Sharon Dennis Wyeth

Sharon's Books

with illustrations by Kim Holt

This non fiction presentation of both the historic origin and contemporary celebration of a holiday named for the day (June 19, 1865) when enslaved African Americans in Texas got news of their emancipation made me more grateful than ever for the many freedoms I enjoy today. My personal dedication was to one of my own enslaved ancestors, my third great-grandmother Minerva Bell Lewis a mother of twelve. Following emancipation, she became a land owner in a small town in Virginia and her husband George Washington Lewis opened his own store. Several of the couple’s children became teachers


The River and Me 

Evette is a nature-lover full of crafty ideas for reusing and up cycling clothes. When she finds a vintage swimsuit in Gran E’s closet, she also uncovers a family secret that could explain why her mother’s family, which is Black, and her father’s, which is White, don’t spend time together. When Evette visits the river where her grandmother used to swim, she realizes how polluted it’s become. She rallies her new friends Makena and Maritza along with her whole family for a cleanup day. She’s determined to heal the river—and maybe even heal the division in her family. But will it work?

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The Talk

In The Talk, I relay a vivid memory from my childhood where I felt discrimination, though no words were spoken. Proud to have this included in THE TALK, a brilliant new anthology by Wade and Cheryl Willis Hudson.

Thirty diverse, award-winning authors and illustrators invite you into their homes to witness the conversations they have with their children about race in America today in this powerful call-to-action that invites all families to be anti-racists and advocates for change.

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The Granddaughter Necklace

“Although the profiles are brief, they are rich, incorporating a range of life experiences and, quite wonderfully, the blending of different ethnicities within the family. Ibatoulline’s lovely, detailed illustrations have a warm glow…” School Library Journal

“Though classified as fiction, the book is clearly a personal journey, capturing individual moments that connect a family of women over the years, enlivened with images of grace, depth, and emotion.” Booklist

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Something Beautiful


Children’s Book Council Notable Book, Best Books of the Year Parents Magazine
A little girl longs to see beyond the angry scribbling in the halls of her building. When her teacher writes the word beautiful on the blackboard, she decides to look for something beautiful in her neighborhood. (All ages)

“This moving picture book offers a shining testament to the ability of human beings to find ‘something beautiful’ in even the most unlikely places. Wyeth’s…text is thoughtful without being didactic…and her ending is just right.” Publisher’s Weekly


A Piece of Heaven

New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age

Thirteen-year-old Mahalia Moon holds her life together with the help of good people after her loving family falls apart. (Grades 4 – 8)

“Wyeth’s story provides insight into the tough issues faced by single parents in an urban setting.” School Library Journal
“Haley is a delight; she’s tough, proud…Straightforward, ingenuous narration carries the book…which distinguishes itself from others about urban families in distress by its convincing evocation of Haley’s bewilderment and anger and her desperate desire to create some order in her life.” Kirkus Reviews

Freedom’s Wings

Children’s Book Council Notable Book

Corey Birdsong, a nine-year-old enslaved boy living in Kentucky in 1857, records daily life on the Hart farm and his escape on the Underground Railroad.

“…compelling, pulling readers along every dangerous step of the way…acknowledges the nameless men and women who believed in freedom enough to risk their lives to help others.” School Library Journal

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Flying Free

Corey Birdsong’s diary continues as he and his family make a new life as free people in Canada. (Grades 3-5)

“Wyeth breathes full life into Corey. His voice is true and clear…There are many well-written works for children concerning daring and dangerous escapes along the Underground Railroad, but most end with the first steps into Canada. Here, finally, is a glimpse of what came next.” Kirkus Reviews

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Message in the Sky

Corey’s diary continues in Canada where he becomes active with the Underground Railroad. (Grades 3-5)

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Once on This River

New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age

While on a trip wither mother from Madagascar to New York in 1760, eleven-year-old Monday De Groot, a free child of color, learns the horror of slavery and the truth about her American family. (Ages 12-Adult)

“Intense…evocative.” Kirkus Reviews

“…portrays the powerful love and compassion that can find and emancipate a family, a generation, a race.” Black Issues Book Review

Always My Dad

New York Public Library One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing, “Reading Rainbow” Book

For a girl whose daddy doesn’t live at home, times can be tough. But then there are the times when Daddy visits, like one magical summer. (All Ages)

“Displays such poetry and empathy that it deserves attention and praise. Offers a comforting message that many children today need to hear.” USA Today

“…an exceptionally perceptive book about families who find territory fo love even where there is also pain.” Reuters America Inc.
“Joyful prose…Even very young children will feel the honesty of the story.” Booklist

The World of Daughter McGuire

Eleven-year-old Daughter moves to a new school. Her mixed-race heritages starts out as a problem but in the end proves to be a source of strength.  (Grades 4 and up)

“Daughter is a likable character in a believable situation, and her ‘rite of passage’ into her own sense of self is told in an easy, relaxed style that will attract a wide range of readers.” Booklist

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Sharon has a new book, The River and Me. Learn more at American Girl about Evette and her passion for nature!