African American History Month Reading Contest

African American History Month -- also known as Black History Month -- is typically celebrated in the month of February in the US. 

This year, MVMS will celebrate with a school-wide reading contest.

The contest will run from February 1st through March 12th

The instructions, rules and prizes are described below.

Students can choose which book(s) they wish to read and which level they wish to achieve during the contest.

If you have questions about how to access the books and/or how to complete the requirements for a prize level, contact Ms. Schartiger at lisa_m_schartiger@mcpsmd.org

 
Instructions and Prize levels

level 1

To earn the prize for Level 1, students must

  • read one (1) of the books linked below AND

  • After reading the book, students must complete this reader response form.   

  • Click HERE to see an example of a well-done Reader Response Form

Level 1 Prize:  one coupon for a free item from a local restaurant or convenience store. Everyone who completes the Level 1  requirements wins a prize.

level 2

To earn the prize for Level 2, students must

Level 2 Prizes: Student will receive one coupon for a free item from a local restaurant or convenience store PLUS the student's name will be put into a drawing for a $25 Gift card to Wegmans.  Odds of winning the gift card depend upon the number of students who achieve this level.

level 3

To earn the prize for Level 3, students must

  • read two (2) of the books linked below AND

  • complete a reader response form for EACH book, AND

  • complete a fun and easy project of their choice.

Click HERE to see all of the Level 3 project choices.

Level 3 Prizes: Student will receive one coupon for a free item from a local restaurant or convenience store PLUS the Student's name will be put into a drawing for a $50 Gift card to Wegmans.  Odds of winning the gift card depend upon the number of students who achieve this level.

 
Book Choices

Below are the book choices for the contest.  Format availability varies for each book.  If you choose to read the book in digital ebook or audiobook format, you click the appropriate link below and then log into Sora with your student ID number using the example format shown on the screen.  Your username for Sora will be something like this: 

 

******@mcpsmd.org. (stars represent your ID number)

Your password will be the same password that you use for all MCPS applications.

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Fiction

The Hate U Give 

by Angie Thomas

After witnessing her friend's death at the hands of a police officer, Starr Carter's life is complicated when the police and a local drug lord try to intimidate her in an effort to learn what happened the night Kahlil died.

Get this in digital ebook format

 Get this in audiobook format 

Get this in print

(select print only if you are able to come to school to pick up a copy. Copies are limited and might not be immediately available)

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Fiction

The Unsung Hero of Birdsong USA

by Brenda Woods

Gabriel gains new perspective when he becomes friends with Meriwether, a Black World War II hero who has recently returned to the unwelcoming Jim Crow South.

Get this in digital ebook format

 Get this in audiobook format 

Get this in print:  Edition #1 ; Edition #2

(select print only if you are able to come to school to pick up a copy. Copies are limited and might not be immediately available)

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Fiction

One Crazy Summer

by Rita Williams-Garcia

In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.

Get this in digital ebook format

 Get this in audiobook format 

Get this in print: Edition #1 ; Edition #2

(select print only if you are able to come to school to pick up a copy. Copies are limited and might not be immediately available)

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Fiction

Miles Morales: Spider-Man

by Jason Reynolds

Brooklyn Visions Academy student Miles Morales may not always want to be a super hero, but he must come to terms with his identity--and deal with a villainous teacher--as the new Spider Man

Get this in digital ebook format

 Get this in audiobook format 

Get this in print: Edition #1 ; Edition #2

(select print only if you are able to come to school to pick up a copy. Copies are limited and might not be immediately available)

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Fiction

Finding Langston

by Lesa Cline-Ransome

Discovering a book of Langston Hughes' poetry in the library helps Langston cope with the loss of his mother, relocating from Alabama to Chicago as part of the Great Migration, and being bullied.

Get this in digital ebook format

 Get this in audiobook format 

Get this in print

(select print only if you are able to come to school to pick up a copy. Copies are limited and might not be immediately available)

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Fiction

The Season of Styx Malone

by Kekla Magoon

Caleb Franklin and his big brother Bobby Gene are excited to have adventures in the woods behind their house. But Caleb dreams of venturing beyond their ordinary small town. Then Caleb and Bobby Gene meet new neighbor Styx Malone. Styx is sixteen and oozes cool. Styx promises the brothers that together, the three of them can pull off the Great Escalator Trade--exchanging one small thing for something better until they achieve their wildest dream. But as the trades get bigger, the brothers soon find themselves in over their heads. Styx has secrets--secrets so big they could ruin everything.

