2194 Books Published by Penguin Random House on AALBC — Book Cover Collage

Pursuing Justice

by Eric Holder
One World (Sep 02, 2025)
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Sankofa West African Recipes and Stories

by Eric Adjepong
Clarkson Potter (Feb 04, 2025)
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A transportive, highly personal cookbook of 100 West African-influenced recipes and stories from Top Chef finalist Eric Adjepong

Sankofa is a Ghanaian Twi word that roughly translates to the idea that we must look back to move forward. In his moving debut cookbook, chef Eric Adjepong practices sankofa by showcasing the beauty and depth of West African food and its indelible impact on the foodways of the African diaspora through the lens of his own deeply personal story.

Born in New York as the son of two Ghanaian immigrants, and traveling to and from Ghana since childhood, Eric’s experience of balancing the two parts of his Ghanaian-American identity is both powerful and universal. Through 100 soul-satisfying recipes plus narrative essays, we follow Eric’s culinary journey, beginning with traditional home-cooked meals from his mother, like a deeply flavorful jollof rice and a smoky, savory shrimp kontombre stew thick with leafy greens. Creative dishes like a sweet summer curried corn soup and lamb ribs with a peanutty mafe glaze influenced by his culinary education reflect the lasting connections among the cultures of the African diaspora.

Full of stunning photography shot in Ghana and remembrances rooted in family, tradition, and love, Sankofa shows readers how the unsung story of a continent’s cuisine can shine a powerful light on one person’s exploration of who he is as a chef and a man.


Black-Owned: The Revolutionary Life of the Black Bookstore

by Char Adams
Tiny Reparations Books (Jan 01, 2025)
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Forthcoming Unavailable for Sale

Black-Owned: The Revolutionary Life of the Black Bookstore is the first full-length book on the history of Black-owned bookstores, and is an expansion of her important article, “Black-Owned Bookstores Have Always Been at the Center of the Resistance:”

When he wasn’t helping some 600 slaves escape through the Underground Railroad, David Ruggles was running a bookstore. In 1828, Ruggles opened a grocery store in New York City and later, as he became involved in the burgeoning abolitionist movement, opened a reading room and a bookstore for Black Americans. It was the nation’s first Black-owned bookstore.


Click for more detail about Big Jim and the White Boy: An American Classic Reimagined by David F. Walker Big Jim and the White Boy: An American Classic Reimagined

by David F. Walker
Ten Speed Graphic (Oct 15, 2024)
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A thrilling graphic novel reimagining of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that follows Jim, an enslaved man on a journey towards freedom, and his sidekick, Huck, in the antebellum South—from the team behind the Eisner Award-winning The Black Panther Party.

Commonly regarded as one of the great American novels, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has captured the hearts and imaginations of readers since 1885. But since its publication, critics have rightfully condemned Mark Twain’s troubling portrayal of Black Americans as stereotypes and caricatures, with contemporary fans searching for a modern update to this iconic tale.

Big Jim and the White Boy is a radical retelling of this American classic, centering the experiences of Jim, an enslaved Black man in search of his kidnapped wife and children, along with his cheeky sidekick, Huckleberry Finn. Jim and Huck’s high-stakes adventures take them on an epic voyage across the antebellum South and Midwest, through Confederate war camps and runaway safe houses, into Old West standoffs, and on the road as covert Underground Railroad agents. Intertwined into the story of Jim and Huck are the stories of Jim’s descendants in the 1930s, 1980s, and 2010s, making this a multigenerational family epic as well as an adventure story. Big Jim and the White Boy takes readers on a journey through Jim and Huck’s past, present, and future, delving into their incredible friendship and years of adventures—a bond that transcends the gruesome racism of the Civil War era.

With compelling artwork and riveting storytelling, David F. Walker and Marcus Kwame Anderson push the boundaries of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in this incredible graphic novel, exploring the triumphs and tribulations of Jim and his family, and finally giving his due as a hero of American literature.


Click for more detail about Someone Like Us by Dinaw Mengestu Someone Like Us

by Dinaw Mengestu
Knopf (Jul 30, 2024)
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The son of Ethiopian immigrants seeks to understand a hidden family history and uncovers a past coloured by unexpected loss, addiction, and the enduring emotional pull toward home.

After abandoning his once promising career as a journalist in search of a new life in Paris, Mamush meets Helen—a photographer whose way of seeing the world shows him the possibility of finding not only love, but family. Now, five years later, with his marriage to Helen on the verge of collapse, he returns to the close-knit immigrant Ethiopian community of Washington DC that defined his childhood. At its center is Mamush’s stoic, implacable mother, and Samuel, the larger-than-life father-figure whose ceaseless charm and humor have always served as cover for a harder, more troubling truth. But on the same day that Mamush arrives home in Washington, Samuel is found dead in his garage.

With Helen and their two-year old son back in Paris, Mamush sets out on an unexpected journey across America in search of answers to questions he’d been told never to ask. As he does so, he begins to understand that perhaps the only chance


Click for more detail about A Passionate Mind in Relentless Pursuit: The Vision of Mary McLeod Bethune by Noliwe Rooks A Passionate Mind in Relentless Pursuit: The Vision of Mary McLeod Bethune

by Noliwe Rooks
Penguin Press (Jul 23, 2024)
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An intimate and searching account of the life and legacy of one of America’s towering educators, a woman who dared to center the progress of Black women and girls in the larger struggle for political and social liberation.

When Mary McLeod Bethune died, tributes in newspapers around the country said the same thing: she should be on the Mount Rushmore of Black American achievement. Indeed, Bethune is the only Black American whose statue stands in the rotunda of the US Capitol, and yet for most, she remains a marble figure from the dim past. Now, seventy years later, Noliwe Rooks turns Bethune from stone to flesh, showing her to have been a visionary leader with lessons to still teach us as we continue on our journey toward a freer and more just nation.

Any serious effort to understand how the Black civil rights generation found role models, vision, and inspiration during their midcentury struggle for political power must place Bethune at its heart. Her success was unlikely: the fifteenth of seventeen children and the first born into freedom, Bethune survived brutal poverty and caste subordination to become the first in her family to learn how to read and to attend college. She gave that same gift to others when in 1904, at age twenty-nine, Bethune welcomed her first class of five girls to the Daytona, Florida, school she had founded and which would become the university that bears her name to this day. Bethune saw education as an essential dimension of the larger struggle for freedom, vitally connected to the vote and to economic self-sufficiency, and she enlisted Eleanor Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and many other powerful leaders in her cause.

Rooks grew up in Florida, in Bethune’s shadow: her grandparents trained to be teachers at Bethune-Cookman University, and her family vacationed at the all-Black beach that Bethune helped found in one of her many community empowerment projects. The story of how—in a state with some of the highest lynching rates in the country—Bethune succeeded is, in Rooks’s hands, a moving and astonishing example of the power of a mind and a vision that had few equals. Now, when the stakes of the long struggle for full Black equality in this country are particularly evident—and centered on the state of Florida—it is a gift to have this brilliant and lyrical reckoning with Bethune’s journey from one of our own great educators and scholars of that same struggle.


Click for more detail about The Day Madear Voted by Wade Hudson The Day Madear Voted

by Wade Hudson
Nancy Paulsen Books (Jul 16, 2024)
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Inspired by the author’s mother voting for the first time as a Black American in 1969.

A moving look at a Black family’s journey to exercise their right to vote and imagine a better future.

Charlie and Ralph’s mom has waited a long time to vote because countless obstacles have been put in Black people’s way to stop them from having a say in elections—obstacles that it took a lot of hard work to tear down. But now, in 1969, Madear is going to vote for the very first time, and the boys are coming along on this exciting day. A day that puts a new bounce in their mom’s step and enables them all to begin to dream of a better future.

Wade Hudson and Don Tate give young readers a warm family story as well as a powerful glimpse into the struggle that had to be waged to achieve a fundamental right of citizenship.


Click for more detail about Magic Enuff: Poems by Tara M. Stringfellow Magic Enuff: Poems

by Tara M. Stringfellow
The Dial Press (Jun 25, 2024)
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Radiant poems that celebrate Black Southern womanhood and the many ways magic lives in the bonds between mothers, daughters, and sisters, from the bestselling author of Memphis.

“God can stay asleep / these women in my life are magic enuff”

An electrifying collection of poems that tells a universal tale of survival and revolution through the lens of Black femininity. Tara M. Stringfellow embraces complexity, grappling with the sometimes painful, sometimes wonderful way two conflicting things can be true at the same time. How it’s possible to have a strong voice but also feel silenced. To be loyal to things and people that betray us. To burn as hot with rage as we do with love.

Each poem asks how we can heal and sustain relationships with people, systems, and ourselves. How to reach for the kind of real love that allows for the truth of anger, disappointment, and grief. Unapologetic, unafraid, and glorious in its nuance, this collection argues that when it comes to living in our full humanity, we have—and we are—magic enough.


Click for more detail about Little Rot by Akwaeke Emezi Little Rot

by Akwaeke Emezi
Riverhead Books (Jun 18, 2024)
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“Emezi unspools a web of erotic danger in their entertaining latest…readers in search of a decadent good time will find it here.”—Publishers Weekly

A thrilling new novel from the bestselling, award-winning, visionary Akwaeke Emezi

One weekend.
The elite underbelly of a Nigerian city.
A party that goes awry.
A tangled web of sex and lies and corruption that leaves no one unscathed.

Aima and Kalu are a longtime couple who have just split. When Kalu, reeling from the breakup, visits an exclusive sex party hosted by his best friend, Ahmed, he makes a decision that will plunge them all into chaos, brutally and suddenly upending their lives. Ola and Souraya, two Nigerian sex workers visiting from Kuala Lumpur, collide into the scene just as everything goes to hell. Sucked into the city’s corrupt and glittering underworld, they’re all looking for a way out, fueled by a desperate need to escape the dangerous threat that looms over them.


Click for more detail about One of Our Kind by Nicola Yoon One of Our Kind

by Nicola Yoon
Knopf Publishing Group (Jun 11, 2024)
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Get Out meets The Stepford Wives in #1 New York Times best-selling author Nicola Yoon's first adult novel - A terrifying and thought-provoking look at what it means to be truly free in America as a woman uncovers a secret about her new home in a utopian community - "Brilliant, provocative, seminal…Your book club will be discussing this one for DAYS."—Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times best-selling author

Jasmyn and King Williams move their family to the planned Black utopia of Liberty, California hoping to find a community of like-minded people, a place where their growing family can thrive. King settles in at once, embracing the Liberty ethos, including the luxe wellness center at the top of the hill, which proves to be the heart of the community. But Jasmyn struggles to find her place. She expected to find liberals and social justice activists striving for racial equality, but Liberty residents seem more focused on booking spa treatments and ignoring the world's troubles.

Jasmyn's only friends in the community are equally perplexed and frustrated by most residents' outlook. Then Jasmyn discovers a terrible secret about Liberty and its founders. Frustration turns to dread as their loved ones start embracing the Liberty way of life.

Will the truth destroy her world in ways she never could have imagined?

Thrilling with insightful social commentary, One of Our Kind explores the ways in which freedom is complicated by the presumptions we make about ourselves and each other.


Click for more detail about Storm: Dawn of a Goddess: Marvel by Tiffany D. Jackson Storm: Dawn of a Goddess: Marvel

by Tiffany D. Jackson
Random House Books for Young Readers (Jun 04, 2024)
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Before she was the super hero Storm of Marvel’s X-Men, she was Ororo of Cairo—a teenaged thief on the streets of Egypt, until her growing powers catch the eye of a villain who steals people’s souls. An epic origin story that will blow you away, from the New York Times bestselling author of Monday’s Not Coming.

Few can weather the storm.

As a thief on the streets of Cairo, Ororo Munroe is an expert at blending in—keeping her blue eyes low and her white hair beneath a scarf. Stealth is her specialty … especially since strange things happen when she loses control.

Lately, Ororo has been losing control more often, setting off sudden rainstorms and mysterious winds … and attracting dangerous attention. When she is forced to run from the Shadow King, a villain who steals people’s souls, she has nowhere to turn to but herself. There is something inside her, calling her across Africa, and the hidden truth of her heritage is close enough to taste.

But as Ororo nears the secrets of her past, her powers grow stronger and the Shadow King veers closer and closer. Can she outrun the shadows that chase her? Or can she step into the spotlight and embrace the coming storm?

In her first speculative novel, New York Times bestselling author Tiffany D. Jackson casts a breathtaking spell with one of Marvel’s most beloved characters, and brings the superhero Storm to life as you’ve never seen her before.


Click for more detail about Getting Ready for Kindergarten by Vera Ahiyya Getting Ready for Kindergarten

by Vera Ahiyya
Random House Books for Young Readers (Jun 04, 2024)
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Get Ready for Kindergarten in this exciting new series for kids embarking on new adventures! Vera Ahiyya, the Tutu Teacher, knows everything your family needs to get ready… and to celebrate every precious moment!

Includes an “I'm ready for kindergarten!” sign for photo opportunities!

It's almost the first day of school and everyone is busy getting ready. A young girl and her parent pack a healthy lunch, fill her backpack with supplies, pick out a colorful outfit, and take a special photo … but is that everything she will need for her big first day?

Get your little one ready with this joyful story about what to expect on their very first day of Kindergarten!

This edition includes an adorable punch-out sign for first day photo opps!


Click for more detail about Getting Ready for Preschool by Vera Ahiyya Getting Ready for Preschool

by Vera Ahiyya
Random House Books for Young Readers (Jun 04, 2024)
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Get Ready for Preschool in this exciting new series for kids embarking on new adventures! Vera Ahiyya, the Tutu Teacher, knows everything your family needs to get ready… and to celebrate every precious moment!

Includes an “I'm ready for preschool!” sign for photo opportunities!

It's almost the first day of preschool and everyone is busy getting ready. A young boy and his family meet the teacher, post a family photo on the classroom wall, send a special lovey for naptime, pack a healthy lunch, and take a special photo … but is that everything he will need for his big first day? Maybe just one more hug first!

Get your little one ready with this joyful story about what to expect on their very first day of preschool!

This edition includes an adorable punch-out sign for first day photo opps!


Click for more detail about The Davenports More Than This by Krystal Marquis The Davenports More Than This

by Krystal Marquis
Dial Books (Jun 04, 2024)
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The anticipated sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller featuring escapist romance and a wealthy Black family in 1910s Chicago.

Like the blazing Chicago Sun, the drama is heating up for the Davenports and their social set. Before the summer of 1910 drops its last petal, the lives—and loves—of these four young women will change in ways they never could have imagined:

Newly engaged Ruby Tremaine is eagerly planning her wedding to the love of her life when a nasty rumor threatens her reputation and her marriage. Olivia Davenport has committed to the social justice cause and secretly hopes she’ll be reunited with dashing lawyer Washington DeWight—until her parents decide she’s to marry someone else. Amy-Rose Shepherd is making her lifelong wish of owning a salon come true, but when an incident forces her to return to Freeport Manor, she’s back in the path of John Davenport, who still holds her heart. Helen Davenport is determined to get over her own heartbreak and bring the Davenport Carriage Company into the new century, even if it means teaming up with a thrill-seeking racecar driver who just loves to get under her skin.

Inspired by the real-life story of the Patterson family, More Than This is the second book in critically adored Davenports series, following four empowered and passionate young Black women as they navigate a rapidly changing society and discover the courage to steer their own paths in life—and love.


Click for more detail about House Party by justin a. reynolds House Party

by justin a. reynolds
Joy Revolution (Jun 04, 2024)
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Ten bestselling, critically acclaimed authors deliver a fresh novel of interconnected stories that follow a group of young adults over the course of a few wild, transformative hours at an epic house party!

The biggest event of the year is happening, and you’re invited! Join us for Florence Hills High School seniors’ last hurrah before graduation.

  • THE LOCATION: A megamansion in one of Chicago’s wealthiest suburban enclaves
  • THE HOST: DeAndre Dixon, aka FHHS’s golden boy
  • THE GUESTS: The populars, the jocks, the artists, and heck, even that one kid
  • THE HOPE: All the drama ensues. Kisses are swapped between old friends, new friends, and could’ve-sworn-they-were-enemies kind of friends. Relationships get tested. Animals roam free. Secrets are spilled. Add dope music that’s thumping, and there’s a good chance the whole neighborhood will be disrupted.

Featuring: Angeline Boulley - Jerry Craft - Natasha Díaz - Lamar Giles - Christina Hammonds Reed - Ryan La Sala - Yamile Saied Méndez - justin a. reynolds - Randy Ribay - Jasmine Warga

House Party offers a delightful snapshot of diverse classmates getting ready to say goodbye to high school and hello to life’s next chapter—but not before they make their final night together one they’ll never forget!


Click for more detail about Hands: How Will You Use Them by Torrey Maldonado Hands: How Will You Use Them

by Torrey Maldonado
Nancy Paulsen Books (May 14, 2024)
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“Gorgeous and gripping, Hands is a poetic page-turner. You might just finish it in one sitting. Torrey Maldonado understands the kids he writes for at the deepest level.”
—Adam Gidwitz, Newbery Honor-winning author of The Inquisitor’s Tale

The author of What Lane? and Tight delivers a fast-paced read that packs a punch about a boy figuring out how to best use his hands—to build or to knock down.

Trev would do anything to protect his mom and sisters, especially from his stepdad. But his stepdad’s return stresses Trev—because when he left, he threatened Trev’s mom. Rather than live scared, Trev takes matters into his own hands, literally. He starts learning to box to handle his stepdad. But not everyone is a fan of his plan, because Trev’s a talented artist, and his hands could actually help him build a better future. And they’re letting him know—but their advice for some distant future feels useless in his reality right now. Ultimately, Trev knows his future is in his hands, and his hands are his own, and he has to choose how to use them.


Click for more detail about Corduroy Takes a Bow by Viola Davis Corduroy Takes a Bow

by Viola Davis
Viking Books for Young Readers (May 14, 2024)
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Celebrate 50 years of America’s favorite teddy bear—Lisa is back too!


Celebrate 50 years of America’s favorite teddy bear with a brand-new, classically illustrated picture book by Academy Award winner Viola Davis.

When Lisa takes Corduroy to the theater for the very first time, it’s so magnificent and exciting that he just can’t help heading out on his own to explore. From the orchestra pit to the prop table to the dressing rooms, Corduroy sees it all. Could there be a place for Corduroy on stage, too?

Fifty years after this lovable, inquisitive teddy bear was first introduced to readers, he’s now the star of the show. Author Viola Davis uses her own experience as an Emmy, Tony, and Oscar Award-winning actress to imbue Corduroy’s adventure with all the magic of the stage. A beautifully illustrated tale with a classic feel, Corduroy Takes a Bow is sure to spark an interest in theater in children of any age.


Click for more detail about Ruby René Had So Much to Say by Ashley Iman Ruby René Had So Much to Say

by Ashley Iman
Kokila (May 14, 2024)
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A debut picture book about a curious student who finds herself in trouble for talking in class—even though she just wants to share all that she’s learned.

“Did you know that flamingos don’t have teeth?” Questions, facts, and dreams—Ruby René could talk for hours. Once she got going, it was hard for her to stop. It didn’t matter if it was history, science, or the lunch menu—Ruby René had so much to say! But when her teacher called home because she found her sharing distracting, Ruby vowed to keep quiet. Until … she finds the perfect outlet for her gift of gab.

With charming text by debut author/educator Ashley Iman and colorful illustrations by Gladys Jose, Ruby René Had So Much to Say is a celebration of owning your voice, honing your skills, and turning challenges into opportunities.


Click for more detail about Coming Home by Brittney Griner and Michelle Burford Coming Home

by Brittney Griner and Michelle Burford
Knopf Publishing Group (May 07, 2024)
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From the nine-time women’s basketball icon and two-time Olympic gold medalist—a raw, revelatory account of her unfathomable detainment in Russia and her journey home.

On February 17, 2022, Brittney Griner arrived in Moscow ready to spend the WNBA offseason playing for the Russian women’s basketball team where she had been the centerpiece of previous championship seasons. Instead, a security checkpoint became her gateway to hell when she was arrested for mistakenly carrying under one gram of medically prescribed hash oil. Brittney’s world was violently upended in a crisis she has never spoken in detail about publicly—until now.

In Coming Home, Brittney finally shares the harrowing details of her sudden arrest days before Russia invaded Ukraine; her bewilderment and isolation while navigating a foreign legal system amid her trial and sentencing; her emotional and physical anguish as the first American woman ever to endure a Russian penal colony while the #WeAreBG movement rallied for her release; the chilling prisoner swap with Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout; and her remarkable rise from hostage to global spokesperson on behalf of America’s forgotten. In haunting and vivid detail, Brittney takes readers inside the horrors of a geopolitical nightmare spanning ten months.

And yet Coming Home is more than Brittney’s journey from captivity to freedom. In an account as gripping as it is poignant, she shares how her deep love for Cherelle, her college sweetheart and wife of six years, anchored her during their greatest storm; how her family’s support pulled her back from the brink; and how hundreds of letters from friends and neighbors lent her resolve to keep fighting. Coming Home is both a story of survival and a testament to love—the bonds that brought Brittney home to her family, and at last, to herself.


Click for more detail about It Wasn’t Roaring, It Was Weeping: Interpreting the Language of Our Fathers Without Repeating Their Stories by Lisa-Jo Baker It Wasn’t Roaring, It Was Weeping: Interpreting the Language of Our Fathers Without Repeating Their Stories

by Lisa-Jo Baker
Convergent Books (May 07, 2024)
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An honest and lyrical coming-of-age memoir of growing up in South Africa at the height of apartheid, and an invitation to recognize and refuse to repeat the sins of our fathers—from the bestselling author of Never Unfriended

“Heartfelt, emotionally charged reflections… [a] bracing memoir.”—Kirkus Review

“Important. Riveting. Unforgettable… a profoundly captivating story that can profoundly change your own story.”—Ann Voskamp, New York Times bestselling author of WayMaker

Born White in the heart of Zululand during the racial apartheid, Lisa-Jo Baker longed to write a new future for her children—a longing that set her on a journey to understand where she fit into a story of violence and faith, history and race. Before marriage and motherhood, she came to the United States to study to become a human rights advocate. When she naïvely walked right into America’s own turbulent racial landscape, Baker experienced the kind of painful awakening that is both individual and universal, personal and social. Yet years would go by before she traced this American trauma back to her own South African past.

Baker was a teenager when her mother died of cancer, leaving her with her father. Though they shared a language of faith and justice, she often feared him, unaware that his fierce temper had deep roots in a family’s and a nation’s pain. Decades later, old wounds reopened when she found herself spiraling into a terrifying version of her father, screaming herself hoarse at her son. Only then did Baker realize that to go forward—to refuse to repeat the sins of our fathers—we must first go back.

With a story that stretches from South Africa’s outback to Washington, D.C., It Wasn’t Roaring, It Was Weeping is a courageous look at inherited hurts and prejudices, and a hope-filled example for all who feel lost in life or worried that they’re too off course to make the necessary corrections. Baker’s story shows that it’s never too late to be free.


Click for more detail about Blood at the Root by LaDarrion Williams Blood at the Root

by LaDarrion Williams
Labyrinth Road (May 07, 2024)
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A teenager on the run from his past finds the family he never knew existed and the community he never knew he needed at an HBCU for the young, Black, and magical. Enroll in this fresh fantasy debut unlike anything you’ve seen before.

Ten years ago, Malik’s life changed forever the night his mother mysteriously vanished and he discovered he had uncontrollable powers. Since then, he has kept his abilities hidden, looking out for himself and his younger foster brother, Taye. Now, at 17, Malik is finally ready to start a new life for both of them, far from the trauma of his past. However, a daring act to rescue Taye reveals an unexpected connection with his long-lost grandmother: a legendary conjurer with ties to a hidden magical university that Malik’s mother attended.

