Making Our Way Home: The Great Migration and the Black American Dream

Written by: Blair Imani, Foreword by Patrisse Cullors (BLM Co-Founder) Illustrated by: Rachelle Baker For ages: YA Middle Grades, 12 years and up Language: English Topics Covered: Black Culture & Identity, American History, Enslavement, Reconstruction, Historical Figures, Family, Politics, Love. Summary:  This book is meticulously researched and fascinating!  Author Blair Imani takes readers on a journey through the American history that…

Granddaddy’s Gift

Written by: Margaree King Mitchell Illustrated by: Larry Johnson For ages: 5 years and up Language: English Topics Covered: POC-Centric Narratives, Modern Back Freedom Struggle, Voting Rights, Family, Activism, Racism, Strength, Resilience, Education, Own Voices, Historical Fiction.  Summary: This story is told from the perspective of a young girl, who everyone calls Little Joe on account of the fact that she follows…

Little People Big Dreams: Josephine Baker

Written by: Maria Isabel S√°nchez Vegara Illustrated by: Agathe Sorlet  For ages: 4-8 years Language: English Topics Covered: POC-Centric Narratives, Biography, Historical Figure, Musician, Women in Music, Trailblazer, Segregation, Racism, Activism, Modern Black Freedom Struggle, WWII.  Summary: Josephine was a born performer, and found her fame dancing on a chorus line in New York City.  Due to ongoing segregation and general…

Patina

Written by: Jason Reynolds Cover Art by: Vanessa Brantley-Newton For ages: YA Middle Grades Language: English Topics Covered: POC-Centric Narratives, Family, Grief, Death, Social-Emotional Growth, Sports, Women in Sports, Growing Up, Coping, Friendship, Black Culture & Identity. Summary: Patina is just trying to do her best at a new school and on a new elite track team that she is now a part…

Going Down Home With Daddy

Written by: Kelly Starling Lyons Illustrated by: Daniel Minter For ages: 4-8 years Language: English Topics Covered: POC-Centric Narratives, AAVE, Black Culture & Identity, Family, Recitation, Reunion, Love, Humor, Enslavement. Summary: This book is genuinely amazing, it was one of our favorite from the entire year!  This book is beautiful because of both the storyline and the artistry that Daniel Minter…

Freedom over me; Eleven slaves, their lives and dreams brought to life

Written & Illustrated by: Ashley Bryan For ages: 10-12 years (grades 4-6) Language: English Topics Covered: POC-Centric Narratives, Enslavement, Enslaved People, Historical Figures, Historical Events, Poetry, Historic Narratives, Narratives of Enslavement.  Summary: This book is comprised of poems telling the stories of 11 enslaved people.  Records of these individuals were found in a historical document owned by the author himself, who…

grandpa cacao: a tale of chocolate, from farm to family

summary:¬† This story follows tangential plot-lines of a little girl making her favorite chocolate birthday cake recipe for herself, and also learning about her grandfather who is a farmer, owning a cacao farm. ¬†The book is set up to show the parallels between the main character and her grandfather, because they have never met. ¬†As…

King and the Dragonflies

Written by: Kacen Callender Cover Art by: Tonya Engel For ages: YA Language: English Topics Covered: POC-Centric Narratives, Family, LGBTQ, Death, Relationships, Friendship. Summary: We got this book from a friend who received a pre-release copy from the ALA Conference!  We are so excited to have been able to both read and review the book before the release date, because it…

Around Our Way on Neighbor’s Day

Written by: Tameka Fryer Brown Illustrated by: Charlotte Riley-Webb  For ages: 4-7 years Language: English Topics Covered: Community, POC-Centric Narratives, Friendship, Poetry. Summary: This is a bright, fun, lyrical adventure through a close-knit neighborhood during the celebration of Neighbors’ Day (which could be described as a block party).  The narrator is a young girl with yellow ribbons in her hair.  She…

Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans

Written by: Phil Bildner Illustrated by: John Parra For Ages: 5-10 years Language: English Topics Covered: POC-Centric Narratives, Hurricane Katrina, American Folktales, Community Involvement, Activism, Social-Emotional Growth. Summary:¬†This book is in American Folktale style, making Cornelius larger than life! ¬†Marvelous Cornelius is based on an actual man who lived in New Orleans and was a…