February is Black History Month. Lots of students will be writing reports and learning about famous African Americans. Here are some books worth checking out:
"Women of Hope: African Americans who Made a Difference," by Joyce Hansen (Scholastic, $16.95) is about 13 important women. Some of the names you know -- such as poet Maya Angelou -- but many will be new to you. For example, Septima Poinsette Clark, who lived from 1898 to 1987, was a pioneer teacher for African Americans. She later joined Martin Luther King Jr. in the civil rights movement.
"Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott," by Teresa Celsi (Millbrook Press, $6.95) is the story of a name you know. But you might not know the details of Rosa Parks' life. This paperback takes you back to her childhood in Alabama and follows her historic refusal to give up her bus seat.
"A Picture Book of Thurgood Marshall," by David A. Adler, illustrated by Robert Casilla (Holiday House, $15.95). Read about the first African-American Supreme Court justice. In picture-book format, the colorful illustrations bring his career and family to life.
"My Dream of Martin Luther King," by Faith Ringgold (Dragonfly Books, $6.99). The award-winning artist and writer retells Dr. King's story.
"The Life and Words of Martin Luther King Jr.," by Ira Peck (Scholastic, $4.50), is a good, solid biography. You'll find lots of details and news photos of Dr. King, his family and other leaders. You'll also see photos of the arrests and violence against the protesters.
"If You Lived at the Time of Martin Luther King," by Ellen Levine, illustrated by Anna Rich (Scholastic, $5.99), is an informative book that answers questions such as, "Were children involved in civil rights protests?" (They were.) You'll find out more in this easy-to-read paperback book.