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The library makes every effort to ensure our programs can be enjoyed by all. If you have any concerns about accessibility or need to request specific accommodations, please contact the library.
We often take photographs during library events. Please let our photographer know if you do not want us to publish photos of your child.
Black History and Voices for Adults
Seven Days in June
A REESE WITHERSPOON BOOK CLUB PICK!
AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Named A Best Book by USA Today * Harper's Bazaar * Oprah Daily * PopSugar * Shondaland * The Los Angeles Times * NPR * Kirkus * Marie Claire * New York Public Library * Bustle * Good Housekeeping * PureWow * CBS News * People * BuzzFeed * Reader's Digest
Named A Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by CNN * Essence * Travel + Leisure * She Reads * Scary Mommy
Named a Best Romance Book of 2021 by The Washington Post
Seven days to fall in love, fifteen years to forget, and seven days to get it all back again...
Eva Mercy is a single mom and bestselling erotica writer who is feeling pressed from all sides. Shane Hall is a reclusive, enigmatic, award‑winning novelist, who, to everyone's surprise, shows up in New York.
When Shane and Eva meet unexpectedly at a literary event, sparks fly, raising not only their buried traumas, but the eyebrows of the Black literati. What no one knows is that fifteen years earlier, teenage Eva and Shane spent one crazy, torrid week madly in love. While they may be pretending not to know each other, they can't deny their chemistry--or the fact that they've been secretly writing to each other in their books through the years.
Over the next seven days, amidst a steamy Brooklyn summer, Eva and Shane reconnect--but Eva's wary of the man who broke her heart, and wants him out of the city so her life can return to normal. Before Shane disappears though, she needs a few questions answered...
With its keen observations of creative life in America today, as well as the joys and complications of being a mother and a daughter, Seven Days in June is a hilarious, romantic, and sexy‑as‑hell story of two writers discovering their second chance at love.
“Tracy K. Smith’s poetry is an awakening itself.” —Vogue
Celebrated for its extraordinary intelligence and exhilarating range, the poetry of Tracy K. Smith opens up vast questions. Such Color: New and Selected Poems, her first career-spanning volume, traces an increasingly audacious commitment to exploring the unknowable, the immense mysteries of existence. Each of Smith’s four collections moves farther outward: when one seems to reach the limits of desire and the body, the next investigates the very sweep of history; when one encounters death and the outer reaches of space, the next bears witness to violence against language and people from across time and delves into the rescuing possibilities of the everlasting. Smith’s signature voice, whether in elegy or praise or outrage, insists upon vibrancy and hope, even—and especially—in moments of inconceivable travesty and grief.
Such Color collects the best poems from Smith’s award-winning books and culminates in thirty pages of brilliant, excoriating new poems. These new works confront America’s historical and contemporary racism and injustices, while they also rise toward the registers of the ecstatic, the rapturous, and the sacred—urging us toward love as a resistance to everything that impedes it. This magnificent retrospective affirms Smith’s place as one of the twenty-first century’s most treasured poets.
Black Leopard, Red Wolf
One of TIME’s 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time
Winner of the L.A. Times Ray Bradbury Prize
Finalist for the 2019 National Book Award
The New York Times Bestseller
Named a Best Book of 2019 by The Wall Street Journal, TIME, NPR, GQ, Vogue, and The Washington Post
"A fantasy world as well-realized as anything Tolkien made." --Neil Gaiman
"Gripping, action-packed....The literary equivalent of a Marvel Comics universe." --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
The epic novel from the Man Booker Prize-winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings
In the stunning first novel in Marlon James's Dark Star trilogy, myth, fantasy, and history come together to explore what happens when a mercenary is hired to find a missing child.
Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: "He has a nose," people say. Engaged to track down a mysterious boy who disappeared three years earlier, Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to search for the boy. The band is a hodgepodge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard.
As Tracker follows the boy's scent--from one ancient city to another; into dense forests and across deep rivers--he and the band are set upon by creatures intent on destroying them. As he struggles to survive, Tracker starts to wonder: Who, really, is this boy? Why has he been missing for so long? Why do so many people want to keep Tracker from finding him? And perhaps the most important questions of all: Who is telling the truth, and who is lying?
Drawing from African history and mythology and his own rich imagination, Marlon James has written a novel unlike anything that's come before it: a saga of breathtaking adventure that's also an ambitious, involving read. Defying categorization and full of unforgettable characters, Black Leopard, Red Wolf is both surprising and profound as it explores the fundamentals of truth, the limits of power, and our need to understand them both.
Red at the Bone
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR
"A spectacular novel that only this legend can pull off." -Ibram X. Kendi, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST, in The Atlantic
"An exquisite tale of family legacy….The power and poetry of Woodson’s writing conjures up Toni Morrison." – People
"In less than 200 sparsely filled pages, this book manages to encompass issues of class, education, ambition, racial prejudice, sexual desire and orientation, identity, mother-daughter relationships, parenthood and loss….With Red at the Bone, Jacqueline Woodson has indeed risen — even further into the ranks of great literature." – NPR
"This poignant tale of choices and their aftermath, history and legacy, will resonate with mothers and daughters." –Tayari Jones, bestselling author of AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE, in O Magazine
An unexpected teenage pregnancy pulls together two families from different social classes and explores their histories – reaching back to the Tulsa race massacre of 1921 -- and exposes the private hopes, disappointments, and longings that can bind or divide us from each other, from the New York Times-bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of Another Brooklyn and Brown Girl Dreaming.
Moving forward and backward in time, Jacqueline Woodson's taut and powerful new novel uncovers the role that history and community have played in the experiences, decisions, and relationships of these families, and in the life of the new child.
As the book opens in 2001, it is the evening of sixteen-year-old Melody's coming of age ceremony in her grandparents' Brooklyn brownstone. Watched lovingly by her relatives and friends, making her entrance to the music of Prince, she wears a special custom-made dress. But the event is not without poignancy. Sixteen years earlier, that very dress was measured and sewn for a different wearer: Melody's mother, for her own ceremony-- a celebration that ultimately never took place.
Unfurling the history of Melody's family – reaching back to the Tulsa race massacre in 1921 -- to show how they all arrived at this moment, Woodson considers not just their ambitions and successes but also the costs, the tolls they've paid for striving to overcome expectations and escape the pull of history. As it explores sexual desire and identity, ambition, gentrification, education, class and status, and the life-altering facts of parenthood, Red at the Bone most strikingly looks at the ways in which young people must so often make long-lasting decisions about their lives--even before they have begun to figure out who they are and what they want to be.
