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I know it's a little early for Black History Month, but I also like to read some 
Valentine stories so I have to get started early.  In the past I have read Nettie's 
Trip South  by Ann Warren Turner, to my middle school students.  They enjoy it in 
the 6th grade, but are ready for something new in 7th and 8th.  This year at our 
local library convention one of the speakers was Diane Shore.  I purchased her book 
and had her autograph it, but it's the illustrations by James Ransome that are 
making my 8th graders sit still and listen.  The name of this book is, This is the 
Dream.  The book opens up with two water fountains one marked white and one marked 
black.  The students get quiet.  We talk as I read the story about how life has 
changed since the 60's.  They can hardly believe we didn't have big malls and most 
have never seen a lunch counter or ridden a city bus.  There is one picture of the 
demonstration at the lunch counter that demonstrates the hate so clearly that the 
 ents ca
n feel it.  The history teachers have been teaching civil rights in class, and many 
students remembered the laws and the dates past,  but this little picture book puts 
the passion into the history. If a book can make 8th graders get quiet and listen 
something is happening.

Debra Evetts
Greenbrier Middle School
Greenbrier, TN   

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