10 books like Love Twelve Miles Long

By Glenda Armand, Colin Bootman (illustrator),

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Love Twelve Miles Long. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Other Side

By Jacqueline Woodson, E.B. Lewis (illustrator),

Book cover of The Other Side

I’m a big fan of the art of E. B. Lewis, especially his award-winning picture books. (He illustrated my book.) This book is one of my favorites that he’s illustrated. It’s a story about growing up. And friendship. And how kids know what’s right and wrong even if we as adults get it muddled at times.

The Other Side

By Jacqueline Woodson, E.B. Lewis (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Other Side as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jacqueline Woodson is the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature

Clover's mom says it isn't safe to cross the fence that segregates their African-American side of town from the white side where Anna lives. But the two girls strike up a friendship, and get around the grown-ups' rules by sitting on top of the fence together.

With the addition of a brand-new author's note, this special edition celebrates the tenth anniversary of this classic book. As always, Woodson moves readers with her lyrical narrative, and E. B. Lewis's amazing talent shines in his gorgeous watercolor illustrations.


Major Taylor, Champion Cyclist

By Lesa Cline-Ransome, James E. Ransome (illustrator),

Book cover of Major Taylor, Champion Cyclist

I love reading and learning about great achievements by amazing people. Major Taylor was one of these people whose life story is an inspiration to us all. Plus, this story about his achievement as a cyclist is exciting for kids (and adults!) to experience! You can hear the crowd roar as Major Taylor comes from behind to soar across the finish line and win!

Major Taylor, Champion Cyclist

By Lesa Cline-Ransome, James E. Ransome (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Major Taylor, Champion Cyclist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Discover the inspiring true story of extraordinary professional cyclist Major Taylor in this nonfiction picture book from Coretta Scott King Award winners Lesa Cline-Ransome and James E. Ransome.

In 1891, Marshall Taylor could ride his bike forward, backward, even perched on the handlebars. When his stunts landed him a job at the famous Indiana bike shop Hay and Willits, folks were amazed that a thirteen-year-old black boy could be such a crackerjack cyclist.

Little Marshall Taylor would use his dedication, undeniable talent, and daring speed to transform himself into Major Taylor, turning pro at the age of eighteen, winning the…


Lincoln and Douglass

By Nikki Giovanni, Bryan Collier (illustrator),

Book cover of Lincoln and Douglass: An American Friendship

This is just a great book by a great author and great illustrator. It’s about the amazing and inspiring friendship of two of the most important men in the history of America. It compares and contrasts different stages of different ages of both these men and gives us a glimpse into the story behind the story of their deep friendship. Every child (and adult) should read this timeless story today.

Lincoln and Douglass

By Nikki Giovanni, Bryan Collier (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lincoln and Douglass as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In celebration of Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday in February 2009, we present this story of the unusual friendship between two great American leaders. At a time when racial tensions were high and racial equality was not yet established, Lincoln and Douglass formed a strong bond over shared ideals.


Let It Shine

By Andrea Davis Pinkney,

Book cover of Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters

I met the author Andrea Davis Pinkney and her husband at a conference. I’ve always admired the Pinkney family and their award-winning books for children, so when Andrea shared about her book, I wanted an autographed copy for my own home library. A book for older readers, it contains the biographies of 10 amazing women who took a stand and made a difference in our world. The art is beautiful, too!

Let It Shine

By Andrea Davis Pinkney,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Let It Shine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus and sparked a boycott that changed America.Harriet Tubman helped more than three hundred slaves escape the South on the Underground Railroad.Shirley Chisholm became the first black woman elected to the U.S.House of Representatives.
The lives these women led are part of an incredible story about courage in the face of oppression; about the challenges and triumphs of the battle for civil rights; and about speaking out for what you believe in--even when it feels like no one is listening.Andrea Davis Pinkney's moving text and Stephen Alcorn's glorious portraits celebrate…


The Middle Passage

By Tom Feelings,

Book cover of The Middle Passage: White Ships / Black Cargo

This stunning book was published in 1995, but it is still one of my favorites. Tom Feelings’ black and white illustrations are haunting and powerful. It wordlessly tells and shows the story of the tortuous journey of the slaves brought from Africa to the Americas. Words are not needed with images this powerful.

The Middle Passage

By Tom Feelings,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Middle Passage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Alex Haley's Roots awakened many Americans to the cruelty of slavery. The Middle Passage focuses attention on the torturous journey which brought slaves from Africa to the Americas, allowing readers to bear witness to the sufferings of an entire people.