The Kindest Lie
Recommended by O Magazine * GMA * Elle * Marie Claire * Good Housekeeping * NBC News * Shondaland * Chicago Tribune * Woman's Day * Refinery 29 * Bustle * The Millions * New York Post * Parade * Hello! Magazine * PopSugar * and more!
"The Kindest Lie is a deep dive into how we define family, what it means to be a mother, and what it means to grow up Black...beautifully crafted." --JODI PICOULT
"A fantastic story...well-written, timely, and oh-so-memorable."--Good Morning America
"The Kindest Lie is a layered, complex exploration of race and class." --The Washington Post
Every family has its secrets...
It's 2008, and the inauguration of President Barack Obama ushers in a new kind of hope. In Chicago, Ruth Tuttle, an Ivy-League educated Black engineer, is married to a kind and successful man. He's eager to start a family, but Ruth is uncertain. She has never gotten over the baby she gave birth to--and was forced to leave behind--when she was a teenager. She had promised her family she'd never look back, but Ruth knows that to move forward, she must make peace with the past.
Returning home, Ruth discovers the Indiana factory town of her youth is plagued by unemployment, racism, and despair. As she begins digging into the past, she unexpectedly befriends Midnight, a young white boy who is also adrift and looking for connection. Just as Ruth is about to uncover a burning secret her family desperately wants to keep hidden, a heart-stopping incident strains the town's already searing racial tensions, sending Ruth and Midnight on a collision course that could upend both their lives.
Powerful and unforgettable, The Kindest Lie is the story of an American family and reveals the secrets we keep and the promises we make to protect one another.
Caste (Oprah's Book Club)
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK • “An instant American classic and almost certainly the keynote nonfiction book of the American century thus far.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times
The Pulitzer Prize–winning, bestselling author of The Warmth of Other Suns examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions.
#1 NONFICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR: Time
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The Washington Post, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, O: The Oprah Magazine, NPR, Bloomberg, The Christian Science Monitor, New York Post, The New York Public Library, Fortune, Smithsonian Magazine, Marie Claire, Slate, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews
Winner of the Carl Sandberg Literary Award • Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize • National Book Award Longlist • National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist • Dayton Literary Peace Prize Finalist • PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction Finalist • PEN/Jean Stein Book Award Longlist • Kirkus Prize Finalist
“As we go about our daily lives, caste is the wordless usher in a darkened theater, flashlight cast down in the aisles, guiding us to our assigned seats for a performance. The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power—which groups have it and which do not.”
In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched, and beautifully written narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.
Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people—including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball’s Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others—she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their outcasting of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity.
Original and revealing, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents is an eye-opening story of people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary lives and of American life today.
An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • WATCH THE EMMY-NOMINATED NETFLIX ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARY • OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK • NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER • ONE OF ESSENCE’S 50 MOST IMPACTFUL BLACK BOOKS OF THE PAST 50 YEARS
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.
A More Beautiful and Terrible History
Praised by The New York Times; O, The Oprah Magazine; Bitch Magazine; Slate; Publishers Weekly; and more, this is “a bracing corrective to a national mythology” (New York Times) around the civil rights movement.
The civil rights movement has become national legend, lauded by presidents from Reagan to Obama to Trump, as proof of the power of American democracy. This fable, featuring dreamy heroes and accidental heroines, has shuttered the movement firmly in the past, whitewashed the forces that stood in its way, and diminished its scope. And it is used perniciously in our own times to chastise present-day movements and obscure contemporary injustice. In A More Beautiful and Terrible History award-winning historian Jeanne Theoharis dissects this national myth-making, teasing apart the accepted stories to show them in a strikingly different light.
We see Rosa Parks not simply as a bus lady but a lifelong criminal justice activist and radical; Martin Luther King, Jr. as not only challenging Southern sheriffs but Northern liberals, too; and Coretta Scott King not only as a “helpmate” but a lifelong economic justice and peace activist who pushed her husband’s activism in these directions.
Moving from “the histories we get” to “the histories we need,” Theoharis challenges nine key aspects of the fable to reveal the diversity of people, especially women and young people, who led the movement; the work and disruption it took; the role of the media and “polite racism” in maintaining injustice; and the immense barriers and repression activists faced. Theoharis makes us reckon with the fact that far from being acceptable, passive or unified, the civil rights movement was unpopular, disruptive, and courageously persevering. Activists embraced an expansive vision of justice—which a majority of Americans opposed and which the federal government feared.
By showing us the complex reality of the movement, the power of its organizing, and the beauty and scope of the vision, Theoharis proves that there was nothing natural or inevitable about the progress that occurred. A More Beautiful and Terrible History will change our historical frame, revealing the richness of our civil rights legacy, the uncomfortable mirror it holds to the nation, and the crucial work that remains to be done.
Winner of the 2018 Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize in Nonfiction
Best Book of the Year
NPR • The Washington Post • Boston Globe • TIME • USA Today • Entertainment Weekly • Real Simple • Parade • Buzzfeed • Electric Literature • LitHub • BookRiot • PopSugar • Goop • Library Journal • BookBub • KCRW
• Finalist for the National Book Award
• One of the New York Times Notable Books of the Year
• One of the New York Times Best Historical Fiction of the Year
• Instant New York Times Bestseller
A singular and stunning debut novel about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, the refuge they find in each other, and a betrayal that threatens their existence.
Isaiah was Samuel's and Samuel was Isaiah's. That was the way it was since the beginning, and the way it was to be until the end. In the barn they tended to the animals, but also to each other, transforming the hollowed-out shed into a place of human refuge, a source of intimacy and hope in a world ruled by vicious masters. But when an older man—a fellow slave—seeks to gain favor by preaching the master's gospel on the plantation, the enslaved begin to turn on their own. Isaiah and Samuel's love, which was once so simple, is seen as sinful and a clear danger to the plantation's harmony.
With a lyricism reminiscent of Toni Morrison, Robert Jones, Jr., fiercely summons the voices of slaver and enslaved alike, from Isaiah and Samuel to the calculating slave master to the long line of women that surround them, women who have carried the soul of the plantation on their shoulders. As tensions build and the weight of centuries—of ancestors and future generations to come—culminates in a climactic reckoning, The Prophets fearlessly reveals the pain and suffering of inheritance, but is also shot through with hope, beauty, and truth, portraying the enormous, heroic power of love.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide. Her life story is told in the documentary film And Still I Rise, as seen on PBS’s American Masters.
Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide.
Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age—and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (“I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare”) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.
Poetic and powerful, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings will touch hearts and change minds for as long as people read.
“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings liberates the reader into life simply because Maya Angelou confronts her own life with such a moving wonder, such a luminous dignity.”—James Baldwin
Men We Reaped
Named one of the Best Books of the Century by New York Magazine
Two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward (Salvage the Bones, Sing, Unburied, Sing) contends with the deaths of five young men dear to her, and the risk of being a black man in the rural South.
"We saw the lightning and that was the guns; and then we heard the thunder and that was the big guns; and then we heard the rain falling and that was the blood falling; and when we came to get in the crops, it was dead men that we reaped.†? -Harriet Tubman
In five years, Jesmyn Ward lost five young men in her life-to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the bad luck that can follow people who live in poverty, particularly black men. Dealing with these losses, one after another, made Jesmyn ask the question: Why? And as she began to write about the experience of living through all the dying, she realized the truth-and it took her breath away. Her brother and her friends all died because of who they were and where they were from, because they lived with a history of racism and economic struggle that fostered drug addiction and the dissolution of family and relationships. Jesmyn says the answer was so obvious she felt stupid for not seeing it. But it nagged at her until she knew she had to write about her community, to write their stories and her own.
Jesmyn grew up in poverty in rural Mississippi. She writes powerfully about the pressures this brings, on the men who can do no right and the women who stand in for family in a society where the men are often absent. She bravely tells her story, revisiting the agonizing losses of her only brother and her friends. As the sole member of her family to leave home and pursue higher education, she writes about this parallel American universe with the objectivity distance provides and the intimacy of utter familiarity. A brutal world rendered beautifully, Jesmyn Ward's memoir will sit comfortably alongside Edwidge Danticat's Brother, I'm Dying, Tobias Wolff's This Boy's Life, and Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
“A badass debut by any measure—nimble, knowing, and electrifying.” —Colson Whitehead, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Nickel Boys and Harlem Shuffle
"...'My Monticello' is, quite simply, an extraordinary debut from a gifted writer with an unflinching view of history and what may come of it." — The Washington Post
Winner of the Weatherford Award in Fiction
A winner of 2022 Lillian Smith Book Awards
A young woman descended from Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings driven from her neighborhood by a white militia. A university professor studying racism by conducting a secret social experiment on his own son. A single mother desperate to buy her first home even as the world hurtles toward catastrophe. Each fighting to survive in America.
Tough-minded, vulnerable, and brave, Jocelyn Nicole Johnson’s precisely imagined debut explores burdened inheritances and extraordinary pursuits of belonging. Set in the near future, the eponymous novella, “My Monticello,” tells of a diverse group of Charlottesville neighbors fleeing violent white supremacists. Led by Da’Naisha, a young Black descendant of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, they seek refuge in Jefferson’s historic plantation home in a desperate attempt to outlive the long-foretold racial and environmental unravelling within the nation.
In “Control Negro,” hailed by Roxane Gay as “one hell of story,” a university professor devotes himself to the study of racism and the development of ACMs (average American Caucasian males) by clinically observing his own son from birth in order to “painstakingly mark the route of this Black child too, one whom I could prove was so strikingly decent and true that America could not find fault in him unless we as a nation had projected it there.” Johnson’s characters all seek out home as a place and an internal state, whether in the form of a Nigerian widower who immigrates to a meager existence in the city of Alexandria, finding himself adrift; a young mixed-race woman who adopts a new tongue and name to escape the landscapes of rural Virginia and her family; or a single mother who seeks salvation through “Buying a House Ahead of the Apocalypse.”
United by these characters’ relentless struggles against reality and fate, My Monticello is a formidable book that bears witness to this country’s legacies and announces the arrival of a wildly original new voice in American fiction.
*INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER* One of Barack Obama's Recommended Reads for Summer • New York Times Notable Book • NPR’s Best Books of 2021 • Washington Post’s Best Thriller and Mystery Books of the Year • TIME Magazine’s 100 Must-Read Books of 2021 • New York Public Library’s Best Books of the Year • Goodreads Choice Award Nominee • Book of the Month’s Book of the Year Finalist
“Provocative, violent — beautiful and moving, too.” —Washington Post
“Superb...Cuts right to the heart of the most important questions of our times.” —Michael Connelly
“A tour de force – poignant, action-packed, and profound.” —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
A Black father. A white father. Two murdered sons. A quest for vengeance.
Ike Randolph has been out of jail for fifteen years, with not so much as a speeding ticket in all that time. But a Black man with cops at the door knows to be afraid.
The last thing he expects to hear is that his son Isiah has been murdered, along with Isiah’s white husband, Derek. Ike had never fully accepted his son but is devastated by his loss.
Derek’s father Buddy Lee was almost as ashamed of Derek for being gay as Derek was ashamed of his father's criminal record. Buddy Lee still has contacts in the underworld, though, and he wants to know who killed his boy.
Ike and Buddy Lee, two ex-cons with little else in common other than a criminal past and a love for their dead sons, band together in their desperate desire for revenge. In their quest to do better for their sons in death than they did in life, hardened men Ike and Buddy Lee will confront their own prejudices about their sons and each other, as they rain down vengeance upon those who hurt their boys.
Provocative and fast-paced, S. A. Cosby's Razorblade Tears is a story of bloody retribution, heartfelt change - and maybe even redemption.
“A visceral full-body experience, a sharp jolt to the heart, and a treat for the senses...Cosby's moody southern thriller marries the skillful action and plotting of Lee Child with the atmosphere and insight of Attica Locke.” —NPR
A New York Times Bestseller
A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick!
Longlisted for the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize
"Askaripour closes the deal on the first page of this mesmerizing novel, executing a high wire act full of verve and dark, comic energy."
--Colson Whitehead, author of The Nickel Boys
"A hilarious, gleaming satire as radiant as its author. Askaripour has announced himself as a major talent of the school of Ralph Ellison, Paul Beatty, Fran Ross, and Ishmael Reed. Full of quick pacing, frenetic energy, absurd--yet spot on--twists and turns, and some of the funniest similes I've ever read, this novel is both balm and bomb."
--Nafissa Thompson-Spires, author of Heads of the Colored People
For fans of Sorry to Bother You and The Wolf of Wall Street--a crackling, satirical debut novel about a young man given a shot at stardom as the lone Black salesman at a mysterious, cult-like, and wildly successful startup where nothing is as it seems.
There's nothing like a Black salesman on a mission.
