Best Selling Books by Julius Lester

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When Dad Killed Mom

release date: Jun 01, 2003
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When Dad Killed Mom
A brother and sister cope with loss and trauma—and fight to keep what’s left of their family together—in a “compelling” novel by a Newbery Honor Medal winner. Jenna and Jeremy knew their parents’ marriage was in trouble. That was pretty obvious. But no one who knew the family could have predicted what would come next. One afternoon, Jenna and Jeremy are pulled from class and given horrifying news: their father, a college psychologist, has just shot their mother to death on a public street. Now, Mom is dead, Dad is in jail, and a fifth-grade boy and his fourteen-year-old sister have a lot to reconcile. Not only grief, anger, confusion, and guilt—but their dad’s motive, the secrets in their mother’s diary, and shifting loyalties that are driving Jenna and Jeremy even further apart. With their fragile new lives in free fall, and their father about to stand trial, they’re now going to have to confront the unimaginable. From an author who has been a finalist for the National Book Award, among numerous other honors, this is “a compelling story suffused with raw and honest emotion” (Kirkus Reviews) and “a taut psychological mystery” (Publishers Weekly).

John Henry

release date: Jan 01, 1994
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John Henry
Retells the life of the legendary African American hero who raced against a steam drill to cut through a mountain.

Black Folktales

release date: Jan 01, 1992
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Black Folktales
The author interprets twelve traditional stories and legends of the Black culture

Cupid

release date: Jan 01, 2007
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Cupid
Cupid, the spoiled and mischievous god of love, is attracted to and marries the beautiful mortal, Psyche, and both learn many lessons about the nature of love.

The Tales of Uncle Remus

release date: Jan 01, 2006
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The Tales of Uncle Remus
A retelling of the traditional African-American tales in which Brer Rabbit uses his wit, humor, and wisdom to deal with friend and foe alike.

Let's Talk About Race

release date: Dec 23, 2008
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Let's Talk About Race
I am a story. So are you. So is everyone. Julius Lester says, "I write because our lives are stories. If enough of these stories are told, then perhaps we will begin to see that our lives are the same story. The differences are merely in the details." Now Mr. Lester shares his own story as he explores what makes each of us special. Karen Barbour's dramatic, vibrant paintings speak to the heart of Lester's unique vision, truly a celebration of all of us.

Pharaoh's Daughter

release date: Jan 01, 2009
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Pharaoh's Daughter
A fictionalized account of the Biblical tale in which a Hebrew infant, rescued by the daughter of the Pharaoh, passes through a turbulent adolescence to become a prophet of his people, while his sister finds her true self as a priestess to the Egyptian gods.

Ackamarackus

release date: Jan 01, 2001
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Ackamarackus
A collection of six original fables with morals both silly and serious.

To be a Slave

release date: Jan 01, 2000
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To be a Slave
Readers learn about the lives of countless slaves and former slaves, who tell about their forced journeys from Africa to the United States, their work in the fields and houses of their owners, and their passion for freedom. Illustrations.

Lovesong

release date: Aug 01, 2013
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Lovesong
Julius Lester was born the son of a black Methodist minister in the south. His book Lovesong is a beautifully written account of his spiritual journey away from the conventions of his Southern heritage and Methodist upbringing, culminating in his personal self-discovery through a conversion to Judaism. Growing up in the turbulent civil rights era South, Lester was often discouraged by the disconnectedness between the promises of religion and the realities of his life. He used the outlets available to him to try to come to grips with this split and somehow reconcile the injustices he was witnessing with the purity of religion. He became a controversial writer and commentator, siding with neither blacks nor whites in his unconventional viewpoints. He became a luminal figure of the times, outside of the conventional labels of race, religion, politics, or philosophy. Lester’s spiritual quest would take him through the existential landscape of his Southern, Christian upbringing, into his ancestry, winding through some of the holiest places on the planet and into the spiritual depths of the world’s major religious cultures. His odyssey of faith would unexpectedly lead him to discovering Judaism as his true spiritual calling.
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