In between working on a new fiction project, revising one picture book biography, preparing a research trip for another picture book biography, and rounding out the school year’s author visits, I’ve been putting together the suggested-reading section for my next book, The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch.


Here are the titles I’ve selected for this picture book biography of Lynch, who in 10 years — spanning the end of the Civil War into Reconstruction — went from teenaged field slave to US Congressman:

Tanya Bolden - Cause
Bolden, Tonya. Cause: Reconstruction America, 1863-1877. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005.

Meg Greene - Into the Land of Freedom
Greene, Meg. Into the Land of Freedom: African Americans in Reconstruction. Minneapolis: Lerner, 2004.

Joy Hakim - Reconstruction and Reform
Hakim, Joy. Reconstruction and Reform. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Joyce Hansen - Bury Me Not in a Land of Slaves
Hansen, Joyce. Bury Me Not in the Land of Slaves: African-Americans in the Time of Reconstruction. Danbury, CT: Franklin Watts, 2000.

James McPherson - Into the West
McPherson, James M. Into the West: From Reconstruction to the Final Days of the American Frontier. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2006.

Zak Mettger - Reconstruction
Mettger, Zak. Reconstruction: America After the Civil War. New York: Lodestar, 1994.

Linda Barrett Osborne - Traveling the Freedom Road
Osborne, Linda Barrett. Traveling the Freedom Road From Slavery & the Civil War through Reconstruction. New York: Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2009.

Doreen Rappaport - Free at Last
Rappaport, Doreen and illustrated by Shane W. Evans. Free At Last!: Stories and Songs of Emancipation. Somerville, MA: Candlewick, 2004.

Adriane Ruggiero - American Voices from Reconstruction
Ruggiero, Adriane. Reconstruction. New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2007.

The Reconstruction era is as fascinating as it is tragic. While there hasn’t been much published on the topic for the picture-book audience — a void that my book, illustrated by Don Tate and published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, will help fill — any of these suggested titles will help somewhat older readers better understand what went on in the dozen years after the Civil War ended.