Download the teacher’s guides for these must-read nonfiction books by Philip Hoose,
perfect for your classroom library!
Phillip Hoose is an award-winning author of books, essays, stories, songs and articles. Although he first wrote for adults, he turned his attention to children and young adults in part to keep up with his own daughters.
His newest book, Duet: Our Journey in Song with the Northern Mockingbird, is story of the impactful partnership between humans and mockingbirds, both scientifically and culturally over the centuries. His book Claudette Colvin won a National Book Award and a Newbery Honor. He is also the author of It’s Our World, Too!; The Race to Save the Lord God Bird; The Boys Who Challenged Hitler; and We Were There, Too!, a National Book Award finalist, and Attucks! He has received a Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, a Christopher Award, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, and multiple Robert F. Sibert Honor Awards, among numerous honors.
Duet: Our Journey in Song with the Northern Mockingbird by Phillip Hoose
The story of the impactful partnership between humans and mockingbirds, both scientifically and culturally over the centuries, written for young adults by award-winning nonfiction powerhouse Phil Hoose.
The Northern mockingbird’s brilliant song—a loud, bright, liquid sampling of musical notes and phrases—has made it a beloved companion and the official bird of five states. Many of our favorite songs and poems feature mockingbirds.
Mockingbirds have been companions to humans for centuries. Many Native American myths and legends feature mockingbirds, often teaching humans to speak. Thomas Jefferson’s mockingbird, “Dick”, was the first White House pet. John James Audubon’s portrait of a rattlesnake raiding a mockingbird’s nest sparked outrage in the world of art. Atticus Finch’s somber warning to his children, “Remember, it’s a sin to kill a Mockingbird,” is known throughout the world. Some jazz musicians credit mockingbirds with teaching them a four-note call that says, “Break’s over.” And mockingjays—a hybrid between jabberjays and mockers—are a symbol of the rebel cause in the Hunger Games trilogy.
But in the early 1900s the mocker was plummeting toward extinction. Too many had been trapped, sold, and caged. Something had to be done. To the rescue came a powerful and determined group of women.
Now, National Book Award and Newbery honor-winner Phillip Hoose brings the story of the important and overlooked connection between humans and mockingbirds—past, present, and future. It is the third volume of his bird trilogy.
Duet is a study in the power of song. As author Steve Sheinkin puts it, “This book will change how you listen to the world.”
Praise for Duet:
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
★“A duet is a piece for two voices, and award-winning author Hoose provides a new perspective into an amazing bird and its place in American cultural history . . . A delight to read. Recommend for all libraries for a fresh look at the impact on native species of the settlement of America.” —School Library Journal, starred review
“[W]ith breadth of scope and liveliness of prose . . . will likely leave readers with new appreciation for this common backyard bird.” —Horn Book Magazine
“[Hoose] discusses the species’ endangerment and efforts to save it as well as the mockingbird’s current state, how it’s adapting during climate change, and practices humans can make to support it. Related photos expand reader familiarity with this at once iconic yet lesser-known bird.” —Booklist
“Through loosely connected historical vignettes, Hoose capably paints a straightforward picture of the northern mockingbird, its species history, and its impact on the world.” —Publishers Weekly
“Aspiring naturalists and bird watchers will easily zoom in on chapters that offer the deeper dives into bird research and will appreciate chapter-aligned source notes and an index.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice by Phillip Hoose
Before Rosa Parks, there was 15-year-old Claudette Colvin. Now available in paperback: her National Book Award–wining story, told by the incomparable Phillip Hoose.
“When it comes to justice, there is no easy way to get it. You can’t sugarcoat it. You have to take a stand and say, ‘This is not right.'” – Claudette Colvin
On March 2, 1955, an impassioned teenager, fed up with the daily injustices of Jim Crow segregation, refused to give her seat to a white woman on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Instead of being celebrated as Rosa Parks would be just nine months later, fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin found herself shunned by her classmates and dismissed by community leaders. Undaunted, a year later she dared to challenge segregation again as a key plaintiff in Browder v. Gayle, the landmark case that struck down the segregation laws of Montgomery and swept away the legal underpinnings of the Jim Crow South.
Based on extensive interviews with Claudette Colvin and many others, Phillip Hoose presents the first in-depth account of an important yet largely unknown civil rights figure, skillfully weaving her dramatic story into the fabric of the historic Montgomery bus boycott and court case that would change the course of American history.
