16 Books Published by Boyds Mills Press on Our Site — Book Cover Mosaic

Click for more detail about Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968 by Alice Faye Duncan Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968

by Alice Faye Duncan
Calkins Creek (Aug 28, 2018)
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This historical fiction picture book for children ages 9-12 presents the story of nine-year-old Lorraine Jackson, who in 1968 witnessed the Memphis sanitation strike—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final stand for justice before his assassination—when her father, a sanitation worker, participated in the protest.

In February 1968, two African American sanitation workers were killed by unsafe equipment in Memphis, Tennessee. Outraged at the city’s refusal to recognize a labor union that would fight for higher pay and safer working conditions, sanitation workers went on strike. The strike lasted two months, during which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was called to help with the protests. While his presence was greatly inspiring to the community, this unfortunately would be his last stand for justice. He was assassinated in his Memphis hotel the day after delivering his "I’ve Been to the Mountaintop" sermon in Mason Temple Church. Inspired by the memories of a teacher who participated in the strike as a child, author Alice Faye Duncan reveals the story of the Memphis sanitation strike from the perspective of a young girl with a riveting combination of poetry and prose.


Click for more detail about Do Black Lives Matter To God?: Black Characters of Purpose in Scripture by Jeff Edwards Do Black Lives Matter To God?: Black Characters of Purpose in Scripture

by Jeff Edwards
Calkins Creek (Nov 28, 2017)
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Political and religious leaders—past and present—have shaped the thinking of society to see blacks and people of color as inferior. As a result, cultural, social, political and religious groups devalued the importance of blacks. This negative mindset has existed for centuries in the Western hemisphere and has escalated to even higher levels today. Do Black Lives Matter to God? takes us on a historical journey through the Bible to illuminate how God sees black people and people of color. This book challenges all educators who have disparaged and ignored the exceptionalism and existence of blacks in the Bible as a way to justify their oppressive beliefs. Through Do Black Lives Matter to God? you will understand how black lives in scripture became a catalyst for the evolution of all lives. When all people can live the reality of Jesus’ commandment to “Love one another as I have loved you,” we can truly live a life—black or other—that is reflective of Christ.


Click for more detail about Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961 by Larry Dane Brimner Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961

by Larry Dane Brimner
Calkins Creek (Oct 24, 2017)
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A 2018 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award Winner

On May 4, 1961, a group of thirteen black and white civil rights activists launched the Freedom Ride, aiming to challenge the practice of segregation on buses and at bus terminal facilities in the South.

The Ride would last twelve days. Despite the fact that segregation on buses crossing state lines was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1946, and segregation in interstate transportation facilities was ruled unconstitutional in 1960, these rulings were routinely ignored in the South. The thirteen Freedom Riders intended to test the laws and draw attention to the lack of enforcement with their peaceful protest. As the Riders traveled deeper into the South, they encountered increasing violence and opposition. Noted civil rights author Larry Dane Brimner relies on archival documents and rarely seen images to tell the riveting story of the little-known first days of the Freedom Ride. With author’s note, source notes, bibliography, and index.


Click for more detail about Now or Never!: Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Infantry’s War to End Slavery by Ray Anthony Shepard Now or Never!: Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Infantry’s War to End Slavery

by Ray Anthony Shepard
Calkins Creek (Oct 10, 2017)
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Here is the riveting dual biography of two little-known but extraordinary men in Civil War history—George E. Stephens and James Henry Gooding. These Union soldiers not only served in the Massachusetts 54th Infantry, the well-known black regiment, but were also war correspondents who published eyewitness reports of the battlefields. Their dispatches told the truth of their lives at camp, their intense training, and the dangers and tragedies on the battlefield. Like the other thousands of black soldiers in the regiment, they not only fought against the Confederacy and the inhumanity of slavery, but also against injustice in their own army. The regiment’s protest against unfair pay resulted in America’s first major civil rights victory—equal pay for African American soldiers. This fresh perspective on the Civil War includes an author’s note, timeline, bibliography, index and source notes.


Click for more detail about Words With Wings by Nikki Grimes Words With Wings

by Nikki Grimes
Wordsong (Sep 13, 2013)
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Winner 2014 Coretta Scott King 2014 Author Honor Award

Gabby’s world is filled with daydreams. However, what began as an escape from her parents’ arguments has now taken over her life. But with the help of a new teacher, Gabby the dreamer might just become Gabby the writer, and words that carried her away might allow her to soar. Written in vivid, accessible poems, this remarkable verse novel is a celebration of imagination, of friendship, of one girl’s indomitable spirit, and of a teacher’s ability to reach out and change a life.