Get this in digital ebook format

 Get this in audiobook format 

Get this in print

(select print only if you are able to come to school to pick up a copy. Copies are limited and might not be immediately available)

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Fiction

The Stars Beneath Our Feet

by David Barclay Moore

Unable to celebrate the holidays in the wake of his older brother's death in a gang-related shooting, Lolly Rachpaul struggles to avoid being forced into a gang himself while constructing a fantastically creative LEGO city at the Harlem community center.

Get this in digital ebook format

 Get this in audiobook format 

Get this in print

(select print only if you are able to come to school to pick up a copy. Copies are limited and might not be immediately available)

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Fiction

Harbor Me

by Jacqueline Woodson

Everything changes when six kids are sent to a room in school by themselves with no adults to listen in. Dubbing it the ARTT room, A Room To Talk, they find themselves discussing things they never thought they could with anyone else, finding outlets for fears about parents, racial profiling, deportation scares, and ultimately their shared longing for a place to belong.

Get this in digital ebook format

 Get this in audiobook format 

Get this in print

(select print only if you are able to come to school to pick up a copy. Copies are limited and might not be immediately available)

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Fiction

The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural

by Patricia McKissack

A collection of ghost stories with African American themes, designed to be told during the Dark Thirty--the half hour before sunset--when ghosts seem all too believable.

Get this in digital ebook format

 

Get this in print:  Edition #1

                                 Edition #2

 

(select print only if you are able to come to school to pick up a copy. Copies are limited and might not be immediately available)

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Fiction

47

by Walter Mosley

Number 47, a fourteen-year-old slave boy growing up under the watchful eye of a brutal master in 1832, meets the mysterious Tall John, who introduces him to a magical science and also teaches him the meaning of freedom.

Get this in audiobook format

 

Get this in print

 

(select print only if you are able to come to school to pick up a copy. Copies are limited and might not be immediately available)

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Nonfiction

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom

by Lynda Blackmon Lowery ; as told to Elspeth Leacock and Susan Buckley ; illustrated by PJ Loughran.

Lynda Blackmon Lowery recounts her experiences as the youngest marcher on the 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

Get this in digital ebook format

 Get this in audiobook format 

Get this in print

(select print only if you are able to come to school to pick up a copy. Copies are limited and might not be immediately available)

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Nonfiction

We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices

by Wade Hudson

What do we tell our children when the world seems bleak, and prejudice and racism run rampant? With 96 lavishly designed pages of poems, letters, personal essays, art, and other works, fifty diverse creators lend voice to young activists.

Get this in digital ebook format

 Get this in audiobook format 

Get this in print

(select print only if you are able to come to school to pick up a copy. Copies are limited and might not be immediately available)

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Nonfiction

What Was the March on Washington?

by Kathleen Krull

On August 28, 1963, more than 200,000 people gathered in Washington, DC, to demand equal rights for all races. It was there that Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech, and it was this peaceful protest that spurred the momentous civil rights laws of the mid-1960s. With black-and-white artwork throughout and sixteen pages of photographs, the March is brought to life!

Get this in digital ebook format

 

Get this in print

 

(select print only if you are able to come to school to pick up a copy. Copies are limited and might not be immediately available)

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Nonfiction

What is the Civil Rights Movement?

by Sherri L. Smith

Relive the moments when African Americans fought for equal rights, and made history.
Even though slavery had ended in the 1860s, African Americans were still suffering under the weight of segregation a hundred years later. They couldn't go to the same schools, eat at the same restaurants, or even use the same bathrooms as white people. But by the 1950s, black people refused to remain second-class citizens and were willing to risk their lives to make a change.

Get this in digital ebook format

 Get this in audiobook format 

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Nonfiction

A Time to Break the Silence

by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Arranged thematically in five parts, the collection includes nineteen selections and is introduced by award-winning author Walter Dean Myers. Included are some of Dr. King’s most well-known and frequently taught classic works, including “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and “I Have a Dream,” as well as lesser-known pieces such as “The Sword that Heals” and “What Is Your Life’s Blueprint?” that speak to issues young people face today.

Get this in digital ebook format

 

Get this in print

 

(select print only if you are able to come to school to pick up a copy. Copies are limited and might not be immediately available)

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Nonfiction

In the Shadow of Liberty

by Kenneth C. Davis

Did you know that many of America’s Founding Fathers―who fought for liberty and justice for all―were slave owners? Through the powerful stories of five enslaved people who were “owned” by four of our greatest presidents, book helps set the record straight about the role slavery played in the founding of America.

Get this in digital ebook format

 Get this in audiobook format 

Get this in print

(select print only if you are able to come to school to pick up a copy. Copies are limited and might not be immediately available)

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Nonfiction

Timelines from Black History

by Mireille Harper

Erased. Ignored. Hidden. Lost. Underappreciated. No longer. Delve into the unique, inspiring, and world-changing history of Black people. From Frederick Douglass to Oprah Winfrey, and the achievements of ancient African kingdoms to those of the US Civil Rights Movement, Timelines From Black History: Leaders, Legends, Legacies takes you on an exceptional journey from prehistory to modern times. 

