Tom Head, Ph.D.

Author • Blogger • Scriptwriter

Please click on the image to view details

Middle School

Chance the Rapper: Musician and Activist

Chancelor Johnathan Bennett, better known as Chance the Rapper, grew up in West Chatham, a middle-class neighborhood in Chicago's South Side. His parents raised him to believe in himself and encouraged him to work hard. Now he is a popular and successful musician who challenged the music industry by foregoing the traditional record deal and releasing his own mixtapes through the internet for free. Simple text and vivid photographs will pull readers into Chance's rise to fame in the music world and budding acting career. Through sidebars and direct quotations, students will get to know the more personal side of the humble and devoted family man and education activist.
Read More

Kanye West: Rap Superstar and Fashion Designer

As a child, Kanye West always worked hard to be the best at whatever he tried to do. The people around him saw how talented he was, and soon the world would know as well. Through accessible text and full-color photographs, accompanied by interesting sidebars and insightful quotations, readers will learn how Kanye West used his ambition to become a top music producer and celebrated rap artist who has also helped other artists achieve their big breaks in the music business.
Read More

Ruby Bridges and the Desegregation of American Schools

In 1960, six-year-old Ruby Bridges walked into William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana. She became the first black student to attend the previously all-white school. This event paved the way for widespread school desegregation in the South. Ruby Bridges and the Desegregation of American Schools explores Bridges's legacy. Aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards. Core Library is an imprint of Abdo Publishing, a division of ABDO.
Read More

The Scottsboro Boys

In 1931, nine black teenagers were arrested in Alabama. The young men were accused of crimes they did not commit, including rape. This unjust arrest led to years of imprisonment and trials for the young men, who were named the Scottsboro Boys. The Scottsboro Boys examines their legacy and how their trials shaped the criminal justice system. Easy-to-read text, vivid images, and helpful back matter give readers a clear look at this subject. Features include a table of contents, infographics, a glossary, additional resources, and an index. Aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards.
Read More

Ancient Mesopotamia

The legacy of past civilizations is still with us today. In Ancient Mesopotamia, readers discover the history and impressive accomplishments of the ancient Mesopotamians, including their extraordinary cultural achievements and technological wonders. Engaging text provides details on the civilization's history, development, daily life, culture, art, technology, warfare, social organization, and more. Well-chosen maps and images of artifacts bring the past to life. Aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards. Essential Library is an imprint of Abdo Publishing.
Read More

Freedom of Religion

Gr. 7-10.
Books in the American Rights series look at rights guaranteed to U.S. citizens by the Bill of Rights. Although the Freedom of Religion clause makes its point in only 16 words, it has generated millions beyond that in discussion. This solid, readable volume walks readers through the part religion played in the formation of the colonies and looks at how faith informed the people's lives and the tensions among various religions. Head gives background on the First Amendment and then moves on to specific cases about religion in the U.S., including references to the Scopes trial and school prayer. Final chapters consider the politics of faith and the future of religious freedom. Although the complexity of the topic results in some dense writing, Head does a good job of presenting his information in an understandable manner, despite the complexity of the topic. Good-size print and frequent headings promote easy reading, and the appended material, which includes bibliographies and excerpts from documents by individuals such as Thomas Jefferson, is particularly helpful. The black-and-white photographs are dull in quality but interesting in content. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Read More


Slavery supported the Confederacy, while the abolition of slavery sanctified the Union cause. This book provides firsthand accounts of former slaves who write of their experiences before, during, and shortly after, the war. Sources include Booker T. Washington, Susie King Taylor (who escaped from slavery and became a nurse), and William H. Robinson (who writes of his experiences as one of the very few people to have served on both sides of the war).
Read More

Confederate Generals

Here you should enter a short description of this product. The information entered here will display on the product catalog page and the top of the product detail page.
Read More

Union Generals

U.S. president Abraham Lincoln summoned the greatest military minds available to assemble and command an army that could successfully preserve the Union. Here, the personal and candid viewpoints of some of those men--including Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman, and Philip Sheridan-offer great insight into the leaders that took up the cause.
Read More

Women and Families

The majority of Americans did not fight in the Civil War. The firsthand accounts of the women and families who lived through the most violent and divisive conflict in our nation's history offer a unique perspective on what daily life was like in America during this devastating time. Sources include Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, and Sojourner Truth.
Read More