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PRESS RELEASE

February 2, 2006

Jennifer Fennell or
Cathy Schroeder
(850) 245-0413

Education Commissioner Announces Black History Month Recommended Reading List

TALLAHASSEE — Education Commissioner John L. Winn today announced the Just Read, Florida! recommended reading list in celebration of Florida's Black History Month. During Black History Month, Just Read, Florida! will highlight African-American literature. This announcement is part of Governor Bush's longtime theme "Remembering the Past, Celebrating the Future" February celebration honoring Black History Month.

"Reading is our link to one another and the rest of the world," said Education Commissioner John L. Winn. "By reading a selection from this list, we begin to appreciate and understand the impact African Americans have made on our society. Children and adults alike will be enriched by spending time enjoying these books."

To officially launch this year's reading list, First Lady Columba Bush tomorrow will visit Lake Trafford Elementary School in Immokalee. Mrs. Bush, joined by Ron Mahan of Collier Enterprises, will present Principal Irma Miller with 50 copies of Black Diamond, one of the books featured in the recommended list. A Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Award winning book, written by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack, Black Diamond celebrates the unsung heroes of the Negro Baseball League.

"This month long celebration is a valuable opportunity for all Floridians to become further educated on the state's rich African-American history and culture," said Florida Secretary of State Sue M. Cobb. "I encourage all Floridians to contact their local public libraries and participate in one of the many programs being held statewide"

The reading list contains appropriate selections for all ages, kindergarten through adult and also includes resources for K-12 teachers to educate students about the strides made by African Americans through history.

The 2006 Just Read, Florida! recommended reading list for Black History Month:

Picture Books (Grades K-3)

  • Amazing Grace, Mary Hoffman
  • Prince, The Future King: A Father's Example, Kandi Harris
  • Coming On Home Soon, Jacqueline Woodson and E.B. Lewis
  • Dinner at Aunt Connie's House, Faith Ringgold
  • Everett Anderson's Friend, Lucille Clifton
  • Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale, John Steptoe
  • A Picture Book of Rosa Parks, David A. Adler and Robert Castilla
  • Amadeus-The Leghorn Rooster, Jonathan Green
  • Langston's Train Ride, Robert Burleigh
  • Cracking the Wall: The Struggles of the Little Rock Nine, Eileen Lucas
  • By My Brother's Side, Tiki Barber, Ronde Barber, Robert Burleigh and Barry Root
  • Beautiful Blackbird, Ashley Bryan

Chapter Books (Grades 4-5)

  • My Name Is America: The Journal of Biddy Owen, Walter Dean Myers
  • Black Diamond, Patricia and Fred McKissack
  • Just Like Martin, Ossie Davis
  • Ellington Was Not a Street, Notzake Shange
  • Teammates, Peter Golenbrock
  • Bud, Not Buddy, Christopher Paul Curtis
  • Through My Eyes, Ruby Bridges and Margo Lundell
  • Vision of Beauty: The Story of Sarah Breedlove Walker, Kathryn Lasky and Nneka Bennett
  • Carter G. Woodson: The Man Who Put "Black" in American History, James Haskins and Melanie Reim
  • The Black Cowboys, Gina De Angelis
  • The Friendship, Mildred Taylor

Chapter Books (Grades 6-8)

  • The Watsons Go To Birmingham — 1963, Christopher Paul Curtis
  • The People Could Fly, Virginia Hamilton
  • Remember: The Journey to School Integration, Toni Morrison
  • The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights, Russell Freedman
  • Roll of Thunder; Hear My Cry, Mildred Taylor
  • Maizon at Blue Hill, Jacqueline Woodson
  • Jazmin's Notebook, Nikki Grimes
  • Money Hungry, Sharon G. Flake
  • Mahalia: A Life in Gospel Music, Roxane Orgill
  • Extraordinary People of the Harlem Renaissance, Stephen P. Hardy and Sheila Jackson Hardy

Chapter Books (Grades 9-12)

  • A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry
  • Extraordinary People of the Harlem Renaissance, Stephen P. Hardy
  • The Collected Works of Langston Hughes: The Poems, Langston Hughes
  • Bronx Masquerade, Nikki Grimes
  • The Contender, Robert Lipsyte
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  • Hoops, Walter Dean Myers
  • The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin
  • Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston

Adult Literature

  • Cry, The Beloved Country, Alan Paton
  • Finding Fish: A Memoir, Antwone Q. Fisher
  • Meridian, Alice Walker
  • Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Harriet Jacobs
  • Colored People: A Memoir, Henry Louis Gates Jr.
  • The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison
  • A Gathering of Old Men, Ernest Gaines

Educators: K-12 Black History Books with Reading Resources

  • Why They Marched: The Struggle for the Right to Vote, Dr. Donna Elam
  • From Civil War to Civil Rights: America's Struggle, Jason Powe
  • Timeline for Freedom: Victories of the Civil Rights Movement, Jason Powe