Have you run into the book Kizzy Ann Stamps by Jeri Watts yet? It is a historical fiction book Kayla (my 5th grader) recommended to me. At the start of the book, 12-year-old Kizzy is preparing for her first year at an integrated school in the fall of 1963. She does not want to attend the new school, and she realizes that her white classmates probably don't want her there, either. (Amazon affiliate link follows.)
Kizzy's letters are extremely heartfelt and honest, as she tells about the injustices she and her older brother (a high school students) are experiencing. I think it would be eye-opening for today's students to read about Kizzy's life. At one point, she was publicly switched and humiliated for talking crossly to a white boy.
As I read this book, I was constantly thinking about the powerful discussions that could occur if this book was being read in the classroom as a read aloud- or within a literature circle. Along with the racial issues she faces, Kizzy also has to deal with the large scar on her face that she cannot hide. Furthermore, she has a very special relationship with her dog, Shag, that would rival Marty's relationship with Shiloh and Opal's bond with Winn-Dixie. I am nearly certain that students would identify several text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world connections as they read this book.
Because I love this book so much, I decided to raffle a SET OF 6 paperback books to be delivered to an upper elementary or middle school classroom in early November! Just enter the giveaway below for your chance to win!
According to Scholastic Book Wizard, Kizzy Ann Stamps is a Level T book. It's lexile measure is 920L. Also, I ran into this book on the shelves of our school's Scholastic Book Fair last week! If you don't win the giveaway, but are interested in buying the book, you might want to check out a Book Fair near you.
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(Due to the high cost of shipping, this giveaway is open to residents of the United States.)