Wordsong is the only imprint in the country that is devoted exclusively to poetry for children.


Click for more detail about Ostrich And Lark by Marilyn Nelson Ostrich And Lark

by Marilyn Nelson
Front Street, Incorporated (Sep 01, 2012)
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Ostrich and Lark spend their days on the grasslands of southern Africa surrounded by a chorus of birdsong. From his perch in a tree Lark joins the chorus, while below Ostrich is silent. Then comes the joyful day when Ostrich finds his voice. This picture book about an unlikely friendship is the result of collaboration between the award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson and the San artists of Botswana. The story, which captures the feel of a traditional African folktale, is brought to life with vibrant illustrations inspired by the ancient rock paintings of the San people’s ancestors.
The author’s proceeds from this book will be used to support the San artists of the Kuru Art Project in Botswana.


Click for more detail about Molly, by Golly!: The Legend of Molly Williams, America’s First Female Firefighter by Dianne Ochiltree Molly, by Golly!: The Legend of Molly Williams, America’s First Female Firefighter

by Dianne Ochiltree
Calkins Creek (Sep 01, 2012)
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This legendary tale introduces young readers to Molly Williams, an African American cook for New York City’s Fire Company 11, who is considered to be the first known female firefighter in U.S. history. One winter day in 1818, when many of the firefighting volunteers are sick with influenza and a small wooden house is ablaze, Molly jumps into action and helps stop the blaze, proudly earning the nickname Volunteer Number 11. Relying on historic records and pictures and working closely with firefighting experts, Dianne Ochiltree and artist Kathleen Kemly not only bring this spunky and little-known heroine to life but also show how fires were fought in early America.


Click for more detail about Black & White: The Confrontation between Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and Eugene “Bull” Connor by Larry Dane Brimner Black & White: The Confrontation between Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and Eugene “Bull” Connor

by Larry Dane Brimner
Calkins Creek (Nov 01, 2011)
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In the nineteen fifties and early sixties, Birmingham, Alabama, became known as Bombingham. At the center of this violent time in the fight for civil rights, and standing at opposite ends, were Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and Eugene “Bull” Connor. From his pulpit, Shuttlesworth agitated for racial equality, while Commissioner Connor fought for the status quo. Relying on court documents, police and FBI reports, newspapers, interviews, and photographs, author Larry Dane Brimner first covers each man’s life and then brings them together to show how their confrontation brought about significant change to the southern city. The author worked closely with Birmingham’s Civil Rights Institute as well as with Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and his wife to bring together this Robert F. Sibert Honor Book, ALA Notable Children’s book, and Kirkus Reviews Best Children’s Book of the Year.


Click for more detail about Nadia’s Hands by Karen English Nadia’s Hands

by Karen English
Boyds Mills Press (Dec 01, 2009)
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When Nadia is chosen to be a flower girl in Auntie Laila’s traditional Pakistani wedding, her hands are decorated with beautiful designs made with mehndi, and she comes to understand the rich culture she has inherited.


Click for more detail about Becoming Billie Holiday by Carole Boston Weatherford Becoming Billie Holiday

by Carole Boston Weatherford
Wordsong (Oct 01, 2008)
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Before the legend of Billie Holiday, there was a girl named Eleanora. In 1915, Sadie Fagan gave birth to a daughter she named Eleanora. The world, however, would know her as Billie Holiday, possibly the greatest jazz singer of all time. Eleanora's journey into legend took her through pain, poverty, and run-ins with the law. By the time she was fifteen, she knew she possessed something that could possibly change her life—a voice. Eleanora could sing. Her remarkable voice led her to a place in the spotlight with some of the era's hottest big bands. Billie Holiday sang as if she had lived each lyric, and in many ways she had. Through a sequence of raw and poignant poems, award-winning poet Carole Boston Weatherford chronicles Eleanora Fagan's metamorphosis into Billie Holiday. The author examines the singer's young life, her fight for survival, and the dream she pursued with passion in this Coretta Scott King Author Honor winner. With stunning art by Floyd Cooper, this book provides a revealing look at a cultural icon.


