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American Ace

by Marilyn Nelson

This riveting novel in verse, perfect for fans of Jacqueline Woodson and Toni Morrison, explores American history and race through the eyes of a teenage boy embracing his newfound identity Connor's grandmother leaves his dad a letter when she dies, and the letter's confession shakes their tight-knit Italian-American family: The man who raised Dad is not his birth father. But the only clues to this birth father's identity are a class ring and a pair of pilot's wings. And so Connor takes it upon himself to investigate--a pursuit that becomes even more pressing when Dad is hospitalized after a stroke. What Connor discovers will lead him and his father to a new, richer understanding of race, identity, and each other.From the Hardcover edition. Award finalist and Newbery Honor winner, has crafted a masterwork that combines contemporary fiction and history in a unique and thought-provoking way.From the Hardcover edition.

Carver: A Life in Poems

by Marilyn Nelson

George Washington Carver was born a slave in Missouri about 1864 and was raised by the childless white couple who had owned his mother. In 1877 he left home in search of an education, eventually earning a master's degree. In 1896, Booker T. Washington invited Carver to start the agricultural department at the all-black-staffed Tuskegee Institute, where he spent the rest of his life seeking solutions to the poverty among landless black farmers by developing new uses for soil-replenishing crops such as peanuts, cowpeas, and sweet potatoes. Carver's achievements as a botanist and inventor were balanced by his gifts as a painter, musician, and teacher. This Newbery Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book by Marilyn Nelson provides a compelling and revealing portrait of Carver's complex, richly interior, profoundly devout life.

Carver: A Life In Poems

by Marilyn Nelson

George Washington Carver was born a slave in Missouri about 1864 and was raised by the childless white couple who had owned his mother. In 1877 he left home in search of an education, eventually earning a master's degree. In 1896, Booker T. Washington invited Carver to start the agricultural department at the all-black-staffed Tuskegee Institute, where he spent the rest of his life seeking solutions to the poverty among landless black farmers by developing new uses for soil-replenishing crops such as peanuts, cowpeas, and sweet potatoes. Carver's achievements as a botanist and inventor were balanced by his gifts as a painter, musician, and teacher. This Newbery Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book by Marilyn Nelson provides a compelling and revealing portrait of Carver's complex, richly interior, profoundly devout life.<P><P> Newbery Medal Honor book

Fortune's Bones: The Manumission Requiem

by Marilyn Nelson

There is a skeleton in the Mattatuck Museum in Connecticut. It has been in the town for over 200 years. In 1996, community members decided to find out what they could about it. Historians discovered that the bones were those of a slave name Fortune, who was owned by a local doctor. After Fortune's death, the doctor rendered the bones. Further research revealed that Fortune had married, had fathered four children, and had been baptized later in life. His bones suggest that after a life of arduous labor, he died in 1798 at about the age of 60. Merilyn Nelson wrote The Manumission Requiem to commemorate Fortune's life. Detailed notes and archival photographs enhance the reader's appreciation of the poem.

How I Discovered Poetry

by Marilyn Nelson

A powerful and thought-provoking Civil Rights era memoir from one of America's most celebrated poets. Looking back on her childhood in the 1950s, Newbery Honor winner and National Book Award finalist Marilyn Nelson tells the story of her development as an artist and young woman through fifty eye-opening poems. Readers are given an intimate portrait of her growing self-awareness and artistic inspiration along with a larger view of the world around her: racial tensions, the Cold War era, and the first stirrings of the feminist movement. A first-person account of African-American history, this is a book to study, discuss, and treasure. .

My Seneca Village

by Marilyn Nelson

This beautifully crafted and powerful collection of poems deals with a brief period (1825-57) in New York City's storied past. Seneca Village, on Manhattan's Upper West Side, was a thriving multiethnic community of African Americans, Irish and German immigrants, and, possibly, some Native Americans, until it was decimated by the creation of Central Park.<P><P>After poring over the written accounts and census records, renowned poet Nelson sat down to imagine the lives of a number of the residents, giving voice to individuals based on the names and identifying labels. Brief paragraphs set each scene, followed by a poem in the voice of the Seneca Villager. Readers hear from a bootblack, a conjure-man, a reverend, a hairdresser, a nurse, a mariner, schoolchildren, a music teacher, tub-men hauling sewage to the river, an elderly conductor on the Underground Railroad, and abolitionist and activist Maria W. Stewart. As in any impoverished community, the hardships are palpable--babies die of misunderstood diseases, people are victimized by their starving neighbors, there's violence and cruelty--but there is also resilience, hard-won independence, and hope for its children's futures. In the spirit of Edgar Lee Masters's Spoon River Anthology, this work touches on historical truths (footnoted throughout) but introduces a fleeting time and place through the everyday hopes and dreams of its residents. VERDICT This rich and diverse (a variety of poetic forms, including ones invented for certain speakers, are featured) piece of American literature belongs in every collection.

Pemba's Song: A Ghost Story

by Marilyn Nelson Tonya Hegamin

As fifteen-year-old Pemba adjusts to leaving her Brooklyn, New York, home for small-town Connecticut, a black history researcher helps her understand the paranormal experiences drawing her into the life of a mulatto girl who was once a slave in her house.

Snook Alone

by Marilyn Nelson

A faithful little dog must survive on his own in the wild in this evocative tale of loss and reunion from acclaimed poet Nelson.

Sweethearts of Rhythm: The Story of the Greatest All-Girl Swing Band in the World

by Marilyn Nelson

In the 1940s, as the world was at war, a remarkable jazz band performed on the American home front. This all-female band, originating from a boarding school in the heart of Mississippi, found its way to the most famous ballrooms in the country, offering solace during the hard years of the war. They dared to be an interracial group despite the cruelties of Jim Crow laws, and they dared to assert their talents though they were women in a "man's" profession. Told in thought-provoking poems and arresting images, this unusual look at our nation's history is deep and inspiring.

A Wreath for Emmett Till

by Marilyn Nelson

A Coretta Scott King and Printz honor book now in paperback. A Wreath for Emmett Till is "A moving elegy," says The Bulletin. In 1955 people all over the United States knew that Emmett Louis Till was a fourteen-year-old African American boy lynched for supposedly whistling at a white woman in Mississippi. The brutality of his murder, the open-casket funeral held by his mother, Mamie Till Mobley, and the acquittal of the men tried for the crime drew wide media attention. In a profound and chilling poem, award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson reminds us of the boy whose fate helped spark the civil rights movement.

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