At Caiman University, Malik’s eyes are opened to a future he never could have envisioned for himself— one that includes the reappearance of his first love, Alexis. His search for answers about his heritage, his powers, and what really happened to his mother exposes the cracks in their magical community as it faces a reawakened evil dating back to the Haitian Revolution. Together with Alexis, Malik discovers a lot beneath the surface at Caiman: feuding covens and magical politics, forbidden knowledge and buried mysteries.

In a wholly unique saga of family, history and community, Malik must embrace his legacy to save what’s left of his old family as well as his new one. Exploring the roots and secrets that connect us in an unforgettable contemporary setting, this heart-pounding fantasy series opener is a rich tapestry of atmosphere, intrigue, and emotion.


Click for more detail about The Light We Carry (paperback): Overcoming in Uncertain Times by Michelle Obama The Light We Carry (paperback): Overcoming in Uncertain Times

by Michelle Obama
Crown Publishing Group (Apr 16, 2024)
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#1 New York Times and USA Today Bestseller - In an inspiring follow-up to her acclaimed memoir Becoming, former First Lady Michelle Obama shares practical wisdom and powerful strategies for staying hopeful and balanced in today’s highly uncertain world.

There may be no tidy solutions or pithy answers to life’s big challenges, but Michelle Obama believes that we can all locate and lean on a set of tools to help us better navigate change and remain steady within flux. In The Light We Carry, she opens a frank and honest dialogue with readers, considering the questions many of us wrestle with: How do we build enduring and honest relationships? How can we discover strength and community inside our differences? What tools do we use to address feelings of self-doubt or helplessness? What do we do when it all starts to feel like too much?

Michelle Obama offers readers a series of fresh stories and insightful reflections on change, challenge, and power, including her belief that when we light up for others, we can illuminate the richness and potential of the world around us, discovering deeper truths and new pathways for progress. Drawing from her experiences as a mother, daughter, spouse, friend, and First Lady, she shares the habits and principles she has developed to successfully adapt to change and overcome various obstacles—the earned wisdom that helps her continue to “become.” She details her most valuable practices, like “starting kind,” “going high,” and assembling a “kitchen table” of trusted friends and mentors. With trademark humor, candor, and compassion, she also explores issues connected to race, gender, and visibility, encouraging readers to work through fear, find strength in community, and live with boldness.

“When we are able to recognize our own light, we become empowered to use it,” writes Michelle Obama. A rewarding blend of powerful stories and profound advice that will ignite conversation, The Light We Carry inspires readers to examine their own lives, identify their sources of gladness, and connect meaningfully in a turbulent world.


Click for more detail about There’s Always This Year: On Basketball and Ascension by Hanif Abdurraqib There’s Always This Year: On Basketball and Ascension

by Hanif Abdurraqib
Random House (Mar 26, 2024)
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A poignant, personal reflection on basketball, life, and home—from the author of the National Book Award finalist A Little Devil in America

“Mesmerizing … not only the most original sports book I’ve ever read but one of the most moving books I’ve ever read, period.”—Steve James, director of Hoop Dreams

Growing up in Columbus, Ohio, in the 1990s, Hanif Abdurraqib witnessed a golden era of basketball, one in which legends like LeBron James were forged and countless others weren’t. His lifelong love of the game leads Abdurraqib into a lyrical, historical, and emotionally rich exploration of what it means to make it, who we think deserves success, the tension between excellence and expectation, and the very notion of role models, all of which he expertly weaves together with intimate, personal storytelling. “Here is where I would like to tell you about the form on my father’s jump shot,” Abdurraqib writes. “The truth, though, is that I saw my father shoot a basketball only one time.”

There’s Always This Year is a triumph, brimming with joy, pain, solidarity, comfort, outrage, and hope. No matter the subject of his keen focus—whether it’s basketball, or music, or performance—Hanif Abdurraqib’s exquisite writing is always poetry, always profound, and always a clarion call to radically reimagine how we think about our culture, our country, and ourselves.


Click for more detail about The Black Box: Writing the Race by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The Black Box: Writing the Race

by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Penguin Press (Mar 19, 2024)
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“Henry Louis Gates is a national treasure. Here, he returns with an intellectual and at times deeply personal meditation on the hard-fought evolution and the very meaning of African-American identity, calling upon our country to transcend its manufactured divisions.” — Isabel Wilkerson, author of The Warmth of Other Suns and Caste

A magnificent, foundational reckoning with how Black Americans have used the written word to define and redefine themselves, in resistance to the lies of racism and often in heated disagreement with each other, over the course of the country’s history.

Distilled over many years from Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s legendary Harvard introductory course in African American Studies, The Black Box: Writing the Race, is the story of Black self-definition in America through the prism of the writers who have led the way. From Phillis Wheatley and Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington, to Zora Neale Hurston and Richard Wright, James Baldwin and Toni Morrison—these writers used words to create a livable world—a “home” —for Black people destined to live out their lives in a bitterly racist society.

It is a book grounded in the beautiful irony that a community formed legally and conceptually by its oppressors to justify brutal sub-human bondage, transformed itself through the word into a community whose foundational definition was based on overcoming one of history’s most pernicious lies. This collective act of resistance and transcendence is at the heart of its self-definition as a “community.” Out of that contested ground has flowered a resilient, creative, powerful, diverse culture formed by people who have often disagreed markedly about what it means to be “Black,” and about how best to shape a usable past out of the materials at hand to call into being a more just and equitable future.

This is the epic story of how, through essays and speeches, novels, plays, and poems, a long line of creative thinkers has unveiled the contours of—and resisted confinement in—the “black box” inside which this “nation within a nation” has been assigned, willy nilly, from the nation’s founding through to today. This is a book that records the compelling saga of the creation of a people.


Click for more detail about James by Percival Everett James

by Percival Everett
Doubleday Books (Mar 19, 2024)
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A brilliant, action-packed reimagining of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, both harrowing and ferociously funny, told from the enslaved Jim’s point of view. - From the "cult literary icon" (Oprah Daily), Pulitzer Prize Finalist, and one of the most decorated writers of our lifetime

When the enslaved Jim overhears that he is about to be sold to a man in New Orleans, separated from his wife and daughter forever, he decides to hide on nearby Jackson Island until he can formulate a plan. Meanwhile, Huck Finn has faked his own death to escape his violent father, recently returned to town. As all readers of American literature know, thus begins the dangerous and transcendent journey by raft down the Mississippi River toward the elusive and too-often-unreliable promise of the Free States and beyond.

While many narrative set pieces of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn remain in place (floods and storms, stumbling across both unexpected death and unexpected treasure in the myriad stopping points along the river’s banks, encountering the scam artists posing as the Duke and Dauphin…), Jim’s agency, intelligence and compassion are shown in a radically new light.

Brimming with the electrifying humor and lacerating observations that have made Everett a "cult literary icon" (Oprah Daily), and one of the most decorated writers of our lifetime, James is destined to be a major publishing event and a cornerstone of twenty-first century American literature.


Click for more detail about You Get What You Pay for: Essays by Morgan Parker You Get What You Pay for: Essays

by Morgan Parker
One World (Mar 12, 2024)
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The award-winning author of Magical Negro traces the difficulty and beauty of existing as a Black woman through American history, from the foundational trauma of the slave trade all the way up to Serena Williams and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

“An engrossing journey through Parker’s expansive and gifted mind.”—Clint Smith, author of How the Word Is Passed

Dubbed a voice of her generation, poet and writer Morgan Parker has spent much of her adulthood in therapy, trying to square the resonance of her writing with the alienation she feels in nearly every aspect of life, from her lifelong singleness to a battle with depression. She traces this loneliness to an inability to feel truly safe with others and a historic hyperawareness stemming from the effects of slavery.

In a collection of essays as intimate as being in the room with Parker and her therapist, Parker examines America’s cultural history and relationship to Black Americans through the ages. She touches on such topics as the ubiquity of beauty standards that exclude Black women, the implications of Bill Cosby’s fall from grace in a culture predicated on acceptance through respectability, and the pitfalls of visibility as seen through the mischaracterizations of Serena Williams as alternately iconic and too ambitious.

With piercing wit and incisive observations, You Get What You Pay For is ultimately a portal into a deeper examination of racial consciousness and its effects on mental well-being in America today. Weaving unflinching criticism with intimate anecdotes, this devastating memoir-in-essays paints a portrait of one Black woman’s psyche—and of the writer’s search to both tell the truth and deconstruct it.


Click for more detail about Great Expectations by Vinson Cunningham Great Expectations

by Vinson Cunningham
Hogarth Press (Mar 12, 2024)
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A historic presidential campaign changes the trajectory of a young Black man’s life in the highly anticipated debut novel from one of The New Yorker’s rising stars.

I’d seen the Senator speak a few times before my life got caught up, however distantly, with his, but the first time I can remember paying real attention was when he delivered the speech announcing his run for the Presidency.

When David first hears the Senator from Illinois speak, he feels deep ambivalence. Intrigued by the Senator’s idealistic rhetoric, David also wonders how he’ll balance the fervent belief and inevitable compromises it will take to become the United States’s first Black president.

Great Expectations is about David’s eighteen months working for the Senator’s presidential campaign. Along the way David meets a myriad of people who raise a set of questions—questions of history, art, race, religion, and fatherhood, all of which force David to look at his own life anew and come to terms with his identity as a young Black man and father in America.

Meditating on politics and politicians, religion and preachers, fathers and family, Great Expectations is both an emotionally resonant coming-of-age story and a rich novel of ideas, and marks the arrival of a major new writer.


Click for more detail about Until August by Gabriel Garcia Marquez Until August

by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Knopf Publishing Group (Mar 12, 2024)
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A Time Most Anticipated Book - The extraordinary rediscovered novel from the Nobel Prize-winning author of Love in the Time of Cholera and One Hundred Years of Solitude—a moving tale of female desire and abandon.

Sitting alone beside the languorous blue waters of the lagoon, Ana Magdalena Bach contemplates the men at the hotel bar. She has been happily married for twenty-seven years and has no reason to escape the life she has made with her husband and children. And yet, every August, she travels by ferry here to the island where her mother is buried, and for one night takes a new lover.

Across sultry Caribbean evenings full of salsa and boleros, lotharios and conmen, Ana journeys further each year into the hinterland of her desire and the fear hidden in her heart.

Constantly surprising, joyously sensual, Until August is a profound meditation on freedom, regret, self-transformation, and the mysteries of love—an unexpected gift from one of the greatest writers the world has ever known.


Click for more detail about 3 Shades of Blue: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, and the Lost Empire of Cool by James Kaplan 3 Shades of Blue: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, and the Lost Empire of Cool

by James Kaplan
Penguin Press (Mar 05, 2024)
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From the author of the definitive biography of Frank Sinatra, the story of how jazz arrived at the pinnacle of American culture in 1959, told through the journey of three towering artists–Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Bill Evans–who came together to create the most iconic jazz album of all time, Kind of Blue.

The myth of the ’60s depends on the 1950s being the “before times” of conformity, segregation, straightness–The Lonely Crowd and The Organization Man. This all carries some truth, but it does nothing to explain how, in 1959, America’s great indigenous art form, jazz, reached the height of its power and popularity, thanks to a number of Black geniuses so legendary they go by one name–Monk, Mingus, Rollins, Coltrane, and, above all, Miles. Nineteen fifty-nine saw Miles, Coltrane, Bill Evans, and more come together to record what is widely considered the greatest jazz album of all time, and certainly the bestselling: Kind of Blue.

3 Shades of Blue is James Kaplan’s magnificent account of the paths of the three giants to the mountaintop of 1959 and beyond. It’s a book about music, and business, and race, and heroin, and the towns that gave jazz its home, from New Orleans and New York to Kansas City, Philadelphia, Chicago, and LA. It’s an astonishing meditation on creativity and the strange hothouses that can produce its full flowering. It’s a book about the great forebears of this golden age, particularly Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, and the disrupters, like Ornette Coleman, who would take the music down truly new paths. And it’s about why the world of jazz most people know is a museum to this never-replicated period.

But above all, 3 Shades of Blue is a book about three very different men–their struggles, their choices, their tragedies, their greatness. Bill Evans had a gruesome downward spiral; John Coltrane took the mystic’s path into a space far away from mainstream concerns. Miles had three or four sea changes in him before the end. The tapestry of their lives is, in Kaplan’s hands, an American odyssey with no direction home. It is also a masterpiece, a book about jazz that is as big as America.


Click for more detail about Look How Much I’ve Grown in Kindergarten by Vera Ahiyya Look How Much I’ve Grown in Kindergarten

by Vera Ahiyya
Random House Studio (Mar 05, 2024)
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Written by the kindergarten teacher and Instagram influencer affectionately known as the Tutu Teacher, comes a KINDergarten story about celebrating all the amazing ways children grow— inside and out— throughout the year.

Spring has sprung in KINDergarten! Flowers grow just outside the classroom. The trees are budding, and even baby birds begin to chirp, but Mason isn't feeling very cheerful. Mason sees her friends getting better at everything, but she doesn't think she can do anything right.

But Mason's favorite teacher Ms. Perry has an idea… a growth chart! It's not like other growth charts that measure how tall children grow, it's a place for students to put how they each want to change and grow over the next few months. Sure, some students want to get taller, but others have different goals. Reynaldo wants to learn the sound of every letter in the alphabet, Irene wants to learn how to ride a bike without training wheels, and Mason, well Mason wants to grow in every way!

This reassuring story told by Vera Ahiyya and brought to life by Joey Chou's exuberant illustrations will help every young reader feel more comfortable in kindergarten by reminding them that we all shine in different ways. And as kind Ms. Perry says, "It is always ok to ask for help. Seeds don't grow all on their own. They need the help of the sun, good soil and water to grow—- just like you!"


Click for more detail about Jam, Too? by JaNay Brown-Wood Jam, Too?

by JaNay Brown-Wood
Nancy Paulsen Books (Feb 27, 2024)
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Lustrous illustrations and a rhythmic text featuring a cumulative list of sounds bring to life the thrill of an impromptu jam session and the joy of making music together.

A drum circle is forming on the beach, and one fascinated child would love to join in. Soon there’s everything from a conga’s pat-a-pat-a, pat pat to some bongos’ taka taka, ta ta—and it looks like so much fun! But what do you do when you don’t have a drum? Well, when you let the music move you, you just might find other ways to jam, too!


Click for more detail about The World Is Ours to Cherish: A Letter to a Child by Mary Annaïse Heglar The World Is Ours to Cherish: A Letter to a Child

by Mary Annaïse Heglar
Random House Books for Young Readers (Feb 27, 2024)
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This hopeful picture book—written in the style of a letter—gives kids an honest take on climate change and urges them to band together to help the planet.

The world is a big, beautiful place full of natural wonders—everything from bees to rainfall can seem magical.

The world is also changing. Climate change has already had a devastating effect on the planet.

But it’s not too late! If we work together and show a little more care, both for the environment and each other, we can keep this world beautiful.

This moving debut from climate writer Mary Annaïse Heglar is perfect for budding environmentalists and anyone in need of a little hope for the future of our planet.


Click for more detail about The American Daughters by Maurice Carlos Ruffin The American Daughters

by Maurice Carlos Ruffin
One World (Feb 27, 2024)
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A gripping historical novel about a spirited girl who joins a sisterhood working to undermine the Confederates—from the award-winning author of We Cast a Shadow

“I knew from page one that this wasn’t going to be a typical journey through a familiar history… . A splendid work.”—Robert Jones, Jr., author of The Prophets

Ady, a curious, sharp-witted girl, and her fierce mother, Sanite, are inseparable. Enslaved to a businessman in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the pair spend their days dreaming of a loving future and reminiscing about their family’s rebellious and storied history. When mother and daughter are separated, Ady is left hopeless and directionless until she stumbles into the Mockingbird Inn and meets Lenore, a free Black woman with whom she becomes fast friends. Lenore invites Ady to join a clandestine society of spies called the Daughters. With the courage instilled in her by Sanite—and with help from these strong women—Ady learns how to put herself first. So begins her journey toward liberation and imagining a new future.

The American Daughters is a novel of hope and triumph that reminds us what is possible when a community bands together to fight for their freedom.


Click for more detail about Acts of Forgiveness by Maura Cheeks Acts of Forgiveness

by Maura Cheeks
Ballantine Books (Feb 13, 2024)
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“A vibrant and moving debut that takes to heart our deferred dreams and the value of remaining hopeful.”—Diane Marie Brown, author of Black Candle Women

How much of their lineage is one family willing to unearth in order to participate in the nation’s first federal reparations program?

Every American waits with bated breath to see whether or not the country’s first female president will pass the Forgiveness Act. The bill would allow Black families to claim up to $175,000 if they can prove they are the descendants of slaves, and for ambitious single mother Willie Revel the bill could be a long-awaited form of redemption. A decade ago, Willie gave up her burgeoning journalism career to help run her father’s struggling construction company in Philadelphia and she has reluctantly put family first, without being able to forget who she might have become. Now she’s back living with her parents and her young daughter while trying to keep her family from going into bankruptcy. Could the Forgiveness Act uncover her forgotten roots while also helping save their beloved home and her father’s life’s work?

In order to qualify, she must first prove that the Revels are descended from slaves, but the rest of the family isn’t as eager to dig up the past. Her mother is adopted, her father doesn’t trust the government and believes working with a morally corrupt employer is the better way to save their business, and her daughter is just trying to make it through the fifth grade at her elite private school without attracting unwanted attention. It’s up to Willie to verify their ancestry and save her family—but as she delves into their history, Willie begins to learn just how complicated family and forgiveness can be.

With powerful insight and moving prose, Acts of Forgiveness asks how history shapes who we become and considers the weight of success when it is achieved despite incredible odds—and ultimately what leaving behind a legacy truly means.


Click for more detail about Sex, Lies and Sensibility by Nikki Payne Sex, Lies and Sensibility

by Nikki Payne
Berkley Books (Feb 13, 2024)
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“Nikki Payne skillfully spins the tale of a well-known Jane Austen classic and makes it entirely her own. Thoughtful, hilarious, and smolderingly steamy.”—Kristina Forest, author of The Partner Plot

Two sisters roll up their sleeves to run a dilapidated inn but must learn to work with the locals in this deliciously spicy novel inspired by Sense and Sensibility.

There’s never a good time to learn you are your father’s secret child—especially not at the reading of his will. With their father’s affairs laid bare and Nora’s sensible reputation in tatters due to a viral video scandal, she and her free-spirited sister have nothing left but a rustic inn in the middle of nowhere and each other. What’s more, they need to revamp the inn before Labor Day or they lose it all. Nora hasn’t even knocked the traveling dust off last season’s designer boots when she’s confronted with three problems:

  1. She really should have watched more HGTV.
  2. She hasn’t seen another Black person for miles.
  3. A tall, dark stranger has already staked a claim on their property.

Native Abenaki eco-tour guide Ennis “Bear” Freeman has seen hapless tourists come and go. When he spots two pampered city girls at his unofficial headquarters, he expects them to catch a flight out of the inhospitable coastal Maine backwoods within a week’s time. But Nora, turns out, is made of sterner stuff. And as she rolls up her sleeves to breathe new life into the inn, she unwittingly reignites a flood of emotions inside of Bear that he had very intentionally suppressed.

Their connection is electric, their desire palpable. But Bear’s silence about his mysterious past might turn out to be the one thing that sends Nora packing.


Click for more detail about Thick with Trouble by Amber McBride Thick with Trouble

by Amber McBride
Penguin Books (Feb 13, 2024)
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From National Book Award finalist Amber McBride, a mystical, transcendent poetry collection about Black womanhood in the American South.

In Thick with Trouble, award-winning poet Amber McBride interrogates if being “trouble”—difficult, unruly, fearsome, defiant—is ultimately a weakness or an incomparable source of strength. Steeped in the Hoodoo spiritual tradition and organized via reimagined tarot cards, this collection becomes a chorus of unapologetic women who laugh, cry, mesmerize, and bring outsiders to their knees. Summoning the supernatural to examine death, rebirth, and life outside the male gaze, Amber McBride has crafted a haunting, spellbinding, and strikingly original collection of poems that reckon with the force and complexity of Black womanhood.


Click for more detail about Black Girl You Are Atlas by Renée Watson Black Girl You Are Atlas

by Renée Watson
Kokila (Feb 13, 2024)
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A thoughtful celebration of Black girlhood by award-winning author and poet Renée Watson.

Scalp poem and image from Black Girl You Are Atlas

In this semi-autobiographical collection of poems, Renée Watson writes about her experience growing up as a young Black girl at the intersections of race, class, and gender.

Using a variety of poetic forms, from haiku to free verse, Watson shares recollections of her childhood in Portland, tender odes to the Black women in her life, and urgent calls for Black girls to step into their power.

Black Girl You Are Atlas encourages young readers to embrace their future with a strong sense of sisterhood and celebration. With full-color art by celebrated fine artist Ekua Holmes throughout, this collection offers guidance and is a gift for anyone who reads it.

Undebelly poem and image from Black Girl You Are Atlas


Click for more detail about Redwood Court by DéLana R. A. Dameron Redwood Court

by DéLana R. A. Dameron
Dial (Feb 06, 2024)
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A breathtaking debut about one unforgettable Southern Black family, seen through the eyes of its youngest daughter as she comes of age in the 1990s.

“A triumph … Redwood Court is storytelling at its best: tender, vivid, and richly complicated.”—Jacqueline Woodson, New York Times bestselling author of Red at the Bone

“Mika, you sit at our feet all these hours and days, hearing us tell our tales. You have all these stories inside you: all the stories everyone in our family knows and all the stories everyone in our family tells. You write ’em in your books and show everyone who we are.”

So begins award-winning poet DéLana R. A. Dameron’s debut novel, Redwood Court. The baby of the family, Mika Tabor spends much of her time in the care of loved ones, listening to their stories and witnessing their struggles. On Redwood Court, the cul-de-sac in the all-Black working-class suburb of Columbia, South Carolina, where her grandparents live, Mika learns important lessons from the people who raise her: her exhausted parents, who work long hours at multiple jobs while still making sure their kids experience the adventure of family vacations; her older sister, who in a house filled with Motown would rather listen to Alanis Morrisette; her retired grandparents, children of Jim Crow, who realized their own vision of success when they bought their house on the Court in the 1960s, imagining it filled with future generations; and the many neighbors who hold tight to the community they’ve built, committed to fostering joy and love in an America so insistent on seeing Black people stumble and fall.

With visceral clarity and powerful prose, Dameron reveals the devastation of being made to feel invisible and the transformative power of being seen. Redwood Court is a celebration of extraordinary, ordinary people striving to achieve their own American dreams.


Click for more detail about Lone Women by Victor Lavalle Lone Women

by Victor Lavalle
One World (Feb 06, 2024)
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“If the literary gods mixed together Karuki Murakami and Ralph Ellison, the result would be Victor Lavaelle.” —Anthony Doerr, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of All the Light We Cannot See

Blue skies, empty land—and enough room to hide away a horrifying secret. Or is there? Discover a haunting new vision of the American West from the award-winning author of The Changeling.

Adelaide Henry carries an enormous steamer trunk with her wherever she goes. It’s locked at all times. Because when the trunk is opened, people around her start to disappear…

The year is 1915, and Adelaide is in trouble. Her secret sin killed her parents, and forced her to flee her hometown of Redondo, California, in a hellfire rush, ready to make her way to Montana as a homesteader. Dragging the trunk with her at every stop, she will be one of the "lone women" taking advantage of the government’s offer of free land for those who can cultivate it—except that Adelaide isn’t alone. And the secret she’s tried so desperately to lock away might be the only thing keeping her alive.

Told in Victor LaValle’s signature style, blending historical fiction, shimmering prose, and inventive horror, Lone Women is the gripping story of a woman desperate to bury her past—and a portrait of early twentieth-century America like you’ve never seen.