The Slave's Cause

By Manisha Sinha,

Book cover of The Slave's Cause: A History of Abolition

When I was growing up, I got the impression that abolitionists were either Englishmen or Quakers. While Manisha Sinha’s comprehensive, encyclopedic, and gripping chronicle of abolitionism is international, intergenerational, and interracial, The Slave’s Cause recognizes enslaved Americans and their descendants as the principal agents in the epic struggle to end slavery and establish freedom in the modern world. Sinha clarifies and connects the long, complex, and multitiered movement for abolition in the United States as she situates its Black and white protagonists, men and women, in a transnational context.

The Slave's Cause

By Manisha Sinha,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Slave's Cause as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the 2017 Frederick Douglass Prize

A groundbreaking history of abolition that recovers the largely forgotten role of African Americans in the long march toward emancipation from the American Revolution through the Civil War

Received historical wisdom casts abolitionists as bourgeois, mostly white reformers burdened by racial paternalism and economic conservatism. Manisha Sinha overturns this image, broadening her scope beyond the antebellum period usually associated with abolitionism and recasting it as a radical social movement in which men and women, black and white, free and enslaved found common ground in causes ranging from feminism and utopian socialism to anti-imperialism…


Captured

By Beverly Jenkins,

Book cover of Captured

Captive is another romance with pirates and passion. It’s part of a larger series featuring the LeVeq family. In this story, privateer Dominic LeVeq, frees and falls for slave Clare Sullivan. Soon they become desperate to have each other. I loved the relationship between these two characters and the devotion that develops between them.  

Captured

By Beverly Jenkins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Captured as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a high-stakes historical romance from award-winning romance author Beverly Jenkins.


The Half Has Never Been Told

By Edward E. Baptist,

Book cover of The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism

What psychologists like me and historians have in common is a deep understanding that the past matters.  Past events shape our perceptions of the present and our expectations for the future. To understand the contemporary persistence of racism and racial inequality you have to know what happened in the past. Learning more about the establishment of slavery as a business practice foundational to the American economy is a good place to start. The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward Baptist is a riveting historical account of both the brutal realities of enslavement and the way today’s U.S. economy was profoundly shaped by the American system of slavery. Before I read this book, I thought I already knew a lot about this subject, but as the title suggests, “the half has never been told…” I learned a lot, you will, too!

The Half Has Never Been Told

By Edward E. Baptist,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Half Has Never Been Told as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Americans tend to cast slavery as a pre-modern institution,the nation's original sin, perhaps, but isolated in time and divorced from America's later success. But to do so robs the millions who suffered in bondage of their full legacy. As historian Edward E. Baptist reveals in The Half Has Never Been Told , the expansion of slavery in the first eight decades after American independence drove the evolution and modernization of the United States. In the span of a single lifetime, the South grew from a narrow coastal strip of worn-out tobacco plantations to a continental cotton empire, and the United…


Self-Taught

By Heather Andrea Williams,

Book cover of Self-Taught: African American Education in Slavery and Freedom

Williams is another beautiful writer and what I love most about this book is it dispels the very harmful myths about Black intelligence during and after slavery. The author shares the many ways that enslaved Africans taught each other to read even though reading or teaching a Black person to read was illegal in all of the southern states. Reading, storytelling, and passing on knowledge across generations is part of the African American tradition and Williams captures all of this and more in this beautiful book.

Self-Taught

By Heather Andrea Williams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Self-Taught as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this previously untold story of African American self-education, Heather Andrea Williams moves across time to examine African Americans' relationship to literacy during slavery, during the Civil War, and in the first decades of freedom. Some slaves devised creative and subversive means to acquire literacy, and when slavery ended, they became the first teachers of other freedpeople. Williams argues that by teaching, building schools, supporting teachers, resisting violence, and claiming education as a civil right, African Americans transformed the face of education in the South to the great benefit of both black and white southerners.


The 1619 Project: Born on the Water

By Nikole Hannah-Jones, Renée Watson, Nikkolas Smith (illustrator)

Book cover of The 1619 Project: Born on the Water

An outgrowth of the 1619 project, this masterful picture book traces a family’s roots from Africa through generations of enslavement in the United States to today. A young girl’s grandmother tells stories in the form of poems that convey joy, terror, heartache, persecution, struggle, and triumph. Illustrations move from light during the times in Africa to dark during the decades of enslavement and back to light in the present. The book ends on a positive note with the girl drawing an American flag—the flag of the country that her ancestors helped build and “that I will help build, too.”

The 1619 Project: Born on the Water

By Nikole Hannah-Jones, Renée Watson, Nikkolas Smith (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The 1619 Project: Born on the Water as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The 1619 Project's lyrical picture book in verse chronicles the consequences of slavery and the history of Black resistance in the United States, thoughtfully rendered by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and Newbery honor-winning author Renee Watson.

A young student receives a family tree assignment in school, but she can only trace back three generations. Grandma gathers the whole family, and the student learns that 400 years ago, in 1619, their ancestors were stolen and brought to America by white slave traders.
But before that, they had a home, a land, a language. She learns how the people said to…


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