An unambitious twenty-two-year-old, Darren lives in a Bed-Stuy brownstone with his mother, who wants nothing more than to see him live up to his potential as the valedictorian of Bronx Science. But Darren is content working at Starbucks in the lobby of a Midtown office building, hanging out with his girlfriend, Soraya, and eating his mother's home-cooked meals. All that changes when a chance encounter with Rhett Daniels, the silver-tongued CEO of Sumwun, NYC's hottest tech startup, results in an exclusive invitation for Darren to join an elite sales team on the thirty-sixth floor.
After enduring a "hell week" of training, Darren, the only Black person in the company, reimagines himself as "Buck," a ruthless salesman unrecognizable to his friends and family. But when things turn tragic at home and Buck feels he's hit rock bottom, he begins to hatch a plan to help young people of color infiltrate America's sales force, setting off a chain of events that forever changes the game.
Black Buck is a hilarious, razor-sharp skewering of America's workforce; it is a propulsive, crackling debut that explores ambition and race, and makes way for a necessary new vision of the American dream.
Hell of a Book
***2021 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER***
***THE NATIONAL BESTSELLER***
Winner of the 2021 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction, Joyce Carol Oates Literary Prize Finalist, 2022 Chautauqua Prize Finalist, Willie Morris Award for Southern Writing Shortlist, 2021 Aspen Words Literary Prize Shortlist, 2022 Maya Angelou Book Award Shortlist, 2022 Carnegie Medal Longlist
A Read With Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick!
An Ebony Magazine Publishing Book Club Pick!
An astounding work of fiction from New York Times bestselling author Jason Mott, always deeply honest, at times electrically funny, that goes to the heart of racism, police violence, and the hidden costs exacted upon Black Americans and America as a whole
In Jason Mott’s Hell of a Book, a Black author sets out on a cross-country publicity tour to promote his bestselling novel. That storyline drives Hell of a Book and is the scaffolding of something much larger and more urgent: Mott’s novel also tells the story of Soot, a young Black boy living in a rural town in the recent past, and The Kid, a possibly imaginary child who appears to the author on his tour.
As these characters’ stories build and converge, they astonish. For while this heartbreaking and magical book entertains and is at once about family, love of parents and children, art and money, it’s also about the nation’s reckoning with a tragic police shooting playing over and over again on the news. And with what it can mean to be Black in America.
Who has been killed? Who is The Kid? Will the author finish his book tour, and what kind of world will he leave behind? Unforgettably told, with characters who burn into your mind and an electrifying plot ideal for book club discussion, Hell of a Book is the novel Mott has been writing in his head for the last ten years. And in its final twists, it truly becomes its title.
Black History and Voices for Teens
Black Birds in the Sky
A searing new work of nonfiction from award-winning author Brandy Colbert about the history and legacy of one of the most deadly and destructive acts of racial violence in American history: the Tulsa Race Massacre. Winner, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award.
In the early morning of June 1, 1921, a white mob marched across the train tracks in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and into its predominantly Black Greenwood District--a thriving, affluent neighborhood known as America's Black Wall Street. They brought with them firearms, gasoline, and explosives.
In a few short hours, they'd razed thirty-five square blocks to the ground, leaving hundreds dead. The Tulsa Race Massacre is one of the most devastating acts of racial violence in US history. But how did it come to pass? What exactly happened? And why are the events unknown to so many of us today?
These are the questions that award-winning author Brandy Colbert seeks to answer in this unflinching nonfiction account of the Tulsa Race Massacre. In examining the tension that was brought to a boil by many factors--white resentment of Black economic and political advancement, the resurgence of white supremacist groups, the tone and perspective of the media, and more--a portrait is drawn of an event singular in its devastation, but not in its kind. It is part of a legacy of white violence that can be traced from our country's earliest days through Reconstruction, the Civil Rights movement in the mid-twentieth century, and the fight for justice and accountability Black Americans still face today.
The Tulsa Race Massacre has long failed to fit into the story Americans like to tell themselves about the history of their country. This book, ambitious and intimate in turn, explores the ways in which the story of the Tulsa Race Massacre is the story of America--and by showing us who we are, points to a way forward.
YALSA Honor Award for Excellence in Nonfiction
Why We Fly
Sydney Taylor Book Award Notable book in the Young Adult category
From the New York Times bestselling authors of I'm Not Dying with You Tonight comes a story about friendship, privilege, sports, and protest.
With a rocky start to senior year, cheerleaders and lifelong best friends Eleanor and Chanel have a lot on their minds. Eleanor is still in physical therapy months after a serious concussion from a failed cheer stunt. Chanel starts making questionable decisions to deal with the mounting pressure of college applications. But they have each other's backs--just as always, until Eleanor's new relationship with star quarterback Three starts a rift between them.
Then, the cheer squad decides to take a knee at the season's first football game, and what seemed like a positive show of solidarity suddenly shines a national spotlight on the team--and becomes the reason for a larger fallout between the girls. As Eleanor and Chanel grapple with the weight of the consequences as well as their own problems, can the girls rely on the friendship they've always shared?
Praise for I'm Not Dying with You Tonight:
A Barnes & Noble Book Club Pick
"Compelling and powerful"--Angie Thomas, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Hate U Give
"A vital addition to the YA race relations canon."--Nic Stone, New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin
"Important reading for both teenagers and adults."--Hello Giggles
"Not to be missed."--Paste Magazine
Ain't Burned All the Bright
Prepare yourself for something unlike anything: A smash-up of art and text for teens that viscerally captures what it is to be Black. In America. Right Now. Written by #1 New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Jason Reynolds.
Jason Reynolds and his best bud, Jason Griffin, had a mind-meld. And they decided to tackle it, in one fell swoop, in about ten sentences, and 300 pages of art, this piece, this contemplation-manifesto-fierce-vulnerable-gorgeous-terrifying-WhatIsWrongWithHumans-hope-filled-hopeful-searing-Eye-Poppingly-Illustrated-tender-heartbreaking-how-The-HECK-did-They-Come-UP-with-This project about oxygen. And all of the symbolism attached to that word, especially NOW.
And so for anyone who didn’t really know what it means to not be able to breathe, REALLY breathe, for generations, now you know. And those who already do, you’ll be nodding yep yep, that is exactly how it is.
This Poison Heart
Darkness blooms in bestselling author Kalynn Bayron’s new contemporary fantasy about a girl with a unique and deadly power.
Briseis has a gift: with a single touch she can grow plants from tiny seeds to rich blooms.
