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Our intention is to acquire and make available ALL picture books featuring indigenous people and people of color published in the U.S. since 2002, including reprints. Inclusion of a title in the collection DOES NOT EQUAL recommendation. See our related readings page for suggested links for evaluating books.

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Whoosh!

2016

by Barton, Chris, Don and Tate

You know the Super Soaker. It's one of top twenty toys of all time. And it was invented entirely by accident. Trying to create a new cooling system for refrigerators and air conditioners, inventor Lonnie Johnson instead created the mechanics for the iconic toy. A love for rockets, robots, inventions, and a mind for creativity began early in Lonnie Johnson's life. Growing up in a house full of brothers and sisters, persistence and a passion for problem solving became the cornerstone for a career as an engineer and his work with NASA. But it is his invention of the Super Soaker water gun that has made his most memorable splash with kids and adults

Biography

The elephant keeper

2017

by Margriet, Ruurs, Covo and Pedro

"In 14-year-old Aaron's village in Zambia, poaching for ivory is common practice, and elephants are feared because of the danger they pose to humans and the damage they often cause to crops so important to the villagers' livelihoods. But when Aaron encounters a newborn elephant in distress, his instinct is not to run away, but to jump to its rescue. This is the beginning of a beautiful bond of friendship and a meaningful vocation. This moving story, written by Margriet Ruurs and stunningly illustrated by Pedro Covo, is inspired by the true story of Aaron and Zambezi-a teenage Zambian boy and an orphaned baby elephant that was rescued from a swimming pool at a holiday lodge. Aaron had been a casual laborer, just trying to make enough money to support his family, but when gamekeepers noticed his natural ability to care for animals, he was offered a job as an elephant keeper at the Lilayi Elephant Nursery, where his still works to this day. Zambezi was only one month old when he was found nearly drowning in a holiday lodge swimming pool. His mother had been killed by poachers and he'd been separated from his herd. Severely dehydrated, he'd tried to drink from the pool and had fallen in. Now Zambezi is nearly 6 years old and is doing very well. This unique informational picture book for middle-graders includes three non-fiction spreads, which provide intervals in the story and opportunities for classroom discussions. These spreads feature photos as well as information about elephants, poaching and the amazing work that is done at an elephant orphanage. At the end of the book there are suggestions for ways readers can help the cause"-- |cProvided by publisher

Beautiful Life Biography

Trailblazer

2018

by Leda, Schubert, Copeland, Misty, Taylor and Theodore

"This beautiful picture book tells the little-known story of Raven Wilkinson, the first African American woman to dance for a major classical ballet company and an inspiration to Misty Copeland. When she was only five years old, her parents took her to see the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Raven perched on her crushed velvet seat, heard the tympani, and cried with delight even before the curtain lifted. From that moment on, her passion for dance only grew deeper inside of her. No black ballerina had ever danced with a major touring troupe before. Raven would be the first. Raven Wilkinson was born on February 2, 1935, in New York City. From the time she was a little girl, all she wanted to do was dance. On Raven's ninth birthday, her uncle gifted her with ballet lessons, and she completely fell in love with dance. While she was a student at Columbia University, Raven auditioned for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and was finally accepted on her third try, even after being told she couldn't dance with them because of her skin color. When she started touring with her troupe in the United States in 1955, Raven encountered much racism in the South, but the applause, alongside the opportunity to dance, made all the hardship worth it. Several years later she would dance for royalty with the Dutch National Ballet and regularly performed with the New York City Opera until she was fifty. This beautiful picture book tells the uplifting story of the first African American woman to dance for a major classical ballet company and how she became a huge inspiration for Misty Copeland. Theodore Taylor III's unique, heavy line style of illustration brings a deeper level of fluidity and life to the work, and Misty Copeland's beautifully written foreword will delight ballet and dance fans of all ages"--Provided by publisher

Biography Oppression