Great Summer Reads!

May 13, 2009

Pat w/ booksThis was a popular post from last spring, so I thought I’d (re)share it again with our readers. Students, teachers, parents! Need something to read this summer?

Here’s a list of books, compiled by award winning authors Patricia and Fred McKissack (and written by them!) that you might like to try…

BOOKS by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack

Picture Books (ages 3-10)
The Honest-To-Goodness Truth
Goin’s Someplace Special
Precious and the Boo Hag

Short Story Collections (10-up)
The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural
Porch Lies: Tales of Humor and Exaggeration

Middle Grade Novels (8-12)
Run Away Home
Friendship for Today
Dear America Series

  • A Picture of Freedom–the Diary of Clotee a Slave Girl 1859
  • Color Me Dark–the Diary of Nellie Lee Love, 1919
  • Look to the Hills- during the French and Indian War

Chapter Books (8-11)
Scraps of time Series

  • Abby Takes a Stand
  • Away West
  • A Song for Harlem

Miami Series

  • Miami Gets It Straight
  • Miami Makes the Play
  • Miami Sees It Through

Red-Tail Angels: The Story of the Tuskegee Airmen of World War IIAward winning author Patricia McKissack has sound advice for would-be writers, particularly African Americans: “Today I would be appalled if a teacher told a child that he or she can’t make a living as a writer, because you can. It’s hard work, but you can make a living. And we need more black voices; we need different points of view.” (

Another book we’d like to feature in the McKissack book collection is Red-Tailed Angels: The Story of the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II. Co-authored with her husband and writing partner Fred, Pat tells the story of Tuskegee Airmen.

Product Description from Publishers Weekly:
The McKissacks (Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters) add to their distinguished explorations of African American history with a well-researched, informative look at the only all-black flying unit to serve in WWII. Established in 1941, the pilot-training program at Tuskegee, Ala., had been designed as an “experiment,” without full military support to ensure its success and with many officers predicting utter failure. Despite segregated facilities at the base, hostile reactions from the locals and other demoralizing conditions, the aviators trained at Tuskegee went on to fly hundreds of missions over North Africa and Europe. They were known as Red Tails for the designs on their planes; they earned the nickname Red-Tail Angels with their reputation for staying with the bomber planes they escorted. The pilots of the 332nd division, the McKissacks point out, never lost a bomber-a record unmatched by any other group in the Army Air Force. As the McKissacks outline the history of the squadron, they also tell the larger story of racial tension and bigotry in the U.S. Numerous photos, from both military archives and individual fliers, depict the pilots and their deeds. Ages 8-12. Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: WALKER AND COMPANY (Sep 17 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802782922
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802782922

To learn more about the Red-Tail Angels, visit