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Zora and Langston. Billie and Bessie. Eubie and Duke. If the Harlem Renaissance had a court, they were its kings and queens. But there were other, lesser known individuals whose contributions were just as impactful, such as Florence Mills. Born to parents who were former-slaves Florence knew early on that she loved to sing. And that people really responded to her sweet, bird-like voice. Her dancing and singing catapulted her all the way to the stages of 1920s Broadway where she inspired songs and even entire plays! Yet with all this success, she knew firsthand how bigotry shaped her world. And when she was offered the role of a lifetime from Ziegfeld himself, she chose to support all-black musicals instead. Fans of When Marian Sang and Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa will jump at the chance to discover another talented performer whose voice transcended and transformed the circumstances society placed on her.
Natural and man-made disasters are becoming more commonplace in children's lives, and this touching free-verse picture book provides a straightforward account of Hurricane Katrina. In alternating voices, four friends describe their lives before, during, and after the storm and how, even though the world can change in a heartbeat, people define the character of their community and offer one another comfort and hope even in the darkest hours. Adrienne, Keesha, Michael, and Tommy have been friends for forever. They live on the same street--a street in New Orleans where everyone knows everybody. They play together all day long, every chance they get. It's always been that way. But then people start talking about a storm headed straight for New Orleans. The kids must part ways, since each family deals with Hurricane Katrina in a different manner. And suddenly everything that felt like home is gone.Renée Watson's lyrical free verse is perfectly matched in Shadra Strickland's vivid mixed media art. Together they celebrate the spirit and resiliency of New Orleans, especially its children.
What if your daddy did the worst thing in the world? And what if you were never going to see your momma again? How do you remake your life when you are only thirteen years old? * * * * * * * * Serenity knows she is good at keeping secrets, and she's got a whole lifetime's worth of them. Her momma is dead, her daddy's gone, and starting life over at her grandparents' house is strange. Luckily, certain things seem to hold promise: a new friend, a new church, a new school. But when her brother starts making poor choices, and her grandparents hold to a faith that Serenity isn't sure she understands, it is the power of love--in all its forms--that will repair her heart and keep her sure of just who she is. Renee Watson's talent shines in this powerful and ultimately uplifting first novel, celebrating one girl's gift for finding joy in the darkest times of life.