Arkansas Children’s Books – 5 Great Kids Books About Little Rock and Maya Angelou

The Ultimate List of Children’s Books about Arkansas

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Arkansas Children’s Books: 

 

Maya Angelou: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People

 

Rise!: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People by Bethany Hegedus and Tonya Engel

Maya Angelou didn’t speak for parts of her childhood, by later on spoke in front of the world, as the inaugural poet in 1993. 

 

Naval STEM: Raye Montague, Ship Engineer, from Arkansas to Building Boats

 

The Girl With a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague, by Julia Finley Mosca and Daniel Rieley

Raye Montague was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. As a child, she saw a German submarine that had been captured by the Americans in a traveling exhibit. She continued on to become a naval engineer, and one day made the FIRST rough draft of a naval ship ever done on a computer. 

 

Rock & Roll Musicians

 

Rock & Roll Highway, by Sebastian Robertson and Adam Gustavson

Learn about Arkansas’s role in the growth of the musical genre rock’n’roll.

 

Slavery in Arkansas – Poetry About the Past

 

Freedom Over Me, by Ashley Bryan

This book takes a documented, published slave auction from an estate in Hempstead County, Arkansas, that included a full list of all the names and ages of the enslaved people in that household. Author Ashley Bryan draws paintings of them and reimagines their lives. This book is an interesting genre, it is poetry that is historical fiction – because the voices themselves were silenced and never able to pass on their story.

This children’s book is a conversation starter for sure – great for 3rd grade and up, and some 2nd graders. The book really sticks with you after reading it, the sharing of personal stories, inside jokes, and dreams, from people who had their worth devalued to nothing more than a name and a price tag. It is as though you can hear them beyond their death, and they get the last laugh.  

Arkansas Books for Older Students

Warriors Don’t Cry, by Melba Patillo Beals.

This is a true story. The author was one of the Little Rock 9, students who integrated their high school in 1957. She has won the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work. This book is non-fiction, a memoir of the author’s experiences, but it is captivating and reads like fiction – because the truth is strange and dangerous. This book is often assigned to 7th through 9th grade classes and is an excellent read.

 

Lions of Little Rock, by Kristin Levine

It’s 1957, and two twelve-year-olds are starting up at school again with summer over. The story covers the year after the Little Rock Nine, when integration has happened. This book about Arkansas is recommended for grades 6 – 8.

 

Movie About Arkansas:

Minari is a movie about growing up in Arkansas. It is rated PG-13, and was nominated for several Academy Awards. For adults and older children, the movie tells the story about a close-knit family growing up together in the Ozark mountains of Arkansas.

 

Arkansas Geography to Highlight:

Arkansas River

Ozarks – Ozark National Forest (1.2 million acres)

St. Francis National Forest

Mount Magazine, tallest mountain in Arkansas

 Ouachita Mountains

Arkansas Timberlands

 

Arkansas Vocabulary to Highlight:

CaddoOsage, and Quapaw peoples

Louisiana Purchase

plantation economy

admitted as state in 1836

Rohwer Relocation Camp

Jerome Relocation Camp

Little Rock Nine

integration of Little Rock Central High School in 1957

poet Maya Angelou

Walmart headquarters: Bentonville, Arkansas

 

 

Children’s Books about Arkansas and all 50 states. Which state will you read about next!

 

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Here you will find books about Arkansas and all 50 states.