Category Archives: Non-Fiction

Black History: Slavery

Black History: Slavery

Heart and Soul

Featured Book: Heart and Soul Sometimes history can be overwhelming for me. It’s hard to keep the people and places and dates straight. I really like Heart and Soul because the history unfolds like a story. In fact, the book is written like an old lady talking. It’s like listening to your Grandmother explain it.

This is the kind of book that makes you proud to be a part of your country and it doesn’t matter if you are black or white or young or old. Our country is only 236 years old. That’s a baby country. And in that time we have worked through some struggles that could have ended really badly. Instead, we have struggled together to work out our differences and find common ground and build a life together.

This book shows how a country can go from thinking a black person was property to having a black president. It explains how changes were slowly made to help make that happen. It doesn’t say the job is done, but it shows how we got to where we are today. And it has the BEST paintings. Author: Kadir Nelson

Websites:

Indiana Websites:

Books:

Stolen Moses Stitches HeartSoul
Words Underground NoMore America
Chains Elijah Jefferson Henry

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Black History: Scientists and Inventors

Black History: Scientists and Inventors

The Frog ScientistFeatured Scientist: Dr. Tyrone Hayes I wish all science books were written like this one! This is the story of Dr. Tyrone Hayes who started out as a boy collecting frogs, turtles and snakes in the swamp near his home in Columbia, South Carolina. Fast forward 20 years and Tyrone is a Harvard graduate studying frogs. He’s a frog scientist, just like he always wanted to be.

As you read the book you learn about how Tyrone became a scientist, but you also learn about how he does his research. You see pictures of Tyrone out in the wild collecting samples and inside his lab studying frogs under a microscope. Tyrone’s research is about the affects of pesticides on frogs. Pesticides are chemicals that farmers spray on crops to kill pests like insects or weeds. In particular, he studies atrazine, a chemical used to kill weeds. Atrazine is used in Indiana on corn crops. Reading this book just might make you want to follow the debate about whether or not atrazine should be used. According to Tyrone’s research, the chemical causes all kinds of problems in frogs…they can grow extra legs… and the chemical can even make a boy frog turn into a girl frog.

This book has fabulous pictures of frogs, frog parts & frog insides. There are also great pictures of Tyrone and his students in his lab or out in the wild collecting specimens. The pictures are all crisp and clear and full of color. I really liked the pictures inside the lab. I also liked hearing about being a scientist right from Tyrone. The author used Tyrone’s real words throughout the book. It was cool to read about a little boy who grew up to do exactly what he dreamed of doing. It’s also cool to read about someone that is really passionate about what they do. Watch the video below – Tyrone raps about what atrazine does to frogs. Author: Pamela Turner

Websites:

Books:

Black Stars Color BlackInventors Brilliant
Inventors Inspiring Carver Latimer
Walker Williams Morgan CharlesDrew

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Black History: Painters & Artists

Black History: Painters & Artists

Heart and Soul

Featured Artist: Ashley Bryan: Ashley Bryan grew up in the Bronx in New York City. When he was a little boy his parents noticed right away that he loved to draw and paint and make things. They did everything they could to make sure he had art supplies to create things with. After he graduated from high school he wanted to go to college and study art. He interviewed for a spot at an art institute.

The interviewer stated that mine was the best portfolio that he had seen. However, he also informed me that it would be a waste to give a scholarship to a colored person.

The best artist…but no scholarship because of the color of his skin. Fortunately for all of us, Ashley listened to good advice from his parents. They told him to not let anyone or anything ever stop him from doing what he loves. Ashley persevered. He attended the Cooper Union School of Art and Engineering and Columbia University. He studied art in France and Germany too.