When Briseis’s aunt dies and wills her a dilapidated estate in rural New York, Bri and her parents hope that surrounded by plants and flowers, she will finally learn to control her gift. But their new home is sinister in ways they never expected—it comes with a mysterious set of instructions, a walled garden filled with the deadliest botanicals in the world, and generations of secrets. There is more to Bri’s sudden inheritance than she could have imagined, and she is determined to uncover it.
From the bestselling author of Cinderella Is Dead comes an enchanting story about a young woman with the power to conquer the dark forces descending around her.
Loving vs. Virginia
From acclaimed author Patricia Hruby Powell comes the story of a landmark civil rights case, told in spare and gorgeous verse. In 1955, in Caroline County, Virginia, amidst segregation and prejudice, injustice and cruelty, two teenagers fell in love. Their life together broke the law, but their determination would change it. Richard and Mildred Loving were at the heart of a Supreme Court case that legalized marriage between races, and a story of the devoted couple who faced discrimination, fought it, and won.
"A love letter to Harlem and hope. I Rise is smart and funny and full of heart.*"
Fourteen-year-old Ayo who has to decide whether to take on her mother's activist role when her mom is shot by police. As she tries to find answers, Ayo looks to the wisdom of her ancestors and her Harlem community for guidance.
Ayo's mother founded the biggest civil rights movement to hit New York City in decades. It's called 'See Us' and it tackles police brutality and racial profiling in Harlem. Ayo has spent her entire life being an activist and now, she wants out. She wants to get her first real kiss, have a boyfriend, and just be a normal teen.
When her mom is put into a coma after a riot breaks out between protesters and police, protestors want Ayo to become the face of See Us and fight for justice for her mother who can no longer fight for herself. While she deals with her grief and anger, Ayo must also discover if she has the strength to take over where her mother left off.
This impactful and unforgettable novel takes on the important issues of inequality, systemic racism, police violence, and social justice.
*Kwame Alexander, New York Times bestselling author
Atlanta is blanketed with snow just before Christmas, but the warmth of young love just might melt the ice in this novel of Black joy, and cozy, sparkling romance--by the same unbeatable team of authors who wrote the New York Times bestseller Blackout!
As the city grinds to a halt, twelve teens band together to help a friend pull off the most epic apology of her life. But will they be able to make it happen, in spite of the storm?
No one is prepared for this whiteout. But then, we can't always prepare for the magical moments that change everything.
From the bestselling, award-winning, all-star authors who brought us Blackout--Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon--comes another novel of Black teen love, each relationship within as unique and sparkling as Southern snowflakes.
That Summer Night on Frenchmen Street
Set in magical New Orleans, two teens from vastly different worlds discover that sharing their strengths, including the love of their friends and family, may just be the path to finding wholeness within themselves.
Being there for her family is the most important thing to Jessamine Monet. And her family is complicated. Her twin brother Joel has a secret boyfriend, and her transgender cousin Solange is flourishing, despite the disapproval of Solange's dying mother. Yet Jessamine doesn't mind being caught up in family drama. Being busy keeps the water at bay -- the water of memories, of Katrina, of past trauma. So when Tennessee Williams -- a rich white boy named after the writer -- asks her out, she hesitantly says yes. He'll be like a library book, she figures, something to read and return. Falling for him is another burden she can't afford to carry.
Tennessee has always lived his life at the mercy of his mom's destructive creativity and his dad's hypermasculine expectations. Jessamine's caring and aloof nature is a surprisingly welcome distraction. While she fights her attraction to him, Tennessee is pulled into her inner family circle and develops a friendship with Joel's boyfriend, Saint Baptiste. Together Saint and Tennessee bond over the difficulty of loving the emotionally unavailable Monet twins.
As senior year progresses, old traumas and familial pressures rise higher than hurricane waves. Can this group of friends make peace with each other, their families, and most importantly, with themselves?
Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People
A National Book Award Finalist
A Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor Book
A Michael L. Printz Honor Book
A Walter Dean Myers Honor Book
With passion and precision, Kekla Magoon relays an essential account of the Black Panthers—as militant revolutionaries and as human rights advocates working to defend and protect their community.
In this comprehensive, inspiring, and all-too-relevant history of the Black Panther Party, Kekla Magoon introduces readers to the Panthers’ community activism, grounded in the concept of self-defense, which taught Black Americans how to protect and support themselves in a country that treated them like second-class citizens. For too long the Panthers’ story has been a footnote to the civil rights movement rather than what it was: a revolutionary socialist movement that drew thousands of members—mostly women—and became the target of one of the most sustained repression efforts ever made by the U.S. government against its own citizens.
Revolution in Our Time puts the Panthers in the proper context of Black American history, from the first arrival of enslaved people to the Black Lives Matter movement of today. Kekla Magoon’s eye-opening work invites a new generation of readers grappling with injustices in the United States to learn from the Panthers’ history and courage, inspiring them to take their own place in the ongoing fight for justice.
This Is My Brain in Love
Told in dual narrative, This Is My Brain in Love is a stunning YA contemporary romance, exploring mental health, race and, ultimately, self-acceptance, for fans of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter and Emergency Contact.
Jocelyn Wu has just three wishes for her junior year: To make it through without dying of boredom, to direct a short film with her BFF Priya Venkatram, and to get at least two months into the year without being compared to or confused with Peggy Chang, the only other Chinese girl in her grade.
Will Domenici has two goals: to find a paying summer internship, and to prove he has what it takes to become an editor on his school paper.
Then Jocelyn's father tells her their family restaurant may be going under, and all wishes are off. Because her dad has the marketing skills of a dumpling, it's up to Jocelyn and her unlikely new employee, Will, to bring A-Plus Chinese Garden into the 21st century (or, at least, to Facebook).
What starts off as a rocky partnership soon grows into something more. But family prejudices and the uncertain future of A-Plus threaten to keep Will and Jocelyn apart. It will take everything they have and more, to save the family restaurant and their budding romance.
We Are Not Yet Equal
This young adult adaptation of the New York Times bestselling White Rage is essential antiracist reading for teens.
An NAACP Image Award finalist
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
A NYPL Best Book for Teens
History texts often teach that the United States has made a straight line of progress toward Black equality. The reality is more complex: milestones like the end of slavery, school integration, and equal voting rights have all been met with racist legal and political maneuverings meant to limit that progress. We Are Not Yet Equal examines five of these moments: The end of the Civil War and Reconstruction was greeted with Jim Crow laws; the promise of new opportunities in the North during the Great Migration was limited when blacks were physically blocked from moving away from the South; the Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision was met with the shutting down of public schools throughout the South; the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 led to laws that disenfranchised millions of African American voters and a War on Drugs that disproportionally targeted blacks; and the election of President Obama led to an outburst of violence including the death of Black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri as well as the election of Donald Trump.
