Nobody Knows
Nobody Knows

Nobody Knows

African Americans: A Story Based on Real History


Hopes and Dreams


80 Pages, 5.375 x 8.375

Formats: Paperback

Paperback, $13.50 (US $13.50) (CA $17.95)

Publication Date: July 2015

ISBN 9780866473866

Price: $13.50


This 80-page easy-to-understand reader is one of 12 historical novels in the Hopes and Dreams series, whose diverse and fascinating characters, regardless of their ethnicity, face prejudice, danger, hardships, and setbacks, but survive with perseverance, a little bit of luck ,and a generous amount of love in their new home in the US. Downloadable audio recordings of all 12 novels and free supplementary materials for teachers are available (visit for more details).

Plot Summary for Nobody Knows: Mattie’s family are sharecroppers in the American South. When Mattie is six, Mama takes her to town where she sees two doors marked “White Only” and “Colored Only.” Mattie thinks the shopkeeper doesn’t like them. Her mother tells her at least she’s not a slave, as she was as a child. At 18, Mattie marries Nate Charles. In 1917 their cotton crop is failing, so Nate takes a job in a Chicago meatpacking plant. Mattie is sad to leave home, but she moves with her husband to work for a better life. In the North they find racial prejudice, labor unrest, and violence. They work hard, and with two children they move to a better home. Then there is an accident at the plant. Nate is killed. Alone after Nate dies, Mattie brings Mama north to help her. Through the Great Depression and World War II, she works many jobs to support her family. When Mama dies, Mattie takes her home. She finds the South still segregated. She stands up for change.

Author Biography

Tana Reiff, author of the Hopes and Dreams series, holds a B.S. degree in elementary education and a master’s in secondary English with a concentration in applied linguistics. She has taught adult basic education, ESL, and college-level linguistics, and worked in multimedia communications for the Pennsylvania Department of Education. She is the author of dozens of popular hi-lo books (high interest, low reading level).