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      Stolen Justice: The Struggle for African American Voting Rights

      by Lawrence Goldstone

      Apr 2020

      History High

      Following the Civil War, the Reconstruction era raised a new question to those in power in the US: Should African Americans, so many of them former slaves, be granted the right to vote? In a bitter partisan fight over the legislature and Constitution, the answer eventually became yes, though only after two constitutional amendments, two Reconstruction Acts, two Civil Rights Acts, three Enforcement Acts, the impeachment of a president, and an army of occupation. Yet, even that was not enough to ensure that African American voices would be heard, or their lives protected. White supremacists loudly and intentionally prevented black Americans from voting—and they were willing to kill to do so.

      In this vivid portrait of the systematic suppression of the African American vote, critically acclaimed author Lawrence Goldstone traces the injustices of the post-Reconstruction era through the eyes of incredible individuals, both heroic and barbaric, and examines the legal cases that made the Supreme Court a partner of white supremacists in the rise of Jim Crow. Though this is a story of America's past, Goldstone brilliantly draws direct links to today's creeping threats to suffrage in this important and, alas, timely book.

      Spies: The Secret Showdown Between America and Russia

      by Marc Favreau

      Mar 2020

      History High

      The Cold War spanned five decades as America and the USSR engaged in a battle of ideologies with global ramifications. Over the course of the war, with the threat of mutually assured nuclear destruction looming, billions of dollars and tens of thousands of lives were devoted to the art and practice of spying, ensuring that the world would never be the same.

      Rife with intrigue and filled with fascinating historical figures whose actions shine light on both the past and present, this timely work of narrative nonfiction explores the turbulence of the Cold War through the lens of the men and women who waged it behind closed doors, and helps explain the role secret and clandestine operations have played in America's history and its national security.

      Key facts and the KGB and CIA. Information about Russian espionage and the CIA since the end of the Cold War. Cold War time line. Cold War glossary. Glossary of key espionage techniques. Notes. Selected primary sources. Selected bibliography. Index. Black-and-white photographs.

      Accused!: The Trials of the Scottsboro Boys: Lies, Prejudice, and the Fourteenth Amendment

      by Larry Dane Brimner

      Feb 2020

      History High

      In 1931, nine teenagers were arrested as they traveled on a train through Scottsboro, Alabama. The youngest was thirteen, and all had been hoping to find something better at the end of their journey. But they never arrived. Instead, two white women falsely accused them of rape. The effects were catastrophic for the young men, who came to be known as the Scottsboro Boys. Being accused of raping a white woman in the Jim Crow south almost certainly meant death, either by a lynch mob or the electric chair. The Scottsboro boys found themselves facing one prejudiced trial after another, in one of the worst miscarriages of justice in U.S. history. They also faced a racist legal system, all-white juries, and the death penalty. Noted Sibert Medalist Larry Dane Brimner uncovers how the Scottsboro Boys spent years in Alabama’s prison system, enduring inhumane conditions and torture.

      Author’s note. Bibliography. Source notes. Index. Black-and-white photographs.

      The Fountains of Silence

      by Ruta Sepetys

      Jan 2020

      History High

      Madrid, 1957.
      Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming promise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of an oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother’s birth through the lens of his camera. Photography—and fate—introduce him to Ana, whose family’s interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War—as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear. Daniel’s photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger. He is backed into a corner of difficult decisions to protect those he loves. Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city.

      Author’s note. “Research and Sources.” Glossary of Spanish phrases and words. Black-and-white photographs.

      A Light in the Darkness: Janusz Korczak, His Orphans, and the Holocaust

      by Albert Marrin

      Dec 2019

      History High

      Janusz Korczak was more than a good doctor. He was a hero. The Dr. Spock of his day, he established orphanages run on his principle of honoring children and shared his ideas with the public in books and on the radio. He famously said that “children are not the people of tomorrow, but people today.” Korczak was a man ahead of his time, whose work ultimately became the basis for the U.N. Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Korczak was also a Polish Jew on the eve of World War II. He turned down multiple opportunities for escape, standing by the children in his orphanage as they became confined to the Warsaw Ghetto. Dressing them in their Sabbath finest, he led their march to the trains and ultimately perished with his children in Treblinka.

      But this book is much more than a biography. Filled with black-and-white photographs, this is an unforgettable portrait of a man whose compassion in even the darkest hours reminds us what is possible.

      Notes. Selected sources. Index. Black-and-white photographs and reproductions.

