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This is a selection of young adult and children's literature by Black illustrators and/or authors.
Life Doesn't Frighten Me by Presents Maya Angelou's poem illustrated by paintings and drawings of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Features biographies of both the author and artist.
Call Number: PZ7.A5445 L544 1993
Publication Date: 1993-02-06
The Adventures of Sparrowboy by After an encounter with a sparrow, Henry finds he is able to fly just like his favorite comic book hero HawkMan.
Call Number: PZ7.P6334 A38 1997
Publication Date: 1997-04-01
Black Misery by Black Misery was the last book Langston Hughes wrote. He died in May 1967, and the book was published posthumously in 1969. Looking at Arouni's black-and-white illustrations and reading the terse, emotion-packed captions, one cannot help commiserating with the predicament of a black child adjusting to the new world of integration of the 1960s. We feel the hope and dismay, the prejudice and indifference that characterized the decade. Langston Hughes writes in a gentle, funny, and sometimes melancholy style that still brings a nod of recognition.
Call Number: PS 3515 .U274 B5 1969
Happy to Be Nappy by Legendary author bell hooks and Caldecott Medalist Chris Raschka present a lyrical celebration, brimming with enthusiasm for girls and their hair. Nominated for an NAACP Image Award, this stunning picture book is a treasure.
Call Number: PZ7.H7663 H36 1999
Publication Date: 1999-09-10
Many Thousand Gone by Recounts the journey of Black slaves to freedom via the underground railroad, an extended group of people who helped fugitive slaves in many ways.
Call Number: E450 .H23 1993
Publication Date: 1993-01-04
The Lion and the Mouse by In this wordless retelling of an Aesop fable set in the African Serengeti, an adventuresome mouse proves that even small creatures are capable of great deeds when she rescues the King of the Jungle.
Call Number: PZ7.P456 L5 2009
Publication Date: 2009-09-01
The People Could Fly: American Black folktales by Retold Afro-American folktales of animals, fantasy, the supernatural, and desire for freedom, born of the sorrow of the slaves, but passed on in hope.
Call Number: PZ7.H154 P4 1993
Publication Date: 1993-01-04
Last Stop on Market Street by Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don't own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them. This energetic ride through a bustling city highlights the wonderful perspective and comes to life through Matt de la Pena’s vibrant text and Christian Robinson’s radiant illustrations.
Call Number: Lower Lvl PZ7.P3725 L378 2015
Publication Date: 2015-01-08
The Talking Eggs: A Folktale from the American South; by Blanche and her mother and older sister live on a small farm in the American south. Blanche is a hard worker and tends the whole farm by herself while her uncaring mother and sister laze about on the porch all day either ignoring or ordering Blanche around. But Blanche's fortunes soon change when she's kind to an old woman she meets in the woods.
Call Number: PZ7.S227 T35 1989
Publication Date: 1989-09-29
White Socks Only by An elderly African American tells her granddaughter about her childhood in the segregated South. There was a "White's Only" sign on a nearby fountain, but that didn't bother this child--after all, she was wearing her clean white socks. Evelyn Coleman combines memories of her Southern childhood with magical realism to create a story that resonates with power.
Call Number: PZ7.C6746 W4 1996
Publication Date: 1996-03-01
Tar Beach by A young girl dreams of flying above her Harlem home, claiming all she sees for herself and her family. Based on the author's quilt story of the same name.
Call Number: PZ7.R4726 T37 1991
Publication Date: 1991-01-16
Harlem by A poem celebrating the people, sights, and sounds of Harlem.
Call Number: PZ7.M992 Ha 1997
Publication Date: 1997-02-01
Benny Doesn't Like to Be Hugged by A little girl uses rhyming verse to describe the unique traits of her autistic friend.
Call Number: PZ7.E5556 B46 2017
Publication Date: 2017-09-29
Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions by Explains some traditions and customs of twenty-six African tribes beginning with letters from A to Z.
Call Number: PZ7.M87 A84 1976
Publication Date: 1976-01-01
Trombone Shorty by Winner of both a Caldecott Honor and a Coretta Scott King Award, this beautiful picture book for older kids is an inspirational look at overcoming our circumstances to follow our dreams, in this case that of a young musician in New Orleans.
Call Number: PZ7.A637 T766 2015
Publication Date: 2015-04-14
Words with Wings by Gabby daydreams to tune out her parents' arguments, but when her parents divorce and she begins a new school, daydreaming gets her into trouble. Her mother scolds her for it, her teacher keeps telling her to pay attention, and the other kids tease her...until she finds a friend who also daydreams and her teacher decides to work a daydreaming-writing session into every school day.
Call Number: PZ7.G88429 W67 2013
Publication Date: 2013-09-01
Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea by Delicately interwoven images. Laden with meaning, the poetry is significant and lovely. Cooper's paintings, with vibrant, unsentimentalized characters in earth tone illumined with gold, are warm, contemplative.
Call Number: PZ7.T466 B76 1993
Publication Date: 1993
Before She Was Harriet: The Story of Harriet Tubman by We know her today as Harriet Tubman, but in her lifetime she was called by many names. As General Tubman she was a Union spy. As Moses she led hundreds to freedom on the Underground Railroad. As Minty she was a slave whose spirit could not be broken. As Araminta she was a young girl whose father showed her the stars and the first steps on the path to freedom.
Call Number: PZ7.R3676 B44 2017
Publication Date: 2017-11-07
Mae among the Stars by A beautiful picture book for sharing, inspired by the life of the first African American woman to travel in space, Mae Jemison.
