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Fact + Fiction = Fantastic: Fiction Readalikes for We’ve Got a Job by Cynthia Levinson

We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March by Cynthia Leveinson is one of the finalists for the 2013 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. If you’ve already read We’ve Got a Job and are finding yourself wanting more, you may also enjoy these fictional stories (plus two other nonfiction titles) with similar themes, subjects, and elements. Read and liked a bunch of these books already? Give We’ve Got a Job a try!

(Summaries from jacket copy.)

Warriors Don’t Cry by Melba Beals
In 1957, Melba Pattillo turned sixteen. That was also the year she became a warrior on the front lines of a civil rights firestorm. Following the landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling, “Brown v. Board of Education,” Melba was one of nine teenagers chosen to integrate Little Rock’s Central High School.

Throughout her harrowing ordeal, Melba was taunted by her schoolmates and their parents, threatened by a lynch mob’s rope, attacked with lighted sticks of dynamite, and injured by acid sprayed in her eyes. But through it all, she acted with dignity and courage, and refused to back down.

This is her remarkable story.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
“Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

A lawyer’s advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee’s classic novel—a, a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unswerving honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina and quiet heroism of one man’s struggle for justice—but the weight of history will only tolerate so much.

No Crystal Stair by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
“You can’t walk straight on a crooked line. You do you’ll break your leg. How can you walk straight in a crooked system?”

Lewis Michaux was born to do things his own way. When a white banker told him to sell fried chicken, not books, because “Negroes don’t read,” Lewis took five books and one hundred dollars and built a bookstore. It soon became the intellectual center of Harlem, a refuge for everyone from Muhammad Ali to Malcolm X.

In No Crystal Stair, Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Vaunda Micheaux Nelson combines meticulous research with a storyteller’s flair to document the life and times of her great-uncle Lewis Michaux, an extraordinary literacy pioneer of the Civil Rights era.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie
In his first book for young adults, bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by acclaimed artist Ellen Forney, that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

— Compiled by members of the 2013 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults committee

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