READING AND INTERPRETING THE WORKS OF EUGENE O'NEILL. Understanding Literature Series, Enslow Publishers, Fall 2016. For senior high school readers, with mature content.

This intense study combines criticism of all major plays with O'Neill's life struggles and addictions.  It makes his genius clear and accessible to today's drama and literature students.

READING AND INTERPRETING THE WORKS OF TENNESSEE WILLIAMS. Understanding Literature Series. Enslow Publishers, Spring 2017. For senior high school readers, with mature content.

This study combines criticism and analysis of Williams's prolific dramatic output - helping today's students to comprehend his breakthroughs in revealing the depth of human love, sexuality, and need.

READING AND INTERPRETING THE WORKS OF MARK TWAIN. Enslow Publishers, Fall 2017. Buy New. For middle school readers with appropriate criticism and content.

This study is structured to help the younger student see how Twain clearly used his life experiences for both his nonfiction works and his novels.  Going back and forth between author Sam Clemens' adventures -- and then a chapter analyzing a book inspired by them --- delights adolescent readers.

THE STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM -1770-1870. World Black History Series. Heinemann Library, 2010.  Buy new.

This book, designed for grades 4-6, teaches the story of black slavery around the world, the birth of slave resistance and rebellion, and the role of white abolitionists who ended the institution.

MAKING THEIR MARK – 1870-1940.  World Black History Series. Heinemann Library, 2010.  Buy new.

The second book shows the enormous battle that newly-freed black people faced to get education, jobs, and security.  Around the world, blacks used every ability they had, including in athletics, the arts, politics, and business, to succeed.

Period photos, maps, and spotlights on activists make this great struggle come alive.

THE STRUGGLE FOR EQUALITY:  WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN AMERICA (The American Saga Series). Enslow Publishers, 2006. Buy new.

This survey achieves what no other book for elementary students has done:  it compares the battle for freedom, civil and equal rights for women, African Americans, American Indians, Latinos, Asian Americans, and People with Disabilities.   The parallels in each group’s methods to gain legal recourse to their rights –and their mutual support - make a fascinating study.  Each chapter spotlights famed activists whose fight inspired their followers to never give up.

ANNE FRANK:  HOPE IN THE SHADOWS OF THE HOLOCAUSTEnslow Publishers, 2005. Buy new.

An ordinary schoolgirl living in Amsterdam in the 1940s, Annelies Frank loved to write, swim, skate, go to movies with her friends.  On July 5, 1942, “Anne”, her parents, sister, and another family went into hiding in a secret annex behind her father’s business.  The reasons why these people had to live this silent, sunless, hidden life for over two years was because they were Jews caught in the Nazi occupation.  Anne recorded every frightening day in what became the most famous Diary in the world.  This book, for grades 6-8, paints a complete picture of the evil forces surrounding Anne, and the inevitable death she suffered in March 1945 in Bergen-Belsen, Germany.

SEEING LESSONS. THE STORY OF ABIGAIL CARTER AND AMERICA’S FIRST SCHOOL FOR BLIND PEOPLE.  Henry Holt & Company, 1998. Buy on used book sites. 

In this favorite historic novel for grades 3-5, Abby Carter narrates the story of her transformation from an Andover, Massachusetts blind farm girl in 1833 to the leading student in the new “Asylum for the Blind” in Boston.  Based on the records of the Perkins School for the Blind, we follow the journey of the school’s first six students and their director Dr. Samuel Howe as they struggle to convince the seeing world that they deserve their education and their futures.  SEEING LESSONS continues to inspire children today.

GERONIMO: APACHE FREEDOM FIGHTER.  Enslow Publishers, 1997. Buy new.

The famed Apache warrior Geronimo (his Spanish nickname – his Apache name was Goyahkla) believed it was his destiny to lead in battle.  When the Mexicans murdered his wife and children in the 1850s, Geronimo led his tribe in raids against them.  Another wife was taken into slavery in Mexico, which kept Geronimo fighting, even when his tribe had been forced onto a reservation. He was finally tricked into surrender by the American army, but never captured in battle.  Apache people praise him today as one who fought against all odds for freedom of his people.

R.C. GORMAN: NAVAJO ARTISTEnslow Publishers, 1995.  Buy on used book sites.

Rudolph Carl Gorman, born to Navajo parents on the Arizona reservation in 1931, made a dream come true that few Indian boys would achieve:  he became a world class artist.  This junior biography for grades 4-6 reveals R.C.’s interesting life.  Relying on in-depth interviews with Gorman, his sister and his friends, young readers see the world from an Indian point of view.  They watch R.C. survive a tough boarding school, serve for years in the U.S. Navy, win college art scholarships, and make it in the competitive world as a painter and sculptor.  Gorman’s images have become among the most widely sold in the world.

FLIP CITY.  Orchard Publishers, 1988.  Buy on used book sites.

A classic in girls’ sports books.  Four middle-school gymnasts train and compete for their gym, “Flip City.”  Mercy, Dina, Jules and Von have personal demons, family troubles, and struggles to make their training goals.  No one understands them– or supports them  with the same determination- as they do each other.  No matter where they finish in competitions, each one triumphs in the end, and learns the true meaning of teamwork.