Click for more detail about Go Forth and Tell: The Life of Augusta Baker, Librarian and Master Storyteller by Breanna J. McDaniel Go Forth and Tell: The Life of Augusta Baker, Librarian and Master Storyteller

by Breanna J. McDaniel
Dial Books (Feb 06, 2024)
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From an award-winning author and illustrator comes this picture book biography about beloved librarian and storyteller Augusta Braxton Baker, the first Black coordinator of children’s services at all branches of the New York Public Library.

Before Augusta Braxton Baker became a storyteller, she was an excellent story listener. Her grandmother brought stories like Br’er Rabbit and Arthur and Excalibur to life, teaching young Augusta that when there’s a will, there’s always a way. When she grew up, Mrs. Baker began telling her own fantastical stories to children at the 135th Street branch of the New York Public Library in Harlem. But she noticed that there were hardly any books at the library featuring Black people in respectful, uplifting ways. Thus began her journey of championing books, writers, librarians, and teachers centering Black stories, educating and inspiring future acclaimed authors like Audre Lorde and James Baldwin along the way.

As Mrs. Baker herself put it: “Children of all ages want to hear stories. Select well, prepare well and then go forth and just tell.”


Click for more detail about How to Live Free in a Dangerous World: A Decolonial Memoir by Shayla Lawson How to Live Free in a Dangerous World: A Decolonial Memoir

by Shayla Lawson
Tiny Reparations Books (Feb 06, 2024)
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“Phenomenal… A memoir that opens into the world, with brilliance, courage, and elegant prose… This is a book to read, read again, and remember.” —Imani Perry, New York Times bestselling author of the National Book Award winner South to America

Poet and journalist Shayla Lawson follows their National Book Critics Circle finalist This Is Major with these daring and exquisitely crafted essays, where Lawson journeys across the globe, finds beauty in tumultuous times, and powerfully disrupts the constraints of race, gender, and disability.

In their new book, Shayla Lawson reveals how traveling can itself be a political act, when it can be a dangerous world to be Black, femme, nonbinary, and disabled. With their signature prose, at turns bold, muscular, and luminous, Shayla Lawson travels the world to explore deeper meanings held within love, time, and the self.

Through encounters with a gorgeous gondolier in Venice, an ex-husband in the Netherlands, and a lost love on New Year’s Eve in Mexico City, Lawson’s travels bring unexpected wisdom about life in and out of love. They learn the strength of friendships and the dangers of beauty during a narrow escape in Egypt. They examine Blackness in post-dictatorship Zimbabwe, then take us on a secretive tour of Black freedom movements in Portugal.

Through a deeply insightful journey, Lawson leads readers from a castle in France to a hula hoop competition in Jamaica to a traditional theater in Tokyo to a Prince concert in Minnesota and, finally, to finding liberation on a beach in Bermuda, exploring each location—and their deepest emotions—to the fullest. In the end, they discover how the trials of marriage, grief, and missed connections can lead to self-transformation and unimagined new freedoms.


Click for more detail about The End of Race Politics: Arguments for a Colorblind America by Coleman Hughes The End of Race Politics: Arguments for a Colorblind America

by Coleman Hughes
Thesis (Feb 06, 2024)
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An exciting new voice makes the case for a colorblind approach to politics and culture, warning that the so-called ‘anti-racist’ movement is driving us—ironically—toward a new kind of racism.

As one of the few black students in his philosophy program at Columbia University years ago, Coleman Hughes wondered why his peers seemed more pessimistic about the state of American race relations than his own grandparents–who lived through segregation. The End of Race Politics is the culmination of his years-long search for an answer.

Contemplative yet audacious, The End of Race Politics is necessary reading for anyone who questions the race orthodoxies of our time. Hughes argues for a return to the ideals that inspired the American Civil Rights movement, showing how our departure from the colorblind ideal has ushered in a new era of fear, paranoia, and resentment marked by draconian interpersonal etiquette, failed corporate diversity and inclusion efforts, and poisonous race-based policies that hurt the very people they intend to help. Hughes exposes the harmful side effects of Kendi-DiAngelo style antiracism, from programs that distribute emergency aid on the basis of race to revisionist versions of American history that hide the truth from the public.

Through careful argument, Hughes dismantles harmful beliefs about race, proving that reverse racism will not atone for past wrongs and showing why race-based policies will lead only to the illusion of racial equity. By fixating on race, we lose sight of what it really means to be anti-racist. A racially just, colorblind society is possible. Hughes gives us the intellectual tools to make it happen.


Click for more detail about Ways of Sunlight by Samuel Selvon Ways of Sunlight

by Samuel Selvon
Penguin Group USA (Feb 01, 2024)
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‘A delightful book, a pleasure to read and reflect over afterwards … for humour, sprightliness and downright exuberance at being alive’ Sunday Times

‘You could be lonely as hell in the city, then one day you look around you and you realise everybody else is lonely too’

This irresistible, bittersweet collection of short stories from the supreme chronicler of West Indian lives in Britain brings together two worlds: Trinidad and London. Here is an illicit love affair on a plantation, gossip and rivalry between village washerwomen, a boy rebelling against his parents’ traditions. Here too is life after leaving for England: hustling for work, eking out money for the gas meter in winter, dancing in clubs, discovering romance in a night-time park, experiencing unexpected kindness, dreams and disenchantment.


Click for more detail about Spectral Evidence: Poems by Gregory Pardlo Spectral Evidence: Poems

by Gregory Pardlo
Alfred A. Knopf (Jan 30, 2024)
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An unapologetically bold, stimulating, and inspired collection of photographs and profiles celebrating the style of African Americans age 50+

Long inspired by mature adults daring to express their creativity and individuality through their style choices, New York Times bestselling novelist Connie Briscoe shines a light on these often overlooked and underappreciated sharply attired individuals. Accompanied by the marvelously talented Milton Washington’s dazzling photographs, Briscoe’s vision comes alive in these pages. From intrepid to chic, and sophisticated to free-spirited—Stepping Out captures the very essences of a vibrant cross section of Black elders, showcasing their stories, their styles, and how their love of fashion was born and bred. This book contextualizes the cultural, spiritual, and historical influences on decades of Black style and testifies to this dynamic legacy for generations to come.

A powerful meditation on Blackness, beauty, faith, and the force of law, from the beloved award-winning author of Digest and Air Traffic

Elegant, profound, and intoxicating—Spectral Evidence, Gregory Pardlo’s first major collection of poetry after winning the Pulitzer Prize for Digest, moves fluidly among considerations of the pro-wrestler Owen Hart; Tituba, the only Black woman to be accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials; MOVE, the movement and militant separatist group famous for its violent stand-offs with the Philadelphia Police Department (“flames rose like orchids … / blocks lay open like egg cartons”); and more.

At times cerebral and at other times warm, inviting and deeply personal, Spectral Evidence compels us to consider how we think about devotion, beauty and art; about the criminalization and death of Black bodies; about justice—and about how these have been inscribed into our present, our history, and the Western canon: “If I could be / the forensic dreamer / … / … my art would be a mortician’s / paints.”


Click for more detail about The Last Stand by Antwan Eady The Last Stand

by Antwan Eady
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers (Jan 30, 2024)
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The author of Nigel and the Moon, delivers a tender intergenerational story inspired by his childhood in the rural south. Here’s a farm stand that represents the importance of family, community, and hope.

Every stand has a story.
This one is mine.

Saturday is for harvesting. And one little boy is excited to work alongside his Papa as they collect eggs, plums, peppers and pumpkins to sell at their stand in the farmer’s market. Of course, it’s more than a farmer’s market. Papa knows each customer’s order, from Ms. Rosa’s pumpkins to Mr. Johnny’s peppers. And when Papa can’t make it to the stand, his community gathers around him, with dishes made of his own produce.

Heartwarming illustrations complement the lyrical text in this poignant picture book that reveals a family’s pride in their work, and reminds us to harvest love and hope from those around us.


Click for more detail about Black Women Taught Us: An Intimate History of Black Feminism by Jenn M. Jackson Black Women Taught Us: An Intimate History of Black Feminism

by Jenn M. Jackson
Random House (Jan 23, 2024)
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A reclamation of essential history and a hopeful gesture toward a better political future, this is what listening to Black women looks like—from a professor of political science and columnist for Teen Vogue.

“Jenn M. Jackson is a beautiful writer and excellent scholar. In this book, they pay tribute to generations of Black women organizers and set forward a bold and courageous blueprint for our collective liberation.”—Imani Perry, author of South to America

This is my offering. My love letter to them, and to us.

Jenn M. Jackson, PhD, has been known to bring historical acuity to some of the most controversial topics in America today. Now, in their first book, Jackson applies their critical analysis to the questions that have long energized their work: Why has Black women’s freedom fighting been so overlooked throughout history, and what has our society lost because of our refusal to engage with our forestrugglers’ lessons?

A love letter to those who have been minimized and forgotten, this collection repositions Black women’s intellectual and political work at the center of today’s liberation movements.

Across eleven original essays that explore the legacy of Black women writers and leaders—from Harriet Jacobs and Ida B. Wells to the Combahee River Collective and Audre Lorde—Jackson sets the record straight about Black women’s longtime movement organizing, theorizing, and coalition building in the name of racial, gender, and sexual justice in the United States and abroad. These essays show, in both critical and deeply personal terms, how Black women have been at the center of modern liberation movements despite the erasure and misrecognition of their efforts. Jackson illustrates how Black women have frequently done the work of liberation at great risk to their lives and livelihoods.

For a new generation of movement organizers and co-strugglers, Black Women Taught Us serves as a reminder that Black women were the first ones to teach us how to fight racism, how to name that fight, and how to imagine a more just world for everyone.


Click for more detail about Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts: Stories and Recipes from Five Generations of Black Country Cooks by Crystal Wilkinson Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts: Stories and Recipes from Five Generations of Black Country Cooks

by Crystal Wilkinson
Clarkson Potter (Jan 23, 2024)
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A lyrical culinary journey that explores the hidden legacy of Black Appalachians, through powerful storytelling alongside nearly forty comforting recipes, from the former poet laureate of Kentucky.

“With Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts, Crystal Wilkinson cements herself as one of the most dynamic book makers in our generation and a literary giant. Utter genius tastes like this.”—Kiese Laymon, author of the Carnegie Medal-winning Heavy People are always surprised that Black people reside in the hills of Appalachia. Those not surprised that we were there, are surprised that we stayed.

Years ago, when O. Henry Prize-winning writer Crystal Wilkinson was baking a jam cake, she felt her late grandmother’s presence. She soon realized that she was not the only cook in her kitchen; there were her ancestors, too, stirring, measuring, and braising alongside her. These are her kitchen ghosts, five generations of Black women who settled in Appalachia and made a life, a legacy, and a cuisine.

An expert cook, Wilkinson shares nearly forty family recipes rooted deep in the past, full of flavor—delicious favorites including Corn Pudding, Chicken and Dumplings, Granny Christine’s Jam Cake, and Praisesong Biscuits, brought to vivid life through stunning photography. Together, Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts honors the mothers who came before, the land that provided for generations of her family, and the untold heritage of Black Appalachia.

As the keeper of her family’s stories and treasured dishes, Wilkinson shares her inheritance in Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts. She found their stories in her apron pockets, floating inside the steam of hot mustard greens and tucked into the sweet scent of clove and cinnamon in her kitchen. Part memoir, part cookbook, Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts weaves those stories together with recipes, family photos, and a lyrical imagination to present a culinary portrait of a family that has lived and worked the earth of the mountains for over a century.

A lyrical culinary journey that explores the hidden legacy of Black Appalachians, through powerful storytelling alongside nearly forty comforting recipes, from the former poet laureate of Kentucky.

“With Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts, Crystal Wilkinson cements herself as one of the most dynamic book makers in our generation and a literary giant. Utter genius tastes like this.”—Kiese Laymon, author of the Carnegie Medal-winning Heavy People are always surprised that Black people reside in the hills of Appalachia. Those not surprised that we were there, are surprised that we stayed.

Years ago, when O. Henry Prize-winning writer Crystal Wilkinson was baking a jam cake, she felt her late grandmother’s presence. She soon realized that she was not the only cook in her kitchen; there were her ancestors, too, stirring, measuring, and braising alongside her. These are her kitchen ghosts, five generations of Black women who settled in Appalachia and made a life, a legacy, and a cuisine.

An expert cook, Wilkinson shares nearly forty family recipes rooted deep in the past, full of flavor—delicious favorites including Corn Pudding, Chicken and Dumplings, Granny Christine’s Jam Cake, and Praisesong Biscuits, brought to vivid life through stunning photography. Together, Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts honors the mothers who came before, the land that provided for generations of her family, and the untold heritage of Black Appalachia.

As the keeper of her family’s stories and treasured dishes, Wilkinson shares her inheritance in Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts. She found their stories in her apron pockets, floating inside the steam of hot mustard greens and tucked into the sweet scent of clove and cinnamon in her kitchen. Part memoir, part cookbook, Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts weaves those stories together with recipes, family photos, and a lyrical imagination to present a culinary portrait of a family that has lived and worked the earth of the mountains for over a century.


Click for more detail about Elijah’s Easter Suit by Brentom Jackson Elijah’s Easter Suit

by Brentom Jackson
Doubleday Books for Young Readers (Jan 23, 2024)
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Free Shipping Until Easter Sunday, March 31, 2024!

In a story full of style, sass, and significance, a young boy goes on a quest for the perfect Easter church outfit, inspired by elders from his community. Along the way, he learns about the importance of Easter traditions to his family, his ancestors, and the Black church.

Elijah is on a mission to find the perfect church outfit for Easter. Failed attempts at his town’s stores leave Elijah crushed, but an important conversation with Deacon Brown and Mother Green about tradition, culture, and clothing gives him the courage to create his own Easter masterpiece: a patchwork of perfection that tells his story with style.

Families at Easter will appreciate seeing the themes of church and Black culture throughout Elijah’s quest, in this sweet yet important story about a young boy’s journey toward an understanding of those who came before him.

An afterword from the author delves into the traditions and culture of Black communities at Easter and the historical importance and significance of Easter clothing and style.


Click for more detail about Legacy: A Black Physician Reckons with Racism in Medicine by Uché Blackstock Legacy: A Black Physician Reckons with Racism in Medicine

by Uché Blackstock
Viking (Jan 23, 2024)
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“Legacy is both a compelling memoir and an edifying analysis of the inequities in the way we deliver healthcare in America. Uché Blackstock is a force of nature.” —Abraham Verghese, MD, New York Times-bestselling author of The Covenant of Water and Cutting for Stone

The rousing, captivating story of a Black physician, her career in medicine, and the deep inequities that still exist in the U.S. healthcare system

Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, it never occurred to Uché Blackstock and her twin sister, Oni, that they would be anything but physicians. In the 1980s, their mother headed an organization of Black women physicians, and for years the girls watched these fiercely intelligent women in white coats tend to their patients and neighbors, host community health fairs, cure ills, and save lives.

What Dr. Uché Blackstock did not understand as a child—or learn about at Harvard Medical School, where she and her sister had followed in their mother's footsteps, making them the first Black mother-daughter legacies from the school—were the profound and long-standing systemic inequities that mean just 2 percent of all U.S. physicians today are Black women; the racist practices and policies that ensure Black Americans have far worse health outcomes than any other group in the country; and the flawed system that endangers the well-being of communities like theirs. As an ER physician, and later as a professor in academic medicine, Dr. Blackstock became profoundly aware of the systemic barriers that Black patients and physicians continue to face.

Legacy is a journey through the critical intersection of racism and healthcare. At once a searing indictment of our healthcare system, a generational family memoir, and a call to action, Legacy is Dr. Blackstock's odyssey from child to medical student to practicing physician—to finally seizing her own power as a health equity advocate against the backdrop of the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement.


Click for more detail about Beasts of War by Ayana Gray Beasts of War

by Ayana Gray
Nancy Paulsen Books (Jan 16, 2024)
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In this epic conclusion to her New York Times bestselling series, Ayana Gray delivers a heart-pounding fantasy adventure filled with mythos, monsters, and mortal heroes who are astoundingly human.

Once a prisoner to Fedu, the vengeful god of death, Koffi has regained her freedom, but she is far from safe. Fedu will stop at nothing to hunt her down and use her power to decimate the mortal world. Koffi knows when Fedu will strike: during the next Bonding, a once-in-a-lifetime celestial event. To survive, Koffi will have to find powerful new allies quickly, and convince them to help her in the terrible battle to come.

Once a warrior-turned-runaway, Ekon has carved out a new life for himself outside Lkossa, but the shadows of his past still haunt him. Now, alongside unexpected friends, Ekon tries to focus on getting Koffi to the Kusonga Plains before the next Bonding. If he fails, Koffi will be consumed, either by her own dangerous power, or the terrible fate Ekon is doing everything he can to prevent. Ekon devotes himself to protecting Koffi, but the lingering threats from his own past are more urgent than he knows.

As Koffi and Ekon race to the Kusonga Plains—and try to garner the help of Esh?za’s ancient gods along the way—they must face a slew of dangerous beasts old and new. In the end, destiny may unite Koffi and Ekon for the last time—or tear them apart for good.


Click for more detail about Ready? Set. Puppies! (Raymond and Roxy) by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson Ready? Set. Puppies! (Raymond and Roxy)

by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
Random House Books for Young Readers (Jan 16, 2024)
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The puppies are coming! This Step 2 is perfect for readers age 4 to 6 and captures the anticipation of waiting for your best friend’s dog to have puppies. Will Raymond get to keep one?

Raymond and Roxy love playing together—and so do their pets! One day, Raymond learns that Roxy’s dog, Flo, is going to have puppies! Raymond does everything fast so he can hardly wait. How long will it take those puppies to be born? And will his parents say yes to a puppy of his very own?

Twenty years after Ready? Set. Raymond! was published, Vaunda Nelson and Derek Anderson continue the adventures of Raymond and Roxy!

Look for all of the Raymond and Roxy stories:

  • Ready? Set. Raymond!
  • Ready? Set. Birthday!
  • Ready? Set. Rides!
  • Ready? Set. Puppies!

Step 2 Readers use basic vocabulary and short sentences to tell simple stories. They are perfect for children who recognize familiar words and can sound out new words with help.


Click for more detail about American Wings: Chicago’s Pioneering Black Aviators and the Race for Equality in the Sky by Sherri L. Smith and Elizabeth Wein American Wings: Chicago’s Pioneering Black Aviators and the Race for Equality in the Sky

by Sherri L. Smith and Elizabeth Wein
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (Jan 16, 2024)
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From the acclaimed author of Flygirl and the bestselling author of Code Name Verity comes the thrilling and inspiring true story of the desegregation of the skies.

In the years between World War I and World War II, aviation fever was everywhere, including among Black Americans. But what hope did a Black person have of learning to fly in a country constricted by prejudice and Jim Crow laws, where some previous Black aviators like Bessie Coleman had to move to France to earn their wings?

American Wings follows a group of determined Black Americans: Cornelius Coffey and Johnny Robinson, skilled auto mechanics; Janet Harmon Bragg, a nurse; and Willa Brown, a teacher and social worker. Together, they created a flying club and built their own airfield on Chicago’s South Side. As the U.S. hurtled toward World War II, they established a school to train new pilots, teaching both Black and white students together and proving, in a time when the U.S. military was still segregated, that successful integration was possible.

Complete with black-and-white photographs throughout, American Wings brings to light a hidden history of pioneering Black men and women who, with grit and resilience, battled powerful odds for an equal share of the sky.

Photo of the Flying members of the Chicago Girls' Flight Blub and Harlem Airport in 1938


Click for more detail about Black Liturgies: Prayers, Poems, and Meditations for Staying Human by Cole Arthur Riley Black Liturgies: Prayers, Poems, and Meditations for Staying Human

by Cole Arthur Riley
Convergent Books (Jan 16, 2024)
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New York Times Bestseller - A collection of prayer, poetry, and spiritual practice centering the Black interior world, from the author of This Here Flesh and creator of Black Liturgies

“A true spiritual balm for our troubled times.”—Michael Eric Dyson, author of What Truth Sounds Like

For years, Cole Arthur Riley was desperate for a spirituality she could trust. Amid ongoing national racial violence, the isolation of the pandemic, and a surge of anti-Black rhetoric in many Christian spaces, she began dreaming of a more human, more liberating expression of faith. She went on to create Black Liturgies, a digital project that connects spiritual practice with Black emotion, Black memory, and the Black body.

In this book, she brings together hundreds of new prayers, along with letters, poems, meditation questions, breath practices, scriptures, and the writings of Black literary ancestors to offer forty-three liturgies that can be practiced individually or as a community. Inviting readers to reflect on their shared experiences of wonder, rest, rage, and repair, and creating rituals for holidays like Lent and Juneteenth, Arthur Riley writes with a poet’s touch and a sensitivity that has made her one of the most important spiritual voices at work today.

For anyone healing from communities that were more violent than loving; for anyone who has escaped the trauma of white Christian nationalism, religious homophobia, or transphobia; for anyone asking what it means to be human in a world of both beauty and terror, Black Liturgies is a work of healing and empowerment, and a vision for what might be.


Click for more detail about Come and Get It by Kiley Reid Come and Get It

by Kiley Reid
G.P. Putnam’s Sons (Jan 09, 2024)
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From the celebrated New York Times bestselling author of Such a Fun Age comes a fresh and provocative story about a residential assistant and her messy entanglement with a professor and three unruly students.

It’s 2017 at the University of Arkansas. Millie Cousins, a senior resident assistant, wants to graduate, get a job, and buy a house. So when Agatha Paul, a visiting professor, and writer, offers Millie an easy yet unusual opportunity, she jumps at the chance. But Millie’s starry-eyed hustle becomes jeopardized by odd new friends, vengeful dorm pranks, and illicit intrigue.

A fresh and intimate portrait of desire, consumption, and reckless abandon, Come and Get It is a tension-filled story about money, indiscretion, and bad behavior—and the highly anticipated new novel by acclaimed and award-winning author Kiley Reid.


Click for more detail about The Spark in You by Andrea Pippins The Spark in You

by Andrea Pippins
Random House Studio (Jan 09, 2024)
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This jubilant picture book filled with powerful affirmations celebrates the beautiful magic that makes each of us special. This is the perfect heartfelt gift for a birthday, graduation or other new beginnings.

There is a spark in you!

The spark in you shines when you smile. It sparkles when you dance. It glimmers and shimmers, zings, and pops! Your spark is festive and joyous and burns brightest when you are authentically being you.

Set against the vibrant backdrop of Carnival, a little girl uses all her creative energy to get ready for the big parade. Through the eyes of this vibrant character, the story celebrates individual expression and creativity as well as the explosion of light, color, and flavor of the festival.

Leaning into her Brazilian heritage, creator Andrea Pippins shares a window into the world of a young girl as she joins in the excitement of the parade. The spare text leaves room for the striking artwork to shine in a powerful display of community, individuality, and spirit.


Click for more detail about The Reckoning by Wade Hudson The Reckoning

by Wade Hudson
Crown Books for Young Readers (Jan 02, 2024)
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A powerful contemporary novel about an aspiring 12 year-old filmmaker whose world is turned upside down when his grandfather is slain in a senseless and racist act of violence. From the author of the award-winning memoir, Defiant: Growing Up in the Jim Crow South and co-editor of Recognize! An Anthology Honoring and Amplifying Black Life.

Lamar can’t wait to start his filmmaking career like his idol Spike Lee. And leave behind his small town of Morton, Louisiana. But for now, Lamar has to learn how to be a filmmaker while getting to know his grandfather.

When Gramps talks about his activism and Black history, Lamar doesn’t think much about it. Times have changed since the old Civil Rights days! Right? He has a white friend named Jeff who wants to be a filmmaker, too, even though Jeff’s parents never let him go to Lamar’s Black neighborhood. But there’s been progress in town. Right?

