Books by Patricia C. McKissack

Released: Jan. 8, 2019

"A sweet story, one of the legendary McKissack's last, enhanced by delectable art from a prodigious new talent. (Picture book. 4-10)"
A boy who has little learns that he can still give. Read full book review >
WHO WILL BELL THE CAT? by Patricia C. McKissack
Released: April 10, 2018

"A lovely posthumous gift that will undoubtedly draw readers into the prolific author's body of work. (Picture book. 4-7)"
The mice in the barn have a cat problem and must rely on their own wits to solve it. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"A comprehensive treasury of memories, verbal art, and play. (notes, bibliography, index) (Folklore. 1-10)"
An ebullient collection of African-American playtime lore, traced to its sources. Read full book review >
OL' CLIP-CLOP by Patricia C. McKissack
Released: Oct. 1, 2013

"This splendid 'jump story' is not for the faint of heart, but readers who relish edge-of-the-seat suspense done impeccably will be well-satisfied. (Picture book. 6-10)"
Storyteller McKissack crafts a spine-tingling tale set during colonial times about a greedy man who just may get the scare of his life. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 2012

"History that's fun to read…and important. (authors' note, illustrator's note) (Historical fiction. 10 & up)"
On a train out of Denver in 1902, two old cowboys reminisce about the Old West. Read full book review >
NEVER FORGOTTEN by Patricia C. McKissack
Released: Oct. 11, 2011

"A totally absorbing poetic celebration of loss and redemption. (author's note) (Picture book/poetry. 7-12)"
A searing cycle of poems describes a father's grief after his son is taken from their home in Mali and enslaved in America. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 2011

"The characters are drawn without much complexity, but the worldbuilding is intriguing, there is plenty of action and ethnic diversity in a science-fiction tale is welcome. (Science fiction. 12 & up)"
The second book of the Clone Codes (Clone Codes, 2010) focuses on Houston Ye, the teen cyborg who helped the clone Leanna escape the government forces seeking her in fulfillment of its policy of discrimination against any deemed not completely human. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 2010

"This is fast-paced adventure with a provocative exploration of civil rights and identity. (Science fiction. 12 & up)"
It is the year 2170, and Leanna, daughter of a respected child psychologist, is a typical 13-year-old interested in friends and sports. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 28, 2008

"An outstanding way to introduce aspects of African-American history and explore the power of community. (Picture book/poetry. 6-12)"
McKissack's series of poems tells the story of and honors the history of the women quilters of Gee's Bend, Ala. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 25, 2007

"Pinkney's watercolor illustrations are masterful, as always, capturing the emotions on the girls' faces and filling in details of the family's Depression-era world. (Picture book. 4-8)"
McKissack and Pinkney join forces for their third collaborative effort in this story of three sisters who have to share one doll for Christmas during the Depression. Read full book review >
A SONG FOR HARLEM by Patricia C. McKissack
Released: Aug. 1, 2007

"But for newcomers to the period, this will serve as a taste of this rich period in American history. (Fiction. 6-9)"
McKissack's third offering in her Scraps of Time historical fiction for new readers examines the life of fictional Lilly Belle Turner in 1928 at the height of the Harlem Renaissance. Read full book review >
A FRIENDSHIP FOR TODAY by Patricia C. McKissack
Released: Jan. 1, 2007

"This simply told story will leave readers pondering our progress—or lack thereof—in race relations over the past 50 years. (Fiction. 9-12)"
The title may lead readers to expect a contemporary tale; instead, McKissack chronicles the events of 1954 and 1955, a tumultuous time in the life of 12-year-old Rosemary Patterson. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 22, 2006

"Capped by blues harmonica player Cake Norris's two-part odyssey up and down the ladder to Heaven, these tales all lend themselves to telling or reading aloud, and carry the common theme that even the worst rascals have saving graces. (author's introduction) (Short stories. 10-12)"
The author of The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural (1992), illustrated by Brian Pinkney, mines a lighter vein with nine original tales that hark back to yarns from her Tennessee childhood. Read full book review >
AWAY WEST by Patricia C. McKissack
Released: March 1, 2006

"A must for young history buffs. (timeline) (Fiction. 8-12)"
It's 1879 and 13-year-old Everett Turner is stowing away on a supply boat to St. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 15, 2005

"As a connecting device, a little boy in plaid pajamas bounces in and out of the illustrations, landing in bed at the final verse that indicates that such fantastical creatures can be found in the pages of favorite books. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Bold and imaginative collage illustrations swirl and swoop against neon-bright backgrounds in this exploration of a nonsensical world "where surprises grow on trees." Read full book review >
ABBY TAKES A STAND by Patricia C. McKissack
Released: May 1, 2005

"An excellent introduction to a promising new series. (Historical fiction. 8-12)"
Maggie Rae and her cousins visit their grandmother's attic to find scraps of time, remembrances from her family's past. Read full book review >
PRECIOUS AND THE BOO HAG by Patricia C. McKissack
Released: Jan. 1, 2005

"Fine fare for Halloween, or general under-the-covers reading. (Picture book. 6-8)"
A quick-witted child confronts a scary character (here somewhat toned down) from Gullah folklore in this largely original tale. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 14, 2004

"Current enough to include the rejection in 2003 of the Texas sodomy law, illustrated with a mix of telling photos, documents, and political cartoons, this will give serious students of this country's legal foundations plenty of food for thought. (documents, reading lists, index) (Nonfiction. 11-15)"
Working with an attorney, McKissack focuses on significant Supreme Court decisions in this revealing study of the US Constitution's long, evolving role as an instrument for the promotion of civil and human rights. Read full book review >
LU AND THE SWAMP GHOST by James Carville
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