Ashley has taught art, written and illustrated books and created countless beautiful things that you can see in this book: stained glass windows, paintings, sculptures, puppets and more. There is one picture in this book that shows Ashley at home in a room full of his creations. It’s like looking at an I Spy picture of wonderful things. I would love to wonder through his studio, pull up a stool and begin creating something. When you read this book written in his own words, you’ll realize that if you did walk into his studio, that is exactly what he would want you to do. Author: Ashley Bryan

Websites:

Books by Ashley Bryan:

LetShine AfricanTales Poetry Thunder
>Ashley Stable Scare

Books about African American Art & Artists:

ArtHeart Black Stars Renaissance Wake
RenaissanceWomen Wings Pippin Bearden
Dave Tanner Happened StoryPainter

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Black History: Athletes

Black History: Athletes

Marshall

Featured Athlete Marshall “Major” Taylor: This is the story of a young African-American boy who grew up in Indianapolis over a hundred years ago. Despite living at a time when African-Americans were often denied basic rights, Marshall Taylor became a world champion cyclist.
Marshall earned the nickname “Major” when he performed bicycle tricks as a very young boy dressed in a military style costume. When he was a teenager he stopped performing tricks and moved on to bicycle racing – and he was really, really good – world champion good! His story is inspiring because he persevered even when there were many people who didn’t want him to even be in a race, let alone win, just because he was African-American. Sometimes he rode fast just to get away from angry people chasing him! Author: Marlene Targ Brill

In Indianapolis, we have the Major Taylor Velodrome, a world-class bicycle racing track named for this cycling great. You can

ride your bike and also use inline skates at the Velodrome. If you want to try riding there, it’s best if you are at least 10 years old. Call ahead and see if you can arrange a time to go try it out. And don’t forget your helmet! 3649 Cold Spring Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46222 Velodrome Phone: 317-327-8356.

Websites – Marshall Taylor:

Featured Athlete Oscar RobinsonHave you ever heard of Indiana’s own Olympian Oscar Robertson? In 1955 Oscar went to Crispus Attucks High School. Oscar’s team won the Indiana State Championship, becoming the first all-black school in the nation to win a state title. Robertson led Crispus Attucks to another championship in 1956. Oscar was so good he played in College and went on to win a gold medal with the US Basketball team at the 1960 Olympic Games.

Websites – Oscar Robinson:

Websites – African-American Athletes:

Books – African-American Athletes:

Sports Athletes2 Ship Fair
Touch Jesse Hope Jump
Trouble Satchel Champ Queen
Henry Jackie Lebron

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U.S. Revolution

U.S. Revolution

Eyewitness Civil War The U.S. Revolution lasted from 1775-1783. It is also called The Revolutionary War or The War for Independence. It was fought between Great Britain and the 13 Colonies. By its end, America was recognized as an independent nation. Famous events of the U.S. Revolution include: The Boston Masacre, The Boston Tea Party, The Battles of Lexington & Concord, The Battle of Bunker Hill, The Battle of Trenton & The Battle of Gettysburg.

Famous people of The Revolution include: John Adams, Samuel Adams, John Quincy Adams, Abigail Adams, Ethan Allen, Benedict Arnold, Crispus Attucks, George Rogers Clark, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Dolly Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Dolly Madison, Thomas Paine, Paul Revere & George Washington.

The following websites and books will help you learn more about the people and events of The U.S. Revolution.

Websites:


FunkWagnalls2 Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia: U.S. Revolution an Encyclopedia article you can read online at any IndyPL Library Branch or at home with your IndyPL Library Card.

KidsSearch2 Kids Search: U.S. Revolution 1775-1783 is a database you can use in any IndyPL Library Branch or at home with your IndyPL Library Card. This U.S. Revolution Page will take you to information about the U.S. Revolution. Choose any of the following: Magazines, Newspapers, Books & Encyclopedias, Biographies & Primary Sources

USHistoryContext2 U.S. History in Context is a database you can use in any IndyPL Library Branch or at home with your IndyPL Library Card. Each of these links will take you to information about the U.S. Revolution: Encyclopedias & DictionariesImagesPrimary SourcesMagazine Articles & Videos

Focus on Indiana

Indiana & the U.S. Revolution:

IndianaHistoryOnline Indiana History Online: U.S. Revolution Information about Indiana and the U.S. Revolution you can read online at any IndyPL Library Branch or at home with your IndyPL Library Card.

Books:

The U.S. Revolution Voices of the American Revolution The Signers George Vs/ George
Black Regiments Friends Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death Benedict Arnold
Betsy Ross Weapons & Gear of the U.S. Revolution Revolution & Dress Independent Dames
Cannons

Stories:

Jump Ship to Freedom Mr. Revere and I My Brother Sam is Dead Johnny Tremain
Chains Forge Revolution Hanukkah
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