5 Books About Black History that I Read in Junior High

Over the past week, our country has been shaken by the death of George Floyd. The streets have been flooded with protesters and social media has been flooded with black squares.

These current events caused me think back on what shaped my understanding of our country’s racial history. As a tween and young teen, I faithfully kept a journal of books I read, so I pulled that journal out and took note of the books I read about slavery, the underground railroad, reconstruction, integration, inter-racial friendship, etc.

If you’re a young person wondering how to navigate and respond to current events, start with your Bible and prayer. But after that, if you want to understand the historical context, these books might help.

Parents and older siblings can also use stories like these as conversation starters or supplements to homeschool history curriculums.

Here are five titles by black authors that I read as a young teenager.


Breakthrough to the Big Leagues:  The Story of Jackie Robinson

Breakthrough to the Big Leagues, by Jackie Robinson

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Ideas for a Letter of Encouragement

In my tween and early teen years, I loved collecting pen pals. I would introduce myself to girls my age at homeschool conferences and camp grounds and ask if they would like to be my pen pal. Many of those girls never responded to my letters, but a few became friends I’ll love for life. We used letter writing to learn about each other. We used letter writing to encourage each other in the Lord. We used letter writing to love each other well.

Letter of Encouragement

Letter writing has become less needed and less practical as digital communication continues to develop, but it still holds a special place in my heart. Opening an email doesn’t hold the same excitement as opening the mailbox to find a note from a friend. Reading words on a screen lacks the personal, heart touching warmth of handwritten words on paper.

Who in your life would benefit from a letter of encouragement right now?

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Washing Feet In the Midst of Coronavirus Panic

Washing Feet Coronavirus

Wash hands first, then wash feet.

I saw this quote on Instagram several days ago. I can’t find the source now to credit the person who wrote it, but those simple words helped alter how I am thinking about Coronavirus and how it is impacting the world.

Historically, Christians have been at the forefront of helping in the face of calamity. I don’t want that heritage to stop with my generation. Maybe this is our opportunity to carry on the legacy left to us.

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5 Things I Loved This February

Several email lists that I subscribe to do a monthly list of things they’re enjoying. Those emails are my favorites. Often I delete similar emails without reading them. There’s just not enough time to keep up with them all. But the “things I’m loving” emails get saved until I have some time to comb through them.

5 Things I Loved this February

With so much content available online, I find it helpful and enjoyable to receive a curated list of podcasts, blog posts, books, recipes, etc. that someone else has already vetted and enjoyed.

Since I don’t plow through books quite as fast these days, I will be experimenting with mixing in other types of content as I try to get back into the blogging game. A “what I’m loving” list seemed like a good place to start since it’s the type of content I enjoy receiving.

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Book Review: The Strangers by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Something is wrong. The Greystone kids get home from school one day and learn that kids in another state have been kidnapped. The weird thing is, the kids have the same names as the Greystone siblings and they look the same too. The news makes Mom act strange, and she keeps acting stranger.

The Strangers

Hi there. I’m back! Maybe?

Over the past several months, I’ve been writing for the Equipping Godly Women blog, and it reminded me how much I enjoy blogging. Every time I write a post over there, I tell myself I should write one here. Unfortunately, procrastination is real, and it’s hard to break out of a year and a half rut of not posting.

Joining the blog tour for Jaye’s new book release forced me come up with a post for Leah’s Bookshelf, and then it seemed natural to share this book I just read.

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Book Review & Bonus Content: No Chance Meeting

No Chance Meeting

Summary of No Chance Meeting

Alex has been a different person since she lost her brother to the war in Afghanistan. Somewhere along the way, her relationship with God grew cold, and she can’t find anything that makes life worth living. The weariness almost causes her to do the unthinkable, but God has other plans.

Just before Alex follows through with a plan to end her life, she meets Riley Conrad. He seems to sense something is wrong, and his invitation to breakfast saves her life. When he turns out to be a Christian, and his interest in her continues, Alex wonders if there is a way out of the fog she’s been living in.

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Book Review: Traitor’s Masque

What if Cinderella had a lot to learn about being kind, no particular interest in a royal ball, and no fairy godmother? Enter the world of Trystan Embrie Colbourne. Once the admittedly spoiled daughter of a wealthy nobleman, she now lives in physical comfort but under the spiteful rule of her resentful stepmother. Her primary joy is the freedom of secret horseback rides while her family sleeps. It’s on one such ride that she crosses paths with a young man who becomes what she might dare to call a friend.

Traitor's Masque

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