Then Gramps is killed in a traffic altercation with a white man claiming self-defense. But the Black community knows better: Gramps is another victim of racial violence. Protesters demand justice. So does Lamar. But he is also determined to keep his grandfather’s legacy alive in the only way he knows how: recording a documentary about the fight against injustice.

From the critically acclaimed author and the publisher of Just Us Books, Wade Hudson comes a riveting, timely, and deeply moving story about a young Black filmmaker whose eyes are opened to racial injustice and becomes inspired to follow in his grandfather’s activist footsteps.


Click for more detail about My Block Looks Like by Janelle Harper My Block Looks Like

by Janelle Harper
Viking Books for Young Readers (Jan 02, 2024)
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A love letter to the hustle, the bustle, the joy, and the grit of city life by debut author and Bronx native, Janelle Harper, and two-time Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner, Frank Morrison.

“My block looks like
a collision of cultures
a melting pot of cool
a burst of life
my favorite groove

…No matter what happens
I’ve seen it for myself
my block looks like
the coolest place
I’ve ever been.”

A lyrical and proud picture book that recognizes the beauty of the bodegas, subways, and playgrounds that characterize everyday life in the Bronx and pays homage to the ways that its residents have shaped pop culture through music, visual art, and dance. Perfect for fans of I Am Every Good Thing and Last Stop on Market Street, My Block Looks Like offers kids a reaffirming message to celebrate and uplift their communities in an energetic text that begs to be read aloud.


Click for more detail about Stepping Out: The Unapologetic Style of African Americans Over Fifty by Connie Briscoe Stepping Out: The Unapologetic Style of African Americans Over Fifty

by Connie Briscoe
Clarkson Potter (Dec 05, 2023)
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An unapologetically bold, stimulating, and inspired collection of photographs and profiles celebrating the style of African Americans age 50+

Long inspired by mature adults daring to express their creativity and individuality through their style choices, New York Times bestselling novelist Connie Briscoe shines a light on these often overlooked and underappreciated sharply attired individuals. Accompanied by the marvelously talented Milton Washington's dazzling photographs, Briscoe's vision comes alive in these pages. From intrepid to chic, and sophisticated to free-spirited—Stepping Out captures the very essences of a vibrant cross section of Black elders, showcasing their stories, their styles, and how their love of fashion was born and bred. This book contextualizes the cultural, spiritual, and historical influences on decades of Black style and testifies to this dynamic legacy for generations to come.


Click for more detail about Juke Joints, Jazz Clubs, and Juice: A Cocktail Recipe Book: Cocktails from Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks by Toni Tipton-Martin Juke Joints, Jazz Clubs, and Juice: A Cocktail Recipe Book: Cocktails from Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks

by Toni Tipton-Martin
Clarkson Potter (Nov 14, 2023)
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Discover the fascinating history of Black mixology and its enduring influence on American cocktail culture through 70 rediscovered, modernized, or celebrated recipes, by the James Beard Award-winning author of Jubilee.

Juke Joints, Jazz Clubs, and Juice spotlights the creativity, hospitality, and excellence of Black drinking culture, with classic and modern recipes inspired by formulas found in two centuries’ worth of Black cookbooks. From traditional tipples, such as the Absinthe Frappe or the Clover Leaf Cocktail, to new favorites, like the Jerk-Spiced Bloody Mary and the Gin and Juice 3.0, Toni Tipton-Martin shares a variety of recipes that shine a light on her influences, including underheralded early-twentieth-century icons, like Tom Bullock, Julian Anderson, and Atholene Peyton, and modern superstars, such as Snoop Dogg and T-Pain.

Drawing on her expertise, research in historic cookbooks, and personal collection of texts and letters, Toni Tipton-Martin shows how these drinks have evolved over time and shares the stories of how Black mixology came to be—a culmination of generations of practice, skill, intelligence, and taste.


Click for more detail about The Upcycled Self: A Memoir on the Art of Becoming Who We Are by Tariq Trotter The Upcycled Self: A Memoir on the Art of Becoming Who We Are

by Tariq Trotter
One World (Nov 14, 2023)
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New York Times Bestseller - “One of hip-hop’s greatest MCs, unpacking his harrowing, remarkable journey in his own words, with enough insights for two lifetimes.”—Lin-Manuel Miranda, award-winning songwriter, producer, director, and creator of In the Heights and Hamilton

From one of our generation’s most powerful artists and incisive storytellers comes a brilliantly crafted work about the art—and war—of becoming who we are.

A Rolling Stone Best Book of the Year

upcycle verb
up‑cy‑cle ˈəpˌsaɪkəl
to recycle (something) in such a way that the resulting product is of a higher value than the original item
to create an object of greater value from (a discarded object of lesser value)

Today Tariq Trotter—better known as Black Thought—is the platinum-selling, Grammy-winning co-founder of The Roots and one of the most exhilaratingly skillful and profound rappers our culture has ever produced. But his story begins with a tragedy: as a child, Trotter burned down his family’s home. The years that follow are the story of a life snatched from the flames, forged in fire.

In The Upcycled Self, Trotter doesn’t only narrate a riveting and moving portrait of the artist as a young man, he gives readers a courageous model of what it means to live an examined life. In vivid vignettes, he tells the dramatic stories of the four powerful relationships that shaped him—with community, friends, art, and family—each a complex weave of love, discovery, trauma, and loss.

And beyond offering the compellingly poetic account of one artist’s creative and emotional origins, Trotter explores the vital questions we all have to confront about our formative years: How can we see the story of our own young lives clearly? How do we use that story to understand who we’ve become? How do we forgive the people who loved and hurt us? How do we rediscover and honor our first dreams? And, finally, what do we take forward, what do we pass on, what do we leave behind? This is the beautifully bluesy story of a boy genius’s coming-of-age that illuminates the redemptive power of the upcycle.


Click for more detail about To Free the Captives: A Plea for the American Soul by Tracy K. Smith To Free the Captives: A Plea for the American Soul

by Tracy K. Smith
Knopf Publishing Group (Nov 07, 2023)
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A stunning personal manifesto on memory, family, and history that explores how we in America might—together—come to a new view of our shared past

“A vulnerable, honest look at a life lived in a country still struggling with its evils…Hopeful…Beautiful and haunting.” —Eddie S. Glaude Jr., author of Begin Again

In 2020, heartsick from constant assaults on Black life, Tracy K. Smith found herself soul-searching and digging into the historical archive for help navigating the "din of human division and strife." With lyricism and urgency, Smith draws on several avenues of thinking—personal, documentary, and spiritual—to understand who we are as a nation and what we might hope to mean to one another.

In Smith’s own words, "To write a book about Black strength, Black continuance, and the powerful forms of belief and community that have long bolstered the soul of my people, I used the generations of my own patrilineal family to lean backward toward history, to gather a fuller sense of the lives my own ancestors led, the challenges they endured, and the sources of hope and bolstering they counted on. What this process has led me to believe is that all of us, in the here and now, can choose to work alongside the generations that precede us in tending to America’s oldest wounds and meeting the urgencies of our present."

To Free the Captives touches down in Sunflower, Alabama, the red-dirt town where Smith’s father’s family comes from, and where her grandfather returned after World War I with a hero’s record but difficult prospects as a Black man. Smith considers his life and the life of her father through the lens of history. Hoping to connect with their strength and continuance, she assembles a new terminology of American life.

Bearing courageous witness to the terms of Freedom afforded her as a Black woman, a mother, and an educator in the twenty-first century, Smith etches a portrait of where we find ourselves four hundred years into the American experiment. Weaving in an account of her growing spiritual practice, she argues that the soul is not merely a private site of respite or transcendence, but a tool for fulfilling our duties to each other, and a sounding board for our most pressing collective questions: Where are we going as a nation? Where have we been?


Click for more detail about Planet of the Apes: Fall of Man by David F. Walker Planet of the Apes: Fall of Man

by David F. Walker
Licensed Publishing (Nov 07, 2023)
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One of the most beloved franchises in sci-fi history returns to Marvel Comics! It’s been years since the "simian flu" first spread. The ALZ-113 virus has rampaged across Earth - and while apes are flourishing, humanity is crumbling. As researchers hunt for a cure, a fanatical group of humans has their own solution: kill all apes! Peacekeeper Juliana Tobon is one of the few willing to stand against them, but the crisis is escalating - and soon apes will witness the true depths of human cruelty. But with groups of apes in Europe, Africa and Asia continuing to grow in intelligence and power, the threat of simian domination of Earth becomes increasingly possible. Can apes and humans ever coexist? Or will all hope of peace lead to a dead end strewn with blood and death? Collecting PLANET OF THE APES (2023) #1-5.


Click for more detail about Unmasking AI: My Mission to Protect What Is Human in a World of Machines by Joy Buolamwini Unmasking AI: My Mission to Protect What Is Human in a World of Machines

by Joy Buolamwini
Random House (Oct 31, 2023)
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“The conscience of the AI revolution” (Fortune) explains how we’ve arrived at an era of AI harms and oppression, and what we can do to avoid its pitfalls.

“Dr. Joy Buolamwini has been an essential figure in bringing irresponsible, profit-hungry tech giants to their knees. If you’re going to read only one book about AI, this should be it.”—Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation

To most of us, it seems like recent developments in artificial intelligence emerged out of nowhere to pose unprecedented threats to humankind. But to Dr. Joy Buolamwini, who has been at the forefront of AI research, this moment has been a long time in the making.

After tinkering with robotics as a high school student in Memphis and then developing mobile apps in Zambia as a Fulbright fellow, Buolamwini followed her lifelong passion for computer science, engineering, and art to MIT in 2015. As a graduate student at the “Future Factory,” she did groundbreaking research that exposed widespread racial and gender bias in AI services from tech giants across the world.

Unmasking AI goes beyond the headlines about existential risks produced by Big Tech. It is the remarkable story of how Buolamwini uncovered what she calls “the coded gaze”—the evidence of encoded discrimination and exclusion in tech products—and how she galvanized the movement to prevent AI harms by founding the Algorithmic Justice League. Applying an intersectional lens to both the tech industry and the research sector, she shows how racism, sexism, colorism, and ableism can overlap and render broad swaths of humanity “excoded” and therefore vulnerable in a world rapidly adopting AI tools. Computers, she reminds us, are reflections of both the aspirations and the limitations of the people who create them.

Encouraging experts and non-experts alike to join this fight, Buolamwini writes, “The rising frontier for civil rights will require algorithmic justice. AI should be for the people and by the people, not just the privileged few.”


Click for more detail about The Book of Radical Answers: Real Questions from Real Kids Just Like You by Sonya Renee Taylor The Book of Radical Answers: Real Questions from Real Kids Just Like You

by Sonya Renee Taylor
Dial Books (Oct 24, 2023)
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The go-to guide to growing up, rooted in radical self-love and body empowerment, by the NYT bestselling author of The Body Is Not an Apology.

The Book of Radical Answers is a groundbreaking work of non-fiction by author and activist Sonya Renee Taylor that gives honest, empowering and age appropriate answers to real questions from young readers about health, sex, gender, race and justice. Steeped in joy and possibility, Taylor’s writing assures kids that, as they mature, life will be fun, complicated, strange and wonderful, and most importantly, that they are amazing and have the ability to thrive with the inherent knowledge of their self-worth.


Click for more detail about Tremor by Teju Cole Tremor

by Teju Cole
Random House (Oct 17, 2023)
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A powerful, intimate novel that masterfully explores what constitutes a meaningful life in a violent world—from the award-winning author of Open City

"A remarkable performance from one of the most brilliant and singular minds at work today." —Katie Kitamura, author of Intimacies

Life is hopeless but it is not serious. We have to have danced while we could and, later, to have danced again in the telling.

A weekend spent antiquing is shadowed by the colonial atrocities that occurred on that land. A walk at dusk is interrupted by casual racism. A loving marriage is riven by mysterious tensions. And a remarkable cascade of voices speaks out from a pulsing metropolis.

We’re invited to experience these events and others through the eyes and ears of Tunde, a West African man working as a teacher of photography on a renowned New England campus. He is a reader, a listener, a traveler, drawn to many different kinds of stories: stories from history and epic; stories of friends, family, and strangers; stories found in books and films. Together these stories make up his days. In aggregate these days comprise a life.

Tremor is a startling work of realism and invention that engages brilliantly with literature, music, race, and history as it examines the passage of time and how we mark it. It is a reckoning with human survival amidst "history’s own brutality, which refuses symmetries and seldom consoles," but it is also a testament to the possibility of joy. As he did in his magnificent debut Open City, Teju Cole once again offers narration with all its senses alert, a surprising and deeply essential work from a beacon of contemporary literature.


Click for more detail about She Persisted: Simone Biles by Kekla Magoon She Persisted: Simone Biles

by Kekla Magoon
Philomel Books (Oct 17, 2023)
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Inspired by the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger, a chapter book series about women who spoke up and rose up against the odds—including Simone Biles!

Simone Biles was raised by her grandparents and had to overcome many hardships as a child. After trying gymnastics for the first time on a field trip from elementary school, Simone continued with the sport, working hard and reaching professional levels. She persisted in the field and went on to become the most decorated US gymnast of all time. Through it all, she inspired kids everywhere to follow their dreams.

In this chapter book biography by NAACP Image Award-winning author and Coretta Scott King Honor recipient Kekla Magoon, readers learn about the amazing life of Simone Biles—and how she persisted.

Complete with an introduction from Chelsea Clinton, black-and-white illustrations throughout, and a list of ways that readers can follow in Simone Biles’s footsteps and make a difference! A perfect choice for kids who love learning and teachers who want to bring inspiring women into their curriculum.

And don’t miss out on the rest of the books in the She Persisted series, featuring so many more women who persisted, including Florence Griffith Joyner, Ruby Bridges, Diana Taurasi, and more!


Click for more detail about The Lumumba Plot: The Secret History of the CIA and a Cold War Assassination by Stuart A. Reid The Lumumba Plot: The Secret History of the CIA and a Cold War Assassination

by Stuart A. Reid
Knopf Publishing Group (Oct 17, 2023)
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A spellbinding work of history that reads like a Cold War spy thriller—about the U.S.-sanctioned plot to assassinate the democratically elected leader of the newly independent Congo

"This is one of the best books I have read in years … gripping, full of colorful characters, and strange plot twists." —Fareed Zakaria, CNN host

It was supposed to be a moment of great optimism, a cause for jubilation. The Congo was at last being set free from Belgium—one of seventeen countries to gain independence in 1960 from ruling European powers. At the helm as prime minister was charismatic nationalist Patrice Lumumba. Just days after the handover, however, the Congo’s new army mutinied, Belgian forces intervened, and Lumumba turned to the United Nations for help in saving his newborn nation from what the press was already calling "the Congo crisis." Dag Hammarskjöld, the tidy Swede serving as UN secretary-general, quickly arranged the organization’s biggest peacekeeping mission in history. But chaos was still spreading.

Frustrated with the fecklessness of the UN and spurned by the United States, Lumumba then approached the Soviets for help—an appeal that set off alarm bells at the CIA. To forestall the spread of Communism in Africa, the CIA sent word to its station chief in the Congo, Larry Devlin: Lumumba had to go.

Within a year, everything would unravel. The CIA plot to murder Lumumba would ?zzle out, but he would be deposed in a CIA-backed coup, transferred to enemy territory in a CIA-approved operation, and shot dead by Congolese assassins. Hammarskjöld, too, would die, in a mysterious plane crash en route to negotiate a cease-?re with the Congo’s rebellious southeast. And a young, ambitious military officer named Joseph Mobutu, who had once sworn fealty to Lumumba, would seize power with U.S. help and misrule the country for more than three decades.

For the Congolese people, the events of 1960-61 represented the opening chapter of a long horror story. For the U.S. government, however, they provided a playbook for future interventions.


Click for more detail about The Day of Dreams by Jevon Bolden The Day of Dreams

by Jevon Bolden
Penguin Young Readers Licenses (Oct 17, 2023)
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Enter the world of Super Sema in this fun, holiday-themed, STEAM-filled 8x8 with stickers!

Dunia is preparing for the Day of Dreams, the one day a year when whatever you dream can come true. Sema is wishing for a snow-filled Day of Dreams, but her family and friends think she should pick something else - Dunia hasn’t seen snow in 300 years! Still, Sema is determined to see her vision come to life. With a little hope and a lot of technovating, can Super Sema make her wish of a snowy Day of Dreams a reality?


Click for more detail about Remember Us by Jacqueline Woodson Remember Us

by Jacqueline Woodson
Nancy Paulsen Books (Oct 10, 2023)
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National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson brings readers a powerful story that delves deeply into life’s burning questions about time and memory and what we take with us into the future.

It seems like Sage’s whole world is on fire the summer before she starts seventh grade. As house after house burns down, her Bushwick neighborhood gets referred to as “The Matchbox” in the local newspaper. And while Sage prefers to spend her time shooting hoops with the guys, she’s also still trying to figure out her place inside the circle of girls she’s known since childhood. A group that each day, feels further and further away from her. But it’s also the summer of Freddy, a new kid who truly gets Sage. Together, they reckon with the pain of missing the things that get left behind as time moves on, savor what’s good in the present, and buoy each other up in the face of destruction. And when the future comes, it is Sage’s memories of the past that show her the way forward. Remember Us speaks to the power of both letting go … and holding on.


Click for more detail about Santa’s Gotta Go! by Derrick Barnes Santa’s Gotta Go!

by Derrick Barnes
Nancy Paulsen Books (Oct 10, 2023)
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The book opens with siblings Monte and Mabel penning their Christmas lists, with a peculiar top wish - a day spent with Santa Claus. The mere idea fills their minds with candy canes, reindeer games, and stories told by the fire. But they never thought they’d actually get to spend time with Santa, let alone host him in their home!

As the clock strikes midnight on Christmas Eve, they’re awakened by a jingling sound and a crash in the yard. To their astonishment, there’s Santa, his sleigh broken, while Rudolph and the other reindeer are munching on their mom’s favorite flower bed. With a hearty laugh, Santa explains that he’ll need to stay with them while he waits for spare sleigh parts to be delivered.

Santa quickly makes himself at home, not quite understanding typical houseguest etiquette. His elf-like manners and endless energy become exhausting. He stays up late playing air guitar to blaring Christmas carols, swigs mom’s homemade spaghetti sauce straight from the jar, and leaves a trail of wrapping paper wherever he goes. Monte and Mabel start to question their wish for a visit from Santa.

The final straw comes when Santa messes with dad’s prized motorcycle and accidentally deletes Mabel’s high scores from her favorite computer game. It’s clear to the whole family - Santa has to go. But how do you evict the jolliest man on Earth?

This uproarious holiday adventure, penned by New York Times bestselling author Derrick Barnes, will have children and adults alike laughing out loud. "Santa’s Sleepover: A Christmas Caper" reminds readers to be careful what they wish for, and teaches the importance of tolerance, patience, and sharing during the holiday season. A hilarious and heartwarming story that captures the essence of Christmas in a most unexpected way.


Click for more detail about Nesting Dolls by Vanessa Brantley-Newton Nesting Dolls

by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Crown Books for Young Readers (Oct 10, 2023)
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A heartwarming picture book about how one little girl’s unique beauty has been growing for generations in her family tree.

Anyiaka is in awe of her gorgeous Gullah Geechee family—she wants to be beautiful like her older sister, Sorie, a great listener like her mom, and a talented artist like her grandma. But on today’s visit to her grandparents’ house, Anyiaka sticks out from the rest of the family like a sore thumb. She can’t seem to do anything right, and a trip to Grandma’s art studio confirms just how different she is from the rest of the family.

But Grandma’s artwork—a special set of nesting dolls—also shows that what’s on the outside doesn’t always tell the whole story. While they may be distinct, together, her family’s beauty and inner strength have deep roots that have been growing within each of them for generations.


Click for more detail about First, Best: Lessons in Leadership and Legacy from Today’s Civil Rights Movement by Steven L. Reed First, Best: Lessons in Leadership and Legacy from Today’s Civil Rights Movement

by Steven L. Reed
Avery (Oct 10, 2023)
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In First, Best, Steven L. Reed, the first Black mayor of Montgomery, Alabama, shares an inspirational and transformative narrative. Rooted deeply in his own experiences as the son of a civil rights leader, Reed’s memoir serves as an important contribution to the ongoing dialogue about racial justice, identity, and leadership in America.

Reed provides an intimate look at his upbringing, painting vivid scenes of the rich heritage that shaped him. His father, who was a close associate of iconic figures like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Reverend Ralph Abernathy, imparted to him essential lessons about responsibility, integrity, and the commitment needed to make meaningful change. Reed’s story is one of self-discovery, resilience, and a fervent desire to uphold the values passed down to him.

One of the most compelling aspects of First, Best is its focus on the power of alternative narratives. Reed actively challenges the harmful stereotypes and systemic dehumanization of Black men in American society. By sharing the story of forging his own path, Reed offers an alternative narrative to Black men coming of age, catalyzing their hope and sense of possibility.

The book delves into Reed’s circuitous path to the mayor’s office—a journey that began with his formative years at Morehouse College, led him through periods of entrepreneurship and worldly exploration, and culminated in his role as a probate judge. Each step was influenced by the values he inherited from his father’s generation.

First, Best is not just a memoir about assuming the mantle of manhood or leadership; it’s also about the heavy responsibilities and ethical imperatives that come with it. “My job is to prepare you to be a cross-bearer and not just a crown-wearer. Bigotry has no place in our household. It will only hold you down and make you small,” his father told him in response to a death threat they received. The book is fundamentally about responsibility and preparation, about serving others, and about the willingness to bear the costs of leadership. First, Best serves as an affirmation for the next generation of Black men and women, showing through story and example their potential power in a world that isn’t always designed to uplift them.


Click for more detail about Out There Screaming: An Anthology of New Black Horror by Jordan Peele Out There Screaming: An Anthology of New Black Horror

by Jordan Peele
Random House (Oct 03, 2023)
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The visionary writer and director of Get Out, Us, and Nope, and founder of Monkeypaw Productions, curates this groundbreaking anthology of all-new stories of Black horror, exploring not only the terrors of the supernatural but the chilling reality of injustice that haunts our nation.

A cop begins seeing huge, blinking eyes where the headlights of cars should be that tell him who to pull over. Two freedom riders take a bus ride that leaves them stranded on a lonely road in Alabama where several unsettling somethings await them. A young girl dives into the depths of the Earth in search of the demon that killed her parents. These are just a few of the worlds of Out There Screaming, Jordan Peele’s anthology of all-new horror stories by Black writers. Featuring an introduction by Peele and an all-star roster of beloved writers and new voices, Out There Screaming is a master class in horror, and—like his spine-chilling films—its stories prey on everything we think we know about our world … and redefine what it means to be afraid.

Featuring stories by: Erin E. Adams, Violet Allen, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Maurice Broaddus, Chesya Burke, P. Djèlí Clark, Ezra Claytan Daniels, Tananarive Due, Nalo Hopkinson, N. K. Jemisin, Justin C. Key, L. D. Lewis, Nnedi Okorafor, Tochi Onyebuchi, Rebecca Roanhorse, Nicole D. Sconiers, Rion Amilcar Scott, Terence Taylor, and Cadwell Turnbull.