Including photographs and archival imagery and extra context, backmatter, and resources specifically for teens, this book provides essential history to help work for an equal future.
Light It Up
Told in a series of vignettes from multiple viewpoints, Kekla Magoon's Light It Up is a powerful, layered story about injustice and strength—as well as an incredible follow-up to the highly acclaimed novel How It Went Down.
A girl walks home from school. She's tall for her age. She's wearing her winter coat. Her headphones are in. She's hurrying.
She never makes it home.
In the aftermath, while law enforcement tries to justify the response, one fact remains: a police officer has shot and killed a thirteen-year-old girl. The community is thrown into upheaval, leading to unrest, a growing movement to protest the senseless taking of Black lives, and the arrival of white supremacist counter demonstrators.
This title has Common Core connections.
A thrilling and incisive examination of the post-Reconstruction era struggle for and suppression of African American voting rights in the United States.
Following the Civil War, the Reconstruction era raised a new question to those in power in the US: Should African Americans, so many of them former slaves, be granted the right to vote?In a bitter partisan fight over the legislature and Constitution, the answer eventually became yes, though only after two constitutional amendments, two Reconstruction Acts, two Civil Rights Acts, three Enforcement Acts, the impeachment of a president, and an army of occupation. Yet, even that was not enough to ensure that African American voices would be heard, or their lives protected. White supremacists loudly and intentionally prevented black Americans from voting -- and they were willing to kill to do so.In this vivid portrait of the systematic suppression of the African American vote for young adults, critically acclaimed author Lawrence Goldstone traces the injustices of the post-Reconstruction era through the eyes of incredible individuals, both heroic and barbaric, and examines the legal cases that made the Supreme Court a partner of white supremacists in the rise of Jim Crow. Though this is a story of America's past, Goldstone brilliantly draws direct links to today's creeping threats to suffrage in this important and, alas, timely book.
The Beautiful Struggle (Adapted for Young Adults)
Adapted from the adult memoir by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Water Dancer and Between the World and Me, this father-son story explores how boys become men, and quite specifically, how Ta-Nehisi Coates became Ta-Nehisi Coates.
As a child, Ta-Nehisi Coates was seen by his father, Paul, as too sensitive and lacking focus. Paul Coates was a Vietnam vet who'd been part of the Black Panthers and was dedicated to reading and publishing the history of African civilization. When it came to his sons, he was committed to raising proud Black men equipped to deal with a racist society, during a turbulent period in the collapsing city of Baltimore where they lived.
Coates details with candor the challenges of dealing with his tough-love father, the influence of his mother, and the dynamics of his extended family, including his brother "Big Bill," who was on a very different path than Ta-Nehisi. Coates also tells of his struggles at school and with girls, making this a timely story to which many readers will relate.
Nothing Burns As Bright As You
From acclaimed author Ashley Woodfolk, Nothing Burns as Bright as You is an impassioned story about queer love, grief, and the complexity of female friendship that will keep your heart racing, and breaking, until the very last page.
Two girls. One wild and reckless day. Years of tumultuous history unspooling like a thin, fraying string in the hours after they set a fire.
They were best friends. Until they became more. Their affections grew. Until the blurry lines became dangerous.
Over the course of a single day, the depth of their past, the confusion of their present, and the unpredictability of their future is revealed. And the girls will learn that hearts, like flames, aren't so easily tamed.
It starts with a fire.
How will it end?
Black History and Voices for Kids
The Journey of Little Charlie
Newbery Medalist Christopher Paul Curtis brings his trademark humor and heart to the story of a boy struggling to do right in the face of history's cruelest evils.
The National Book Award finalist by Christopher Paul Curtis
Twelve-year-old Charlie is down on his luck: His sharecropper father just died and Cap'n Buck -- the most fearsome man in Possum Moan, South Carolina -- has come to collect a debt. Fearing for his life, Charlie strikes a deal with Cap'n Buck and agrees to track down some folks accused of stealing from the cap'n and his boss. It's not too bad of a bargain for Charlie... until he comes face-to-face with the fugitives and discovers their true identities. Torn between his guilty conscience and his survival instinct, Charlie needs to figure out his next move -- and soon. It's only a matter of time before Cap'n Buck catches on.
Newbery Medalist Christopher Paul Curtis brings his trademark humor and heart to this story of a boy struggling to do right in the face of history's cruelest evils.
New York Times bestselling author Jerry Craft returns with a companion book to New Kid, winner of the 2020 Newbery Medal, the Coretta Scott King Author Award, and the Kirkus Prize. This time, it's Jordan's friend Drew who takes center stage in another laugh-out-loud funny, powerful, and important story about being one of the few kids of color in a prestigious private school.
Eighth grader Drew Ellis is no stranger to the saying "You have to work twice as hard to be just as good." His grandmother has reminded him his entire life. But what if he works ten times as hard and still isn't afforded the same opportunities that his privileged classmates at the Riverdale Academy Day School take for granted?
To make matters worse, Drew begins to feel as if his good friend Liam might be one of those privileged kids. He wants to pretend like everything is fine, but it's hard not to withdraw, and even their mutual friend Jordan doesn't know how to keep the group together.
As the pressures mount, will Drew find a way to bridge the divide so he and his friends can truly accept each other? And most important, will he finally be able to accept himself?
New Kid, the first graphic novel to win the Newbery Medal, is now joined by Jerry Craft's powerful Class Act.
When Winter Robeson Came
The whole world seems to transform during the summer of 1965, when Eden’s cousin from Mississippi comes to visit her in L.A. just as the Watts Riots erupt, in this stirring new novel by Coretta Scott King Honor winner Brenda Woods.
When Eden’s cousin Winter comes for a visit, it turns out he’s not just there to sightsee. He wants to figure out what happened to his dad, who disappeared ten years earlier from the Watts area of L.A. So the cousins set out to investigate together, and what they discover brings them joy—and heartache. It also opens up a whole new understanding of their world, just as the area they’ve got their sights on explodes in a clash between the police and the Black residents. For six days Watts is like a war zone, and Eden and Winter become heroes in their own part of the drama. Eden hopes to be a composer someday, and the only way she can describe that summer is a song with an unexpected ending, full of changes in tempo and mood--totally unforgettable.
