Lexile measure 770; Ages 4-8; K-Gr.3.
Discover the inspiring story of the first black woman elected to Congress and to run for president in this picture book biography. Meet Shirley, a little girl who asks way too many questions! After spending her early years on her grandparents' farm in Barbados, she returns home to Brooklyn and immediately makes herself known. Shirley kicks butt in school; she breaks her mother's curfew; she plays jazz piano instead of classical. And as a young adult, she fights against the injustice she sees around her, against women and black people.
Lexile measure AD1610L; Ages 4-8; PrK-Gr.3.
For centuries, blue powders and dyes were some of the most sought-after materials in the world. Ancient Afghan painters ground mass quantities of sapphire rocks to use for their paints, while snails were harvested in Eurasia for the tiny amounts of blue that their bodies would release. And then there was indigo, which was so valuable that American plantations grew it as a cash crop on the backs of African slaves. It wasn't until 1905, when Adolf von Baeyer created a chemical blue dye, that blue could be used for anything and everything--most notably that uniform of workers everywhere, blue jeans.
Lexile measure 860; Ages 7-10; Gr.2-5.
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.
Ages 8-12; Gr.3-7.
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. 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.
Ages 7-10; Gr.2-5.
Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley was born in 1818, enslaved to a Virginian plantation owner. As a teenager, Lizzy was sent to work as the only slave on a small plantation, where the work was endless, and the masters treated her with unspeakable cruelty. A new master, learning Lizzy could sew, sent her to work for a tailor, who paid the master, not Lizzy, for Lizzy's work. The beautiful gowns that Lizzy created were displayed in the tailor's window and soon attracted the attention of the wealthiest women in Virginia. Though Lizzy first had to borrow money from her wealthy patrons to buy her freedom, once she was free, she was able to earn money of her own and pay them all back.
Ages 8-14; Gr.6-10.
Before there was Barack Obama, before there was Kamala Harris, there was Fighting Shirley Chisholm. Running for President chronicles the life of Shirley Chisholm, a woman of matchless integrity and great dignity who had a passion for social justice. Chisolm was the first black woman to seek presidential nomination from a major party when she announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination in 1972.
Ages 5-8; K-Gr.3.
Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López's highly anticipated companion to their #1 New York Times bestseller The Day You Begin illuminates the power in each of us to face challenges with confidence.
Lexile measure 930; Ages 12 and up; Gr.7 and up.
This inspiring memoir chronicles Top Chef star and Forbes and Zagat 30 Under 30 phenom Kwame Onwuachi's incredible and odds-defying fame in the food world after a tough childhood in the Bronx and Nigeria.
Lexile measure 640; Ages 7-12; Gr. 2-7.
From 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.
Lexile measure HL710L; ages 12 and up; Gr.7 and up.
There's always been a hole in Gio's life. Not because he's into both guys and girls. Not because his father has some drinking issues. Not because his friends are always bringing him their drama. No, the hole in Gio's life takes the shape of his birth mom, who left Gio, his brother, and his father when Gio was nine years old.
Ages 12 and up; Gr.7 and up,
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.
Lexile measure AD940L; Ages 4-8; K-Gr.3.
Discover the true meaning of community in this gorgeous picture book about a very special street bursting with joy, hope, and dreams. Welcome to Dream Street--the best street in the world! On Dream Street, love between generations rules, everyone is special, and the warmth of the neighborhood shines.
Ages 4-8; PrK-Gr.2, A Caldecott and Coretta Scott King Honor Book. Mama's love is brighter than the sun, even on the rainiest of days. This celebration of a mother-daughter relationship is perfect for sharing with little ones!
Ages 13 and up; Gr.9 and up.
Six critically acclaimed, bestselling, and award-winning authors bring the glowing warmth and electricity of Black teens in love to this charming, hilarious, and heartwarming novel that shines a bright light through the dark.
Ages 16 and up; Gr.10-12.
This astonishing novel from three-time National Book Award finalist Rita Williams-Garcia about the interwoven lives of those bound to a plantation in antebellum America is an epic masterwork--empathetic, brutal, and entirely human--and essential reading for both teens and adults grappling with the long history of American racism.
From Ezra Jack Keats Award-winning author-illustrator Don Tate comes a remarkable picture book biography of William Still, known as Father of the Underground Railroad. William Still's parents escaped slavery but had to leave two of their children behind, a tragedy that haunted the family. As a young man, William went to work for the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, where he raised money, planned rescues, and helped freedom seekers who had traveled north.
Lexile measure 810; Ages 4-8; K-Gr.3.
A lyrical, heart-lifting love letter to Black and brown children everywhere: reminding them how much they matter, that they have always mattered, and they always will, from powerhouse rising star author Tami Charles and esteemed, award-winning illustrator Bryan Collier.
Ages 5-10; PrK-Gr.3.
Frustrated by a day full of teachers and classmates mispronouncing her beautiful name, a little girl tells her mother she never wants to come back to school. In response, the girl's mother teaches her about the musicality of African, Asian, Black-American, Latinx, and Middle Eastern names on their lyrical walk home through the city. Empowered by this newfound understanding, the young girl is ready to return the next day to share her knowledge with her class.
