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Featured books by Tonya Bolden

History is made by people who probably aren’t aware that they are living it. Meet a freedman whose journal chronicled the building and destruction of the Nation’s Capital. Read about a young woman born free but who had to fight for the right to attend high school. Learn about the time prior to Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. These and more can be found in books by award-winning Tonya Bolden. Bolden’s impeccable research enhances the stories but never overloads them.  So, read these and other books by this remarkable researcher and writer! 

Capital Days: Michael Shiner's Journal and the Growth of Our Nation's Capital

By: Tonya Bolden
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography

Michael Shiner was born into slavery in Maryland but bought his freedom. He learned to read and write and thus detailed in his journal the history of Washington, DC.  Insightful and accessible, this is a well-documented and handsomely presented look at history.

Emancipation Proclamation: Lincoln and the Dawn of Liberty

By: Tonya Bolden
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography

What led up to Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation? Who were the abolitionists and what was their influence? Primary source material and a crisp narrative combine to present a fascinating look at the events leading up to the Proclamation and the period in which it was created.

How to Build a Museum: Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture

By: Tonya Bolden
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Nonfiction

The history of African Americans is also the history of the United States. How the history and culture of once enslaved people came to sit proudly on the National Mall in the nation’s capital is told in word and image for a riveting portrait of a particular place and a country’s history.

M.L.K.: The Journey of a King

By: Tonya Bolden
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Biography

Martin Luther King’s entire life is presented in this handsome and well-sourced, and highly readable biography. Liberal use of quotes and numerous photographs bring the man, his accomplishments, and the times in which he lived into clear focus.

Maritcha: A Nineteenth-Century American Girl

By: Tonya Bolden
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography

She was born free in New York City during slavery and turmoil in the United States and went on to graduate from an all-white high school. Maritcha Lyon’s story is drawn from her memoir, augmented by primary source material to bring a girl and the time in which she lived into focus for contemporary readers.

Searching for Sarah Rector: The Richest Black Girl in America

By: Tonya Bolden
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography, Mystery

Who was Sara Rector and how did she become wealthy? More intriguing, what happened to this young African American woman who was part of the “Creek [Indian] freedmen”? How the author stumbled on Sarah’s story is included in this spellbinding presentation of an early America and real-life mysteries. 

The Champ

By: Tonya Bolden
Illustrated by: R. Gregory Christie
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography

How young Cassius Clay came to be a world class boxer known as Muhammed Ali is revealed in accessible language and handsome, semi-abstract illustrations. This volume also includes resources and notes.

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"There is no frigate like a book, to take us lands away" — Emily Dickinson