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  • Writer's pictureAutumn Allen

Fall 2020 Book lists

This academic year, I am running two literature circles: one for children aged 9-11 (approximately 4th-6th grade), and one for middle schoolers. Here are the books we have read / are reading this fall. 4th-6th grade

Understood Betsy, by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Prairie Lotus, by Linda Sue Park

Rickshaw Girl, by Mitali Perkins

Sees Behind Trees, by Michael Dorris

Save Me a Seat, by Gita Varadarajan and Sarah Weeks

Blended, by Sharon Draper

Millicent Min, Girl Genius, by Lisa Yee

When Stars Are Scattered, by Omar Mohamed and Victoria Jamieson

Something to Say, by Lisa Moore Ramée

Land of the Cranes, by Aida Salazar

7th-9th grade

World War I Unit (cont'd from last spring):

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

They Called Us Enemy, by George Takei

White Rose, by Kip Wilson

Early USA Unit: Children of the Longhouse, by Joseph Bruchac

The Arrow over the Door, by Joseph Bruchac

The Notorious Benedict Arnold - Steve Sheinkin

Jefferson’s Sons*, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

How I Became a Ghost, by Tim Tingle

Never Caught, the Story of Ona Judge, George and Martha Washington's Courageous Slave Who Dared to Run Away: Young Reader's Edition, by Erica Armstrong Dunbar and Kathleen Van Cleve

*Note: Jefferson's Sons is not an #ownvoices book... and (to me) it shows. We had vigorous discussions about both the idea of a white author inventing the thoughts and dialogue that may have happened between enslaved Black people, and about how we think she did painting a picture of what it might have been like to be in their position and portraying Jefferson as a complicated figure. Ultimately, we did not feel the book measured up in any of these categories. I was glad we were able to have a great discussion about it. Still, I cannot fully recommend the book, since, if I were not Black myself, I might have missed the issues that caused me concern. When we read Ona Judge over the next few weeks, we will see if the portrayal of enslaved people seems more realistic.

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