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:
Bolden, Tonya. Cause: Reconstruction America, 1863-1877. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005.
Hakim, Joy. Reconstruction and Reform. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.
Hansen, Joyce. Bury Me Not in the Land of Slaves: African-Americans in the Time of Reconstruction. Danbury, CT: Franklin Watts, 2000.
McPherson, James M. Into the West: From Reconstruction to the Final Days of the American Frontier. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2006.
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.