Praise for Claudette Colvin:
A Newbery Honor Book
A National Book Award Winner for Young People’s Literature
A YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Finalist
A Robert F. Sibert Honor Book
★ “This inspiring title shows the incredible difference that a single young person can make.” —Booklist, starred review
★ “Outstanding.” —School Library Journal, starred review
★ “Hoose reasserts [Claudette Colvin’s] place in history with this vivid and dramatic account.” —Horn Book, starred review
The true story of the all-black high school basketball team that broke the color barrier in segregated 1950s Indiana, masterfully told by National Book Award winner Phil Hoose.
One city. One team. One victory for racial justice that the history books forgot.
1955, Indianapolis—a northern American city, a hotbed of Jim Crow laws, and a national high school basketball epicenter. Crispus Attucks High School, an all-Black school founded thirty years earlier by the Ku Klux Klan–infected school board in the name of segregation, has not been lucky in the state tournament. The odds have been stacked against them, with no gym of their own, a weak schedule, and racially biased referees. But in 1955, they’ve finally assembled a powerhouse squad of ten Black boys, each one a migrant raised in poverty in the South, born to families who came North to escape Jim Crow in the South and were shocked by the city they found.
Led by superstar Oscar Robertson, the 1955 Tigers may be unbeatable. As they advance through the state tournament, they seem poised to win. And a largely white city is forced to decide: Can they accept a team of Black champions? Indeed, the Tigers’ road to victory is paved with injustice going back decades—and their hard-earned success will shatter the myth of their inferiority.
From Newbery Honor and National Book Award–winning author Phillip Hoose comes this true story of the first all-Black team in U.S. history to win a racially open championship tournament—a new classic in the civil rights canon about resilience, teamwork, and the struggle to overcome impossible systemic odds, one game at a time.
Praise for Unbeatable:
An ALA Notable Book of 2019
NYPL Best Book for Teens of 2018
A 2018 Booklist Youth Editors’ Choice
A Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature Best Book of 2018
A Kirkus Reviews Best YA Nonfiction Book of 2018
An ALSC Notable Children’s Book of 2019
A YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award Nominee
★ “Hoose does a brilliant job of portraying the surrounding historical context, exploring the migration of black families from the South to Indiana, showing how Jim Crow practices were just as present in the North as in the South, and describing the deep groundswell of support for basketball in Indiana. . ..Attucks! doesn’t pretend that we’ve outlived the racism of the American past, all the while showing readers how being grounded in one’s self-worth and committed to the pursuit of excellence can have a lasting impact on a community. A powerful, awe-inspiring basketball-driven history.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★ “Excessively readable, this should appeal to sports fans and those looking for a good book about the civil rights era. Exemplary notes and sources will push readers—adults included—to learn even more.” —Booklist, starred review
★ “The evolving fast-break style of play, the local rivalries, and the sheer prowess of individual players guarantee a compelling read, but the story of how a mini dynasty of high school players turned the tables on segregationists extends interest beyond sports fans. . .When kids think they’ve reached the end of their civil rights era education, hand them this.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review
★ “Hoose balances this exposé of basketball’s racist history with thrilling game accounts, character insight, and great sympathy.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club by Phillip Hoose
At the outset of World War II, Denmark did not resist German occupation. Deeply ashamed of his nation’s leaders, fifteen-year-old Knud Pedersen resolved with his brother and a handful of schoolmates to take action against the Nazis if the adults would not. Naming their secret club after the fiery British leader, the young patriots in the Churchill Club committed countless acts of sabotage, infuriating the Germans, who eventually had the boys tracked down and arrested. But their efforts were not in vain: the boys’ exploits and eventual imprisonment helped spark a full-blown Danish resistance.
Interweaving his own narrative with the recollections of Knud himself, The Boys Who Challenged Hitler is National Book Award winner Phillip Hoose’s inspiring story of these young war heroes.
This thoroughly-researched and documented book can be worked into multiple aspects of the common core curriculum.
Praise for The Boys Who Challenged Hitler:
A Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Honor Winner
A Boston Globe–Horn Book Nonfiction Honor Winner
A Booklist Editors’ Choice
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year and Best Teen Book of the Year
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
A New York Public Library Notable
A Washington Post Best Children’s Book of 2015
★ “Often reading like a thriller, this title puts a human face on the often-overlooked Danish Resistance . . . Captivating.” —School Library Journal, starred review
★ “Their story is one of bravery in the face of constant danger and of increasingly meaningful acts of sabotage . . . An important and unforgettable book that adds a significant chapter to the history of WWII.” —Booklist, starred review
★ “[An] inspiring account.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
★ “Hoose tells this largely unknown story with passion and clarity . . . A superbly told, remarkable true story.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★ “What an edge-of-your-seat narrative it is-and even more compelling for teen readers, who are the same age as the real-life protagonists.” —The Bulletin, starred review