The 1619 Project: Born on the Water
The 1619 Project’s lyrical picture book in verse chronicles the consequences of slavery and the history of Black resistance in the United States, thoughtfully rendered by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and Newbery honor-winning author Renée Watson.
A young student receives a family tree assignment in school, but she can only trace back three generations. Grandma gathers the whole family, and the student learns that 400 years ago, in 1619, their ancestors were stolen and brought to America by white slave traders.
But before that, they had a home, a land, a language. She learns how the people said to be born on the water survived.
And the people planted dreams and hope,
willed themselves to keep
And the people learned new words
With powerful verse and striking illustrations by Nikkolas Smith, Born on the Water provides a pathway for readers of all ages to reflect on the origins of American identity.
Stuntboy, in the Meantime
A Schneider Family Award Honor Book for Middle Grade
From Newbery Medal honoree and #1 New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds comes a hilarious, hopeful, and action-packed middle grade novel about the greatest young superhero you’ve never heard of, filled with illustrations by Raúl the Third!
Portico Reeves’s superpower is making sure all the other superheroes—like his parents and two best friends—stay super. And safe. Super safe. And he does this all in secret. No one in his civilian life knows he’s actually…Stuntboy!
But his regular Portico identity is pretty cool, too. He lives in the biggest house on the block, maybe in the whole city, which basically makes it a castle. His mom calls where they live an apartment building. But a building with fifty doors just in the hallways is definitely a castle. And behind those fifty doors live a bunch of different people who Stuntboy saves all the time. In fact, he’s the only reason the cat, New Name Every Day, has nine lives.
All this is swell except for Portico’s other secret, his not-so-super secret. His parents are fighting all the time. They’re trying to hide it by repeatedly telling Portico to go check on a neighbor “in the meantime.” But Portico knows “meantime” means his parents are heading into the Mean Time which means they’re about to get into it, and well, Portico’s superhero responsibility is to save them, too—as soon as he figures out how.
Only, all these secrets give Portico the worry wiggles, the frets, which his mom calls anxiety. Plus, like all superheroes, Portico has an arch-nemesis who is determined to prove that there is nothing super about Portico at all.
I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005
The story of a boy, a dog, and the storm of the century is brought vividly to life in this graphic novel adaptation of Lauren Tarshis's bestselling I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005, with text adapted by Georgia Ball.
Barry's family tries to evacuate before Hurricane Katrina hits their home in New Orleans. But when his little sister gets terribly sick, they're forced to stay home and wait out the storm.
At first, Katrina doesn't seem to be as bad as predicted. But overnight the levees break, and Barry's world is literally torn apart. He's swept off by the floodwaters, away from his family. Can he survive the storm of the century -- alone?
Lauren Tarshis's New York Times bestselling I Survived series comes to vivid life in graphic novel editions. Perfect for readers who prefer the graphic novel format, or for existing fans of the I Survived chapter book series, these graphic novels combine historical facts with high-action storytelling that's sure to keep any reader turning the pages. Includes a nonfiction section at the back with facts and photos about the real-life event.
Rick Riordan Presents Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, the Graphic Novel
The best-selling and awarding-winning novel about a Black boy who helps folk heroes and gods through storytelling is now a dynamic graphic novel!
"This graphic adaptation of the children's novel that began the 'Tristan Strong' trilogy will have plenty of appeal for readers who are interested in African and African American characters and folklore. The illustrations pop with energy and color."--School Library Journal
The talented team of Robert Venditti and Olivia Stephens brings to glorious full color the novel that best-selling author Jason Reynolds called "A brilliant action adventure rooted in African American lore."
Seventh grader Tristan Strong feels anything but strong ever since he failed to save his best friend when they were in a bus accident together. All he has left of Eddie is the journal his friend wrote stories in. Tristan is dreading the month he's going to spend on his grandparents' farm in Alabama, where he's being sent to heal from the tragedy.
But on his first night there, a sticky creature shows up in his bedroom and steals Eddie's notebook. Tristan chases after it--is that a doll?--and a tug-of-war ensues between them underneath a Bottle Tree. In a last attempt to wrestle the journal out of the creature's hands, Tristan punches the tree, accidentally ripping open a chasm into the MidPass, a volatile place with a burning sea, haunted bone ships, and iron monsters that are hunting the inhabitants of this world.
Tristan finds himself in the middle of a battle that has left Black American folk heroes John Henry and Brer Rabbit exhausted. In order to get back home, Tristan and these new allies will need to entice the god Anansi, the Weaver, to come out of hiding and seal the hole in the sky. But bartering with the trickster Anansi always comes at a price.
Can Tristan save this world before he loses more of the things he loves? Find out by diving into this stunning graphic novel adaptation of the original book.
Endorsed by Rick Riordan, author of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, soon to be a series on Disney+.
Complete your graphic novel collection with these fan favorites:
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, adapted by Robert Venditti
- The Kane Chronicles: The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan, adapted by Orpheus Collar
- The Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan, adapted by Robert Venditti
- Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer, adapted by Michael Moreci, illustrated by Stephen Gilpin
- Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi, adapted by Joe Caramagna, illustrated by Anu Chouhan
Free at Last
This lyrical celebration of Juneteenth, deeply rooted in Black American history, spans centuries and reverberates loudly and proudly today.
After 300 years of forced bondage;
hands bound, descendants of Africa
picked up their souls--all that they owned--
leaving shackles where they fell on the ground,
headed for the nearest resting place to be found.
Deeply emotional, evocative free verse by poet and activist Sojourner Kincaid Rolle traces the solemnity and celebration of Juneteenth from its 1865 origins in Galveston, Texas to contemporary observances all over the United States. This is an ode to the strength of Black Americans and a call to remember and honor a holiday whose importance reverberates far beyond the borders of Texas.
Have I Ever Told You Black Lives Matter
Black lives matter. That message would be self-evident in a just world, but in this world and this America, all children need to hear it again and again, and not just to hear it but to feel and know it.
This book affirms the message repeatedly, tenderly, with cumulative power and shared pride. Celebrating Black accomplishments in music, art, literature, journalism, politics, law, science, medicine, entertainment, and sports, Shani King summons a magnificent historical and contemporary context for honoring the fortitude of Black role models, women and men, who have achieved greatness despite the grinding political and social constraints on Black life. Frederick Douglass, Toni Morrison, Sojourner Truth, John Lewis, Langston Hughes, Louis Armstrong, Maya Angelou, Aretha Franklin, and many more pass through these pages. An America without their struggles, aspirations, and contributions would be a shadow of the country we know. A hundred life sketches augment the narrative, opening a hundred doors to lives and thinking that aren't included in many history books. James Baldwin's challenge is here: "We are responsible for the world in which we find ourselves, if only because we are the only sentient force which can change it." Actress Viola Davis's words are here, too: "When I was younger, I did not exert my voice because I did not feel worthy of having a voice. I was taught so many things that didn't include me. Where was I? What were people like me doing?"