Ages 10 and up; Gr.1-4; Newbery Honor book 2021.
In stanzas of six lines each, each line representing one side of a box, celebrated poet Carole Boston Weatherford powerfully narrates Henry Brown's story of how he came to send himself in a box from slavery to freedom. Strikingly illustrated in rich hues and patterns by artist Michele Wood, Box is augmented with historical records and an introductory excerpt from Henry's own writing as well as a time line, notes from the author and illustrator, and a bibliography.
Ages 4-8; K-Gr.3.
In this stirring, much-anticipated picture book by presidential inaugural poet and activist Amanda Gorman, anything is possible when our voices join together. As a young girl leads a cast of characters on a musical journey, they learn that they have the power to make changes--big or small--in the world, in their communities, and in most importantly, in themselves.
Ages 12 and up; Gr.8 and up; National Book Award Finalist 2021.
A debut YA novel-in-verse by Amber McBride, Me (Moth) is about a teen girl who is grieving the deaths of her family, and a teen boy who crosses her path.Moth has lost her family in an accident. Though she lives with her aunt, she feels alone and uprooted. Until she meets Sani, a boy who is also searching for his roots.
Ages 13 and up; Gr.8 and up
"Run recounts the lost history of what too often follows dramatic change--the pushback of those who refuse it and the resistance of those who believe change has not gone far enough. John Lewis's story has always been a complicated narrative of bravery, loss, and redemption, and Run gives vivid, energetic voice to a chapter of transformation in his young, already extraordinary life." -Stacey Abrams
Gr.7 and up.
Evie Thomas doesn't believe in love anymore. Especially after the strangest thing occurs one otherwise ordinary afternoon: She witnesses a couple kiss and is overcome with a vision of how their romance began... and how it will end. Afterall, event the greatest love stories end with a broken heart, eventually. As Evie tries to understand why this is happening, she finds herself at La Brea Dance studio, learning to waltz, fox-trot, and tango with a boy named X. X is all that Evie is not: adventurous, passionate, daring. His philosophy is to say yes to everything-- including entering a ballroom dance competition with a girl he only just met.
Ages 4-8; PrK-Gr.3; Coretta Scott King illustrator winner, 2021.
From a creative team with multiple Caldecott Honors comes this vibrant portrait of Aretha Franklin that pays her the R-E-S-P-E-C-T this Queen of Soul deserves. Aretha Franklin was born to sing. The daughter of a pastor and a gospel singer, her musical talent was clear from her earliest days in her father's Detroit church where her soaring voice spanned more than three octaves.
Ages 9-12; Gr.3-5.
This graphic novel by James OTIS tis Smith celebrates the extraordinary true tales of three black heroes who took control of their destinies and stood up for their communities in the Old West. Born into slavery in Tennessee, Mary Fields became famous as "Stagecoach Mary," a cigar-chomping, card playing coach driver who never missed a delivery. Bass Reeves, the first black Deputy US Marshal west of the Mississippi, was one of the wiliest lawmen in the territories, bringing thousands of outlaws to justice with his smarts. Bob Lemmons lived to be 99 years old and was so good with horses that the wild mustangs on the plains of Texas took him for one of their own.
Ages 7-10; Gr.4-6.
From Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Author Award winner Renée Watson, the first book in a young middle grade series about Ryan Hart, a girl who is pure spirit, kindness, and sunshine. Ryan Hart can be and do anything. Her name means "king", that she is a leader, and she is determined to keep growing into the name her parents gave her. She is all about trying to see the best in people, to be a good daughter, sister, and friend. But Ryan has a lot on her mind.
Ages 4-8; K-Gr.2.
In this full, bright, and beautiful picture book, many different perspectives around the world are deftly and empathetically explored--from a pair of bird-watchers to the pigeons they're feeding. Young readers will be drawn into the luminous illustrations inviting them to engage with the world in a new way and see how everyone is connected, and that everyone matters.
Lexile measure AD540L; Ages 4-8; PrK-Gr.3.
Something Happened in Our Town follows two families -- one White, one Black -- as they discuss a police shooting of a Black man in their community. The story aims to answer children's questions about such traumatic events, and to help children identify and counter racial injustice in their own lives. Includes an extensive Note to Parents and Caregivers with guidelines for discussing race and racism with children, child-friendly definitions, and sample dialogues.
Ages 3-7; PrK-Gr.3.
The confident Black narrator of this book is proud of everything that makes him who he is. He's got big plans, and no doubt he'll see them through--as he's creative, adventurous, smart, funny, and a good friend. Sometimes he falls, but he always gets back up. And other times he's afraid, because he's so often misunderstood and called what he is not. So slow down and really look and listen, when somebody tells you--and shows you--who they are.
Lexile measure 680; ages 12 and up; Gr.7-9.
