garcia

Follow the Gaither sisters as they grow up and head off on a variety of adventures.    




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A book I'd recommend to Marley Dias (and other young girls) is Edwidge Danticat's "Anacaona: Golden Flower, Haiti, 1490". I enjoyed this book (and all of the "Royal Diaries" series) as a child. The book is about Anacaona, a Taino queen who must confront the Spanish invaders.

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