Books for Black History Month

Disclosure: Candlewick Press gave me a copy of these books free of charge to review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

One of Hazel's favorite things is to learn about history and people. This month we have been enjoying four books from Candlewick Press that are perfect for Black History Month. They have also donated some of the amazing prizes for the Black History Month Series & Giveaway. (Have you entered yet?) One of the books in the prize pack includes Voice of Freedom illustrated by Ekua Holmes. Ekua illustrated a poetry book, Out of Wonder, by Kwame Alexander coming out in March. The books I am reviewing today I will in order of time for the history timeline. We will start with The Patchwork Path: A Quilt Map to Freedom by Bettye Stroud and illustrated by Erin Susanne Bennett.
 Of the four books this one Hazel keeps reading the most. She loves it. It is the tale of a young slave girl using her quilt as a map as she and her father escape to Canada. This book illustrates the use of the art of quilting in the Underground Railroad to a young audience. To go with this wonderful book I made a quilt coloring page. This page includes the squares in the story and are in order of the blocks used in the escape.
 I have not printed it out since I am at my parents and not hooked up to a printer here, but will print it out for Hazel when we get home. I also made a quick fraction sheet to go with the quilt.

 There is so much math involved in quilting but I wanted something simple since this book is perfect for younger kids. It introduces dividing the squares in half, quarters, thirds and ninths and then recognizing them in the quilt patterns. All printables are for personal or classroom use only. To share please refer people back to this post.
 Our next book is Vision of Beauty: The Story of Sarah Breedlove Walker by Kathryn Lasky and illustrated by Nneka Bennett. Hazel read this one to my parents over the phone while I listened. This is a chapter book for beginning readers. It is the story of Madam Walker who went from poverty with parents who had been slaves. She founded her own company and gave back to people of her race and in particular other black women. She developed her own hair care products for black people. Since the hair of people of different races is very different there was a large need for this. This book is a wonderful book for the early readers to learn a bit about black history.

 An activity to go with this book would be this chemistry experiment on hair care products or making a homemade shampoo.

 Our third book is Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat: Ella Fitzgerald by Roxane Orgill and illustrated by Sean Qualls. This is the story of a young Ella Fitzgerald. It tells the story of Ella's life starting with her childhood and working to become the famous musician she became by the age of twenty-one. It is also meant for younger readers with short chapters and small print. To go with this book the perfect activity is to watch a Youtube video like this one.

Our final book for today is  Granddaddy's Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box by Michael S. Bandy and Eric Stein and illustrated by James E. Ransome. 

This story follows the first time a black boy goes with his grandfather to vote. The law has just passed to allow blacks to vote for the first time. It illustrates the hoops that some black people had to go through at the polls to be turned away. It illustrates what the authorities did to keep black people from really getting to vote and the prejudices of the 1950s and 1960s. Throughout the story the grandfather tells the boy to have patience and this patience last until the boy actually gets to vote and makes sure he votes each time in honor of his grandfather who never actually got to vote. 

It is illustrates so much of the Civil Rights struggle and shares a bit of reality with younger children. I know it gave Hazel a better look at the discrimination in our country at this time. 

I hope you will check these great books and take a look at the important history of our country.