A sculptor of historical figures starts with givens but creates her own vision. Edmonia Lewis was just such a sculptor, but she never spoke or wrote much about her past, and the stories that have come down through time are often vague or contradictory. Some facts are known: Edmonia was the daughter of an Ojibwe woman and an African Haitian man. She had the rare opportunity to study art at Oberlin, one of the first schools to admit women and people of color, but lost her place after being accused of poisoning and theft, despite being acquitted of both. She moved to Boston and eventually Italy, where she became a successful sculptor.
Ages 10-14; Gr.5-7; Coretta Scott King author honor, 2021.
An eye-opening book that tells the important, overlooked story of black women as a force in the suffrage movement--when fellow suffragists did not accept them as equal partners in the struggle. For African American women, the fight for the right to vote was only one battle. Women of color, especially African American women, were fighting for their right to vote and to be treated as full, equal citizens of the United States. Their battlefront wasn't just about gender. African American women had to deal with white abolitionist-suffragists who drew the line at sharing power with their black sisters. They had to overcome deep, exclusionary racial prejudices that were rife in the American suffrage movement. And they had to maintain their dignity--and safety--in a society that tried to keep them in its bottom ranks.
Lexile measure 640HL; Ages 12 and up; gr.7 and up.
Every week, seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont writes letters to Innocence X, asking the organization to help her father, an innocent Black man on death row. After seven years, Tracy is running out of time--her dad has only 267 days left. Then the unthinkable happens. The police arrive in the night, and Tracy's older brother, Jamal, goes from being a bright, promising track star to a "thug" on the run, accused of killing a white girl. Determined to save her brother, Tracy investigates what really happened between Jamal and Angela down at the Pike. But will Tracy and her family survive the uncovering of the skeletons of their Texas town's racist history that still haunt the present?
Ages 8-12; Gr.3-6.
Celebrated author Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrator Floyd Cooper provide a powerful look at the Tulsa Race Massacre, one of the worst incidents of racial violence in our nation's history. The book traces the history of African Americans in Tulsa's Greenwood district and chronicles the devastation that occurred in 1921 when a white mob attacked the Black community.
Ages 10-14; Gr.5-9.
Award-winning author Tonya Bolden explores Black women who have changed the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in America. Including groundbreaking computer scientists, doctors, inventors, physicists, pharmacists, mathematicians, aviators, and many more, this book celebrates more than 50 women who have shattered the glass ceiling, defied racial discrimination, and pioneered in their fields.
Ages 8-12; Gr.4-6.
Amari Peters has never stopped believing her missing brother, Quinton, is alive. Not even when the police told her otherwise, or when she got in trouble for standing up to bullies who said he was gone for good. So when she finds a ticking briefcase in his closet, containing a nomination for a summer tryout at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she's certain the secretive organization holds the key to locating Quinton--if only she can wrap her head around the idea of magicians, fairies, aliens, and other supernatural creatures all being real.
Ages 4-8; K-Gr.3.
From the Newbery Honor-winning author of Genesis Begins Again comes a shimmering picture book that shines the light on Zora Neale Hurston, the extraordinary writer and storycatcher extraordinaire who changed the face of American literature. Zora was a girl who hankered for tales like bees for honey. Now, her mama always told her that if she wanted something, "to jump at de sun", because even though you might not land quite that high, at least you'd get off the ground.
Lexile measure 570; Ages 7-10; Gr.1-3.
In 1854, Elizabeth "Lizzie" Jennings, an African American schoolteacher, fought back when she was unjustly denied entry to a New York City streetcar, sparking the beginnings of the long struggle to gain equal rights on public transportation.
Lexile measure HL730; Ages 14 and up; Gr.8 and up; Winner of the Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe for New Talent Author Award.
Filled with mystery and an intriguingly rich magic system, Tracy Deonn's YA contemporary fantasy Legendborn offers the dark allure of City of Bones with a modern-day twist on a classic legend and a lot of Southern Black Girl Magic. After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC-Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape--until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.
Ages 4-8; Prk-Gr.3; Geisel award honor book, 2021.
Ty can't wait to ride his brand-new scooter at the park. Other kids zip and zoom by like race cars, but all Ty can do is wobble! Ty wants to give up, but a new friend helps Ty give it another try.
Ages 8-12; Gr.3-7.
From a bestselling and award-winning husband and wife team comes an innovative, beautifully illustrated novel that delivers a front-row seat to the groundbreaking moments in history that led to African Americans earning the right to vote.
Ages 10-14; Gr.5-9.
From Children's Literature Legacy Award-winning author Nikki Grimes comes a feminist-forward new collection of poetry celebrating the little-known women poets of the Harlem Renaissance--paired with full-color, original art from today's most talented female African-American illustrators.
Ages 14 and up; Gr.9 and up.
International phenomenon Angie Thomas revisits Garden Heights seventeen years before the events of The Hate U Give in this searing and poignant exploration of Black boyhood and manhood. If there's one thing seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter knows, it's that a real man takes care of his family. As the son of a former gang legend, Mav does that the only way he knows how: dealing for the King Lords.