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 Get this in audiobook format

Get this book in print 

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Nonfiction

How to Build a Museum

by Tonya Bolden

The first national museum whose mission is to illuminate for all people, the rich, diverse, complicated, and important experiences and contributions of African Americans in America has opened, and the history of NMAAHC--the last museum to be built on the National Mall--is the history of America.  
This book includes behind-the-scenes photos of literally "how to build a museum" that holds everything from an entire segregated railroad car to a tiny West African amulet worn to ward off slave traders.

Get this in digital ebook format

 

Get this in print

 

(select print only if you are able to come to school to pick up a copy. Copies are limited and might not be immediately available)

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Biography

Kamala Harris: Madam Vice President

by Heather E. Schwartz

In 2019 Kamala Harris launched a campaign for the presidency and dedicated it to all Americans with the slogan "Kamala for the People." Though she didn't win the nomination, she earned her place on the ticket as Joe Biden's vice-presidential pick. She made history as the first Black and Indian woman to be elected vice president. Follow her fight to the White House!

Get this in digital ebook format

 

Get this in print

 

(select print only if you are able to come to school to pick up a copy. Copies are limited and might not be immediately available)

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Biography

Who is Barack Obama?

by Roberta Edwards

As the world now knows, Barack Obama has made history as our first African-American president. With black-and-white illustrations throughout, this biography is perfect for primary graders looking for a longer, fuller life story than is found in the author's bestselling beginning reader Barack Obama: United States President.

Get this in digital ebook format

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Biography

Who is Michelle Obama?

by Megan Stine

Born into a close knit family in Chicago, Michelle Robinson was a star student who graduated from Princeton and Harvard Law. Then in 1992, she married another promising young lawyer and the rest, as they say, is history. It is undeniable that President Barack Obama has changed the United States but so has Michelle Obama, the self proclaimed "Mom in Chief."

Get this in digital ebook format

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Biography

Who Was Martin Luther King Jr?

by Bonnie Bader

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was only 25 when he helped organize the Montgomery Bus Boycott and was soon organizing black people across the country in support of the right to vote, desegregation, and other basic civil rights. Maintaining nonviolent and peaceful tactics even when his life was threatened, King was also an advocate for the poor and spoke out against racial and economic injustice until his death—from an assassin's bullet—in 1968. With clearly written text that explains this tumultuous time in history and 80 black-and-white illustrations, this Who Was? celebrates the vision and the legacy of a remarkable man.

Get this in digital ebook format

Get this in audiobook format

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Biography

Brave, Black, First: 50 African American Women Who Changed the World

by Cheryl Hudson

Published in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, discover over fifty remarkable African American women whose unique skills and contributions paved the way for the next generation of young people.

Get this in digital ebook format

Get this in print

(select print only if you are able to come to school to pick up a copy. Copies are limited and might not be immediately available)

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Biography

Brown Girl Dreaming

by Jacqueline Woodson

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

Get this in digital ebook format

 Get this in audiobook format 

Get this in print

(select print only if you are able to come to school to pick up a copy. Copies are limited and might not be immediately available)

 
How-To Videos
Video: Instructions, Rules and Prize Levels
Video: Book Choices
Video:  Book Choices
Video: How to Access Books
Video: How to Complete a Level 3 Project

Frequently asked questions

Do we have to sign up for it or not just start reading it?


You just start reading; no sign-up is necessary!




For the 2nd prize and the 3rd prize it says we have to read 2 books in both of them. SO that means over all we have to read 5 books?


No, two books total. Read one book and do a reader response form for Level 1 prize --everyone gets that prize. Read a second book and do a reader response form and you get your name in the drawing. If you do one of the Level 3 projects for one of the two books you read, your name will go into a drawing for the bigger gift card




If we do all the way to prize 3 is there a chance that we get both 2 and 3 gift cards or only one gift card.


No. If you complete the Level 3 requirements, your name would only be in the Level 3 drawing.




Is there only one prize for each level? Or no is there more than one person that's going to win.


The Level boxes tell you exactly what the prizes are for example, for Level 3: "Level 3 Prizes: Student will receive one coupon for a free item from a local restaurant or convenience store PLUS the Student's name will be put into a drawing for a $50 Gift card to Wegmans. Odds of winning the gift card depend upon the number of students who achieve this level." In other words: EVERYONE who completes level one gets a coupon. The gift cards are drawings, meaning only one person will win a $25 gift card, and one person will win a $50 gift card.