Call Number: PZ7.A464 M34 2018
Publication Date: 2018-01-09
Chapter Books & Young Adult Books
Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Clayton feels most alive when he's with his grandfather, Cool Papa Byrd, and the band of Bluesmen -- he can't wait to join them, just as soon as he has a blues song of his own. But then the unthinkable happens. Cool Papa Byrd dies, and Clayton's mother forbids Clayton from playing the blues. And Clayton knows that's no way to live. He runs away from home in search of the Bluesmen, hoping he can join them on the road. But on the journey that takes him through the New York City subways and to Washington Square Park, Clayton learns some things that surprise him.
Call Number: PZ7.W5555 C5398 2017
Publication Date: 2017-05-09
Feathers by When a new, white student nicknamed "The Jesus Boy" joins her sixth grade class in the winter of 1971, Frannie's growing friendship with him makes her start to see some things in a new light.
Call Number: PZ7.W868 F4 2007
Publication Date: 2007-03-01
The Hate U Give by Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline.
Call Number: PZ7.T466 H38 2017
Publication Date: 2017-02-28
Forged by Fire by Teenage Gerald, who has spent years protecting his fragile half-sister from their abusive father, faces the prospect of one final confrontation before the problem can be solved.
Call Number: PZ7.D73747 F674 2000
Publication Date: 1998-01-01
Walking to the Bus Rider Blues by Twelve-year-old Alfa Merryfield, his older sister, and their grandmother struggle for rent money, food, and their dignity as they participate in the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott in the summer of 1956.
Call Number: PZ7.R553 W35 2000
Publication Date: 2000-05-01
Bud, Not Buddy by Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father--the renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway of Grand Rapids.
Call Number: PZ7.C94137 B82 1999
Publication Date: 1999-09-07
If You Come Softly by After meeting at their private school in New York, fifteen-year-old Jeremiah, who is black and whose parents are separated, and Ellie, who is white and whose mother has twice abandoned her, fall in love and then try to cope with people's reactions
Call Number: PZ7.W868 I4 2000
Publication Date: 2000-04-01
Monster by While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.
Call Number: PZ7.M992 M66 1999
Publication Date: 1999-04-21
Sounder by Angry and humiliated when his sharecropper father is jailed for stealing food for his family, a young black boy grows in courage and understanding by learning to read and through his relationship with his devoted dog Sounder.
Call Number: PZ7 .A78894
Publication Date: 1969-10-08
Another Way to Dance by Fourteen-year-old Vicki Harris's dream has come true. She has been accepted into the summer program at New York City's prestigious School of American Ballet. It will be hard work and highly competitive. But Vicki feels ready. She is totally committed to dancing. Vicki isn't prepared to be one of only two African American students in the program. Nor is she expecting the racism she finds within the school. And Michael, from Harlem, takes Vicki completely by surprise.
Call Number: PZ7.S7277 An 1998
Toning the Sweep by On a visit to her grandmother Ola, who is dying of cancer in her house in the desert, fourteen-year-old Emmie hears many stories about the past and her family history and comes to a better understanding of relatives both dead and living.
Call Number: PZ7.J629 T6 1994
Publication Date: 1994-08-01
The Road to Memphis by In 1941 a black youth, sadistically teased by two white boys in rural Mississippi, severely injures one of them with a tire iron and enlists Cassie's help in trying to flee the state.
Call Number: PZ7.T2172 R6 1992
Publication Date: 1992-06-01
The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963 by The ordinary interactions and everyday routines of the Watsons, an African American family living in Flint, Michigan, are drastically changed after they go to visit Grandma in Alabama in the summer of 1963.
Call Number: PZ7.C9413 W38 1995
Publication Date: 1995-09-01
The Well by
Call Number: PZ7.T2172 W45 1995
Publication Date: 1995-01-01
Let the Circle Be Unbroken by Four black children growing up in rural Mississippi during the Depression experience racial antagonisms and hard times, but learn from their parents the pride and self-respect they need to survive.
Call Number: PZ7.T2172 L4 1981
Publication Date: 1981-01-01
Cousins by Concerned that her grandmother may die, Cammy is unprepared for the accidental death of another relative.
Call Number: PZ7.H1828 C6 1991
Publication Date: 1992-01-01
The Sun Is Also a Star by Two teens--Daniel, the son of Korean shopkeepers, and Natasha, whose family is here illegally from Jamaica--cross paths in New York City on an eventful day in their lives--Daniel is on his way to an interview with a Yale alum, Natasha is meeting with a lawyer to try and prevent her family's deportation to Jamaica--and fall in love.
Call Number: PZ7.1.Y666 S86 2016
Publication Date: 2016-11-01
145th Street: Short Stories by Ten stories portray life on a block in Harlem.
Call Number: PZ 7 .M992 Aae 2000
Publication Date: 2000-02-08
Brown Girl Dreaming by Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.
Call Number: PZ7.W6637 B769 2016
Publication Date: 2016-10-11
One Crazy Summer by In this Newbery Honor novel, New York Times bestselling author Rita Williams-Garcia tells the story of three sisters who travel to Oakland, California, in 1968 to meet the mother who abandoned them.
Call Number: PZ7.W555 O64 2010
Publication Date: 2011-12-27
Voices from the March on Washington: Poems by Six fictional characters, in cycles of linked poems, relate their memories of the historic day in 1963 when more than 250,000 people from across the United States joined together to march on Washington, D.C., calling for civil and economic rights for African Americans.
Call Number: PS3562.E9465 A6 2014
Publication Date: 2014-10-01
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by he story of one African American family fighting to stay together and strong in the face of brutal racist attacks, illness, poverty, and betrayal in the Deep South of the 1930s. In Mississippi, during the Great Depression of the 1930's the Logans are one of the few Black families who own their own land. Nine-year-old Cassie Logan doesn't understand why her parents attach so much importance to this, any more than she understands the Night Riders, white men who terrorize her people.
Call Number: PZ7.T395 R65 2004
Publication Date: 2001-11-27