Click for more detail about Miss Crandall’s School For Young Ladies & Little Misses Of Color by Elizabeth Alexander and Marilyn Nelson Miss Crandall’s School For Young Ladies & Little Misses Of Color

by Elizabeth Alexander and Marilyn Nelson
Wordsong (Sep 01, 2007)
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Two renowned poets tell the story of Prudence Crandall and her black students, who endured the cruelty of prejudice and hateful actions for the sake of their education. Miss Crandall faced legal proceedings for opening her school of African American women. But her young students knew that Miss Crandall had committed no crime. They knew that the real criminals were the rich white residents of Canterbury, Connecticut, who had poisoned the school’s water and set fire to the schoolhouse. But hatred could not destroy their patience and compassion. From March of 1833 to September of 1834, when persecution forced the school to close, these African American women learned that they deserved an education. What they needed was the courage to go after it. Poets Elizabeth Alexander and Marilyn Nelson have re-created the remarkable story of Prudence Crandall’s school in this ALA Notable Children’s Book, using the sonnet form with innovative style. Floyd Cooper’s powerful illustrations reveal the strength and vulnerability of Miss Crandall and her students.


Click for more detail about Sidewalk Chalk: Poems of the City by Carole Boston Weatherford Sidewalk Chalk: Poems of the City

by Carole Boston Weatherford
Wordsong (Jan 01, 2006)
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At every corner, down every block, a city percolates with people at work and play: girls jumping double Dutch, the shoeshine man polishing a pair of wing tips, boys heading toward the basketball court. Each neighborhood is filled with unique characters (the beautician, the barber, the short-order cook) and places (the storefront churches, the outdoor market, the park pool) - all as familiar as family. Carole Boston Weatherford pays tribute to these sights and sounds of urban life in twenty fresh and rhythmic poems. In quiet moments and lively street scenes, her work captures the excitement and diversity found in these places that have "no trees / to climb" but where people young and old still "reach for the stars." Dimitrea Tokunbo’s vivid illustrations are sure to delight.


Click for more detail about A Negro League Scrapbook by Carole Boston Weatherford A Negro League Scrapbook

by Carole Boston Weatherford
Boyds Mills Press (Mar 01, 2005)
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Imagine that you are an outstanding baseball player but banned from the major leagues. Imagine that you are breaking records but the world ignores your achievements. Imagine having a dream but no chance to make that dream come true. This is what life was like for African American baseball players before Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier. Meet Josh Gibson, called "the black Babe Ruth," who hit seventy-five home runs in 1931; James "Cool Papa" Bell, the fastest man in baseball; legendary Satchel Paige, who once struck out twenty-four batters in a single game; and, of course, Jackie Robinson, the first black player in Major League Baseball, and one of the greatest players of all time. Featuring lively verse, fascinating facts, and archival photographs, this is a celebration of the Negro Leagues and the great players who went unrecognized in their time.


Click for more detail about Fortune’s Bones: The Manumission Requiem by Marilyn Nelson Fortune’s Bones: The Manumission Requiem

by Marilyn Nelson
Highlights Press (Nov 01, 2004)
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There is a skeleton in the Mattatuck Museum in Connecticut. It has been in the town for over 200 years. In 1996, community members decided to find out what they could about it. Historians discovered that the bones were those of a slave name Fortune, who was owned by a local doctor. After Fortune’s death, the doctor rendered the bones. Further research revealed that Fortune had married, had fathered four children, and had been baptized later in life. His bones suggest that after a life of arduous labor, he died in 1798 at about the age of 60. Merilyn Nelson wrote The Manumission Requiem to commemorate Fortune’s life. Detailed notes and archival photographs enhance the reader’s appreciation of the poem.


Click for more detail about Carver: A Life in Poems by Marilyn Nelson Carver: A Life in Poems

by Marilyn Nelson
Highlights Press (May 28, 2001)
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George Washington Carver was born a slave in Missouri about 1864 and was raised by the childless white couple who had owned his mother. In 1877 he left home in search of an education, eventually earning a master’s degree. In 1896, Booker T. Washington invited Carver to start the agricultural department at the all-black-staffed Tuskegee Institute, where he spent the rest of his life seeking solutions to the poverty among landless black farmers by developing new uses for soil-replenishing crops such as peanuts, cowpeas, and sweet potatoes. Carver’s achievements as a botanist and inventor were balanced by his gifts as a painter, musician, and teacher. This Newbery Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book by Marilyn Nelson provides a compelling and revealing portrait of Carver’s complex, richly interior, profoundly devout life.


Click for more detail about Every Man Heart Lay Down by Lorenz Graham Every Man Heart Lay Down

by Lorenz Graham
Front Street, Incorporated (Sep 01, 1993)
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Here is the story of the birth of Jesus retold in the idiom of Liberians newly acquainted with the English language. To the storytellers of Liberia, Bible stories become poems, or spoken songs. So it is with this simple and tender version of the Nativity. Long out of print, this special picture book is available again to a new generation of readers.




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