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Literature Guide heading

For Run Away Home
By Patricia C. McKissack

 

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Book cover of All the colors of the Race: PoemsAdolf, Arnold. All the Colors of the Race: Poems. Illustrated by John Steptoe. Lothrop, Lee, and Shepard Books, 1982.

This book is a collection of poetry written from the perspective of a biracial child with a black mother and a white father.

Similarity to Run Away Home: Sarah Jane’s mother was multiracial – having black heritage as well as a grandmother who was Seminole Indian, she understood these two worlds. She also had some white heritage in her, as her grandfather was mulatto.

 

Book Cover of As Long As the Rivers Flow: The Stories of Nine Native AmericansAllen, Paula Gunn and Patric Smith. As Long As the Rivers Flow: The Stories of Nine Native Americans . Scholastic, 1996.

This is a nonfiction book for ages ten and up that includes short, well-done biographies of Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Wilma Pearl Mankiller, Michael Naranjo, Weetamoo, Geronimo, Will Rogers, Jim Thorpe, Maria Tallchief, and Louise Erdrich.

Similarities to Run Away Home: The factual information about Geronimo in this biographical sketch will help deepen the readers’ understanding of him, having been introduced to Geronimo in Run Away Home. The reader will also gain information about other famous Native Americans.

 

Book Cover of SounderArmstrong, William H. Sounder. Illustrated by James Barkley. Harper Collins, 1969.

This Newbery Award-winning novel is set in the South after the Civil War. It is about a dog, named Sounder, and a black boy during a time of segregation. The boy and the dog struggle to survive after the boy’s father goes to prison.

Similarities to Run Away Home: Both of these stories describe the struggles of a black family in the segregated south after the Civil War. Both stories involve a relationship between a child and his/her dog.

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Book cover of The Ledgerbook of Thomas Blue EagleGrutman, Jewel and Gay Matthaei. The Ledgerbook of Thomas Blue Eagle. Illustrated by Adam Cvijanovic. Thomasson-Grant, 1994.

This is a fictionalized story with historic authenticity. The story is narrated by a Lakota Souix Indian Boy who tells about the dispersal of his tribe and his experiences at the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania.

Similarities to Run Away Home: This story tells about an Indian boy who has to go to the Carlisle Indian School and in Run Away Home, Sky runs away from the Army train because he does not want to go to the Carlisle Indian School to be de-Indianized.

 

Book cover for Race for Freedom Johnson, Lois Walfrid. Race for Freedom (The Riverboat Adventure Series, No. 2). Bethany House, 1996.

A story about a runaway slave, Jordon Parker, who receives help from twelve-year-old Libby Norstad and her friend Caleb. Libby calls on God for help, as she becomes a part of the Underground Railroad and works to get the slave to the free states in the North.

Similarities to Run Away Home: While Run Away Home touches on the subject of the Underground Railroad, Race for Freedom tells the fictional story of a brave young girl who becomes a part of the Underground Railroad. The two stories are also similar in that they both tell the story of a young girl of one color who helps a person of another color in efforts to escape bondage – the black man from slavery and the Native American from the United States government. A third way that the two stories are similar is that both have characters that rely on their faith in God.

 

Book cover for Vision of Beauty: The Story of Sarah Breedlove WalkerLasky, Kathryn. Vision of Beauty: The Story of Sarah Breedlove Walker. Illustrated by Nmeka Bennett. Candlewick Press, 2000.

This is a biography of Sarah Breedlove Walker who was born in 1867 to a sharecropper during a time of segregation. Women were not permitted to vote or own property. Despite of all of these drawbacks, she became the owner of one of the largest businesses in America. She was also influenced by Mr. and Mrs. Booker T. Washington.

Similarities to Run Away Home: Both of these books show the influence of Booker T. Washington, although one is true to life and one is fictional. Both books describe the same time period, and both show the struggle against social injustice.

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Book cover for If You Traveled on the Underground RailroadLevine, Ellen. If You Traveled on the Underground Railroad. Illustrated by Larry Johnson. Scholastic, 1992.

This is a nonfiction book that is an excellent source of factual information for children about the Underground Railroad, yet is presented in an easy-to-read style.

Similarity to Run Away Home: The factual information given in this book about the Underground Railroad will increase the readers’ understanding after having been introduced to it in Run Away Home.

 

Book cover for Let It Shine! Stories of Black Women Freedom FightersPinkney, Andrea Davis. Let It Shine! Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters. Illustrated by Stephen Alcorn. Gulliver Books, 2000.

Let It Shine! Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters is a collective biography of ten extraordinary black women including: Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Biddy Mason, Ella Josephine Baker, Dorothy Irene Height, Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Shirley Chisholm. The stories of these women span nearly the entire 20th Century. The stories are inspirational and the artwork is powerful.

Similarities to Run Away Home: Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad were touched on in Run Away Home. Reading about Harriet Tubman in biographical form will strengthen the readers’ knowledge of her and other black women who helped shape the United States.

 

Book cover for The Sign of the BeaverSpear, Elizabeth George. The Sign of the Beaver. Dell, 1983.

Thirteen-year-old Matt, a white boy, is left to guard his family’s homestead. Matt is stung by bees and is treated by an old Native American and his grandson. Matt and the Indian boy, Attean, become friends in spite of their differences.

Similarities to Run Away Home: Both of these stories focus on the friendship of youths of different races. In both stories, a kind adult from another race saves the boy from near death. Both stories deal with issues of the Native Americans.

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Book cover for Roll of Thunder, Hear My CryTaylor, Mildred D. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Puffin Books, 1976.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry tells the story of nine-year-old Cassie Logan and her brothers Stacey, Christopher-John, and Little Man and their family’s struggles with the prejudices of whites against blacks during the 1930s. They live in constant fear of being attacked by the “night riders.” Cassie’s father does everything he has to (including working on the railroad) in order to pay the taxes on the family farm. Many of the other black families have to work as sharecroppers.

Similarities to Run Away Home: Both of these stories describe injustices done to blacks by whites; both are told from the perspective of a young girl; both deal with off-shoots of the Ku Klux Klan; both describe black families in fear of losing their land; both show that sharecropping was just a different form of slavery; and both deal with segregation in the South.

 

Book cover for Daily Life in a Plains Indian Village 1868Terry, Michael Bad Hand. Daily Life in a Plains Indian Village 1868. Clarion, 1999.

Real-life contemporary Native American models depict in color photos the everyday life of a Plains Indian in 1868. A nonfiction book that shows what life was like before “white” settlements spread across the land and Native Americans were forced onto reservations.

Similarity to Run Away Home: Although the Apaches in Run Away Home were native to the Southwestern portion of the United States, they too were forced off their land and forced onto reservations. Both books portray a way of life that was taken from the Native Americans.

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Comments: L. Perrenoud at perrenll@uwec.edu
Page Last Updated October 20, 2003