"Here's hoping Carville's momma told him some more stories for Catrow to illustrate. (author's note) (Picture book. 6-8)"
Carville—yes, that one—retells a tale learned from his Louisiana mother, about her own Depression-era childhood. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 2004

"There are many stories in this volume that would make interesting history for the young reader; too bad they are sloppily combined into one choppy offering. (timeline, Web sites) (Nonfiction. 7-10)"
The McKissacks tell the story of the first African-Americans in America in an addition to the Milestone Books series. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 2003

"Still: an important work and an essential purchase. (introduction, time line, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 9-13)"
The McKissacks (Miami Sees It Through, not reviewed, etc.) have written a much-needed overview of how slavery came to an end. Read full book review >
TIPPY LEMMEY by Patricia C. McKissack
Released: Jan. 1, 2003

"Best of breed. (Fiction. 7-10)"
The time is 1951, the place is small-town Tennessee, and the country is at war with Korea. Read full book review >
GOIN’ SOMEPLACE SPECIAL by Patricia C. McKissack
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

"A natural for group sharing; leave plenty of time for the questions and discussion that are sure to follow. (Picture book. 5-9)"
In a story that will endear itself to children's librarians and, for that matter, all library lovers, 'Tricia Ann begs her grandmother to be allowed to go alone to Someplace Special. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"637, etc.) has written a stunning and thoroughly researched addition to the Royal Diaries series. (epilogue, historical note, family tree, photos, maps, pronunciation guide, glossary) (Historical fiction. 8-14)"
This remarkable book tells the true story of a courageous young princess who grew to be a military leader and hero. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2000

"This part of American history is too often glossed over in textbooks, but must be understood in the context of modern race relations. (Fiction. 11-14)"
In this new addition to the Dear America series, life in 1919 is peaceful and happy for Nellie Lee Love and her family in the little town of Bradford Corners, Tennessee. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1999

"38;w photos, appendix, chronology, bibliography). (Nonfiction. 8-13)"
From the McKissacks (Young, Black, and Determined, 1998, etc.), a well-written, historical account of African-Americans who sailed on whaling ships off the East Coast between 1730 and 1880. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 15, 1998

"Her death at age 34 comes through as a decisive loss to the American theatre; the authors cull from her short, high-impact life a thorough, very readable, work. (b&w photos, chronology, bibliography, index) (Biography. 10-13)"
A playwright who is well known to readers through A Raisin in the Sun is given fair tribute by the McKissacks (Rebels Against Slavery, 1996, etc.), who also provide a window into the times in which Hansberry lived. Read full book review >
MA DEAR'S APRONS by Patricia C. McKissack
Released: April 1, 1997

"But there's love here, cast over David Earl's life with the same uncompromising grace Ma Dear brings to all things in their lives. (Picture book. 3-9)"
McKissack's story looks at a week in the life of a turn-of- the-century African-American boy and his mother. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

"The writing here is occasionally awkward- -readers may have difficulty distinguishing among facts, opinions, and rationalization—but these are gripping tales, in a solid volume about the slavery era. (b&w photos, not seen, chronology, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 8-14)"
Stories of African-Americans, some slaves and some free, who fought against slavery both in the US and the Caribbean, including Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, Toussaint Louverture, and Denmark Vesey. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"A fascinating and little- exposed area of US history. (glossary, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 12+)"
The powerful, inspirational story of the only African-American contingent of pilots to fly in WW II, nicknamed the Red-Tail Angels for the markings on their aircraft. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"Unfortunately, the McKissacks have stepped over. (Historical fiction/Picture book. 8-13)"
It's Christmas 1859 on a Virginia plantation. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 1994

"Maps and index not seen. (Nonfiction. 11-15)"
Calling on both contemporary travelers' accounts and songs of the griots, the McKissacks reconstruct the history of three West African empires, each of which flourished in turn, only to be nearly buried by time and scholarly prejudice. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 1992

"Photos and historical reproductions; bibliography; index. (Biography. 9-12)"
Presenting the dramatic life of one of slavery's staunchest opponents, the McKissacks illuminate the most important issues of 19th-century American politics. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

"A fine collection that teaches as it entertains. (Fiction. 10-13)"
McKissack invites readers to gather in the ``dark-thirty''- -the eerie half hour when dusk darkens to night—for ten shivery tales inspired by African-American folklore and history. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 1992

"Glossary; index. (Biography. 7-12)"
One of seven new entries, all by the McKissacks, in the ``Great African Americans'' series. Read full book review >
A MILLION FISH...MORE OR LESS by Patricia C. McKissack
Released: Feb. 10, 1992

"In her picture book debut, Schutzer provides freely rendered oil paintings with bold strokes of vibrant color that are especially effective at a distance—fine for groups. (Picture book. 5-10)"
Out fishing on the Bayou Clapateaux, young Hugh Thomas listens with delight when Papa-Daddy and Elder Abbajonto happen by to tell him a tall tale concerning a 500-pound turkey, a Spanish conquistador's lantern that's still burning, and ``the longest, meanest cottonmouth I ever did see.'' After they leave, Hugh Thomas catches just three small fish—and then imagines an even taller tale to tell the men: he catches a million fish, but the crocodiles demand half, and he's able to keep only half of the remainder by winning a jumprope contest with some piratical raccoons on his way home. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1991

"No bibliography, sources, or index. (Biography. 7-9)"
Wells-Barnett (1862-1931) was a journalist whose lifelong fight against discrimination began at age 16. Read full book review >