Welcome to The Parallel Narrative
The Parallel Narrative is a website of book lists focusing on disrupting the conventional US historical narrative.
How to use this website:
Start by clicking on the Book Lists tab at the top. There you will find a drop-down menu that is organized by century. Each century is also organized by grade level. Click on the century and reading level you are looking for. You will then be taken to a page with several boxes, each serving as a clickable link to a book list on various people and events.
For example, if you and your elementary students are studying the Revolutionary War, you would first click on the 18th Century Elementary list from the Book Lists drop-down menu. Once you reach the next page click on the box that says Revolutionary War. And there is your list of books.
Each home page for the century focused book lists contains boxes that are titled artists, scientists, poets, entrepreneurs, activists, writers, etc. Once you click on one of these boxes you will find biographical works. I have not separated any of these biographies by the person's gender, race or cultural background. So, if you are looking for Female African American Scientists, you're just going to want to click on scientists. If you are looking for Chicano artists, simply click on artists.
How to use the books:
For each time period, subject, or historical person, place or idea, you might find several books. How do you know which one to choose? I have listed several so that you can hopefully find one or two in your local library. I have also listed multiple books in order to highlight multiple voices/perspectives. If you want to give your students a sort of "peoples history" of an event or time, it is best to read more than one book about the subject, and it is even better to read multiple books from multiple perspectives. Reading one side never shows the whole story. If you don't have time to read three novels on the same time period, combine one novel with a shorter chapter book and a picture book.
A note on grade levels:
You may find longer chapter books and mid-grade novels in some of the elementary lists. I have included them here because I think they would make fantastic read alouds. You may find picture books in both the Junior High and High school lists. Picture books are a great way to introduce a new historical figure or event. Never underestimate the power of a well written and beautifully illustrated picture book.
Want to know more about the curator of this website?