I’ve invited non Black people who are in someway connected to youth literature to share a list of 5-10 books written or illustrated by Blacks that will appeal to children. I asked for anything from board books and graphic novels to biographies and adult crossover. The authors or illustrators could be living or dead, U.S. residents or not.
There hasn’t been a list in this series that hasn’t made me want to get offline and go read they’ve mentioned and Preeti’s list is no exception. Her list is so solid YA that it exists as a good argument for YA readers to pick up the picture books that she’s thrown into the mix. Even though picture books are usually marketed to be read to young readers, those that are nonfiction usually contain information that will appeal to older readers. The ones mentioned here certainly do.
Preeti co-hosts the podcasts Desi Geek Girls and Strong Female Characters (SYFYWire). She’s appeared on several panels at NYCC, SDCC, and on screen on the SYFY Network. You may recognize her from one of several BuzzFeed “look at these tweets” lists. Let’s look at her list of books by Black authors!
Pride by Ibi Zoboi. Balzer+Bray 2018.
Miles Morales by Jason Reynolds. Marvel, 2017.
The Xenogenesis series / Lilith’s Brood by Octavia Butler Turtleback 2000.
Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson. Bloomsbury, 2017.
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. Delacorte, 2016.
Little Leaders series by Vashti Harrison. Little, Brown.
Martin Rising: Requim for a King. by Andrea Davis Pinkney & Brian Pinkney. Scholastic, 2018.
The Belles (The Belles #1) by Dhonielle Clayton. Disney-Hyperion, 2018.
For Everyone by Jason Reynolds. Atheneum, 2018.
Spin by Lamar Giles. Scholastic, 2019.
Preeti Chhibber is a YA author, speaker, and freelancer. She’s written for SYFY, Polygon, The Nerds of Color, and The Mary Sue, among others. Her short story, “Girls Who Twirl and Other Dangers” was published in A Thousand Beginnings and Endings (HarperCollins, 2018). Her latest, Orientation (Marvel’s Avenger’s Assembly #1) will be out from Scholastic in August 2020.