The Big Sea
. New York: Hill & Wang, 1940.
The Early Years is adapted from “The Big Sea”, an autobiography by Langston Hughes; suitable for students with average reading levels.
The Ways of White Folks
. New York: Vintage Books, 1934.
A selection of some of Langston Hughes’ short stories with humor, pathos, terror and satire. Good for teaching awareness of culture differences in the 1920s and 30s. Excellent for the more advanced middle school reader.
Comer, James P. M.D.
Maggie’s American Dream
. New York: Penguin Books Limited, 1988.
Good for teaching about African-American family life and the struggle of educating her children.
David, Jay, ed.
Growing Up Black
. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1968.
A collection of nineteen autobiographical selections. African-American tells what it was and is like to grow up in the south. A very helpful book with selections covering major African-American writers, including Richard Wright, Frederick Douglass, and Alex Haley. What gives this anthology particular significance is the fact that the narrators are African-American adults recalling an African-American childhood.
Jones, Suzanne, ed.
Growing Up in the South
. New York, Penguin Books USA Inc., 1991.
An anthology of modern southern literature by an extraordinary number of America’s best storytellers, and great writers. The stories in this collection are about childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood, with such writers as Alice Walker, Flannery O’Connor, Harry Crews, Mary Mebane and Ernest Gains, all of whom share those experiences of the south. Good for teaching multicultural, regional, detail, and reasoning.