Click for more detail about Sankofa: A Culinary Story of Resilience and Belonging by Eric Adjepong Sankofa: A Culinary Story of Resilience and Belonging

by Eric Adjepong
Penguin Workshop (Oct 03, 2023)
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Inspired by acclaimed chef Eric Adjepong’s own childhood, Sankofa is the powerful story of a young boy’s culinary journey 400 years into the past to reconnect with his African roots and find his own place in America. "Adjepong has crafted a delectable story that blends food history and Ghanaian culture. A celebration of food and culture that reminds youngsters to look back as they move forward." —Kirkus Reviews What if home was a place you’ve never been? For Kofi, a first-generation Ghanaian American boy, home is a country called Ghana. But it’s a place he’s never been. When tasked to bring a dish that best represents his family’s culture to school for a potluck lunch, Kofi is torn. With the help of his Nanabarima (grandfather), Kofi learns the hardship and resilience his family has endured—and how food has always been an integral part their story and culture. Sankofa is a reminder that food can transport you to a place called home—even if you’ve never been.


Click for more detail about Salt the Water by Candice Iloh Salt the Water

by Candice Iloh
Dutton Books for Young Readers (Oct 03, 2023)
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From Printz honoree and National Book Award finalist Candice Iloh, a verse novel about Cerulean Gene, a nonbinary Black teenager searching for a new way to do more than survive in post-pandemic America.

Cerulean and their friends went into senior year—the first year of normal school after the pandemic—with a plan: keep their heads down in class, save money, and get the hell out of the Bronx once they graduate. If teachers are going to force them to read Huckleberry Finn, then they can’t blame kids for "lighting out for the territory." Cerulean is convinced that there must be somewhere better than the Bronx and is focused on learning how to grow and make food so they can all be self-sufficient when they finally make their break.

Burned-out teachers and their father’s badly timed workplace accident send Cerulean reeling off course, but Bronx babies are resiliant and resourceful, and Salt the Water is ultimately a radically hopeful vision of life beyond mere survival.


Click for more detail about Zora, the Story Keeper by Ebony Joy Wilkins Zora, the Story Keeper

by Ebony Joy Wilkins
Kokila (Oct 03, 2023)
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A young Black girl and her aunt celebrate the wonder and magic of their family’s legacy through storytelling.

When Zora grows up, she wants to be just like Aunt Bea. Aunt Bea is the best storyteller she knows! Every day after school, Zora heads to her aunt’s house, where they take out their family book and turn Aunt Bea’s kitchen into their stage. They raid Aunt Bea’s costume chest, filled with colorful garments from her acting days, and even do special voices to tell the stories of swimming coaches, Sunday preachers, World War II pilots, and more—all real members of their family. Zora can’t wait to find out what her story will be. As the days pass, Zora notices something’s happening to Aunt Bea. She gets tired more quickly, and sometimes she needs Zora to tell the stories instead. Zora never imagined that Aunt Bea’s tales would ever stop, but in addition to creating lots of joy and a lifetime of memories, Aunt Bea had been working on her greatest gift of all: preparing Zora to become the story keeper.

Lyrically told by Dr. Ebony Joy Wilkins and exquisitely rendered with mixed-media illustrations by Dare Coulter, Zora, the Story Keeper captures the richness and scope of Black American life through the lens of one family across generations.


Click for more detail about See You on the Other Side by Rachel Montez Minor See You on the Other Side

by Rachel Montez Minor
Crown Books for Young Readers (Sep 26, 2023)
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This lyrical picture book from actress, dancer, and singer Rachel Montez Minor is a beautiful ode to those we’ve lost and a reassurance that we will carry their love with us forever.

This is not goodbye, sweet child.
I’ll see you on the other side… .

Simple, rhyming text and evocative illustrations offer comfort to children who may be grieving or coming to terms with the idea of loss. The universal message tells us that no one leaves us forever, and just because we can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there, for their love will always stay with us.


Click for more detail about Something, Someday by Amanda Gorman Something, Someday

by Amanda Gorman
Viking Books for Young Readers (Sep 26, 2023)
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The stunning new picture book by presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman and Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator Christian Robinson

You’re told that
This won’t work,
But how will you know
If you never try?

Presidential inaugural poet and #1 New York Times bestselling author Amanda Gorman and Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Honor winner Christian Robinson have created a timeless message of hope.

Sometimes the world feels broken. And problems seem too big to fix. But somehow, we all have the power to make a difference. With a little faith, and maybe the help of a friend, together we can find beauty and create change.

With intimate and inspiring text and powerfully stunning illustrations, Something, Someday reveals how even the smallest gesture can have a lasting impact.


Click for more detail about The Unsettled by Ayana Mathis The Unsettled

by Ayana Mathis
Knopf Publishing Group (Sep 26, 2023)
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From the best-selling author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, a searing multi-generational novel—set in the 1980s in racially and politically turbulent Philadelphia and in the tiny town of Bonaparte, Alabama—about a mother fighting for her sanity and survival

"[A] powerful book." —Marilynne Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gilead

From the moment Ava Carson and her ten-year-old son, Toussaint, arrive at the Glenn Avenue family shelter in Philadelphia 1985, Ava is already plotting a way out. She is repulsed by the shelter’s squalid conditions: their cockroach-infested room, the barely edible food, and the shifty night security guard. She is determined to rescue her son from the perils and indignities of that place, and to save herself from the complicated past that led them there.

Ava has been estranged from her own mother, Dutchess, since she left her Alabama home as a young woman barely out of her teens. Despite their estrangement and the thousand miles between them, mother and daughter are deeply entwined, but Ava can’t forgive her sharp-tounged, larger than life mother whose intractability and bouts of debilitating despair brought young Ava to the outer reaches of neglect and hunger.

Ava wants to love her son differently, better. But when Toussaint’s father, Cass, reappears, she is swept off course by his charisma, and the intoxicating power of his radical vision to destroy systems of racial injustice and bring about a bold new way of communal living.

Meanwhile, in Alabama, Dutchess struggles to keep Bonaparte, once a beacon of Black freedom and self-determination, in the hands of its last five Black residents—families whose lives have been rooted in this stretch of land for generations—and away from rapidly encroaching white developers. She fights against the erasure of Bonaparte’s venerable history and the loss of the land itself, which she has so arduously preserved as Ava’s inheritance.

As Ava becomes more enmeshed with Cass, Toussaint senses the danger simmering all around him—his well-intentioned but erratic mother; the intense, volatile figure of his father who drives his fledgling Philadelphia community toward ever increasing violence and instability. He begins to dream of Dutchess and Bonaparte, his home and birthright, if only he can find his way there.

Brilliant, explosive, vitally important new work from one of America’s most fiercely talented storytellers.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Harlem at Four by Michael Datcher Harlem at Four

by Michael Datcher
Random House Studio (Sep 19, 2023)
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A stunning picture book comprised of two incredible stories— the first part of the book chronicles the adventures of a four-year-old Black girl named Harlem, while the second part describes the history of Harlem the neighborhood. From a New York Times Bestselling author and a critically acclaimed illustrator.

In this beautiful picture book in two parts, meet Harlem: the girl and the neighborhood. Part one follows the adventures of a little girl named Harlem and her single father as they go on a museum “playdate” with painters Romare Bearden and Jean-Michel Basquiat, listen to John Coltrane records, and conduct science experiments in their apartment ("The volcano erupts /Red lava on Valentine’s Day!").

Part two takes us back to the fourth year of the twentieth century in Harlem the neighborhood. Here, we are introduced to Philip A. Payton Jr., aka “Papa Payton,” whose Afro-American Realty Company gave birth to the Black housing explosion, helping to start America’s Great Black Migration. Because of Papa Peyton, Black families—like Harlem and her father a century later—could move to Harlem and thrive and flourish.

This is a completely unique, absolutely gorgeous picture book by a New York Times Bestselling author, and a Coretta Scott King-winning illustrator, that weaves together the lives of a modern Black family and a historically Black neighborhood in New York City.


Click for more detail about Slavery and the African American Story by Patricia Williams Dockery Slavery and the African American Story

by Patricia Williams Dockery
Crown Books for Young Readers (Sep 12, 2023)
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Until now, you’ve only heard one side of the story: how slavery began, and how America split itself in two to end it. Here’s the true story of America from the African American perspective.

From the moment Africans were first brought to the shores of the United States, they had a hand in shaping the country. Their labor created a strong economy, built our halls of government, and defined American society in profound ways. And though the Emancipation Proclamation wasn’t signed until 300 years after the first Africans arrived, the fight for freedom started the moment they set foot on American soil.

This book contains the true narrative of the first 300 years of Africans in America: the struggles, the heroes, and the untold stories that are left out of textbooks. If you want to learn the truth about African American history in this country, start here.


Click for more detail about Build the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier by Oprah Winfrey and Arthur C. Brooks Build the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier

by Oprah Winfrey and Arthur C. Brooks
Portfolio (Sep 12, 2023)
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You can get happier. And getting there will be the adventure of your lifetime.

Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller

In Build the Life You Want, Arthur C. Brooks and Oprah Winfrey invite you to begin a journey toward greater happiness no matter how challenging your circumstances. Drawing on cutting-edge science and their years of helping people translate ideas into action, they show you how to improve your life right now instead of waiting for the outside world to change.

With insight, compassion, and hope, Brooks and Winfrey reveal how the tools of emotional self-management can change your life—immediately. They recommend practical, research-based practices to build the four pillars of happiness: Family, Friendship, Work, and Faith. And along the way, they share hard-earned wisdom from their own lives and careers as well as the witness of regular people whose lives are joyful despite setbacks and hardship.

Equipped with the tools of emotional self-management and ready to build your four pillars, you can take control of your present and future rather than hoping and waiting for your circumstances to improve. Build the Life You Want is your blueprint for a better life.


Click for more detail about The Fraud by Zadie Smith The Fraud

by Zadie Smith
Penguin Press (Sep 05, 2023)
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From acclaimed and bestselling novelist Zadie Smith, a kaleidoscopic work of historical fiction set against the legal trial that divided Victorian England, about who deserves to tell their story—and who deserves to be believed

It is 1873. Mrs. Eliza Touchet is the Scottish housekeeper—and cousin by marriage—of a once-famous novelist, now in decline, William Ainsworth, with whom she has lived for thirty years.

Mrs. Touchet is a woman of many interests: literature, justice, abolitionism, class, her cousin, his wives, this life and the next. But she is also sceptical. She suspects her cousin of having no talent; his successful friend, Mr. Charles Dickens, of being a bully and a moralist; and England of being a land of facades, in which nothing is quite what it seems.

Andrew Bogle, meanwhile, grew up enslaved on the Hope Plantation, Jamaica. He knows every lump of sugar comes at a human cost. That the rich deceive the poor. And that people are more easily manipulated than they realize. When Bogle finds himself in London, star witness in a celebrated case of imposture, he knows his future depends on telling the right story.

The “Tichborne Trial”—wherein a lower-class butcher from Australia claimed he was in fact the rightful heir of a sizable estate and title—captivates Mrs. Touchet and all of England. Is Sir Roger Tichborne really who he says he is? Or is he a fraud? Mrs. Touchet is a woman of the world. Mr. Bogle is no fool. But in a world of hypocrisy and self-deception, deciding what is real proves a complicated task… .

Based on real historical events, The Fraud is a dazzling novel about truth and fiction, Jamaica and Britain, fraudulence and authenticity and the mystery of “other people.”


Click for more detail about The Art of Desire by Stacey Abrams aka Selena Montgomery The Art of Desire

by Stacey Abrams aka Selena Montgomery
Berkley Books (Sep 05, 2023)
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Trouble comes in threes…
One doomed love affair after another has made lovely Alex Walton swear off men. Now, she’s determined to try something that maybe she can succeed at: a writing career. Little does she know that a chance meeting with a strikingly handsome stranger, a mysterious obelisk, and a lost kingdom will change her life forever. As Alex is about to discover, truth can be stranger—and far more dangerous—than fiction.

…but true love comes only once.
After three years inside a terrorist organization, Phillip Turman is trying to rebuild his life. His first assignment is to pick up Alex Walton, the maid of honor for his best friend’s wedding, at the airport. His second is to deal with his instant attraction to her. But his third may be the toughest: to keep Alex out of danger as his past—and her need to know about it—threaten to destroy their future.


Click for more detail about The Artivist by Nikkolas Smith The Artivist

by Nikkolas Smith
Kokila (Sep 05, 2023)
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An inspiring picture book about how children can combine art and activism in their daily lives.

“They say I’m an artist. They say I’m an activist.”

When a young boy realizes the scope of inequities in the wider world, he’s seized with the urge to do more. He decides to bring together the different parts of himself—the artist and the activist—to become… an Artivist. After his mural goes viral, he sets out to change the world one painting at a time.

With inspiring text and stunning illustrations by Nikkolas Smith, The Artivist is a call to action for young readers to point out injustice in their lives and try to heal the broken bones of the world through their art.


Click for more detail about Hair Love ABCs by Matthew A. Cherry Hair Love ABCs

by Matthew A. Cherry
Penguin Young Readers Group (Aug 29, 2023)
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An alphabet board book inspired by the bestselling Hair Love with new spot illustrations and text from the original award-winning author and illustrator duo—and perfect for baby gift baskets.

A is for Afro, N is for Natural, and W is for Waves. Letter by letter, follow Zuri and her father in their joy-filled journey through the kinks and curls of Black hair.

This 7x7 board book is perfect as a baby gift, for existing fans of Hair Love, young readers embracing their natural hair, and toddlers learning their ABCs!


Click for more detail about Harlem After Midnight by Louise Hare Harlem After Midnight

by Louise Hare
Berkley Books (Aug 29, 2023)
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Named a Must Read by EbonyBoston HeraldBook RiotBookishMinneapolis Star-Tribune and more!

A body falls from a town house window in Harlem, and it looks just like the newest singer at the Apollo…in this evocative, twisting new novel from the author of Miss Aldridge Regrets.

Harlem, 1936: Lena Aldridge grew up in a cramped corner of London, hearing stories of the bright lights of Broadway. She always imagined that when she finally went to New York City, she’d be there with her father. But now he’s dead, and she’s newly arrived and alone, chasing a dream that has quickly dried up. When Will Goodman—the handsome musician she met on the crossing from England—offers for her to stay with his friends in Harlem, she agrees. She has nowhere else to go, and this will give her a chance to get to know Will better and see if she can find any trace of the family she might have remaining.

Will’s friends welcome her with open arms, but just as Lena discovers the stories her father once told her were missing giant pieces of information, she also starts to realize the man she’s falling too fast and too hard for has secrets of his own. And they might just place a target on her back. Especially when she is drawn to the brightest stage in town.


Click for more detail about Track Star #4 by Kelly Starling Lyons Track Star #4

by Kelly Starling Lyons
Penguin Workshop (Aug 29, 2023)
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From the award-winning author of the Jada Jones chapter books comes an illustrated spinoff series perfect for STEM fans!

The annual Fun Run is coming up at Brookside Elementary! The students will all run laps around the carpool lane, and Miles Lewis wants to be one of the top five runners. Even though he zooms through sprints, he runs out of gas for long distance, so he creates a nutrition and exercise regimen to boost his endurance. But on the big day, he witnesses one kid struggling to keep going. Should Miles keep pressing for his personal best, or should he lend support to help a friend? In the end, Miles must decide what winning really means to him.


Click for more detail about All You Have to Do by Autumn Allen All You Have to Do

by Autumn Allen
Kokila (Aug 29, 2023)
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Powerful, thought-provoking, and heartfelt, this debut YA novel by author Autumn Allen is a gripping look at what it takes (and takes and takes) for two Black students to succeed in prestigious academic institutions in America.

In All You Have to Do, two Black young men attend prestigious schools nearly thirty years apart, and yet both navigate similar forms of insidious racism.

In April 1968, in the wake of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, Kevin joins a protest that shuts down his Ivy League campus…

In September 1995, amidst controversy over the Million Man March, Gibran challenges the "See No Color" hypocrisy of his prestigious New England prep school…

As the two students, whose lives overlap in powerful ways, risk losing the opportunities their parents worked hard to provide, they move closer to discovering who they want to be instead of accepting as fact who society and family tell them they are.


Click for more detail about Holler, Child: Stories by LaToya Watkins Holler, Child: Stories

by LaToya Watkins
Penguin Publishing Group (Aug 29, 2023)
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An extraordinary and unforgettable short story collection about community, home, betrayal, and forgiveness—from a writer whose “spellbinding, buoyant”* storytelling will break your heart as it tends to the wounds. *Texas Monthly

In Holler, Child’s eleven brilliant stories, LaToya Watkins presses at the bruises of guilt, love, and circumstance. Each story introduces us to a character irrevocably shaped by place and reaching toward something—hope, reconciliation, freedom.

In “Cutting Horse,” the appearance of a horse in a man’s suburban backyard places a former horse breeder in trouble with the police. In “Holler, Child,” a mother is forced into an impossible position when her son gets in a kind of trouble she knows too well from the other side. And “Time After” shows us the unshakable bonds of family as a sister journeys to find her estranged brother—the one who saved her many times over.

Throughout Holler, Child, we see love lost and gained, and grief turned to hope. Much like LaToya Watkins’s acclaimed debut novel, Perish, this collection peers deeply into lives of women and men experiencing intimate and magnificent reckonings—exploring how race, power, and inequality map on the individual, and demonstrating the mythic proportions of everyday life.


Click for more detail about Forgive Me Not by Jennifer Baker Forgive Me Not

by Jennifer Baker
Nancy Paulsen Books (Aug 15, 2023)
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In this near-future searing indictment of the juvenile justice system, one incarcerated teen weighs what she is willing to endure for forgiveness.

All it took was one night and one bad decision for fifteen-year-old Violetta Chen-Samuels’ life to go off the rails. After driving drunk and causing the accident that kills her little sister, Violetta is incarcerated. Under the juvenile justice system, her fate lies in the hands of those she’s wronged—her family. With their forgiveness, she could go home. But without it? Well …

Denied their forgiveness, Violetta is now left with two options, neither good—remain in juvenile detention for an uncertain sentence or participate in the Trials. The Trials are no easy feat, but if she succeeds, she could regain both her freedom and what she wants most of all: her family’s love. In her quest to prove her remorse, Violetta is forced to confront not only her family’s grief, but her own—and the question of whether their forgiveness is more important than forgiving herself.


Click for more detail about The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store

by James McBride
Riverhead Books (Aug 08, 2023)
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“McBride’s pages burst with life… This endlessly rich saga highlights the different ways in which people look out for one another.&rdquo —Publishers Weekly (STARRED REVIEW)

“The interlocking destinies of [McBride’s] characters make for tense, absorbing drama and, at times, warm, humane comedy. … If it’s possible for America to have a poet laureate, why can’t James McBride be its storyteller-in-chief?” —Kirkus Reviews (STARRED REVIEW)

“Funny, tender, knockabout, gritty, and suspenseful, McBride’s microcosmic, socially critiquing, and empathic novel dynamically celebrates difference, kindness, ingenuity, and the force that compels us to move heaven and earth to help each other.” —Booklist (STARRED REVIEW)

From James McBride, author of the bestselling Oprah’s Book Club pick Deacon King Kong and the National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird, a novel about small-town secrets and the people who keep them

In 1972, when workers in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, were digging the foundations for a new development, the last thing they expected to find was a skeleton at the bottom of a well. Who the skeleton was and how it got there were two of the long-held secrets kept by the residents of Chicken Hill, the dilapidated neighborhood where immigrant Jews and African Americans lived side by side and shared ambitions and sorrows. Chicken Hill was where Moshe and Chona Ludlow lived when Moshe integrated his theater and where Chona ran the Heaven & Earth Grocery Store. When the state came looking for a deaf boy to institutionalize him, it was Chona and Nate Timblin, the Black janitor at Moshe’s theater and the unofficial leader of the Black community on Chicken Hill, who worked together to keep the boy safe.

As these characters’ stories overlap and deepen, it becomes clear how much the people who live on the margins of white, Christian America struggle and what they must do to survive. When the truth is finally revealed about what happened on Chicken Hill and the part the town’s white establishment played in it, McBride shows us that even in dark times, it is love and community—heaven and earth—that sustain us.

Bringing his masterly storytelling skills and his deep faith in humanity to The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store, James McBride has written a novel as compassionate as Deacon King Kong and as inventive as The Good Lord Bird.


Click for more detail about Las Madres by Esmeralda Santiago Las Madres

by Esmeralda Santiago
Knopf Publishing Group (Aug 01, 2023)
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From the award-winning, best-selling author of When I Was Puerto Rican, a powerful novel of family, race, faith, sex, and disaster that moves between Puerto Rico and the Bronx, revealing the lives and loves of five women and the secret that binds them together.

They refer to themselves as "las Madres," a close-knit group of women who, with their daughters, have created a family based on friendship and blood ties. Their story begins in Puerto Rico in 1975 when fifteen-year-old Luz, the tallest girl in her dance academy and the only Black one in a sea of petite, light-skinned, delicate swans, is seriously injured in a car accident. Tragically, her brilliant, multilingual scientist parents are both killed in the crash. Now orphaned, Luz navigates the pressures of adolescence and copes with the aftershock of a brain injury when two new friends enter her life, Ada and Shirley. Luz’s days are consumed with aches and pains, and her memory of the accident is wiped clean, but she suffers spells that send her mind to times and places she can’t share with others.

In 2017, in the Bronx, Luz’s adult daughter, Marysol, wishes she better understood her. But how can she when her mother barely remembers her own life? To help, Ada and Shirley’s daughter, Graciela, suggests a vacation in Puerto Rico for the extended group, as an opportunity for Luz to unearth long-buried memories and for Marysol to learn more about her mother’s early life. But despite all their careful planning, two hurricanes, back-to-back, disrupt their homecoming, and a secret is revealed that blows their lives wide open. In a voice that sings with warmth, humor, friendship, and pride, celebrated author Esmeralda Santiago unspools a story of women’s sexuality, shame, disability, and love within a community rocked by disaster.


Click for more detail about So to Speak by Terrance Hayes So to Speak

by Terrance Hayes
Penguin Books (Jul 25, 2023)
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A powerful, timely, dazzling new collection of poems from the National Book Award–winning author of Lighthead

Since the publication of his first collection, Muscular Music, in 1999, Terrance Hayes has been one of America’s most exciting and innovative poets, winning acclaim for sly, twisting, jazzy poems that put “invincibly restless wordplay at the service of strong emotions” (The New York Times Book Review).

A tree frog sings to overcome its fear of birds, talking cats tell jokes in the Jim Crow South, and a father addresses his daughter in the lyric fables, folk sonnets, quarantine quatrains, and ekphrastic do-it-yourself sestinas of So to Speak, Hayes’s seventh collection. Bob Ross paints your portrait, green beans bling in the mouth of Lil Wayne, and elegies for the late David Berman and George Floyd unfold amid the pandemic. These wondrous poems are lyric germinations of the often-incomprehensible predicaments of the present, as Hayes shapes language into figures of music and music into figures of language.


Click for more detail about Watch Your Language: Visual and Literary Reflections on a Century of American Poetry by Terrance Hayes Watch Your Language: Visual and Literary Reflections on a Century of American Poetry

by Terrance Hayes
Penguin Books (Jul 25, 2023)
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From the National Book Award–winning author of Lighthead, a fascinating collection of graphic reviews, illustrated prose, and visualized poetics addressing the last century of American poetry

Over the last twenty-five years, Terrance Hayes has become one of our most exciting and innovative poets. He has also emerged as a perceptive and groundbreaking chronicler of contemporary poetry, with critical work appearing in publications ranging from Boston Review to The Baffler. His 2018 book on the poet Etheridge Knight, To Float in the Space Between, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism.

This collection of illustrated critical pieces maps Hayes’s personal, lyrical imagining of poetry, deconstructs the traditional book review, and argues that drawing can and should be as multidimensional and hybrid-minded as poetry making. It includes pieces about basketball and poetry; an essay that relates Gwendolyn Brooks to Toi Derricotte; an introduction to the work of Wanda Coleman; a book review and epistolary prose-poem hybrid titled “Letter to Yusef”; illustrated “card deck prose poem” pieces, including an homage to the poet Tim Seibles; selections from an illustrated biographical dictionary of poets of the past hundred years; and a suite of graphic sonnets. It closes with “Questions for Reflection on a Century of American Poetry,” Hayes’s Academy of American Poets Blaney Lecture on contemporary poetry and poetics.

