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Prepare for Black History Month Commemorations

We've selected books highlighting Black history and voices that would be perfect to add to your shelves just in time for Black History Month! Plus, these titles are only $8 for our valued JLG members! Bonus: Catch our exclusive webcast interview with author/illustrator Don Tate, whose passion is elevating Black history through picture books and children's literature.

PROMO CODE: BLACKHISTORY21

Offer valid through January 31, 2021 for book purchases only. Members must be logged in to access sale prices. Apply code in cart to view savings. Books will be shipped without library processing. If you would like to request library processing for your books, please note that they could take up to 6–8 weeks to ship. Not a JLG member? Get subscription info here.

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      Changing the Equation: 50+ US Black Women in STEM

      by Tonya Bolden

      Apr 2020

      Biography Middle Plus

      Award-winning author Tonya Bolden explores the black women who have changed the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in America. Including groundbreaking computer scientists, doctors, inventors, physicists, pharmacists, mathematicians, aviators, and many more, this book celebrates more than 50 women who have shattered the glass ceiling, defied racial discrimination, and pioneered in their fields. In these profiles, young readers will find role models, inspirations, and maybe even reasons to be the STEM leaders of tomorrow. These stories help young readers to dream big and stay curious.

      Leaving Lymon

      by Lesa Cline-Ransome

      Apr 2020

      Realistic Fiction Middle Plus

      Lymon’s father is, for the time being, at Parchman Farm—the Mississippi State Penitentiary—and his mother, whom he doesn’t remember all that much, has moved North. Fortunately, Lymon is being raised by his loving grandparents. Together, Lymon and his grandpops share a love of music, spending late summer nights playing the guitar. But Lymon’s world as he knows it is about to dissolve. He will be sent on a journey to two Northern cities far from the country life he loves—and the version of himself he knows.

      In this companion novel to the Coretta Scott King Honor-wining Finding Langston, readers will see a new side of the bully Lymon in this story of an angry boy whose raw talent, resilience, and devotion to music help point him in a new direction.

      Buzzing with Questions: The Inquisitive Mind of Charles Henry Turner

      by Janice N. Harrington

      Apr 2020

      Science Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      Charles Henry Turner’s mind itched with questions. Fascinated by animals, bugs, and crustaceans, Turner studied their lives. When books didn’t answer his questions, he researched, experimented, and looked for answers on his own, even when faced with racial prejudice. Author Janice Harrington and artist Theodore Taylor III capture the life of this scientist and educator, highlighting his unstoppable curiosity and his passion for insects and biology.

      Clean Getaway

      by Nic Stone

      Apr 2020

      Upper Elementary & Junior High Plus

      How to Go on an Unplanned Road Trip with Your Grandma:
      • Grab a Suitcase: Prepacked from the big spring break trip that got CANCELLED.
      • Fasten Your Seatbelt: G’ma’s never conventional, so this trip won’t be either.
      • Use the Green Book: G’ma’s most treasured possession. It holds history, memories, and most important, the way home.

      What Not to Bring:
      • A Cell Phone: Avoid contact with Dad at all costs. Even when G’ma starts acting stranger than usual.

      Set against the backdrop of the segregation history of the American South, take a trip with New York Times bestselling Nic Stone and an eleven-year-old boy who is about to discover that the world hasn’t always been a welcoming place for kids like him, and things aren’t always what they seem—his G’ma included.

      The Old Truck

      by Jarett Pumphrey

      Apr 2020

      Kindergarten Plus

      When is an old truck something more? On a small, bustling farm, a resilient and steadfast pickup works tirelessly alongside the family that lives there, and becomes a part of the dreams and ambitions of the family’s young daughter.

      After long days and years of hard work leave the old truck rusting in the weeds, it’s time for the girl to roll up her sleeves. Soon she is running her own busy farm, and in the midst of all the repairing and restoring, it may be time to bring her faithful childhood companion back to life.

      The Revolution of Birdie Randolph

      by Brandy Colbert

      Mar 2020

      City High School

      Dove "Birdie" Randolph works hard to be the perfect daughter and follow the path her parents have laid out for her: She quit playing her beloved soccer, she keeps her nose buried in textbooks, and she's on track to finish high school at the top of her class. But then Birdie falls hard for Booker, a sweet boy with a troubled past…whom she knows her parents will never approve of.

      When her estranged aunt Carlene returns to Chicago and moves into the family's apartment above their hair salon, Birdie notices the tension building at home. Carlene is sweet, friendly, and open-minded—she's also spent decades in and out of treatment facilities for addiction. As Birdie becomes closer to both Booker and Carlene, she yearns to spread her wings. But when long-buried secrets rise to the surface, everything she's known to be true is turned upside down.