This book tells children what people like Viola were and are doing, and it assures Black children that they are, indisputably, worthy of having a voice.
Have I Ever Told You Black Lives Matter? is a book for this time and always. It is time for all children to live and breathe the certainty that Black lives matter.
Because They Marched
The struggle for voting rights was a pivotal event in the history of civil rights.
For the fiftieth anniversary of the march for voting rights from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, Newbery Medalist Russell Freedman has written a riveting account of African-American struggles for the right to vote.
In the early 1960s, tensions in the segrated South intensified. Tired of reprisals for attempting to register to vote, Selma's black community began to protest. In January 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led a voting rights march and was attacked by a segregationist. In February, the shooting of an unarmed demonstrator by an Alabama state trooper inspired a march from Selma to the state capital. The event got off to a horrific start on March 7 as law officers brutally attacked peaceful demonstrators. But when vivid footage and photographs of the violence was broadcast throughout the world, the incident attracted widespread outrage and spurred demonstrators to complete the march at any cost.
Illustrated with more than forty archival photographs, this is an essential chronicle of events every American should know.
A Kirkus Best Book of the Year
A Junior Library Guild Selection
A History of Me
An uplifting message of hope for the future and pride in your history, inspired by a mother's experience of being the only Black child in her classroom.
Who do you see when you look in the mirror?
Emphasizing the strength, creativity, and courage passed down through generations, A History of Me offers a joyful new perspective on how we look at history and an uplifting message for the future.
Being the only brown girl in a classroom full of white students can be hard. When the teacher talks about slavery and civil rights, she can feel all the other students' eyes on her. In those moments she wants to seep into the ground, wondering, is that all you see when you look at me?
Having gone through the same experiences, the girl's mother offers a different, empowering point of view: she is a reflection of the powerful women that have come before her, of the intelligence, resilience, and resourcefulness that have been passed down through the generations. Her history is a source of pride, a reason to sit up straight and recognize everything beautiful and powerful in herself.
What really matters is what we see when we look in the mirror, and what we want to become.
Inspired by the authors' experiences in school and as a parent, Adrea Theodore’s debut picture book is a powerful testament to the past as well as a benediction for the future. Erin Robinson's digital illustrations feature a wealth of texture and a bold, saturated palette, bringing this warm message of empowerment to life.
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur
"Lunella Lafayette is an Inhuman preteen genius who wants to change the world! THAT JOB would be a lot easier if she wasn't living in mortal fear of her latent Inhuman gene. There's no telling what she'll turn into -- but Luna's got a plan. All she needs is an Omni-Wave Projector. Easy, right? That is, until a red-scaled beast is teleported from the prehistoric past to a far-flung future we call ... today! Together they're the most Marvelous Team-Up of all -- the Inhuman Moon Girl and time-tossed Devil Dinosaur! But will they be BFFs forever, or just until DD's dinner time? And Lunella soon learns that there are other problems with having a titanic T. Rex as a pet in the modern-day Marvel Universe. School, for one. Monster hunters are another -- especially when they're the Totally Awesome Hulk! Then there's the fact that everyone's favorite dino didn't journey through time alone. Beware the prehistoric savages known as the Killer-Folk -- New York City's deadliest tourists! Can Lunella handle all this turmoil ... and keep herself from transforming into an Inhuman monster?"--Page 4 of cover
Who Was Duke Ellington?
How did a working-class young man from Washington, DC, turn the music world on its head and become the "Master Of Jazz"? Find out in this addition to the Who HQ library!
A pivotal fixture of the Harlem Renaissance, Duke Ellington was the bandleader of the historic Cotton Club and a master composer -- writing close to 3,000 songs in his lifetime and capturing the spirit of the Black experience in the Unites States. Over a 50-year career, Ellington became one of the biggest names in jazz as we know it. He went on to win 13 Grammys, a Pulitzer, and receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969. Who Was Duke Ellington? follows the exciting, multifaceted journey of this musical genius and takes a look at what truly makes Ellington an artist "beyond category."
From New York Times bestselling and award-winning author and American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Misty Copeland comes an illustrated nonfiction collection celebrating dancers of color who have influenced her on and off the stage.
As a young girl living in a motel with her mother and her five siblings, Misty Copeland didn’t have a lot of exposure to ballet or prominent dancers. She was sixteen when she saw a black ballerina on a magazine cover for the first time. The experience emboldened Misty and told her that she wasn’t alone—and her dream wasn’t impossible.
In the years since, Misty has only learned more about the trailblazing women who made her own success possible by pushing back against repression and racism with their talent and tenacity. Misty brings these women’s stories to a new generation of readers and gives them the recognition they deserve.
With an introduction from Misty about the legacy these women have had on dance and on her career itself, this book delves into the lives and careers of women of color who fundamentally changed the landscape of American ballet from the early 20th century to today.
"A poignant, necessary entry into the children's literary canon, Root Magic brings to life the history and culture of Gullah people while highlighting the timeless plight of Black Americans. Add in a fun, magical adventure and you get everything I want in a book!" --Justina Ireland, New York Times bestselling author of Dread Nation
Walter Dean Myers Honor Award for Outstanding Children's Literature! A Mythopoeic Fantasy Award winner!
Debut author Eden Royce arrives with a wondrous story of love, bravery, friendship, and family, filled to the brim with magic great and small.
It's 1963, and things are changing for Jezebel Turner. Her beloved grandmother has just passed away. The local police deputy won't stop harassing her family. With school integration arriving in South Carolina, Jez and her twin brother, Jay, are about to begin the school year with a bunch of new kids. But the biggest change comes when Jez and Jay turn eleven-- and their uncle, Doc, tells them he's going to train them in rootwork.
Jez and Jay have always been fascinated by the African American folk magic that has been the legacy of their family for generations--especially the curious potions and powders Doc and Gran would make for the people on their island. But Jez soon finds out that her family's true power goes far beyond small charms and elixirs...and not a moment too soon. Because when evil both natural and supernatural comes to show itself in town, it's going to take every bit of the magic she has inside her to see her through.