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Start with a Book

Ricky Rocket

A summer reading initiative for kids from Reading Rockets

Start With a Book

Great Fiction & Nonfiction Books

Age Level: 3-6 years old

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A Is for Activist

By: Innosanto Nagara

Age Level: 3-6 years old

Each spread presents a letter and a bit of social commentary urging children to take a stand...

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Awesome Dawson

By: Chris Dall

Age Level: 3-6 years old

Dawson has been collecting and reusing everything ever since he was a baby but he must rescue the...

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Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909

By: Michelle Markell

Age Level: 3-6 years old

In the early 20th century, Clara Lemlick and her family immigrated to the United in search of a...

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John Henry

By: Julius Lester

Age Level: 3-6 years old

John Henry's talent was evident at an early age when he helped his daddy, but was cemented...

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More Than Anything Else

By: Marie Bradby

Age Level: 3-6 years old

More than anything else, young Booker T. Washington wanted to read. This fictionalized account...

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Rosa's Bus: The Ride to Civil Rights

By: Jo Kittinger

Age Level: 3-6 years old

No one knew that when "Bus #2857 rolled off the assembly line in 1948 ... [that it] would...

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Tasty Baby Belly Buttons

By: Judy Sierra

Age Level: 3-6 years old

Uriko is small but brave, determined, and smart. In fact, she saves the town’s children when...

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The Adventures of Sparrowboy

By: Brian Pinkney

Age Level: 3-6 years old

Mild-mannered paperboy Henry collides with a sparrow and turns into Sparrowboy just like his...

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Age Level: 6-9 years old

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A Picture Book of Jackie Robinson

By: David Adler

Age Level: 6-9 years old

A portrait of a true American sports hero, Jackie Robinson, who was the first African American...

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A Picture Book of Jesse Owens

By: David Adler

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Jesse Owens was a breakthrough athlete — an African American who captured the world stage (...

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Abe's Honest Words

By: Doreen Rappaport

Age Level: 6-9 years old

A straightforward overview of Lincoln's life is punctuated by Lincoln's words and...

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Annie and Helen

By: Deborah Hopkinson

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Anne Sullivan arrived at the Keller home in 1887, writing letters to a friend about how she worked...

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Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy US Marshall

By: Vauda Micheau

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Formerly enslaved in the 19th century, Bass Reeves escaped Texas and lived with Indians. It was...

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Bright Path: Young Jim Thorpe

By: Don Brown

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Jim Thorpe's childhood was a mix of hard work in the outdoors and a succession of military-...

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Captain America Joins the Mighty Avengers

By: Rich Thomas

Age Level: 6-9 years old

How Captain American becomes one of the Avengers — superheroes that included Thor and the...

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Cut from the Same Cloth: American Women of Myth, Legend and Tall Tale

By: Robert San Souci

Age Level: 6-9 years old

From the Northeast to the West, the United States is filled with stories of wise, strong, and...

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Dear Malala, We Stand with You

By: Rosemary McCarney

Age Level: 6-9 years old

This tribute to the Pakistani girl who has become the face for children’s education worldwide...

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Elizabeth Started All the Trouble

By: Doreen Rappaport

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Women could not attend college, enter politics or vote when the United States was established....

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Encyclopedia Mythologica: Gods and Heroes Pop-Up

By: Matthew Reinhart, Robert Sabuda

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Six beautifully illustrated full-page spreads, each including a dramatic paper-sculpture...

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Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table

By: Jacqueline Briggs Martin

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Martin shares the remarkable life story of former professional basketball player Will Allen,...

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Flight: The Journey of Charles Lindbergh

By: Robert Burleigh

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Charles Lindbergh was only 25 years old when he made his historic non-stop flight across the...

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Float Like a Butterfly

By: Ntozake Shange

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Visually stunning and informative, Ali’s early life, how it influenced him, as well as his many...

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Harvesting Hope: The Story of César Chávez

By: Kathleen Krull

Age Level: 6-9 years old

As a young boy, César Chávez grew up on a an 80-acre ranch in Arizona in the midst of joyous family...

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I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark

By: Debbie Levy

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent a lifetime disagreeing: disagreeing with...

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John Henry: An American Legend

By: Ezra Jack Keats

Age Level: 6-9 years old

John Henry was born to be a hero – strong, competitive and determined. The legendary steel-...

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Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters

By: Andrea Pinkney

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Brief sketches of the lives of both well-known (for example, Harriet Tubman) and lesser known...

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Lunch Lady and the Mutant Mathletes

By: Jarrett Krosoczka

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Can the Lunch Lady protect the Breakfast Bunch of Thompson Creek School from evil mutants posing as...

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Magic Pickle

By: Scott Morse

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Sophisticated readers will appreciate the over-the-top adventures of a cryogenic pickle that...

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Malala: Activist for Girls' Education

By: Raphaële Frier

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Malala’s story is one of the resilience that comes from strong conviction. It is told through a...

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Meet the Marvel Super Heroes

By: Scott Peterson

Age Level: 6-9 years old

The comics have produced many heroes with very special powers. Male and female superheroes, an easy...

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Minty: A Story of Young Harriet Tubman

By: Alan Schroeder

Age Level: 6-9 years old

This beautifully written book, illustrated by four-time Caldecott Honor recipient Jerry Pinkney,...

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My Name Is Truth: The Life of Sojourner Truth

By: Ann Turner

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Isabella Baumfree was born into slavery but she would not remain enslaved. Instead, she took the...

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Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World

By: Laurie Lawlor

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Rachel Carson was a shy child, always drawn to nature. She grew up to become a professional...

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Sidekicks

By: Dan Santat

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Captain Amazing, superhero and savior of Metro City, is getting old — he needs a sidekick!...

