Saturday, December 14, 2013

Alabama Becomes a State

On this day in 1819, Alabama became the 22nd state. To celebrate, we're looking at books that take place in, and authors from the Cotton State. Annotations are from WorldCat.


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The explosion of racial hate in an Alabama town is viewed by a little girl whose father defends a black man accused of rape. Lee is from Monroeville.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. Janie Crawford, a Southern Black woman in the 1930's, journeys from being a free-spirited girl to a woman of independence and substance. Hurston was born in Notasulga.

When We Were Saints by Han Nolan. Inspired by his grandfather's last words and guided by a girl who believes they are saints, fourteen-year-old Archie sets out on a spiritual quest that takes him from southern Appalachia to the Cloisters Museum in New York City. Nolan was born in Birmingham.


Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller by Joseph Lambert. The story of Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller presented in graphic format. Keller grew up in Tuscumbia.

Marching For Freedom: Walk Together Children and Don't You Grow Weary by Elizabeth Partridge. This book recounts the three months of protest that took place before Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s landmark march from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery to promote equal rights and help African-Americans earn the right to vote.

Never Sit Down in a Hoopskirt and Other Things I Learned in Southern Belle Hell by Crickett Rumley. After being ousted from yet another elite boarding school, seventeen-year-old Jane returns to her Alabama hometown, where her grandmother persuades her to enter the Magnolia Maid pageant.


Mare's War by Tanita S. Davis. Teens Octavia and Tali learn about strength, independence, and courage when they are forced to take a car trip with their grandmother, who tells about growing up Black in 1940s Alabama and serving in Europe during World War II as a member of the Women's Army Corps.

The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore. Dark secrets linking two Alabama families and their Welsh ancestors slowly come to light when seventeen-year-old Sylvie, whose promising ballet career has come to a sudden end, spends a month with a cousin she barely knows in her father's ancestral home.

Bird by Angela Johnson. Devastated by the loss of a second father, thirteen-year-old Bird follows her stepfather from Cleveland to Alabama in hopes of convincing him to come home, and along the way helps two boys cope with their difficulties.

What Alabama books would you add?

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