This year, 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. The results have been quite amazing.
Thanks to all of my readers for sticking with this series, for you interest in Black books and in Black youth. Thanks to everyone who took the time to send a list. “5-10 titles” sounds so simple, but the fewer the number of favorite books requested, the more difficult the challenge. Especially if you’re someone like Meg Medina, someone who is well connected in youth literature, is a fierce and loyal ally and who believes in literacy. Throughout our email exchanges, Meg’s list grew and grew. I don’t mind sharing every single name, each title she sent in those emails.
We’re going to end here with Meg and this expansive list of titles. I’m usually pretty good finding that last line to end things, maybe I just don’t want this to end. I hope you’ve enjoy this series as much as I have enjoyed putting it together. I hope you’ve found plenty good books to read!
Here’s Meg Medina!
Schomburg: The Man Who Built the Library by Carole Boston Weatherford and Eric Velasquez (Candlewick, 2018)
[Don’t worry! There are more picture books!]
New Kid by Jerry Craft (Harper Alley 2019)
The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson (Arthur Levine Books, Scholastic 2018)
Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson (Bloomsbury 2017)
The Jumbies series by Tracey Baptiste (Algonquin, 2015+)
Tight by Torrey Maldonado (Nancy Paulsen Books, 2018)
I also didn’t mention Rita William Garcia, but I am out of slots, I’m sure.
Leaving people out is killing me . . .
Not So Pure and Simple by Lamar Giles (Harper Collins, 2020)
Light it Up by Kekla Magoon (Henry Holt, 2019)
With the Fire on High (Harper Collins 2019)
Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert (Little,Brown, 2017)
The Two Naomis by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich and Audrey Vernick (Harper 2016)
American Street by Ibi Zoboi (Balzer + Bray 2017)
Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany Jackson (Katherine Tegan, 2018)
Dear Martin by Nic Stone (Crown 2017)
The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas (Harper, 2017)
And, anything by Jason Reynolds, Jacqueline Woodson or Kwame Alexander
I know. I was so worried about keeping to 10. But if the door is open, I’d like to say
Christian Robinson, ANOTHER (Atheneum, 2019)
Carole Boston Weatherford author; Ekua Holmes illustrator THE VOICE OF FREEDOM: FANNY LOU HAMER (Candlewick 2015)
Ekua Holmes illustrator; written by Marion Dane Bauer THE STUFF OF STARS (Candlewick 2019);
Vashti Harrison LITTLE LEADERS (Little,Brown 2017)
Don Tate POET, THE REMARKABLE STORY OF GEORGE MOSES HORTON (Peachtree 2015)