Great Chapter Books
For the Young and Young At Heart

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Chapter Books for Soon to Be or Young Readers:  Asian Pacific American Heritage

Honeysuckle House, by Andrea Cheng. An all-American girl with Chinese ancestors and a new immigrant from China find little in common when they meet in their fourth grade classroom, but they are both missing their best friends and soon discover other connections.

Journey Home, by Lawrence McKay. Mai returns to Vietnam, the land of her mother's birth, to discover both a new country and something about herself.

Nadiaís Hands, by Karen English. A Pakistani-American girl takes part in her aunt's traditional Pakistani wedding.

Naming Maya, by Uma Krishnaswami. When Maya accompanies her mother to India to sell her grandfather's house, she uncovers family history relating to her parents divorce and learns more about herself and her relationship with her mother.

Ruby Lu, brave and true, by Look, Lenore. "Almost-eight-year-old" Ruby Lu spends time with her baby brother, goes to Chinese school, performs magic tricks and learns to drive, and has adventures with both old and new friends.

Chapter Books Celebrating African American History

Building a new land: African Americans in Colonial America, by James Haskins and Kathleen Benson. Discusses the changing roles, rights, and contributions of Afro-Americans in the United States during the colonial period from 1607 to 1763. Also includes a chronology of significant events.

Let it shine: stories of Black women freedom fighters, by Andrea Davis Pinkney. Ten female freedom fighters let their lights shine in African-American history, and the stories of those women, from Harriet Tubman to Rosa Parks, are told in this collection. Full-color illustrations. Learn about women engaged in the civl rights struggle.

Many thousand gone: African Americans from slavery to freedom, by Hamilton Virginia. Recounts the journey of Black slaves to freedom via the underground railroad, an extended group of people who helped fugitive slaves in many ways. It outlines the hardships of slavery in twenty-eight moving stories.

Mile's song, by Alice McGill. In 1851 in South Carolina, Miles, a twelve-year-old slave, is sent to a "breaking ground" to have his spirit broken but endures the experience by secretly taking reading lessons from another slave.

Portraits of African-American heroes, by Bolden Tonya. Illustrated with wonderful sepia-toned portraits by Ansel Pitcairn, the lives of 20 African-American men and women are presented with short, direct, captivating profiles. This book is unique because it presents important figures from the nineteenth through the twenty-first centuries.

Ray and the best family reunion ever, by Mildred Pitts Walter. When his family attends a reunion in Louisiana, eleven-year-old Ray learns about his Creole roots and about the circumstances that have kept him from ever meeting his father's father.

Through my eyes, by Bridges Ruby. Ruby Bridges recounts the story of her involvement, as a 6-year-old, in the integration of her school in New Orleans in 1960. An icon of the Civil Rights movement, Ruby chronicles each dramatic step of this pivotal event in history.

.Trouble don't last, by Shelly Pearsall. Samuel, an eleven-year-old Kentucky slave, and Harrison, the elderly slave who helped raise him, attempt to escape to Canada via the Underground Railroad.
[Celebrate African American History] [More Great Chapter Books]

More Great Chapter Books

Crash, by Jerry Spinelli.  Madison Public Library, Children's Teens Fiction Shelves, Call Number Spinelli.  Seventh-grader John "Crash" Coogan has always been comfortable with his tough, aggressive behavior, until his relationship with an unusual Quaker boy and his grandfather's stroke make him consider the meaning of friendship and the importance of family.

How to be Cool in the Third Grade, by Betsy Duffey. Madison Public Library, Children's Fiction Shelves.  Call Number:  DUFFEY.  When Robbie York is marked as a target by a bully at school, he decides that the only way to survive the third grade is by being cool.

Meow Means Mischief, by Ann Whitehead Nagda. Madison Public Library, Children's Fiction Shelves, Call Number: NAGDA.  A stray kitten helps Rana to make friends in her new school and to connect with her grandparents.

My name is Maria Isabel, by Alma Flor Ada. Madisoin Public Library, Children's Fiction, Call Number: ADA.  Well-known author Alma Flor Ada explores a problem and theme common among children in multicultural settings. Maria Isabel is hurt when her teacher decides to call her Mary to distinguish her from two other Marias in the class. Maria is proud of her name and heritage and must find a way to make her teacher understand.

Rats on the Roof and Other Stories, by James Marshall.  Madison Public Library, Children's Fiction Shelves.  Call Number:  MARSHALL.  An illustrated collection of seven stories about various animals, including a frog with magnificent legs, a hungry brontosaurus, and a mouse who gets married.

Scorpions, by Walter Dean Myers.  Madison Public Library, Children's Fiction Shelves, Call Number:  MYERS.  After reluctantly taking on the leadership of the Harlem gang, the Scorpions, Jamal finds that his enemies treat him with respect when he acquires a gun--until a tragedy occurs.

Seeing Lessons: The Story of Abigail Carter and America's First School For the Blind, by Spring Hermann.  Madison Public Library, Children's Fiction, Call Number:  HERMANN.  In 1832, when Abigail Carter was only 10, two doctors from Boston invited her to be one of the first students in an experimental school for the blind. Abby and her little sister head to the city. For the first time in their lives, the girls were able to read a book for themselves and write a letter to their father. This small start-up school developed into the Perkins School for the Blind. From this school graduated Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller's influential teacher. 

Silver, by G. Whalen. Madison Public Library, Children's Fiction Shelves, Call Number: WHALEN. Set in Alaska, Silver is told by nine-year-old Rachel, whose father competes in dog sled races in the winter. She is given the runt of the litter of puppies born to her father's best sled dog, and she names him Silver. Itís a story of snowstorms, rescue, and adventure. Rachelís father is competes in the Iditarod. Can the runt of the litter win the dogsled championship?

Tangled Threads: A Hmong Girl's Story, by Pegi Deitz Shea. Madison Public Library, Young Teen Section, Call Number: SHEA.  After ten years in a refugee camp in Thailand, thirteen-year-old Mai Yang travels to Providence, Rhode Island, where her Americanized cousins introduce her to pizza, shopping, and beer, while her grandmother and new friends keep her connected to her Hmong heritage.

Windcatcher, by Avi.  Madison Public Library, Children's Mystery or Fiction Shelves.  Call Number:  AVI.  Eleven-year-old Tony Souza is not looking forward to spending even part of the summer at his grandmother's house on the Connecticut shore. When he decides, though, to use his paper route earnings to buy a twelve-foot sailboat, a Snark, the summer starts to look brighter.
[Celebrate African American History] [More Great Chapter Books

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