This week we read two more books that could be used to complement a homeschool history curriculum for topics including slavery, emancipation, segregation, integration, race relations, and the South.
I, Dred Scott: A Fictional Slave Narrative Based on the Life and Precedent of Dred Scott by Shelia P. Moses
Born into slavery in Virginia in the late 1700s, Dred Scott had little to look forward to in life. But he was fortunate in two ways: His first owner was fairly kind to him, and he grew up with his owner’s children, forming friendships that he would come to depend on years later. For on April 6, 1846, Dred Scott and his wife, Harriett — their ownership having changed hands several times during adulthood — took the dangerous and courageous step to sue for their freedom, entering into legal battles that would last for eleven years. During this time Dred Scott would need all the help and support he could get — from folks in the community all the way back to the people with whom he had been raised. With a foreword by Dred Scott’s great-grandson, Shelia P. Moses’ stunning story chronicles Dred Scott’s experiences as a slave, as a plaintiff in one of the most important legal cases in American history, and — at last — as a free man. Dred Scott’s story is one of tremendous courage and fierce determination. His is a life that should be known by — and should inspire — all Americans.
The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
Two girls separated by race form an unbreakable bond during the tumultuous integration of Little Rock schools in 1958 Twelve-year-old Marlee doesn’t have many friends until she meets Liz, the new girl at school. Liz is bold and brave, and always knows the right thing to say, especially to Sally, the resident mean girl. Liz even helps Marlee overcome her greatest fear – speaking, which Marlee never does outside her family. But then Liz is gone, replaced by the rumor that she was a Negro girl passing as white. But Marlee decides that doesn’t matter. Liz is her best friend. And to stay friends, Marlee and Liz are willing to take on integration and the dangers their friendship could bring to both their families.
The NERDS are a crack team of fifth-grade operatives who work on government missions from a secret headquarters in their school’s basement. Each NERD team member has superhuman abilities, and even though they are picked on in school, they frequently represent humankind’s best hope. To this funny premise, Buckley adds many hilarious lines and situations. This time, the superspies face a 37-year-old computer genius who lives in his mother’s basement and a former NERD gone rogue, both of whom team up to strip the NERDS of their superpowers. Fans of the first novel will find even more laughs here.
The Re-Gifters by Mike Carey
Meet Jen Dik Seong — or “Dixie” as she’s known to her friends. Korean American, dirt poor, and living on the ragged edge of LA’s Koreatown, Dixie’s only outlet is the ancient martial art of hapkido. In fact, she’s on the verge of winning a championship — until she falls for fellow hapkido fan/California surfer boy Adam and gets thrown spectacularly off her game. As she struggles to win the tournament — not to mention Adam’s affections — Dixie learns that in love and in gift-giving, what goes around comes around.