These astonishing essays, illustrated by Hayes himself, establish the roots of his own poetic influences and reconstruct modes of poetic engagement, demonstrating what makes a poem both move and be moving and illustrating how drawing itself can be a kind of critical, poetic discourse.


Click for more detail about Still We Rise: A Love Letter to the Southern Biscuit with Over 70 Sweet and Savory Recipes by Erika Council Still We Rise: A Love Letter to the Southern Biscuit with Over 70 Sweet and Savory Recipes

by Erika Council
Clarkson Potter (Jul 25, 2023)
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A love letter to the Southern biscuit, honoring its place in Black culinary culture and beyond with over 70 delicious recipes.

images from Still We Rise: A Love Letter to the Southern Biscuit with Over 70 Sweet and Savory Recipes by Erika Council

Still We Rise is a tribute to the glories of flour, butter, and buttermilk baked tall, tender, and flaky. Erika Council is the founder and head baker of the renowned Bomb Biscuit Company in Atlanta, Georgia. The granddaughter of legendary soul food chef Mildred (Mama Dip) Council and a teacher and activist who cooked and baked to support the civil rights movement, Erika knows all about the power of the persistent biscuit.

Here, Erika has perfected traditional biscuit types alongside inventive new creations. Her recipes connect readers to stories of the family, friends, and Southern culinary icons who instilled in her a love of baking.

Through over 70 unique recipes for biscuits, spreads, sandwiches, and a convenient home biscuit mix that will have you whipping up fluffy biscuits and bis-cakes in minutes, Erika takes us on a journey through Black excellence, resilience, and heritage in the American South. Step into her world and enjoy her classic Bomb Buttermilk Biscuit, the lightest Angel Biscuits, and new favorites like Corn Milk Biscuits, Everything "Bagel" Biscuits, Hominy Honey Butter, and the Glori-Fried Chicken Biscuit Sandwich, (plus a mind-blowing Cinnamon Sugar and Pecan Biscuit).


Click for more detail about Crook Manifesto by Colson Whitehead Crook Manifesto

by Colson Whitehead
Doubleday Books (Jul 18, 2023)
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Two-time Pulitzer Prize winning Colson Whitehead continues his Harlem saga in a powerful and hugely-entertaining novel that summons 1970s New York in all its seedy glory.

It’s 1971. Trash piles up on the streets, crime is at an all-time high, the city is careening towards bankruptcy, and a shooting war has broken out between the NYPD and the Black Liberation Army. Amidst this collective nervous breakdown furniture store owner and ex-fence Ray Carney tries to keep his head down and his business thriving. His days moving stolen goods around the city are over. It’s strictly the straight-and-narrow for him — until he needs Jackson 5 tickets for his daughter May and he decides to hit up his old police contact Munson, fixer extraordinaire. But Munson has his own favors to ask of Carney and staying out of the game gets a lot more complicated – and deadly.

1973. The counter-culture has created a new generation, the old ways are being overthrown, but there is one constant, Pepper, Carney’s endearingly violent partner in crime. It’s getting harder to put together a reliable crew for hijackings, heists, and assorted felonies, so Pepper takes on a side gig doing security on a Blaxploitation shoot in Harlem. He finds himself in a freaky world of Hollywood stars, up-and-coming comedians, and celebrity drug dealers, in addition to the usual cast of hustlers, mobsters, and hitmen. These adversaries underestimate the seasoned crook – to their regret.

1976. Harlem is burning, block by block, while the whole country is gearing up for Bicentennial celebrations. Carney is trying to come up with a July 4th ad he can live with. ("Two Hundred Years of Getting Away with It!"), while his wife Elizabeth is campaigning for her childhood friend, the former assistant D.A and rising politician Alexander Oakes. When a fire severely injures one of Carney’s tenants, he enlists Pepper to look into who may be behind it. Our crooked duo have to battle their way through a crumbling metropolis run by the shady, the violent, and the utterly corrupted.

Crook Manifesto is a darkly funny tale of a city under siege, but also a sneakily searching portrait of the meaning of family. Colson Whitehead’s kaleidoscopic portrait of Harlem is sure to stand as one of the all-time great evocations of a place and a time.


Click for more detail about Promise by Rachel Eliza Griffiths Promise

by Rachel Eliza Griffiths
Random House (Jul 11, 2023)
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Two Black sisters growing up in small-town New England fight to protect their home, their bodies, and their dreams as the Civil Rights Movement sweeps the nation in this “magical, magnificent novel that amounts to a secret history of an America we think we know but never really knew” (Marlon James).

The people of Salt Point could indeed be fearful about the world beyond themselves; most of them would be born and die without ever having gone more than twenty or thirty miles from houses that were crammed with generations of their families… . But something was shifting at the end of summer 1957.

The Kindred sisters—Ezra and Cinthy—have grown up with an abundance of love. Love from their parents, who let them believe that the stories they tell on stars can come true. Love from their neighbors, the Junketts, the only other Black family in town, whose home is filled with spice-rubbed ribs and ground-shaking hugs. And love for their adopted hometown of Salt Point, a beautiful Maine village perched high up on coastal bluffs.

But as the girls hit adolescence, their white neighbors, including Ezra’s best friend, Ruby, start to see their maturing bodies and minds in a different way. And as the news from distant parts of the country fills with calls for freedom, equality, and justice for Black Americans, the white villagers of Salt Point begin to view the Kindreds and the Junketts as threats to their way of life. Amid escalating violence, prejudice, and fear, bold Ezra and watchful Cinthy must reach deep inside the wells of love they’ve built to commit great acts of heroism and grace on the path to survival.

In luminous, richly descriptive writing, Promise celebrates one family’s story of resistance. It’s a book that will break your heart—and then rebuild it with courage, hope, and love.


Click for more detail about Once in a Blue Moon by Sharon G. Flake Once in a Blue Moon

by Sharon G. Flake
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers (Jul 11, 2023)
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From the three-time Coretta Scott King Honor winner of The Skin I’m In comes the poignant story in verse about a young boy’s journey from guilt to acceptance to healing.

James Henry hasn’t been the same since that fateful night at the lighthouse when his momma went into the sea. Now months later, he is barely able to leave the house without having a panic attack, and talking to people, well, that’s just too hard. His feisty twin sister Hattie intervenes on his behalf again and again—protecting him from neighborhood bullies and an uncle who just wants him to snap out of it.

But it’s 1939, and without a local doctor to help, there’s only so much rallying Hattie can do. Finding a way back into his own life will mean confronting the truth about what happened at the lighthouse—a step James Henry isn’t sure he can take. Until a blue moon is forecast, and as Gran has said, everything is possible under a rare blue moon…

Told in verse, this is a beautiful and ultimately uplifting story of family, healing, and redemption.


Click for more detail about When Crack Was King: A People’s History of a Misunderstood Era by Donovan X. Ramsey When Crack Was King: A People’s History of a Misunderstood Era

by Donovan X. Ramsey
One World (Jul 11, 2023)
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“A poignant and compelling re-examination of a tragic era in America history … insightful … and deeply moving.”Bryan Stevenson, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Just Mercy

The crack epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s is arguably the least examined crisis in American history. Beginning with the myths inspired by Reagan’s war on drugs, journalist Donovan X. Ramsey’s exacting analysis traces the path from the last triumphs of the Civil Rights Movement to the devastating realities we live with today: a racist criminal justice system, continued mass incarceration and gentrification, and increased police brutality.

When Crack Was King follows four individuals to give us a startling portrait of crack’s destruction and devastating legacy: Elgin Swift, an archetype of American industry and ambition and the son of a crack-addicted father who turned their home into a "crack house"; Lennie Woodley, a former crack addict and sex worker; Kurt Schmoke, the longtime mayor of Baltimore and an early advocate of decriminalization; and Shawn McCray, community activist, basketball prodigy, and a founding member of the Zoo Crew, Newark’s most legendary group of drug traffickers.

Weaving together riveting research with the voices of survivors, When Crack Was King is a crucial reevaluation of the era and a powerful argument for providing historically violated communities with the resources they deserve.


Click for more detail about Like Lava in My Veins by Derrick Barnes Like Lava in My Veins

by Derrick Barnes
Nancy Paulsen Books (Jul 04, 2023)
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A super-cool graphic picture book about a boy learning how to control his temper, by bestselling author Derrick Barnes.

Bobby Beacon’s got fire flowing through his veins. And now he’s psyched to attend a new school that’ll help him get a better grip on his powers. But right off the bat, his new teacher is not too welcoming. That causes Bobby’s hot temper to land him in the principal’s office. It ain’t easy to stay calm when people don’t seem to understand you and are always pushing you to the edge. Good thing Bobby gets moved to a class with an understanding teacher who clues him in on ways to calm himself and shows him that caring for others is its own kind of superpower. With her help—and some cool new friends—he just might be on his way to becoming the best version of himself possible.


Click for more detail about Invisible Son by Kim Johnson Invisible Son

by Kim Johnson
Random House (Jun 27, 2023)
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From the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of This Is My America comes another thriller about a wrongly accused teen desperate to reclaim both his innocence and his first love.

Life can change in an instant.

  • When you’re wrongfully accused of a crime.
  • When a virus shuts everything down.
  • When the girl you love moves on.

Andre Jackson is determined to reclaim his identity. But returning from juvie doesn’t feel like coming home. His Portland, Oregon, neighborhood is rapidly gentrifying, and COVID-19 shuts down school before he can return. And Andre’s suspicions about his arrest for a crime he didn’t commit even taint his friendships. It’s as if his whole life has been erased.

The one thing Andre is counting on is his relationship with the Whitaker kids—especially his longtime crush, Sierra. But Sierra’s brother Eric is missing, and the facts don’t add up as their adoptive parents fight to keep up the act that their racially diverse family is picture-perfect. If Andre can find Eric, he just might uncover the truth about his own arrest. But in a world where power is held by a few and Andre is nearly invisible, searching for the truth is a dangerous game.

Critically acclaimed author Kim Johnson delivers another social justice thriller that shines a light on being young and Black in America—perfect for fans of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and Dear Justyce by Nic Stone.


Click for more detail about The First Ladies by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray The First Ladies

by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray
Berkley Books (Jun 27, 2023)
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A novel about the extraordinary partnership between First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune—a forbidden friendship that changed the world, from the New York Times bestselling authors of The Personal Librarian.

The daughter of formerly enslaved parents, Mary McLeod Bethune refuses to back down as white supremacists attempt to thwart her work. She marches on as an activist and an educator, and as her reputation grows she becomes a celebrity, revered by titans of business and recognized by U.S. Presidents. Eleanor Roosevelt herself is awestruck and eager to make her acquaintance. Initially drawn together because of their shared belief in women’s rights and the power of education, Mary and Eleanor become fast friends confiding their secrets, hopes and dreams—and holding each other’s hands through personal and professional strife.

When Franklin Delano Roosevelt is elected president, the two women begin to collaborate more closely, particularly as Eleanor moves toward her own agenda separate from FDR, a consequence of the devastating discovery of her husband’s secret love affair. Eleanor becomes a controversial First Lady for her outspokenness, particularly on civil rights. And when she receives threats because of her strong ties to Mary, it only fuels the women’s desire to fight together for justice and equality.

This is the story of two different, yet equally formidable, passionate, and committed women, and the way in which their singular friendship helped form the foundation for the modern civil rights movement.


Click for more detail about Sam with Ants in His Pants by April Reynolds Sam with Ants in His Pants

by April Reynolds
Anne Schwartz Books (Jun 20, 2023)
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This ferociously fun read-aloud—perfect for bedtime or anytime—begins with a can’t-settle-down boy who spends his naptime with wild animals that have leapt off the pages of his favorite book, and ends with a sleepy boy all played out!

Sam is not ready for naptime. Momma says he has ants in his pants and that he must calm down, but Sam says "NOOOOOO!" and flies off to his bedroom. He flips open his favorite book—African Wildlife—and out jumps a herd of gazelles…followed by a pride of lions…and then a zeal of zebras. And that’s just the beginning! How can Sam ever be expected to take a nap?!

Amidst all the jumping and stalking and striding and prowling comes a sound louder than any other— GRROOWWL! It’s Sam’s tummy, and it scares those ants right out of his pants. It must be time for a snack. But after such a wild day, how can Sam ever be expected to stay awake?!


Click for more detail about The Cherokee Rose: A Novel of Gardens and Ghosts by Tiya Miles The Cherokee Rose: A Novel of Gardens and Ghosts

by Tiya Miles
Random House (Jun 13, 2023)
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Three women uncover the secrets of a Georgia plantation that embodies the intertwined histories of Indigenous and enslaved Black communities—the fascinating debut novel, inspired by a true story, of the National Book Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of All That She Carried, now featuring a new introduction.

“Poignant and essential storytelling.”—Jason Mott, National Book Award–winning author of Hell of a Book

LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD FINALIST

When one of her regular readers takes issue with her weekly history column, Jinx Micco, a free-spirited Muscogee (Creek) tribal historian, can’t get the criticism out of her head. Soon she finds herself on the road from Oklahoma to the Hold House, a nineteenth-century plantation home in Georgia originally owned by the Cherokee Chief James Hold, to track down the long-forgotten mystery of what happened to a tribal member who stayed behind after the United States instituted a policy of Indian Removal.

There, she meets Ruth, visiting the plantation on a magazine assignment, and Cheyenne, a Southern Black debutante seeking to connect with her family’s history by purchasing the whole estate. Hovering above them all is the spirit of the long-gone Mary Ann Battis, a young woman suspected of burning a mission to the ground and then disappearing from tribal records. As Jinx and Ruth are drawn closer together, they challenge Cheyenne to look more deeply at the home she has purchased, and when they discover a diary left on the property by a Moravian missionary that reveals the house’s dark history, the three women’s personal connections and resonances with the place grow deeper. Cheyenne is forced to reconsider whether she is the only rightful owner of the property, Jinx reexamines her assumptions about her tribe’s racial history after learning Mary Ann’s story, and the pain of the past leads Ruth to confront her own family’s traumas and then surprise herself by falling into a new romance.

Imbued with a deeply nuanced understanding of the intertwined histories of Indigenous and African Americans and an underappreciated aspect of Southern history, The Cherokee Rose brings the past beautifully to life as Jinx, Ruth, and Cheyenne discover truths and unravel mysteries with powerful consequences for them all.


Click for more detail about Ready? Set. Rides! (Raymond and Roxy) by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson Ready? Set. Rides! (Raymond and Roxy)

by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
Random House Books for Young Readers (Jun 13, 2023)
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It’s the last day of school! Raymond and his friend Roxy are excited to spend their first day of summer vacation at an amusement park! This Step 2 reader captures all the excitement and anticipation!

Raymond and Roxy are going to Wild World Park! They try all sorts of rides. But Raymond loves speed and pony rides aren’t fast enough. He tries the Wild Cat Racer but it’s still not fast enough. Will Raymond be able to find the perfect ride before the day is over?

Twenty years after Ready? Set. Raymond! was published, Vaunda Nelson and Derek Anderson continue the adventures of Raymond and Roxy.

Step 2 Readers use basic vocabulary and short sentences to tell simple stories. They are perfect for children who recognize familiar words and can sound out new words with help.


Click for more detail about We Refuse to Forget: A True Story of Black Creeks, American Identity, and Power by Caleb Gayle We Refuse to Forget: A True Story of Black Creeks, American Identity, and Power

by Caleb Gayle
Riverhead Books (Jun 06, 2023)
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"An important part of American history told with a clear-eyed and forceful brilliance." —National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson

"We Refuse to Forget reminds readers, on damn near every page, that we are collectively experiencing a brilliance we’ve seldom seen or imagined…We Refuse to Forget is a new standard in book-making." —Kiese Laymon, author of the bestselling Heavy: An American Memoir

A landmark work of untold American history that reshapes our understanding of identity, race, and belonging

In We Refuse to Forget, award-winning journalist Caleb Gayle tells the extraordinary story of the Creek Nation, a Native tribe that two centuries ago both owned slaves and accepted Black people as full citizens. Thanks to the efforts of Creek leaders like Cow Tom, a Black Creek citizen who rose to become chief, the U.S. government recognized Creek citizenship in 1866 for its Black members. Yet this equality was shredded in the 1970s when tribal leaders revoked the citizenship of Black Creeks, even those who could trace their history back generations—even to Cow Tom himself.

Why did this happen? How was the U.S. government involved? And what are Cow Tom’s descendants and other Black Creeks doing to regain their citizenship? These are some of the questions that Gayle explores in this provocative examination of racial and ethnic identity. By delving into the history and interviewing Black Creeks who are fighting to have their citizenship reinstated, he lays bare the racism and greed at the heart of this story. We Refuse to Forget is an eye-opening account that challenges our preconceptions of identity as it shines new light on the long shadows of white supremacy and marginalization that continue to hamper progress for Black Americans.


Click for more detail about This Train Is Bound for Glory by Alice Faye Duncan This Train Is Bound for Glory

by Alice Faye Duncan
WaterBrook Press (Jun 06, 2023)
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All aboard! Rooted in the tradition of an African American spiritual, this mesmerizing picture book takes readers on a cosmic journey to heaven, celebrating the diversity of life at every stop along the way.

The vivid illustrations and snappy text in This Train Is Bound for Glory bring the Glory Train to life as it welcomes singing passengers. The excitement is palpable as the train clicks and clacks through scenic deserts, over lush mountains, and across sparkling bridges. Under the guidance of the watchful Conductor, the heaven-bound train bops and bounces from Earth to the stars until it reaches the pearly gates, where passengers dance with thrilling joy.

This train is bound for Glory—this train!
This train is bound for Glory—this train!
This train is bound for Glory.
Everybody here is a-rocking and a-rolling.
This train is bound for Glory—this train!

The history of “This Train is Bound for Glory” dates back to 1922 as a popular recording. The lyrics have evolved across the ages. At the end of the book, readers are invited to write their own version of the song in a spirit of hope, joy, and love for a new generation. The world needs more light. Sing on!


Click for more detail about Slow AF Run Club: The Ultimate Guide for Anyone Who Wants to Run by Martinus Evans Slow AF Run Club: The Ultimate Guide for Anyone Who Wants to Run

by Martinus Evans
Avery (Jun 06, 2023)
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A practical guide and a celebration of running for runners of all sizes and athletic ability, from the founder of the Slow AF Run Club.

Ten years ago, Martinus Evans got some stern advice from his doctor: “Lose weight or die.” First defensive, but then defiant, Evans vowed that day to run a marathon, though his doctor thought he was crazy. Since then, Evans has run eight marathons and hundreds of other distances in his 300-something body, created his own devoted running community, and has been featured on the cover of Runner’s World.

This book is a blueprint for those who may not fit the image of a “traditional” runner—that is, someone who is larger in size, less athletic, out of shape, or dealing with any kind of health issue that slows them down—to feel empowered to lace up their shoes and embrace the body they have right now.

As Evans says, the incredible benefits of running—better sleep, strong muscles and bones, better cardiovascular and mental health, and a sense of community—can and should be available to all of us. This practical handbook contains specialized advice to make getting started less intimidating, covering everything from gear and nutrition to training schedules, recovery tips, races (it’s okay to come in DFL! [i.e., dead f*cking last]), and finding a running group. Full of essential advice and humor from a former newbie who fell off a treadmill on his first run (literally), The Slow AF Run Club is for anyone who wants to pick up running for the sheer joy of it.


Click for more detail about Salat in Secret by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow Salat in Secret

by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
Random House Studio (Jun 06, 2023)
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From the critically acclaimed author of Your Name Is a Song and the bestselling illustrator of The Proudest Blue comes a story about a Muslim boy who receives a salat (prayer) rug on his seventh birthday and becomes empowered about his faith.

In this beautiful story of community, family, and acceptance, a boy named Muhammad receives a special salat rug on his seventh birthday. Seven is the age when Muslim children are encouraged to pray, and Muhammad is determined to do all five daily prayers on time. But one salat occurs during the school day—and he’s worried about being seen praying at school. His father parks his truck to worship in public places, and people stare at and mock him. Will the same thing happen to Muhammad?

In the end, with help from his teacher, he finds the perfect place to pray. Salat in Secret, by two highly acclaimed Muslim creators, is a poignant and empowering look at an important facet of Islam that many observant children cherish but might be scared to share.


Click for more detail about How to Write about Africa: Collected Works by Binyavanga Wainaina How to Write about Africa: Collected Works

by Binyavanga Wainaina
One World (Jun 06, 2023)
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From one of Africa’s most influential and eloquent essayists, a posthumous collection that highlights his biting satire and subversive wisdom on topics from travel to cultural identity to sexuality

“Africa is the only continent you can love—take advantage of this… . Africa is to be pitied, worshipped, or dominated. Whichever angle you take, be sure to leave the strong impression that without your intervention and your important book, Africa is doomed.”

Binyavanga Wainaina was a pioneering voice in African literature, an award-winning memoirist and essayist, and a gatherer of literary communities. Before his tragic death in 2019 at the age of forty-seven, he won the Caine Prize for African Writing and was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People. His wildly popular essay “How to Write About Africa,” an incisive and unapologetic piece exposing the harmful and racist ways Western media depicts Africa with implicit bias and subjective clichés, changed the game for African writers and helped set the stage for a new generation of authors, from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to Yaa Gyasi. When Wainaina published a “lost chapter” of his 2011 memoir as an essay called “I Am a Homosexual, Mum,” which imagines coming out to his mother, he became a voice for the queer African community as well, adding a new layer to how African sexuality is perceived.

How to Write About Africa collects these powerful pieces in a lively and imaginative set of essays about sexuality, art, history, and contemporary Africa. Wainaina’s writing is playful, robust, generous, and full-bodied. He describes the modern world with sensual, emotional, and psychological detail, giving us a full-color view of a country and continent. These works present a portrait of a giant in African literature who left a tremendous legacy.


Click for more detail about Stamped from the Beginning: A Graphic History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi Stamped from the Beginning: A Graphic History of Racist Ideas in America

by Ibram X. Kendi
Ten Speed Graphic (Jun 06, 2023)
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A striking graphic novel edition of the National Book Award-winning history of how racist ideas have shaped American life—from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist.

Racism has persisted throughout history—but so have antiracist efforts to dismantle it. Through deep research and a gripping narrative that illuminates the lives of five key American figures, preeminent historian Ibram X. Kendi reveals how understanding and improving the world cannot happen without identifying and facing the racist forces that shape it.

In collaboration with award-winning historian and comic artist Joel Christian Gill, this stunningly illustrated graphic-novel adaptation of Dr. Kendi’s groundbreaking Stamped from the Beginning explores, with vivid clarity and dimensionality, the living history of America, and how we can learn from the past to work toward a more equitable, antiracist future.


Click for more detail about Built from the Fire: The Epic Story of Tulsa’s Greenwood District, America’s Black Wall Street by Victor Luckerson Built from the Fire: The Epic Story of Tulsa’s Greenwood District, America’s Black Wall Street

by Victor Luckerson
Random House (May 23, 2023)
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A multigenerational saga of a family and a community in Tulsa’s Greenwood district, known as “Black Wall Street,” that in one century survived the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, urban renewal, and gentrification.

“The scope, the elegance, and the power of Victor Luckerson’s tale is simply breathtaking and empowering.”—Carol Anderson, author of White Rage

When Ed Goodwin moved with his parents to Greenwood, Tulsa, in 1914, his family joined a growing community on the cusp of becoming a national center of black life. But, just seven years later, on May 31, 1921, the teenaged Ed hid in a bathtub as a white mob descended on his neighborhood, laying waste to thirty-five blocks and murdering as many as three hundred people. The Tulsa Race Massacre was one of the most brutal acts of racist violence in U.S. history, a ruthless attempt to smother a spark of black independence.