      The Downstairs Girl

      by Stacey Lee

      Nov 2019

      History High

      By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady’s maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, “Dear Miss Sweetie.” When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society’s ills, but she’s not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender. While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta’s most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light. With prose that is witty, insightful, and at times heartbreaking, Stacey Lee masterfully crafts an extraordinary social drama set in the New South.

      Author’s note.

      Marie Curie: A Life of Discovery

      by Alice Milani

      Oct 2019

      History High

      In her intensely researched, inventively drawn exploration of Marie Curie's life, artist Alice Milani follows the celebrated Polish scientist from Curie's time as a struggling governess to her years in France making breakthrough discoveries.

      “The Legacy of Marie.” Time line. Selected biography. Source notes. Full-color illustrations.

      Viral: The Fight Against AIDs in America

      by Ann Bausum

      Sep 2019

      History High

      Thirty-five years ago, it was a modern-day, mysterious plague. Its earliest victims were mostly gay men, some of the most marginalized people in the country; at its peak in America, it killed tens of thousands of people. The losses were staggering, the science frightening, and the government’s inaction unforgivable. The AIDS Crisis fundamentally changed the fabric of the United States.

      Viral presents the history of the AIDS crisis through the lens of the brave victims and activists who demanded action and literally fought for their lives. This compassionate but unflinching text explores everything from the disease’s origins and how it spread to the activism it inspired and how the world confronts HIV and AIDS today.

      Author’s note. Time line. Additional resources. Source notes. Bibliography. Index. Black-and-white photographs, charts, and reproductions.

      Secret Soldiers: How the U.S. Twenty-Third Special Troops Fooled the Nazis

      by Paul B. Janeczko

      Aug 2019

      History High

      In his third book about deception during war, Paul B. Janeczko focuses his lens on World War II and the operations carried out by the Twenty-Third Headquarters Special Troops, aka the Ghost Army. This remarkable unit included actors, camouflage experts, sound engineers, painters, and set designers who used their skills to secretly and systematically replace fighting units—fooling the Nazi army into believing what their eyes and ears told them, even though the sights and sounds of tanks and war machines and troops were entirely fabricated. Follow the Twenty-Third into Europe as they play a dangerous game of enticing the German army into making battlefield mistakes by using sonic deceptions, inflatable tanks, pyrotechnics, and camouflage in more than twenty operations. From the Normandy invasion to the crossing of the Rhine River, the men of the Ghost Army—several of whom went on to become famous artists and designers after the war—played an improbable role in the Allied victory.

      Source notes. Bibliography. Index. Black-and-white photographs, maps, and reproductions.

      The Great Nijinsky: God of Dance

      by Lynn Curlee

      Jul 2019

      History High

      Dance prodigy, sex symbol, gay pioneer, cultural icon—Vaslav Nijinsky rose to fame as the star of the Ballets Russes in Paris before mental illness stole his career and the last thirty years of his life. A tragic story of a great genius gone mad, this compelling work of narrative nonfiction chronicles a life of obsessive artistry, celebrity, and notoriety. With one grand leap off the stage at the 1909 premiere of the Ballets Russes’s inaugural season, Nijinsky became an overnight sensation and the century’s first superstar, in the days before moving pictures brought popular culture to the masses. Perhaps the greatest dancer of the twentieth century, Nijinsky captured audiences with his sheer animal magnetism and incredible skill.

      Author’s note. List of Nijinsky’s performances. “Ballet Performances Online.” Source notes. Bibliography. Index. Full-color illustrations done in acrylic. Full-color and black-and-white photographs and reproductions.

      Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc

      by David Elliott

      Jun 2019

      History High

      Told through medieval poetic forms and in the voices of the people and objects in Joan of Arc’s life, (including her family and even the trees, clothes, cows, and candles of her childhood), Voices offers an unforgettable perspective on an extraordinary young woman. Along the way it explores timely issues such as gender, misogyny, and the peril of speaking truth to power. Before Joan of Arc became a saint, she was a girl inspired. It is that girl we come to know in Voices.

      Author’s note, with breakdown of poetic forms used in the book.

      The Electric War: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Light the World

      by Mike Winchell

      May 2019

      History High

      In the mid- to late-nineteenth century, a burgeoning science called electricity promised to shine new light on a rousing nation. Inventive and ambitious minds were hard at work. Soon that spark was fanned, and a fiery war was under way to be the first to light—and run—the world with electricity. Thomas Alva Edison, the inventor of direct current (DC), engaged in a brutal battle with Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse, the inventors of alternating current (AC). There would be no ties in this race—only a winner and a loser. The prize: a nationwide monopoly in electric current.

      Time line. Bibliography. Index. Black-and-white photographs and reproductions.
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