      By and By: Charles Albert Tindley, the Father of Gospel Music

      by Carole Boston Weatherford

      Mar 2020

      Religious Books Elementary

      At a time when most African Americans were still enslaved, Charles Tindley was born free. His childhood was far from easy, with backbreaking hours in the fields and no opportunity to go to school. But the spirituals he heard as he worked made him long to know how to read the Gospel for himself. Late at night, he taught himself to read from scraps of newspapers. From those small scraps, young Charles raised himself to become a founding father of American gospel music whose hymn was the basis for the Civil Rights anthem “We Shall Overcome.”

      Told in lilting verse with snippets of spirituals and Tindley’s own hymns woven throughout, Carole Boston Weatherford’s lyrical words and Bryan Collier’s luminous pictures celebrate a man whose music and conviction has inspired countless lives.

      Author’s note. Illustrator’s note. Popular hymns by Charles Tindley. Bibliography. Resources. Songs quoted in the book. Full-color watercolor and collage illustrations.

      Feed Your Mind: A Story of August Wilson

      by Jen Bryant

      Mar 2020

      Arts Elementary Plus

      August Wilson (1945–2005) was a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who had a particular talent for capturing the authentic, everyday voice of black Americans. As a child, he read off the soup cans and cereal boxes in the pantry, and when his mother brought him to the library, his whole world opened up. After facing intense prejudice at school from both students and some teachers, August dropped out. However, he continued reading and educating himself independently. He felt that if he could read about it, then he could teach himself anything and accomplish anything.

      Like many of his plays, Feed Your Mind is told in two acts, revealing how Wilson grew up to be one of the most influential American playwrights.

      Author’s note. Time line. Notes. Selected bibliography. List of plays by August Wilson. Full-color illustrations were created using ink, colored pencil, acrylic paint, and cut paper, and assembled and colored in Adobe Photoshop.

      Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks

      by Jason Reynolds

      Feb 2020

      Upper Elementary & Junior High

      This story was going to begin like all the best stories. With a school bus falling from the sky. But no one saw it happen. They were all too busy—
      Talking about boogers.
      Stealing pocket change.
      Skateboarding.
      Wiping out.
      Braving up.
      Executing complicated handshakes.
      Planning an escape.
      Making jokes.
      Lotioning up.
      Finding comfort.
      But mostly, too busy walking home.

      Jason Reynolds conjures ten tales (one per block) about what happens after the dismissal bell rings, and brilliantly weaves them into one wickedly funny, piercingly poignant look at the detours we face on the walk home, and in life.

      Jackpot

      by Nic Stone

      Feb 2020

      High-Interest High Plus

      Meet Rico: high school senior and afternoon-shift cashier at the Gas ’n’ Go, who after school and work races home to take care of her younger brother. Every. Single. Day. When Rico sells a jackpot-winning lotto ticket, she thinks maybe her luck will finally change, but only if she—with some assistance from her popular and wildly rich classmate Zan—can find the ticket holder who hasn’t claimed the prize. But what happens when have and have-nots collide? Will this investigative duo unite…or divide?

      Infinite Hope: A Black Artist's Journey from World War II to Peace

      by Ashley Bryan

      Feb 2020

      Biography Middle Plus

      In May of 1942, at the age of eighteen, Ashley Bryan was drafted to fight in World War II. For the next three years, he would face the horrors of war as a black soldier in a segregated army. He endured the terrible lies white officers told about the black soldiers to isolate them from anyone who showed kindness—including each other. He received worse treatment than even Nazi POWs. He was assigned the grimmest, most horrific tasks, like burying fallen soldiers…but was told to remove the black soldiers first because the media didn’t want them in their newsreels. And he waited and wanted so desperately to go home, watching every white soldier get safe passage back to the United States before black soldiers were even a thought.

      For the next forty years, Ashley would keep his time in the war a secret. But now, he tells his story. The story of the kind people who supported him. The story of the bright moments that guided him through the dark. And the story of his passion for art that would save him time and time again.

      “A Note About the Children.” Sources. Index. Full-color illustrations and reproductions.

      Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky

      by Kwame Mbalia

      Feb 2020

      Fantasy/Science Fiction Middle Plus

      Seventh grader Tristan Strong feels anything but strong ever since he failed to save his best friend when they were in a bus accident together. All he has left of Eddie is the journal his friend wrote stories in. Tristan is dreading the month he's going to spend on his grandparents' farm in Alabama, where he's being sent to heal from the tragedy. But on his first night there, a sticky creature shows up in his bedroom and steals Eddie's notebook. Tristan chases after it—is that a doll—and a tug-of-war ensues between them underneath a Bottle Tree.

      In a last attempt to wrestle the journal out of the creature's hands, Tristan punches the tree, accidentally ripping open a chasm into the MidPass, a volatile place with a burning sea, haunted bone ships, and iron monsters that are hunting the inhabitants of this world. Tristan finds himself in the middle of a battle that has left black American folk heroes John Henry and Brer Rabbit exhausted. In order to get back home, Tristan and these new allies will need to entice the god Anansi, the Weaver, to come out of hiding and seal the hole in the sky. But bartering with the trickster Anansi always comes at a price. Can Tristan save this world before he loses more of the things he loves?
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