But that was never the whole story of Greenwood. The Goodwins and their neighbors soon rebuilt it into “a Mecca,” in Ed’s words, where nightlife thrived, small businesses flourished, and an underworld economy lived comfortably alongside public storefronts. Prosperity and poverty intermixed, and icons from W.E.B. Du Bois to Muhammad Ali ambled down Greenwood Avenue, alongside maids, doctors, and every occupation in between. Ed grew into a prominent businessman and bought a newspaper called the Oklahoma Eagle to chronicle Greenwood’s resurgence and battles against white bigotry. He and his wife, Jeanne, raised an ambitious family, and their son Jim, an attorney, embodied their hopes for the Civil Rights Movement in his work. But by the 1970s, urban renewal policies had nearly emptied the neighborhood, even as Jim and his neighbors tried to hold on to it. Today, while new high-rises and encroaching gentrification risk wiping out Greenwood’s legacy for good, the family newspaper remains, and Ed’s granddaughter Regina represents the neighborhood in the Oklahoma state legislature, working alongside a new generation of local activists.

In Built from the Fire, journalist Victor Luckerson moves beyond the mythology of Black Wall Street to tell the story of an aspirant black neighborhood that, like so many others, has long been buffeted by racist government policies. Through the eyes of dozens of race massacre survivors and their descendants, Luckerson delivers an honest, moving portrait of this potent national symbol of success and solidarity—and weaves an epic tale about a neighborhood that refused, more than once, to be erased.


Click for more detail about The Late Americans by Brandon Taylor The Late Americans

by Brandon Taylor
Riverhead Books (May 23, 2023)
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The author of the Booker Prize finalist Real Life and the bestselling Filthy Animals returns with a deeply involving new novel of young men and women at a crossroads

In the shared and private spaces of Iowa City, a loose circle of lovers and friends encounter, confront, and provoke one another in a volatile year of self-discovery. At the group’s center are Ivan, a dancer turned aspiring banker who dabbles in amateur pornography; Fatima, whose independence and work ethic complicates her relationships with friends and a trusted mentor; and Noah, who “didn’t seek sex out so much as it came up to him like an anxious dog in need of affection.” These three are buffeted by a cast of poets, artists, landlords, meat-packing workers, and mathematicians who populate the cafes, classrooms, and food-service kitchens of Iowa City, sometimes to violent and electrifying consequence. Finally, as each prepares for an uncertain future, the group heads to a cabin to bid goodbye to their former lives—a moment of reckoning that leaves each of them irrevocably altered.

A novel of intimacy and precarity, friendship and chosen family, The Late Americans is Brandon Taylor’s richest and most involving work of fiction to date, confirming his position as one of our most perceptive chroniclers of contemporary life.


Click for more detail about The Battle Drum by Saara El-Arifi The Battle Drum

by Saara El-Arifi
Del Ray (May 23, 2023)
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Book Two of The Ending Fire Trilogy

Murder. Secrets. Sacrifice: Three women seek the truth of the empire’s past. And the truth they find will have the power to ignite a war, in the sequel to The Final Strife, the continuation of a visionary fantasy trilogy inspired by the myths of Africa and Arabia.

Anoor is the first blue-blooded ruler of the Wardens’ Empire. But when she is accused of a murder she didn’t commit, her reign is thrown into turmoil. She must solve the mystery and clear her name without the support of her beloved, Sylah.

Sylah braves new lands to find a solution for the hurricane that threatens to destroy her home. But in finding answers, she must make a decision: Should she sacrifice her old life in order to raise up her sword once more?

Hassa’s web of secrets grows ever thicker as she finds herself on the trail of crimes in the city. Her search uncovers the extent of the atrocities of the empire’s past and present. Now she must guard both her heart and her land.

The three women find their answers, but not the answers they wanted. The drumbeat of change thrums throughout the world.

And it sings a song of war.

Ready we will be, when the Ending Fire comes,
When the Child of Fire brings the Battle Drum,
The Battle Drum,
The Battle Drum.
Ready we will be, for war will come.


Click for more detail about Rogue Justice: A Thriller by Stacey Abrams aka Selena Montgomery Rogue Justice: A Thriller

by Stacey Abrams aka Selena Montgomery
Doubleday Books (May 23, 2023)
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New York Times Bestsellers - The #1 bestselling author of While Justice Sleeps returns with another riveting and intricately plotted thriller, in which a blackmailed federal judge, a secret court and a brazen murder may lead to an unprecedented national crisis. “Abrams delivers another smart, zippy thriller.” —Washington Post

“A thoroughly compelling take on the machinations of Washington and those covetous of power.” —New York Magazine

Supreme Court clerk Avery Keene is back, trying to get her feet on solid ground after unraveling an international conspiracy in While Justice Sleeps. But as the sparks of Congressional hearings and political skirmishes swirl around her, Avery is approached at a legal conference by Preston Davies, an unassuming young man and fellow law clerk to a federal judge in Idaho. Davies believes his boss, Judge Francesca Whitner, was being blackmailed in the days before she died. Desperate to understand what happened, he gives Avery a file, a burner phone, and a fearful warning that there are highly dangerous people involved.

Another shocking murder leads Avery to a list of names - all federal judges - and, alarmingly, all judges on the FISA Court (the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court), also known as America’s “secret court.” It is this body which grants permission to the government to wiretap Americans or spy on corporations suspected of terrorism. As Avery digs deeper, she begins to see a frightening pattern - and she worries that something far more sinister may be unfolding inside the nation’s third branch of government. With lives at stake, Avery must race the clock and an unexpected enemy to find the answer. Drawn from today’s headlines and woven with her unique insider perspective, Stacey Abrams combines twisting plotlines, wry wit, and clever puzzles to create another immensely entertaining suspense novel.


Click for more detail about I Know Who I Am: A Joyful Affirmation of Your God-Given Identity by Dorena Williamson I Know Who I Am: A Joyful Affirmation of Your God-Given Identity

by Dorena Williamson
WaterBrook Press (May 16, 2023)
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An uplifting picture book that reminds children all over the world of God’s love for them—affirming their standing in His kingdom and reinforcing their God-given identity.

I am beautifully made and crowned with glory and strength!
I am filled with God’s power!
I am building my life on Jesus, the solid rock!
I am not afraid, for the Lord is always with me!

Join children from Haiti, India, Korea, Rwanda, Spain, New Zealand, and many more countries as they each declare God’s truth about their identities. Each page is a joyful exploration of how God has uniquely made every child to reveal His glory, but also serves as a beautiful reminder for kids about who they are—and, most important, whom they belong to.

Featuring simple, biblically based affirmative statements and bold and vibrant illustrations, this inspirational celebration of a young believer’s identity in Christ is a must-have for every church and Christian family.


Click for more detail about The Three of Us by Ore Agbaje-Williams The Three of Us

by Ore Agbaje-Williams
G.P. Putnam’s Sons (May 16, 2023)
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Long-standing tensions between a husband, his wife, and her best friend finally come to a breaking point in this sharp domestic comedy of manners, told brilliantly over the course of one day.

What if your two favorite people hated each other with a passion?

The wife has it all. A big house in a nice neighborhood, a ride-or-die snarky best friend, Temi, with whom to laugh about facile men, and a devoted husband who loves her above all else—even his distaste for Temi.

On a seemingly normal day, Temi comes over to spend a lazy afternoon with the wife: drinking wine, eating snacks, and laughing caustically about the husband’s shortcomings. But when the husband comes home and a series of confessions are made, the wife’s two confidantes are suddenly forced to jockey for their positions, throwing everyone’s integrity into question—and their long-drawn-out territorial dance, carefully constructed over years, into utter chaos.

Told in three taut, mesmerizing parts—the wife, the husband, the best friend—over the course of one day, The Three of Us is a subversively comical, wildly astute, and painfully compulsive triptych of domestic life that explores cultural truths, what it means to defy them, and the fine line between compromise and betrayal when it comes to ourselves and the people we’re meant to love.


Click for more detail about Quietly Hostile: Essays by samantha irby Quietly Hostile: Essays

by samantha irby
Vintage (May 16, 2023)
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A much-anticipated, hilarious new essay collection from #1 New York Times bestselling unabashed fan-favorite Samantha Irby invites us to share in the gory particulars of her real life, all that festers behind the glitter and glam.

“America’s most talented comic writer.” —The New Republic

Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wow, No Thank You, Samantha Irby has returned to the printed page with a much-anticipated new collection of side-splitting essays, and not a moment too soon. Irby’s career has taken her to new heights. She dodges calls from Hollywood and flop sweats on the red carpet at premieres (well, one premiere). But nothing is ever as it seems online, where she can crop out all the ugly parts.

Irby got a lot of weird emails about Carrie Bradshaw, and not only is there diarrhea to avoid, but now—anaphylactic shock. She is turned away from restaurants for being inappropriately dressed and looks for the best ways to cope, i.e., reveling in the offerings of QVC and adopting a deranged pandemic dog. Filled with such unabashed gems as advice for the bathroom etiquette you were dying to know but always too afraid to ask about and an exposé on how to speak with an actual teenager, Quietly Hostile makes light as Irby takes us on another outrageously funny tour of all the gory details that make up the true portrait of a life behind the screenshotted depression memes. Relatable, poignant, and uproarious, once again, Irby is the tonic we all need to get by.


Click for more detail about Jackie Ormes Draws the Future: The Remarkable Life of a Pioneering Cartoonist by Liz Montague Jackie Ormes Draws the Future: The Remarkable Life of a Pioneering Cartoonist

by Liz Montague
Random House Studio (May 16, 2023)
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A stirring picture-book biography about Jackie Ormes, the first Black female cartoonist in America, whose remarkable life and work inspire countless artists today.

Zelda Jackson—or Jackie—was born in Pittsburgh on August 1, 1911, and discovered early on that she could draw any adventure. A field she could run through as far as her hand could draw. An ocean she could color as blue as she liked. As she grew, Jackie put her artistic talents to use, doodling and chronicling daily life for her high school yearbook. But she was already dreaming of bigger things.

Jackie would go on to create bold and witty cartoon characters—Torchy Brown, Candy, Patty-Jo ’n’ Ginger—who entertained readers of African American newspapers like the Pittsburgh Courier and the Chicago Defender. She tackled racism, pollution, and social justice—and made the world listen. Jackie was the first Black female American cartoonist, but she would not be the last.

Author Liz Montague, one of the first Black cartoonists at the New Yorker, carries Jackie’s indelible legacy forward in vibrant text and evocative cartoons.


Click for more detail about Hope Wins: A Collection of Inspiring Stories for Young Readers by Rose Brock Hope Wins: A Collection of Inspiring Stories for Young Readers

by Rose Brock
Philomel Books (May 09, 2023)
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From Matt de la Peña and Veera Hiranandani to Max Brallier and R.L. Stine, write about how hope always wins, even in the darkest of times.

Where does hope live?

In your family?
In your community?
In your school?
In your heart?

From a family restaurant to a hot-dog shaped car, from an empty road on a moonlight night to a classroom holiday celebration, this anthology of personal stories from award-winning and bestselling authors shows that hope can live everywhere, even—or especially—during the darkest of times.

No matter what happens: Hope wins.

Contributors include: Tom Angleberger, James Bird, Max Brallier, Julie Buxbaum, Pablo Cartaya, J.C. Cervantes, Soman Chainani, Matt de la Peña, Stuart Gibbs, Adam Gidwitz, Karina Yan Glaser, Veera Hiranandani, Hena Khan, Gordon Korman, Janae Marks, Sarah Mlynowski, Rex Ogle, James Ponti, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Ronald L.Smith, Christina Soontornvat, and R.L. Stine.


Click for more detail about A Family Prayer by Shay Youngblood A Family Prayer

by Shay Youngblood
Convergent Books (May 09, 2023)
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A beautifully illustrated children’s book that celebrates all the family—biological and chosen alike—who keep us safe and teach us to dream

In A Family Prayer, acclaimed novelist Shay Youngblood brings to life the prayer of a little brown girl who finds joy in asking God to keep her family safe. Young readers will celebrate every aunty, cousin, and grandmother in their life. But more than just her biological relatives, each family member is a maternal or paternal archetype, someone in her community who represents the title of mother, father, aunty, and the like.

My sister is a blessing
She keeps my secrets
Braids my hair
And helps me find my way
Sisters are a blessing
Keep them safe from harm

My Aunty is a blessing
She sings sweet songs
Rocks me to sleep
and whispers stories in the dark
Aunties are a blessing
Keep them safe from harm

A Family Prayer champions the age-old wisdom that raising a family takes a village—and that the love of a community runs soul deep.


Click for more detail about Repeat After Me: Big Things to Say Every Day by Jazmyn Simon and Dulé Hill Repeat After Me: Big Things to Say Every Day

by Jazmyn Simon and Dulé Hill
Random House Books for Young Readers (May 02, 2023)
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From parents and actors Jazmyn Simon and Dulé Hill comes a picture book filled with beautiful, inspiring affirmations reminding kiddos of their infinite wonder. Perfect for children of any age!

I am worthy. I am loved. I am enough.

Every child, no matter their age, needs to know how loved they are and, more importantly, should love themselves. In this gorgeously illustrated book of affirmations, young readers are told how cherished, deserving, and gifted they are.

In their tender picture book, actors Jazmyn Simon and Dulé Hill tell children about the magic of self-love and standing firm, regardless of outside voices and doubt. Children will feel their confidence grow as they repeat the encouraging words on the page, take in the warm illustrations, and learn to believe in themselves!


Click for more detail about The Night Before Freedom: A Juneteenth Story by Glenda Armand The Night Before Freedom: A Juneteenth Story

by Glenda Armand
Crown Books for Young Readers (May 02, 2023)
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This moving picture book tells the story of Juneteenth with all the care and reverence such a holiday deserves. The rhyming text and stunning illustrations will teach children about this historic day in history.

’Twas the night before freedom, and all through the South, long-whispered rumors had, spread word of mouth. “It’s coming! It’s coming!” I heard people say. “Emancipation is coming our way.”

Eight-year-old David and his family gather at Grandma’s house in Galveston, Texas, for a cherished family tradition: Grandma’s annual retelling of the story of Juneteenth, the holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.

The signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln meant that all enslaved persons within the rebellious states would be free as of January 1, 1863. However, people in Texas did not receive the news of their emancipation until two and a half years later—on June 19, 1865.

Grandma tells the story of anticipation, emancipation, and jubilation just as it was told to her many years before by her own grandmother, Mom Bess. As a six-year-old, Bess had experienced the very first Juneteenth. Before that day, she could only imagine what liberty would look like. But once freedom arrived, would it live up to a little girl’s dreams?

The story is written in the same meter as Clement C. Moore’s The Night Before Christmas, making it a perfect book for parents and kids to read together.


Click for more detail about Operation Sisterhood by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich Operation Sisterhood

by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
Yearling (May 02, 2023)
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Fans of the Netflix reboot of The Babysitters Club will delight as four new sisters band together in the heart of New York City. Discover this jubilant novel about the difficulties of change, the loyalty of sisters, and the love of family from a prolific award-winning author.

“[A] jubilant middle grade novel.” —The New York Times

Bo and her mom always had their own rhythm. But ever since they moved to Harlem, Bo’s world has fallen out of sync. She and Mum are now living with Mum’s boyfriend Bill, his daughter Sunday, the twins, Lili and Lee, the twins’ parents…along with a dog, two cats, a bearded dragon, a turtle, and chickens. All in one brownstone! With so many people squished together, Bo isn’t so sure there is room for her.

Set against the bursting energy of a New York City summer, award-winning author Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich delivers a joyful novel about a new family that hits all the right notes!

“This ode to Black girlhood and the communities that serve them offers humor, tenderness, and charm.” —Renée Watson, New York Times bestselling author

“A beautiful, rich, and deeply comforting story about family and the powerful choice to live with joy, Operation Sisterhood is a book to savor.” —Rebecca Stead, New York Times bestselling author

Operation Sisterhood bubbles over with humor, heart, and big-blended-family enthusiasm — a joyful love letter to Black girls, New York City, and the transformative power of sisterhood.” —Kate Messner, author of Chirp and Breakout


Click for more detail about Homebodies by Tembe Denton-Hurst Homebodies

by Tembe Denton-Hurst
Crown (May 02, 2023)
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A Most Anticipated Book of 2023 by Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, them, and The Millions

Urgent, propulsive, and strikingly insightful, Homebodies is a thrilling debut novel about a young Black writer whose world is turned upside down when she loses her coveted job in media and her searing manifesto about racism in the industry goes viral.

Mickey Hayward dreams of writing stories that matter. She has a flashy media job that makes her feel successful and a devoted girlfriend who takes care of her when she comes home exhausted and demoralized. It’s not all A-list parties and steamy romance, but Mickey’s on her way, and it’s far from the messy life she left behind in Maryland. Despite being overlooked and mistreated at work, it seems like she might finally get the chance to prove herself—until she finds out she’s being replaced.

Distraught and enraged, Mickey fires back with a detailed letter outlining the racism and sexism she’s endured as a Black woman in media, certain it will change the world for the better. But when her letter is met with overwhelming silence, Mickey is sent into a tailspin of self-doubt. Forced to reckon with just how fragile her life is—including the uncertainty of her relationship—she flees to the last place she ever dreamed she would run to, her hometown, desperate for a break from her troubles.

Back home, Mickey is seduced by the simplicity of her old life—and the flirtation of a former flame—but her life in New York refuses to be forgotten. When a media scandal catapults Mickey’s forgotten letter into the public zeitgeist, suddenly everyone wants to hear what Mickey has to say. It’s what she’s always wanted—isn’t it?

Intimate, witty, and deeply sexy, Homebodies is a testament to those trying to be heard and loved in a world that refuses to make space, and introduces a standout new writer.


Click for more detail about Little Troublemaker Makes a Mess by Luvvie Ajayi Little Troublemaker Makes a Mess

by Luvvie Ajayi
Philomel Books (May 02, 2023)
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A story about a little troublemaker with a big heart from the New York Times bestselling author and noted speaker Luvvie Ajayi Jones

Whoops!

Little Luvvie loves her mom. She loves her sister. And she loves doing nice things for other people.

But what happens when doing something nice means breaking some rules? Little Luvvie is about to find out.

Written by the New York Times bestselling author Luvvie Ajayi Jones with bright, bold art by Joey Spiotto, this funny, sweet story about a bighearted girl with the best of intentions is sure to become a family favorite.
Philomel Books, 978059352


Click for more detail about I’m an American by Darshana Khiani I’m an American

by Darshana Khiani
Viking Books for Young Readers (May 02, 2023)
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A breathtaking, eye-opening look at the patchwork of cultures that make up our nation and the many ways we define what it means to be an American.

What does it mean to be American?

A classroom of children across many races, cultures, and origins explores the concept of Americanness as they each share bits of their family history and how their past has shaped their own personal American experience. Whether as new immigrants, those whose families came to this country generations ago, or other scenarios, these children’s stories show some of the broad range of cultures and values that form the history and identity of our nation.

A beautifully depicted, thought-provoking look at the vast expanse of cultures that exist in America, the values that bring us together as one people despite our differences, and the many ways we define what it means to be an American.


Click for more detail about More Than I Imagined: What a Black Man Discovered about the White Mother He Never Knew by John Blake More Than I Imagined: What a Black Man Discovered about the White Mother He Never Knew

by John Blake
Convergent Books (May 02, 2023)
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An award-winning journalist tells the “riveting” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution) story of his quest to reconcile with his white mother and the family he’d never met—and how faith brought them all together.

John Blake grew up in a notorious Black neighborhood in inner-city Baltimore that became the setting for the HBO series The Wire. There he became a self-described “closeted biracial person,” hostile toward white people while hiding the truth of his mother’s race. The son of a Black man and a white woman who met when interracial marriage was still illegal, Blake knew this much about his mother: She vanished from his life not long after his birth, and her family rejected him because of his race.

But at the age of seventeen, Blake had a surprise encounter that uncovered a disturbing family secret. This launched him on a quest to reconcile with his white family. His search centered on two questions: “Where is my mother?” and “Where do I belong?” More Than I Imagined is Blake’s propulsive true story about how he answered those questions with the help of an interracial church, a loving caregiver’s sacrifice, and an inexplicable childhood encounter that taught him the importance of forgiveness.

Blake covered some of the biggest stories about race in America for twenty-five years before realizing that “facts don’t change people, relationships do.” He owes this discovery to “radical integration,” which was the only way forward for him and his family—and is the only way forward for America as a multiracial democracy. More Than I Imagined is a hopeful story for our difficult times.

Praise for More Than I Imagined

“An incredibly moving memoir that both examines and complicates our understanding of race in America today, More Than I Imagined is overflowing with empathy and full of humanity.”—Clint Smith, New York Times bestselling author of How the Word Is Passed

“A compelling and courageous journey that bears witness to the realities of systemic racism, the complexity of identity within that system, and the possibilities of reconciliation.”—Robin DiAngelo, New York Times bestselling author of White Fragility


Click for more detail about The North Star: Canada and the Civil War Plots Against Lincoln by Julian Sher The North Star: Canada and the Civil War Plots Against Lincoln

by Julian Sher
Knopf Canada (Apr 25, 2023)
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FINALIST FOR THE 2023 MAVIS GALLANT PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION

A riveting account of the years, months and days leading up to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, and the unexpected ways Canadians were involved in every aspect of the American Civil War.

Canadians take pride in being on the "good side" of the American Civil War, serving as a haven for 30,000 escaped slaves on the Underground Railroad. But dwelling in history’s shadow is the much darker role Canada played in supporting the slave South and in fomenting the many plots against Lincoln.

The North Star weaves together the different strands of several Canadians and a handful of Confederate agents in Canada as they all made their separate, fateful journeys into history.

The book shines a spotlight on the stories of such intrepid figures as Anderson Abbott, Canada’s first Black doctor, who joined the Union Army; Emma Edmonds, the New Brunswick woman who disguised herself as a man to enlist as a Union nurse; and Edward P. Doherty, the Quebec man who led the hunt to track down Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth.

At the same time, the Canadian political and business elite were aiding the slave states. Toronto aristocrat George Taylor Denison III bankrolled Confederate operations and opened his mansion to their agents. The Catholic Church helped one of Booth’s accused accomplices hide out for months in the Quebec countryside. A leading financier in Montreal let Confederates launder money through his bank.

Sher creates vivid portraits of places we thought we knew. Montreal was a sort of nineteenth-century Casablanca of the North: a hub for assassins, money-men, mercenaries and soldiers on the run. Toronto was a headquarters for Confederate plotters and gun-runners. The two largest hotels in the country became nests of Confederate spies.

Meticulously researched and richly illustrated, The North Star is a sweeping tale that makes long-ago events leap off the page with a relevance to the present day.


Click for more detail about What Was the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921? by Caleb Gayle What Was the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921?

by Caleb Gayle
Penguin Workshop (Apr 25, 2023)
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Learn how envy and racism led to the tragic destruction of the thriving Black community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in this thought-provoking addition to the New York Times bestselling What Was? series!

Before May 31, 1921, the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was a flourishing neighborhood of 10,000 Black residents. There, Black families found success and community. They ran their own businesses, including barbershops, clothing stores, jewelers, restaurants, movie theaters, and more. There also were Black doctors, dentists, and lawyers to serve the neighborhood. Then, in one weekend, all of this was lost. A racist mob tore through the streets, burning everything to the ground and killing scores of innocent residents. Learn about what led to one of the worst moments of racial violence in America’s history in this nonfiction book for young readers.


