John-Roy-Lynch-final-cover1-620x790-2The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch

A unique biography of a remarkable Reconstruction figure

John Roy Lynch spent most of his childhood as a slave, but the Emancipation Proclamation and the end of the Civil War promised African Americans in the South the freedom to work and learn as they saw fit. While many people there were unhappy with the changes, John Roy thrived in the new era. He was appointed to serve as Justice of the Peace and at age 25 was elected into the United States Congress, where he worked to ensure that the people he represented were truly free.

This biography, accompanied by Don Tate’s splendid illustrations, gives readers an in-depth look at the Reconstruction period through the life of one of the first African American congressmen.


91utqDC9B-L-1Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton of Chapel Hill

Author-illustrator: Don Tate
To publish: Sept., 2015
Publisher: Peachtree

In the nineteenth century, North Carolina slave George Moses Horton taught himself to read and earned money to purchase his time away from his master though not his freedom. Horton became the first African American to be published in the South, protesting slavery in the form of verse.


IJHSeals-1It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw

Author: Don Tate
Illustrator: R. Gregory Christie
Published: Lee & Low Books, 2012

It Jes’ Happened is a biography of outsider artist Bill Traylor, a former slave who at the age of 83 began to draw pictures based on his memories and observations of rural and urban life.



HopecoverHope’s Gift

Author: Kelly Starling Lyons
Illustrator: Don Tate
Published: 2012
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

It’s 1862 and the Civil War has turned out to be a long, deadly conflict. Hope’s father can’t stand the waiting a minute longer and decides to join the Union army to fight for freedom. He slips away one tearful night, leaving Hope, who knows she may never see her father again, with only a conch shell for comfort. Its sound, Papa says, echoes the promised song of freedom. It’s a long wait for freedom and on the nights when the cannons roar, Papa seems farther away than ever. But then Lincoln finally does it: on January 1, 1863, he issues the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves, and a joyful Hope finally spies the outline of a familiar man standing on the horizon.


Ellensbroomcsk_000Ellen’s Broom

Author: Kelly Starling Lyons
Illustrator: Daniel Minter
Published: 2012
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

Ellen always knew the broom resting above the hearth was special. Before it was legal for her mother and father to officially be married, the broom was what made them a family. But now all former slaves can register as lawful husband and wife. Even though freedom has come, Ellen knows the old traditions are important, too.