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Coretta Scott King Award Books Discussion Guide: Pathways to Democracy
Adelaide Poniatowski Phelps and Carole J. McCollough; Foreword by Linda M. Pavonetti
Item Number: 978-0-8389-3604-7
Publisher: ALA Editions
Price: $46.00
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280 pages
6" x 9"
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-3604-7
Year Published: 2014
AP Categories: A, C, E, G

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Spotlighting titles appropriate for grades K-12, this discussion guide builds on the rich legacy of the Coretta Scott King award-winning books to offer an important educational resource for teachers, librarians, parents, and other caregivers. This guide identifies within the plot, character, and themes of each book those values that relate to being an American citizen and to living in a democratic society, and then shows how to use the book as a springboard for discussion. Ideal for use in the classroom, the library, and the home, this guide
  • Includes a foreword by Linda M. Pavonetti, EdD, Vice-President, International Board on Books for Young People
  • Organizes titles by grade-specific chapters, making it easy to find suitable books
  • Features bibliographic information and a brief summary of each book, along with suggested opening questions to get the discussion started, and “Beyond the Book” questions that encourage children to talk about their own experiences
  • Suggests hundreds of books for further discussion
With the assistance of this practical resource, educators, librarians, and others who work with children can use Coretta Scott King award-winning books to foster discussions about what it means to be a citizen in a democratic society.
Table of Contents


Chapter 1
Grades K–3

The Bat Boy & His Violin 
Beautiful Blackbird
Black Cat
The Blacker the Berry
Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave
An Enchanted Hair Tale
Goin’ Someplace Special
Jazzy Miz Mozetta
Mirandy and Brother Wind
My Family Plays Music
My Rows and Piles of Coins
Neeny Coming, Neeny Going
Night on Neighborhood Street
The Patchwork Quilt
The Piano Man
Running the Road to ABC
Storm in the Night
Tar Beach
Uncle Jed’s Barbershop
Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom
Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys
Working Cotton

Chapter 2
Grades 2–4

The Bells of Christmas 
The Great Migration
Jimi Sounds Like a Rainbow: A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix
The Secret Olivia Told Me
Seeds of Change
Thunder Rose

Chapter 3
Grades 3–6

Almost to Freedom
Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal
Brendan Buckley’s Universe and Everything in It
Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan
Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters
Circle of Gold
Elijah of Buxton
Freedom River
Freedom Summer
The Friendship
I Have Heard of a Land
Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World
Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters
Never Forgotten
The People Could Fly: The Picture Book
The Red Rose Box
Tales of Uncle Remus: The Adventures of Brer Rabbit

Chapter 4
Grades 4–8

Black Diamond: The Story of the Negro Baseball Leagues
Bud, Not Buddy
Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales
I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly: The Diary of Patsy, a Freed Girl
Keeping the Night Watch Money Hungry The Negro Speaks of Rivers
Ninth Ward
The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales
Remember: The Journey to School Integration
The Road to Paris
Standing Against the Wind
Talkin’ About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman
The Watsons Go to Birmingham
The Way a Door Closes
Which Way Freedom?
Zora and Me

Chapter 5
Grades 6–10

Becoming Billie Holiday
The Captive
Carver: A Life in Poems
Day of Tears
Junius Over Far
The Legend of Buddy Bush
A Long Hard Journey: The Story of the Pullman Porter
Mare’s War
Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Freedom Movement
Miracle’s Boys
Mississippi Challenge
Now Is Your Time! The African-American Struggle for Freedom
One Crazy Summer
Rebels Against Slavery: American Slave Revolts
The Skin I’m In
Twelve Rounds to Glory: The Story of Muhammad Ali
We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball

Chapter 6
Grades 7–12

Another Way to Dance
The Battle of Jericho
Because We Are
Black Dance in America
Bronx Masquerade
Days of Jubilee: The End of Slavery in the United States
Fallen Angels
Forged by Fire
Fortune’s Bones: The Manumission Requiem
From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun
Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans
Jimi & Me
The Land
Lena Horne
Let the Circle Be Unbroken
Like Sisters on the Homefront
Maritcha: A Nineteenth-Century American Girl
November Blues
The Other Side: Shorter Poems
Rainbow Jordan
The Road to Memphis
The Rock and the River
Somewhere in the Darkness
Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush
Trouble’s Child
Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty

Chapter 7
Grades 9–12

Copper Sun
Dark Sons
The First Part Last
Who Am I Without Him? Short Stories About Girls and the Boys in Their Lives
A Wreath for Emmett Till

About the Authors
About the Authors

Adelaide Poniatowski Phelps has a master’s degree in library and information science from Wayne State University in Detroit and a second master’s degree in English literature from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. She is the recently retired coordinator of the Educational Resources Lab in the School of Education and Human Services at Oakland University and a former lecturer in children’s literature for the reading department there. She is a member of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee and served two terms (2007–2008) on the awards jury. In addition, she was a reviewer for the journal Multicultural Review; a contributing reviewer for the fourth edition of The Coretta Scott King Awards 1970–2009 book, edited by Henrietta M. Smith; a contributing author for the article (2008), “Weaving the Threads of Diversity: A School of Education’s Reflection on Current Practices” in the journal Issues in Education: Preschool through Graduate School; and coauthor of the chapter, “Information and Instruction Services” in A Guide to the Management of Curriculum Materials Centers for the 21st Century: The Promise and the Challenge (2001), edited by Jo Ann Carr and prepared by the Ad Hoc Management of Curriculum Materials Committee, Education and Behavioral Sciences Section, Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).

Carole J. McCollough is a retired associate professor and dean of the Library and Information Science program at Wayne State University. She is currently an auxiliary faculty, trainer, and curriculum committee member for the Children’s Defense Fund. In this capacity, she conducts workshops for college interns training to run summer literacy (Freedom School) programs. In addition to serving as chair of the CSK Book Award Committee, she served one term on the CSK Book Award jury and two terms as chair. She was a reviewer for the Multicultural Literature Review Journal and a contributing reviewer to all four editions of The Coretta Scott King Awards 1970–2009. Her undergraduate degree and teaching certificate are from Eastern Michigan University. Her master’s degree and PhD in library and information science are both from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She currently serves on two library boards: Southfield Public Library, Southfield, Michigan, and the Langston Hughes Library, Clinton, Tennessee.

”Busy librarians, parents, and teachers will find this resource invaluable … Highly recommended for public, academic, and school libraries."
— Booklist

”The authors provide an extremely useful bibliography and book conversation guide which focuses on identified core democratic values, including liberty, diversity, equality, common good, justice, life, personal freedom, rule of law and pursuit of happiness … This text will appeal to anyone involved in creating lesson plans, including K-12 teachers, as well as to any educator or librarian charged with running a children’s or a young adult book club. In the academic library arena, this book is most useful to curriculum resource collections and programs that prepare teacher candidates."
— Reference Reviews

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