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241 book reviews found (page 5 of 49 pages). Narrow reviews by book audience:
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Book cover Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane`s Musical Journey
Gary Golio (2012) , 40-80 pages
Illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez
Audience: Intermediate (4th-6th grade)
Category: African-American, Biographies, Non-Fiction
(This book has outstanding illustrations)


Did you know that North Carolina was home to the legendary jazz extraordinaire John Coltrane? As a young boy he grew up in High Point, in a house filled with unwavering love and lots of vibrant music. Life was fun but began to change with the death of his grandfather, Reverend Blair. The teachings and wisdom he received from his elders helped John to remain strong through the dark periods of his life. Music was in his heart and constantly on his mind. His music was influenced by jazz giants Duke Ellington and Count Basie. The rhythmic tone of this biography along with bold, captivating pictures helps to capture the genius work, life and mind of jazz royalty John Coltrane.

Parental Notes

Book cover The Lions of Little Rock
Kristin Levine (2012) , 200+ pages
Audience: Intermediate (4th-6th grade), Adult/Parent
Category: African-American, Historical, Realistic Fiction


Growing up is never easy. For Marlee, each day is a challenge. She doesn’t like to talk and doesn’t have any real friends…until she meets Liz, a new girl at her school. Liz is determined to help Marlee find her voice and Marlee is determined to help Liz control her anger. Neither girl knows how hard these will be. Set in Little Rock, Arkansas during the integration of the public schools in the late 1950’s, this book follows two friends faced with the trials of a community that is divided by racism. This amazing piece of historical fiction traces the power of friendship set against a harsh backdrop of racism and misunderstandings. Will Marlee find her voice and roar, just like the lions in the Little Rock zoo? Is change really possible if you believe?

Reviewed by: Tree / South County Regional Library
If you liked this book, you may also like:

Book cover What color is my world?: The Lost History of African-American Inventors
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld (2012) , under 40 pages
Illustrated by Ben Boos and A.G. Ford
Audience: Intermediate (4th-6th grade)
Category: African-American, Multicultural, Non-Fiction


“If I have seen farther than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” – Sir Issac Newton Ella and her twin brother are not excited about having to clean up the new house their parents just bought. They’re even less excited about the weird old guy, Mr. Mital, who’s helping fix things around the house. The pair is sure it’s going to be horrible day, but things don’t turn out like they expect… Wonder what that quote about giants means? Read “What Color Is My World” and discover a little about Sir Issac Newton and a lot about African American inventors that you might not have learned about in school.

Reviewed by: Ulonda / West Boulevard Library

Book cover Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans
Kadir Nelson (2011) , 80-120 pages
Audience: Intermediate (4th-6th grade), Adult/Parent
Category: African-American, Award Books, Multicultural, Non-Fiction
(This book has outstanding illustrations)


This large volume is a history of African-Americans in The United States of America from the Revolution War times until the 1960’s. Each of the twelve chapters begins with a large picture on the right and a quote under the title. The style of the text is sometimes conversational and is full of facts, dates, and information in an easy to read format. The illustrations are enormous and lush with Nelson’s well-known talent for details and expression in his work. The illustrations complement each chapter and some of them are captivating two- page spreads. This 2012 Coretta Scott King Author award-winning book is sure to become a modern day classic of history for children.

Reviewed by: Jeanenne / Steele Creek Library
Parental Notes

Book cover I Had a Favorite Dress
Boni Ashburn (2011) , under 40 pages
Illustrated by Julia Denos
Audience: Primary (k-3rd grade)
Category: African-American, Read Aloud, Realistic Fiction
(This book has outstanding illustrations)


It starts off as a fabulous, pink dress but then our young narrator’s favorite dress, which is a Tuesday favorite, becomes too small! What will she do? Can she make it into something new? In this delightful read, a young girl experiences growing up as her favorite pink, fluffy dress gets too small. This story will remind you of your favorite outfit from your childhood that you wanted to wear every day. It shows that a little creativity and some help from mama can go a long way. The illustrations are soft and dainty, just like our narrator, and the text is easy to read.

Reviewed by: Maeve / University City Regional Library


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