Civil Rights Movement: American Girl Doll
Melody is the newest American Girl doll in the BeForever collection. She’s a brave girl growing up during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s who loves to sing and wants to make a difference so that her family and other families will be treated more fairly.
This 18″ doll comes with a green and blue authentic 1964 outfit, a blue headband, socks, underwear, patent blue shoes, and a book, No Ordinary Sound. Plus she has many other totally adorable outfits and accessories you can purchase separately as well as a dog named Bo. My daughter is hoping to get Melody and her gold shimmery holiday outfit for Christmas.
Melody is on my Pretend Play Gift Guide for Kids where I recommend my favorite toys to spark imagination and play.
Civil Rights Movement: Chapter Books
As you know, reading books lets us walk a mile in another person’s shoes. When kids they read a historical fiction story and identify with the characters, it builds empathy, understanding, and compassion. Since stories stick with us, kids will often remember the history that they learned from the story more deeply than from reading nonfiction.
So don’t just play with this beautiful Melody doll, also read her stories and read other stories set in the 1960s as well. Here are my Civil Rights chapter book recommendations for kids:
Melody: No Ordinary Sound by Denise Lewis Patrick, illustrated by Juliana Kolesova
This story is set in the 1960s in Detroit, Michigan during the times of the Civil Rights Movement. Melody is excited to sing a solo for her church inspired by inspirational words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. When a horrible tragedy happens in the South, Melody feels like she has no voice. How will she overcome the unfairness and unjustness to sing once again?
Melody: Never Stop Singing by Denise Lewis Patrick
Melody and her friends decide to fix up a neighborhood playground and plant a garden there but they soon discover that it’s harder than they imagined. Can determination and working together help them achieve their goals?
Music In My Heart by Erin Falligant and Denise Lewis Patrick
This book is a choose your own adventure book where YOU are put into the plot of the American Girl’s story. In this case, you are in Melody Ellison’s world of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. You and Melody get to speak up about fairness, join a demonstration, volunteer with a civil rights group, or sing backup for a Motown musician!
The Watson’s Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis
The Watson family drives from Flint, Michigan to Birmingham, Alabama to visit relatives in the 1960s where they hope to set Bryon straight. The car trip builds up to the deeply disturbing church bombing where Grandma goes to church. This is a moving story filled with hope and humor. Newbery Award Winner.
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
Sent to live with the mother that abandoned them, the sisters are in Oakland, California for the summer where they go to a Black Panther day camp and try to connect with their mother. Newbery Honor Book.
The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
Two good friends are separated by segregation in 1958 Arkansas. But their friendship is becoming dangerous with the KKK, phone threats, and a police force that does nothing.
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Written in verse, Woodson shares her experience of growing up as an African American girl in the 1960s and 1970s. Newbery Honor Book.
Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood
It’s the summer of 1964 in Mississippi. Glory’s older sister ignores her, things are awkward with her best friend, Frankie, and the town is in an uproar about the segregated pool, closing it down for “repairs”.
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