Title: Heat & Soul: The story of America & African Americans

Reference: Bibliographic Information: Nelson,K. (2011). Heart And Soul- The Story of America and African Americans. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

Brief Annotation: This book explores black history in the United States starting in the 1800’s. It follows the family of the author through the times of  the Civil War through Jim Crowe Laws and segregation, to today with Barack Obama as our first African American president (far past due). African Americans have gone through a lot to gain their freedom, and get to the point they are at now, but we still need to keep working to really gain their equality on all levels. This book shows the importance and the contribution of African American members of the United States, and how much we need them to succeed as a Nation.

Genre: Non-fiction

Grade Level: 6

Readers who would be interested in this: Students learning about black history in the United States would be interested in this book. It explores history of slavery, segregation, and becoming members of society. This book is educational, and a resource for African American students looking for strong African American role-models. This book is good for all students to see the exceptional contribution that African American people have made in the past in the formation of the United States, and in the present.

Ratings/ Response: I would rate this book a 4. I think it is very informational and important for children to read and understand. It is important to see the struggles that African Americans have gone through, and the strong leaders, and contribution that have emerged from the struggle.

Text Dependent Question: In the book why did George Washington eventually let African Americans join his troop in the War?


Open-Mind Portraits; Page 77

Tompkins, G. E. (2013). 50 literacy strategies: step by step. Boston: Pearson.

This is a strategy that can be used to develop understanding of the character, and their thoughts and growth throughout the story. It allows them to draw the main characters, and what they are thinking about. This allows them to review the story and think about the motivation of Harriet Tubman to help get other slaves to freedom once she had escaped. It allows the students to think more in depth about what she was going through, and the decisions she had to make.