Essence Lafontaine and Grace Woodson don't know each other, but soon Hurricane Katrina will force them together. Evacuated to Houston from New Orleans, Essence finds herself in the posh world of St. Catherine's Academy. She and her little sister, Chardonnai stay with the Woodson family as they fight bullying and racism in their new community. Buoyed by the lessons they learn from reading To Kill a Mockingbird, Essence and Grace leave old ties behind to forge a new friendship of healing and renewal.More info →
The Colored Car
In The Colored Car, Jean Alicia Elster, author of the award-winning Who's Jim Hines?, follows another member of the Ford family coming of age in Depression-era Detroit. In the hot summer of 1937, twelve-year-old Patsy takes care of her three younger sisters and helps her mother put up fresh fruits and vegetables in the family's summer kitchen, adjacent to the wood yard that her father, Douglas Ford, owns. Times are tough, and Patsy's mother, May Ford, helps neighborhood families by sharing the food that she preserves.More info →
Who’s Jim Hines
Who's Jim Hines? is a story based on real events about Douglas Ford Jr., a twelve-year-old African American boy growing up in Detroit in the 1930s. Doug's father owns the Douglas Ford Wood Company, and Doug usually helps his dad around the scrap wood yard located in the side lot next to their house.More info →
How It Happens
How It Happens follows the fictionalized story of author Jean Alicia Elster’s maternal grandmother, Dorothy May Jackson. Born in Tennessee in 1890, Dorothy May was the middle daughter of Addie Jackson, a married African-American housekeeper at one of the white boardinghouses in town, and Tom Mitchell, a commanding white attorney from a prominent family. Through three successive generations of African American women, Elster intertwines the adaptations of the defining periods and challenges—race relations, miscegenation, sexual assault, and class divisions—in her family’s history. How It Happens carries the heart through the obstacles that still face women of color today and succeeds in holding open the door of communication between generations.
Available from: https://www.wsupress.wayne.edu/books/detail/how-it-happensMore info →
The Art of Holding On and Letting Go
Fifteen-year-old Cara Jenkins feels most at home high off the ground, clinging to a rock wall by the tips of her fingers. She’s enjoyed a roaming life with her mountaineering parents, making the natural world her jungle gym, the writings of Annie Dillard and Henry David Thoreau her textbooks. But when tragedy strikes on an Ecuadorian mountaintop, Cara’s nomadic lifestyle comes to an abrupt halt, and she's sent to live with her grandparents in Detroit. Cara's story is about love and loss, the transformative power of nature, and discovering that home can be far from where you started.
https://www.kristinbartleylenz.com/More info →