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“Nazis. I hate these guys.”

Preaching to the choir here (Trump voters notwithstanding), but we are disgusted, enraged, and horrified by the violence and hate perpetrated by White Supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, and also by what they stand for.

If you need to nourish your soul with stories of people doing good in the world, start with The Horn Book’s Making a Difference landing page.

If you’re more interested in the history of homegrown White Supremacy, racism, bigotry, and intolerance in America right now, you can find a selection of books below. Reviews are from The Horn Book Guide Online and were written at the time of publication. NB: The Guide Online includes a handful of series nonfiction titles on the topic — Hate Groups by Deborah Able (Enslow, 1995), Hate and Racist Groups by Linda Jacobs Altman (Enslow, 2001), Neo-Nazis: A Growing Threat by Kathlyn Gay (Enslow, 1997), United They Hate: White Supremacist Groups in America by Michael Kronenwetter (Walker, 1992), The White Power Movement: America’s Racist Hate Groups by Elaine Landau (Lerner/Millbrook, 1993), and Extremist Groups in America by Susan S. Lang (Watts 1990) — that were published in the 1990s and early 2000s; more would be welcome.

Bartoletti, Susan Campbell They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group
172 pp. Houghton 2010. ISBN 978-0-618-44033-7

YA  Bartoletti tackles a tough, grim subject with firmness and sensitivity. Once past the origin of the Klan and its brushfire spread, the narrative focuses on the victims, not their tormentors. Period illustrations throughout make seeing believing, and the appended civil rights timeline, bibliography, and source notes are an education in themselves. Exemplary in scholarship, interpretation, and presentation. Ind.

Aronson, Marc Race: A History beyond Black and White
322 pp. Atheneum/Seo 2007. ISBN 978-0-689-86554-1

YA  With ambition and imagination, Aronson has written a history of racism and its antecedents, interspersed with personal vignettes tailored to a young audience. Anti-Semitism and discrimination against blacks are focal, but they’re folded into a narrative that discusses various forms of prejudice. Clearly in evidence are the complexity of race and the tenacity of racism. Pictures increase the text’s impact. Bib., ind.

Superman Versus the Klu Klux KlanBowers, Rick Superman Versus the Ku Klux Klan: The True Story of How the Iconic Superhero Battled the Men of Hate
160 pp. National Geographic 2012. ISBN 978-1-4263-0915-1
Library binding ISBN 978-1-4263-0916-8

YA  In 1946, the producers of the Superman radio show deployed their character’s popularity in a campaign against bigotry. Bowers explains how he dug through myths, examined original archives, and reached tentative conclusions about what most likely happened and why. A complex history of organizations guided by both ideology and profit, people both well-meaning and flawed, and shifts in popular sentiment. Bib., ind.

Carnes, Jim and Tauss, Herbert Us and Them: A History of Intolerance in America
132 pp. Oxford 1999. Paperback ISBN 0-19-510378-5

YA  Preface by Justice Harry A. Blackmun. Written as the narrative for the short documentary Shadow of Hate, these fourteen provocative chapters, chronologically arranged, focus on specific historic incidents. Color illustrations and black-and-white archival photographs accompany the text, which effectively presents stories of intolerance from colonial times to the present. The book is a product of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance program. Bib., ind.

McKissack, Patricia and McKissack, Fredrick Taking a Stand against Racism and Racial Discrimination
157 pp. Watts 1990. Paperback ISBN 0-531-10924-0

YA  Taking a Stand series. The message in this series is that each young person can take a stand and make a difference in problems hurting people and nature. Expressed in strong, simple, direct statements, the books are guidelines to activism. Included are profiles of both famous and unknown people who have been involved as activists or victims, causes of problems, types of action possible, and why people should get involved. Bibliographies, indexes.

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Comments

  1. Considering this publication is about literature do you think it is possible to find a better more intelligent word than a-hole. Hopefully no children are coming to this website looking for the best in children’s literature. What a horrible example.

  2. I appreciate these book recommendations, especially considering the context for their timing, but I’m disappointed with the image chosen to accompany the teaser blurb. The whole point of libraries is that we do not refuse service to anyone, no matter how forcefully we disagree with their point of view or even disdain their character. In fact, if we genuinely believe someone to be a religious bigot or one of an assortment of assholes, surely the very place we hope they will get information is from us, the open-minded, anti-censorship, punk-ass book jockeys of the world, rather than from any of the plethora of fake and offensive “news” sites that reinforce the bigotry. I understand I may be reading too much into the selection of an image that was probably chosen hastily and for its immediate humor and appeal to The Horn Book’s audience…but really, can we put a little more thought into it?

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