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Sojourner Truth's Step-Stomp Stride

By: Andrea Pinkney, Brian Pinkney

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Lively language and energetic illustrations create a memorable portrait of a woman who was to...

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Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx / La juez que crecio en el Bronx

By: Jonah Winter

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Poverty didn’t stop this girl from working hard, reading lots of books, and graduating top in...

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Stealing Home: Jackie Robinson Against the Odds

By: Robert Burleigh

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Lush, realistic illustrations combine with a simple text to suggest what it must have been like...

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Superhero School

By: Aaron Reynolds

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Leonard is disappointed in superhero school; the only thing his teacher, The Blue Tornado, talks...

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Susan B. Anthony

By: Alexandra Wallner

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Susan B. Anthony lived and worked as a teacher when women were paid less for the same jobs...

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Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt

By: Deborah Hopkinson

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Clara is born into slavery but learns an important skill when she becomes a seamstress. Her...

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The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

By: William Kamkwamba, Bryan Mealer

Age Level: 6-9 years old

When fourteen-year-old William Kamkwamba's Malawi village was hit by a drought, everyone's crops...

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The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial

By: Susan E. Goodman

Age Level: 6-9 years old

More than a century before Brown v. Board of Education, there was Roberts v. City of Boston....

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The Incredible Life of Balto

By: Meghan McCarthy

Age Level: 6-9 years old

A dog saved the people of Nome, Alaska in 1925 when a sled team was the only way to fetch...

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The Mighty 12: Superheroes of Greek Myth

By: Charles Smith

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Greek gods and goddesses are the stuff of contemporary superheroes. Dramatic full-color,...

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Treasury of Greek Mythology

By: Donna Jo Napoli

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Vivid retellings and luminous illustrations reinvigorate Greek myths. The tales of gods and...

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What Lincoln Said

By: Sarah Thomson

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Lincoln's own words punctuate this overview of his life and times including lighter moments...

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Wings

By: Christopher Myers

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Stunning, bold collage illustrations carry the action in this reworking of the traditional Greek...

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Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglass

By: Lesa Cline-Ransome

Age Level: 6-9 years old

A young Frederick Douglass narrates this handsome, moving, and authentic story of his early life as...

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Young Zeus

By: G. Brian Karas

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Young Zeus — the Greek god who grew up to rule on Mount Olympus — is introduced with...

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Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Makes a Splash

By: Jacqueline Jules

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Freddie Ramos' super running and jumping powers and his confidence disappear after the loss of...

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Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Takes Off

By: Jacqueline Jules

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Product Description: One day Freddie Ramos comes home from school and finds a strange box just...

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Age Level: 9-12 years old

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12 Rounds to Glory: The Story of Muhammad Ali

By: Charles R. Smith, Jr.

Age Level: 9-12 years old

From the moment a fired-up teenager won 1960 Olympic gold to the day when a retired legend...

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Chasing Freedom: The Life Journeys of Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony

By: Nikki Grimes

Age Level: 9-12 years old

Underground Railroad “conductor” Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony, a staunch proponent of...

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Coretta Scott King: I Kept on Marching

By: Kathleen Krull

Age Level: 9-12 years old

Before she married Martin Luther King, Coretta Scott was known for her beautiful singing voice...

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Henry Aaron's Dream

By: Matt Tavares

Age Level: 9-12 years old

In spite of growing up in the 1940s before the United States was integrated, in a segregated...

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Independent Dames: What You Never Knew about the Women and Girls of the American Revolution

By: Laurie Halse Anderson

Age Level: 9-12 years old

This fact and fun-filled look at female contributions to the American Revolution provides a...

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Lives: Poems About Famous Americans

By: Lee Bennett Hopkins

Age Level: 9-12 years old

Well-known figures in American history are presented by diverse poets in a range of styles,...

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March: Book One

By: John Lewis, Andrew Aydin

Age Level: 9-12 years old

John Lewis, son of a sharecropper, grew up to become an activist and later, a U.S. Congressman....

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Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom

By: Carole Boston Weatherford

Age Level: 9-12 years old

Dramatic full-color illustrations (which won a Caldecott Honor) and splendid, poetic language...

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Muddy Max: The Mystery of Marsh Creek

By: Elizabeth Rusch

Age Level: 9-12 years old

Max and his soil scientist parents live in a marsh where Max discovers mud’s special properties...

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She Stood for Freedom: The Untold Story of a Civil Rights Hero, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland

By: Loki Mulholland

Age Level: 9-12 years old

Early experiences brought the inequality of America into focus for young Joan, a white...

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The Breadwinner

By: Deborah Ellis

Age Level: 9-12 years old

Eleven-year-old Parvana lives with her family in one room of a bombed-out apartment building in...

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The Hero's Trail

By: T.A. Barron

Age Level: 9-12 years old

What is a hero? Using the metaphor of a hiking trail, this book showcases the great variety of...

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The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane

By: Russell Freedman

Age Level: 9-12 years old

Using excerpts from Wilbur's and Orville's journals and letters, young readers will find a...

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Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer

By: Carole Boston Weatherford

Age Level: 9-12 years old

Stirring poems and vibrant collage illustrations combine to celebrate the life of Fannie Lou...

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We Were There, Too!: Young People in U.S. History

By: Philip Hoose

Age Level: 9-12 years old

From the boys who sailed with Columbus to today's young activists, this unique book brings to...

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Words That Built a Nation: Voices of Democracy That Have Shaped America’s History

By: Marilyn Miller

Age Level: 9-12 years old

From the Constitution and the Gettysburg Address to the 2015 Supreme Court ruling on same-sex...

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