Monday, February 04, 2013

Nonfiction Monday-- Miles to Go For Freedom

Miles to Go for Freedom: Segregation and Civil Rights in the Jim Crow Years Osborne, Linda Barrett. Miles to Go for Freedom: Segregation and Civil Rights in the Jim Crow Years.
1 January 2012,  Abrams Books for Young Readers

This well illustrated and researched book (published in association with The Library of Congress)is a fantastic overview of the changes in African American rights from the 1800s up through Brown vs. Board of Education. It is especially interesting to find out that before the Civil War, African Americans were making some group in integrating into society, but after this time period their freedoms were greatly curtailed. Separate by Equal is discussed at length, as is the topic of African Americans fighting during the wars. The accompanying photographs, and copies of documents and other ephemera are especially interesting. This would be great to read aloud during Black History Month.

Eighth Grade Is Making Me Sick: Ginny Davis's Year In StuffHolm, Jennifer and Castaldi, Elicia. Eighth Grade is Making Me Sick.
7 August 2012, Random House

I read this, I understood it, and it's hard to write a review. This and the first book in the series, Middle School is Worse than Meatloaf, are great fun.There is a plot to this-- Ginny's mother has remarried and is pregnant, the family has moved into a big new home, but then the step father loses his job, Ginny's brother is born prematurely, and all of the changes stress Ginny out so much that she doesn't eat and becomes ill. I was never a fan of wordless picture books, and these have a similar effect, although there are words in the memos, cartoons, etc. It's still a very impressionistic way to get a story. By big beef-- Ginny's brother is named Ballou. Ballou is not a good name for a child. But don't Google it! The Disney bear is spelled Baloo, and the other spellings is apparently for a gentleman who models... somewhat scanty things. Oops.

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe and What Are You Reading? day at Teach Mentor Texts. Both sites have lots of links to reviews about books that are great for the 4th through 8th grader. It's also Nonfiction Monday, hosted this week at Apples With Many Seeds.


  1. I love that you googled the name and then said not to Google it. Does it make me like a middle-schooler that I want to Google it now, even though I wouldn't have thought of doing so before? Based on your comments, I won't put this at the top of my list. I'll try Mile to Go first.


  2. Somewhere in my town is a poor, unfortunate child named Thorin. Seriously. I have seen his name on summer reading registrations although I do not think I have ever seen him in person. I think he's about 6 now and I wonder how he's doing in school...hopefully he has a better middle name!

  3. Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf disappeared pretty quickly from our library, which tickled me, & I enjoyed it, but I know what you mean, it's not something I necessarily would wish. Glad to know there's a sequel though. The 'miles to go' book looks good-a new one to me too. I'll tell the librarian. Thanks for all the links. I didn't know about some of them!

  4. Well, I obviously need to get my hands on these middle school books! The Civil Rights book looks wonderful - I am putting together a collection of these for my classroom library, and this looks like a winner. Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. Thanks for both of your recommendations and for joining Nonfiction Monday this week.
    Apples with Many Seeds

  6. Miles to Go For Freedom looks like a great overview. I'm going to track down a copy both because I think it would work well on my blog and because I'd really like to have a more solid background on the subject.

  7. Miles to Go for Freedom looks fantastic. All of the photographs must add so much to making this book accessible for kids wanting to learn more.

  8. I absolutely loved Eighth Grade is Making Me Sick. The format is so clever and I haven't found one reader that hasn't enjoyed reading it.

    Going to put Miles to Go for Freedom on my to-read list.

  9. Anonymous6:55 AM EST

    The first book you mention, "Miles to Go for Freedom: Segregation and Civil Rights in the Jim Crow Years" looks like a good one with an important message!

  10. I am reading "American Tapestry" by Rachel L. Swarns, which tells the stories of Michelle Obama's Black and White ancestors. There is a lot of information about the rising opportunities for Blacks after the Civil War and the growing Jim Crow restrictions, race riots, and violence towards African Americans in the first half of the 20th century. It's appalling how little we have been taught of this history. I'd love to read "Miles to Go" in conjunction with "American Tapestry".

  11. Miles to go for Freedom sounds like an excellent book. I look forward to sharing it with my students this month. :)

  12. Eighth Grade is Making me sick sounds like something my own eleven year old daughter would enjoy. I haven't read much nonfiction lately and Miles to Go for Freedom sounds like a must-read. Thanks for highlighting these two books. :)

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