Click for more detail about Rosewater by LIV Little Rosewater

by LIV Little
Get Lifted Books (Apr 25, 2023)
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A TODAY and LGBTQ Reads Most Anticipated Book of 2023 - A Goodreads Buzziest Debut Novel of the New Year - An Electric Lit Most Anticipated LGBTQ+ Book of Spring 2023

For fans of Queenie and Such a Fun Age comes a deliciously gritty and strikingly bold debut novel about discovering love where it has always been.

Elsie is a sexy, funny, and fiercely independent woman in south London. But, at just 28, she is also tired. Though she spends her days writing tender poetry in her journal, her nights are spent working long hours for minimum wage at a neighborhood dive bar. Not even sleeping with her alluring coworker, Bea, can quell her existential dread. The difficulty of being estranged from her family, struggle of being continually rejected from jobs, and fear of never making money doing what she loves is too great. But Elsie is determined to keep the faith, for a little longer at least. Things will surely turn around. They have to.

But when Elsie is suddenly evicted from her social housing, her fragile foundations threaten to collapse entirely. With nowhere left to go, Elsie turns to her childhood friend, Juliet, for help.

Among Juliet’s mismatched cushions and shelves lined with trinkets, Elsie is able to breathe for the first time in years. But between their reruns of Drag Race and nights smoking on the balcony, something else soon begins to glimmer in Elsie’s heart … Sometimes what you’ve been searching for has been there all along. Can Elsie see it in time?

Featuring the incredible poetry of Kai-Isaiah Jamal, Rosewater is a story of intergenerational love, healing, and one woman’s journey home. A remarkable debut by an exciting new talent, readers are sure to be enchanted by LIV Little’s distinctive and captivating contemporary voice.


Click for more detail about Symphony of Secrets by Brendan Slocumb Symphony of Secrets

by Brendan Slocumb
Anchor Books (Apr 18, 2023)
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From the celebrated author of book club favorite The Violin Conspiracy: A gripping page-turner about a professor who uncovers a shocking secret about the most famous American composer of all time—that his music was stolen from a young Black composer named Josephine Reed. Determined to uncover the truth and right history’s wrongs, Bern Hendricks will stop at nothing to finally give Josephine the recognition she deserves.

Bern Hendricks has just received the call of a lifetime. As one of the world’s preeminent experts on the famed twentieth-century composer Frederick Delaney, Bern knows everything there is to know about the man behind the music. When Mallory Roberts, a board member of the distinguished Delaney Foundation and direct descendant of the man himself, asks for Bern’s help authenticating a newly discovered piece, which may be his famous lost opera, RED, he jumps at the chance. With the help of his tech-savvy acquaintance Eboni, Bern soon discovers that the truth is far more complicated than history would have them believe.

In 1920s Manhattan, Josephine Reed is living on the streets and frequenting jazz clubs when she meets the struggling musician Fred Delaney. But where young Delaney struggles, Josephine soars. She’s a natural prodigy who hears beautiful music in the sounds of the world around her. With Josephine as his silent partner, Delaney’s career takes off—but who is the real genius here?

In the present day, Bern and Eboni begin to uncover more clues that indicate Delaney may have had help in composing his most successful work. Armed with more questions than answers and caught in the crosshairs of a powerful organization who will stop at nothing to keep their secret hidden, Bern and Eboni will move heaven and earth in their dogged quest to right history’s wrongs.


Click for more detail about The Rhythm of Time by Questlove and S. A. Cosby The Rhythm of Time

by Questlove and S. A. Cosby
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (Apr 18, 2023)
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From the Academy Award-winning, Grammy-winning, and New York Times bestselling author Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and the New York Times bestselling author S. A. Cosby comes this thrill-a-minute novel—the first in a rollicking time-travel adventure series that’s perfect for fans of Amari and the Night Brothers and Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky.

Seventh grader Rahim Reynolds loves testing out the gadgets invented by his brilliant friend Kasia Collins. First there were the X-ray glasses and all the trouble they caused. Now there’s the new cell phone she built for his birthday, even though his parents won’t let him have one. But Rahim is excited to use the phone to search for videos of his favorite old-school rap group. What he doesn’t know is the phone has a special battery that interfaces with a secret government satellite, which spells trouble when the phone transports him back to 1997. Almost immediately, he learns what every time traveler before him has: Actions in the past jeopardize the future. With Kasia as his only lifeline to the present, Rahim works with her to get home unscathed, all the while dodging bullies (on his end) and suspicious government agents (on hers).

Philadelphia in the late nineties is a new world for Rahim and Kasia, but it is a familiar place for Questlove, who, alongside S. A. Cosby, delivers a high-velocity tale where two best friends discover that sometimes the best beat is the one that brings you back home.


Click for more detail about Cornrows (2023) by Camille Yarbrough Cornrows (2023)

by Camille Yarbrough
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (Apr 18, 2023)
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A Coretta Scott King Award Winner for Illustration
A Notable Children’s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies

Every design has a name and means something in the powerful past and present richness of the Black tradition. Mama’s and Great-Grammaw’s gentle fingers weave the design, and their lulling voices weave the tale, as they braid their children’s hair into the striking cornrow patterns of Africa.

"Camille Yarbrough captures the warmth of family affection and the pride of our rich heritage in a story that’s superbly illustrated by Carole Byard." —Essence

"Camille Yarbrough is a poet, griot and storyteller who has crafted a special, rhythmic and moving story for you and yours… . The illustrations by Carole Byard dignify and give all due respect to the story." —Council on Interracial Books for Children


Click for more detail about In Our Shoes: On Being a Young Black Woman in Not-So Post-Racial America by Brianna Holt In Our Shoes: On Being a Young Black Woman in Not-So Post-Racial America

by Brianna Holt
Plume (Apr 11, 2023)
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In Our Shoes: On Being a Young Black Woman in Not-So “Post-Racial” America is a memoir in essays about young Black women and the stereotypes and preconceived notions they are expected to live up to, examined through the lens of Brianna Holt’s lived experience and pop culture to help readers unlearn their biases and expand their worldviews.

Part memoir, part cultural critique, In Our Shoes will walk readers through the common stereotypes and issues young Black women have to overcome in modern America, in order to dismantle myths about Black womanhood and explore the roles Black millennial women take on simply to survive.

In nine thoughtful chapters laced with searing commentary, reportage, personal anecdotes from Brianna’s own life, as well as interviews conducted with “everyday” Black women, In Our Shoes hopes to illuminate readers on the complexities of existence for Black women and create a digestible, thought-provoking book that will help readers to learn, empathize, reflect, and act.

A personal history, a work of criticism, a piece of reporting, and a call to action, In Our Shoes is a timely exploration of race and womanhood that aims to entertain and inform.


Click for more detail about Honest June: Secrets and Spies by Tina Wells Honest June: Secrets and Spies

by Tina Wells
Random House Books for Young Readers (Apr 04, 2023)
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In the third book in this magical series for tweens, June must juggle friendship, first love, and the fallout from a newly discovered family secret involving the entire town—all while under a truth-telling spell. After the school musical, June has to deal with the fallout of her secret blog being exposed. June’s brutally honest thoughts about her friends and family are revealed, and her community turns on her once it’s known that she’s hidden her true feelings for months. How can June repair her relationships after such a betrayal? And when she discovers a family secret about the history of Featherstone Creek, how will she keep from blurting out the truth?


Click for more detail about She Persisted: Ella Fitzgerald by Andrea Davis Pinkney She Persisted: Ella Fitzgerald

by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Penguin Young Readers Group (Apr 04, 2023)
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Inspired by the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger comes a chapter book series about women who spoke up and rose up against the odds—including Ella Fitzgerald!

Having lost her mother at a young age, Ella Fitzgerald struggled as a child, especially during the Great Depression. But after winning over the audience with her singing at an Amateur Night at the Apollo, Ella’s career began, and she eventually went on to become a world-renowned singer known as the First Lady of Song.

In this chapter book biography by award-winning and bestselling author Andrea Davis Pinkney, readers learn about the amazing life of Ella Fitzgerald—and how she persisted.

Complete with an introduction from Chelsea Clinton, black-and-white illustrations throughout, and a list of ways that readers can follow in Ella Fitzgerald’s footsteps and make a difference! A perfect choice for kids who love learning and teachers who want to bring inspiring women into their curriculum.

And don’t miss out on the rest of the books in the She Persisted series, featuring so many more women who persisted!


Click for more detail about Narrative of Sojourner Truth by Sojourner Truth Narrative of Sojourner Truth

by Sojourner Truth
Modern Library (Apr 04, 2023)
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The autobiography of a Black woman who defied nineteenth-century conventions to become a preacher, popular speaker, abolitionist, and women’s rights activist.

Sojourner Truth was an incredible, remarkable, epoch-defying woman who escaped from slavery and successfully sued for her son’s freedom, in addition to her career as a wildly successful orator and activist—a woman alive to the hypocrisies of her age, and unafraid to talk about them.

Her autobiography, which she dictated, is an outstanding historical document. Truth’s tale sheds a light on realities of slavery that are still rarely discussed: that she was a slave in upstate New York, not on a Southern plantation; that Dutch was her first language; that the circumstances of her slavery isolated her from a broader Black community; that her experience of religion was a racially integrated one, and became the means of her independence. Ultimately, The Narrative of Sojourner Truth is the story of a great American that reveals aspects of slavery and free Black life that are too often overlooked.


Click for more detail about Chain Gang All Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah Chain Gang All Stars

by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
Pantheon Books (Apr 04, 2023)
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The explosive, hotly-anticipated debut novel from the New York Times-bestselling author of Friday Black, about two top women gladiators fighting for their freedom within a depraved private prison system not so far-removed from America’s own.

Loretta Thurwar and Hamara “Hurricane Staxxx” Stacker are the stars of Chain-Gang All-Stars, the cornerstone of CAPE, or Criminal Action Penal Entertainment, a highly-popular, highly-controversial, profit-raising program in America’s increasingly dominant private prison industry. It’s the return of the gladiators and prisoners are competing for the ultimate prize: their freedom.

In CAPE, prisoners travel as Links in Chain-Gangs, competing in death-matches for packed arenas with righteous protestors at the gates. Thurwar and Staxxx, both teammates and lovers, are the fan favorites. And if all goes well, Thurwar will be free in just a few matches, a fact she carries as heavily as her lethal hammer. As she prepares to leave her fellow Links, she considers how she might help preserve their humanity, in defiance of these so-called games, but CAPE’s corporate owners will stop at nothing to protect their status quo and the obstacles they lay in Thurwar’s path have devastating consequences.

Moving from the Links in the field to the protestors to the CAPE employees and beyond, Chain-Gang All-Stars is a kaleidoscopic, excoriating look at the American prison system’s unholy alliance of systemic racism, unchecked capitalism, and mass incarceration, and a clear-eyed reckoning with what freedom in this country really means from a “new and necessary American voice” (Tommy Orange, The New York Times Book Review).


Click for more detail about Can We Please Give the Police Department to the Grandmothers? by Junauda Petrus Can We Please Give the Police Department to the Grandmothers?

by Junauda Petrus
Dutton Books for Young Readers (Apr 04, 2023)
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Based on the viral poem by Coretta Scott King honoree Junauda Petrus, this picture book debut imagines a radicially positive future where police aren’t in charge of public safety and community well-being.

Petrus first published and performed this poem after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. With every subsequent police shooting, it has taken on new urgency, culminating in the 2020 murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, blocks from Junauda’s home.

In its picture book incarnation, Can We Please Give the Police Department to the Grandmothers? is a joyously radical vision of community-based safety and mutual aid. It is optimisitic, provocative, and ultimately centered in fierce love. Debut picture book artist Kristen Uroda has turned Junauda’s vision for a city without precincts into a vibrant and flourishing urban landscape filled with wise and loving grandmothers of all sorts.


Click for more detail about Poverty, by America by Matthew Desmond Poverty, by America

by Matthew Desmond
Crown Publishing Group (Mar 21, 2023)
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The Pulitzer Prize–winning, bestselling author of Evicted reimagines the debate on poverty, making a “provocative and compelling” (NPR) argument about why it persists in America: because the rest of us benefit from it.

“Urgent and accessible … Its moral force is a gut punch.”—The New Yorker


ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2023: The Washington Post, Time, Esquire, Newsweek, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Elle, Salon, Lit Hub, Kirkus Reviews

The United States, the richest country on earth, has more poverty than any other advanced democracy. Why? Why does this land of plenty allow one in every eight of its children to go without basic necessities, permit scores of its citizens to live and die on the streets, and authorize its corporations to pay poverty wages?

In this landmark book, acclaimed sociologist Matthew Desmond draws on history, research, and original reporting to show how affluent Americans knowingly and unknowingly keep poor people poor. Those of us who are financially secure exploit the poor, driving down their wages while forcing them to overpay for housing and access to cash and credit. We prioritize the subsidization of our wealth over the alleviation of poverty, designing a welfare state that gives the most to those who need the least. And we stockpile opportunity in exclusive communities, creating zones of concentrated riches alongside those of concentrated despair. Some lives are made small so that others may grow.

Elegantly written and fiercely argued, this compassionate book gives us new ways of thinking about a morally urgent problem. It also helps us imagine solutions. Desmond builds a startlingly original and ambitious case for ending poverty. He calls on us all to become poverty abolitionists, engaged in a politics of collective belonging to usher in a new age of shared prosperity and, at last, true freedom.


Click for more detail about Sensual Faith: The Art of Coming Home to Your Body by Lyvonne Briggs Sensual Faith: The Art of Coming Home to Your Body

by Lyvonne Briggs
Crown Publishing Group (Mar 21, 2023)
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An invitation for women to discover a healthier approach to spirituality and sexuality that centers pleasure rather than shame, from body- and sex-positive preacher and author Lyvonne Briggs

“Home is not an address. Home is where you feel safe. And your body is aching to be your home.”

How you view your body and your sexuality is informed and strengthened by spiritual practices, but how many of us can say that religion has drawn us closer to our bodies? That’s because worship spaces that are intended to be spiritual safe houses have not historically been welcoming to our bodies, forcing us to leave our flesh at the door. This ideological amputation is at best a disservice and at worst a sin. The remedy? Radical self-hospitality.

In Sensual Faith, Lyvonne Briggs charts a path for us to practice spiritual wellness that aligns and harmonizes our bodies with pleasure and sexuality. By centering the rich traditions of ancient West African spirituality, Sensual Faith offers a radically inclusive model of companioning one’s self. Filled with wellness rituals, journal prompts, affirmations, and practices, Sensual Faith shows us how to celebrate our bodies as our very homes.

“Pleasure is your birthright,” writes Briggs, so whether it’s accepting your flesh, nurturing your intuition, learning the language of consent, or sumptuous self-care, let radical self-hospitality guide you to healthy sexuality.


Click for more detail about Little Daymond Learns to Earn by Daymond John Little Daymond Learns to Earn

by Daymond John
Random House Books for Young Readers (Mar 21, 2023)
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Entrepreneur, FUBU founder, and Shark Tank fan fave Daymond John introduces kids to basic ideas about money and starting their own business in this accessible picture book!


Click for more detail about Not an Easy Win by Chrystal D. Giles Not an Easy Win

by Chrystal D. Giles
Random House Books for Young Readers (Feb 28, 2023)
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Can Lawrence figure out how to get on the board, even though the odds are stacked against him?

Introducing a powerful novel about family, forgiveness, and figuring out who you are when you don’t make the rules—just right for middle-grade fans of Nic Stone and Jason Reynolds.

Lawrence is ready for a win… .

Nothing’s gone right for Lawrence since he had to move from Charlotte to Larenville, North Carolina, to live with his granny. When Lawrence ends up in one too many fights at his new school, he gets expelled. The fight wasn’t his fault, but since his pop’s been gone, it feels like no one listens to what Lawrence has to say.

Instead of going to school, Lawrence starts spending his days at the rec center, helping out a neighbor who runs a chess program. Some of the kids in the program will be picked to compete in the Charlotte Classic chess tournament. Could this be Lawrence’s chance to go home?

Lawrence doesn’t know anything about chess, but something about the center—and the kids there—feels right. Lawrence thought the game was over … but does he have more moves left than he thought?


Click for more detail about Chaos Theory by Nic Stone Chaos Theory

by Nic Stone
Crown Books for Young Readers (Feb 28, 2023)
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The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin delivers a gripping romance about two teens: a certified genius living with a diagnosed mental disorder and a politician’s son who is running from his own addiction and grief. Don’t miss this gut punch of a novel about mental health, loss, and discovering you are worthy of love.

Scars exist to remind us of what we’ve survived.

DETACHED
Since Shelbi enrolled at Windward Academy as a senior and won’t be there very long, she hasn’t bothered making friends. What her classmates don’t know about her can’t be used to hurt her—you know, like it did at her last school.

WASTED
Andy Criddle is not okay. At all.
He’s had far too much to drink.
Again. Which is bad.
And things are about to get worse.

When Shelbi sees Andy at his lowest, she can relate. So she doesn’t resist reaching out. And there’s no doubt their connection has them both seeing stars … but the closer they get, the more the past threatens to pull their universes apart.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone delivers a tour de force about living with grief, prioritizing mental health, and finding love amid the chaos.


Click for more detail about All Rise: The Story of Ketanji Brown Jackson by Carole Boston Weatherford All Rise: The Story of Ketanji Brown Jackson

by Carole Boston Weatherford
Crown (Feb 28, 2023)
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Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court, is an inspiration and role model to children of all ages. Award-winning author Carole Boston Weatherford tells her story of perseverance, dignity, and honor in this uplifting picture book biography filled with colorful and dynamic illustrations from Ashley Evans. Whatever she did, wherever she was, Ketanji Brown Jackson rose to the top.

From the time their daughter was born, Ketanji Brown’s parents taught her that if she worked hard and believed in herself, she could do anything. As a child, Ketanji focused on her studies and excelled, eventually graduating from Harvard Law School.

Years later, in 2016, when she was a federal judge, a seat opened on the United States Supreme Court. In a letter to then-President Barack Obama, Leila Jackson made a case for her mother—Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Although the timing didn’t work out then, it did in 2022, when President Joe Biden nominated her. At her confirmation, Ketanji Brown Jackson became the first Black female Supreme Court justice in the United States. Lyrical text by renowned author Carole Boston Weatherford and evocative illustrations by Ashley Evans combine to make this an inspirational and timely read.


Click for more detail about Little Rosetta and the Talking Guitar: The Musical Story of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the Woman Who Invented Rock and Roll by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow Little Rosetta and the Talking Guitar: The Musical Story of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the Woman Who Invented Rock and Roll

by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow
Doubleday Books for Young Readers (Feb 28, 2023)
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A picture-book biography of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the woman who invented rock and roll—a warm, inspiring tale of a childhood filled with music, community, and a drive to succeed.

“Music is the heart of our story,” says Momma to young Rosetta, surprising her with her first guitar. Rosetta’s strums sound like ker-plunks. But with practice and determination, she makes music, fingers hopping "like corn in a kettle," notes pouring over the church crowd "like summer rain washing the dust off a new day."

In this stunning picture book, author and illustrator Charnelle Pinkney Barlow imagines the childhood of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, whose rural roots inspired the music we still hear today.

Young readers will see a child’s dream become reality through hard work and perseverance. And they’ll learn the overlooked story of a pioneering Black artist, whose contribution to music history is only now being discovered.

“Pinkney Barlow smartly uses lively onomatopoeia and crisp, textured collage art to layer the origins of the subject’s sound onto every page.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review


Click for more detail about Quiet: Poems by Victoria Adukwei Bulley Quiet: Poems

by Victoria Adukwei Bulley
Knopf Publishing Group (Feb 28, 2023)
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A black British poet makes her thrilling American debut with Quiet, exploring the significance of "quiet" in fostering community, resistance, and love. Acclaimed by Bernardine Evaristo, Booker Prize-winning author of Girl, Woman, Other, the poems in Quiet are praised for their melodious versatility, intellect, and dexterity, embodying the political through the personal.

The collection poses profound questions: How does one find meaning amid various kinds of noise? What is quiet when it is not silence? Where does quiet exist, and what liberative potential does it hold? These poems delve into themes of black interiority, intimacy, and selfhood, celebrating and mourning with equal fervor. With a metaphysical edge and formal restlessness, Quiet navigates the tension between the desire to protect one’s inner life and the understanding, as articulated by Audre Lorde, that "your silence will not protect you."


Click for more detail about Black Archives: A Photographic Celebration of Black Life by Renata Cherlise Black Archives: A Photographic Celebration of Black Life

by Renata Cherlise
Ten Speed Press (Feb 14, 2023)
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A photographic celebration and exploration of Black identity and experience through the twentieth century from the founder and curator of the hit multimedia platform Black Archives.

“Browsing the book ultimately feels like looking through one immense family photo album. And that’s intentional.” — Essence

Renata Cherlise’s family loved capturing their lives in photographs and home movies, sparking her love of archival photography. Following in her family’s footsteps, Cherlise established Black Archives, which presents a nuanced representation of Black people across time living vibrant, ordinary lives. Through the platform, many have discovered and shared images of themselves and their loved ones experiencing daily life, forming multidimensional portraits of people, places, and the Black community. These photographs not only tell captivating stories, they hold space for collective memory and kinship.

Black Archives is a stunning collection of timeless images that tell powerful, joyful stories of everyday life and shed light on Black culture’s dynamic, enduring influence through the generations. The images showcase reunions, nights out on the town, parents and children, church and school functions, holidays, big life events, family vacations, moments at home, and many more occasions of leisure, excitement, reflection, and pride.

Featuring more than three hundred images that spotlight the iconic and the candid, Black Archives offers a nuanced compendium of Black memory and imagination.


Click for more detail about Miss Aldridge Regrets by Louise Hare Miss Aldridge Regrets

by Louise Hare
Berkley Books (Feb 14, 2023)
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“Super cinematic and every bit as Agatha Christie-esque as its sounds… if you like murder mysteries, pick this one up!” —Emily Henry, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Book Lovers

Named A Most Anticipated Mystery of Summer by Betches, Essence, Crime Reads and more!

The glittering RMS Queen Mary. A nightclub singer on the run. An aristocratic family with secrets worth killing for.

London, 1936. Lena Aldridge wonders if life has passed her by. The dazzling theatre career she hoped for hasn’t worked out. Instead, she’s stuck singing in a sticky-floored basement club in Soho, and her married lover has just left her. But Lena has always had a complicated life, one shrouded in mystery as a mixed-race girl passing for white in a city unforgiving of her true racial heritage.

She’s feeling utterly hopeless until a stranger offers her the chance of a lifetime: a starring role on Broadway and a first-class ticket on the Queen Mary bound for New York. After a murder at the club, the timing couldn’t be better, and Lena jumps at the chance to escape England. But death follows her onboard when an obscenely wealthy family draws her into their fold just as one among them is killed in a chillingly familiar way. As Lena navigates the Abernathy’s increasingly bizarre family dynamic, she realizes that her greatest performance won’t be for an audience, but for her life.

With seductive glamor, simmering family drama, and dizzying twists, Louise Hare makes her beguiling US debut.


Click for more detail about Gone Like Yesterday by Janelle M. Williams Gone Like Yesterday

by Janelle M. Williams
Tiny Reparations Books (Feb 14, 2023)
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A Good Morning America Buzz Pick

A lyrical debut novel that asks what we owe to our families, what we owe to our ancestors, and what we owe to ourselves. Janelle M. Williams’s Gone Like Yesterday employs magical realism to explore the majestic and haunting experience of being a Black woman in today’s America.

Gone Like Yesterday follows two Black women—Zahra, a listless college prep coach, and Sammie, a teenage girl and budding activist soon off to college—who are drawn to each other through the songs of gypsy moths. Gypsy moths have been singing the songs of Zahra’s ancestors to her for years, so when Zahra realizes that Sammie might be a moth person too, their paths become intertwined.

Then, the unthinkable happens: Zahra’s brother, Derrick, goes missing. Derrick has always been different—sensitive and connected to the spiritual world, he has been drifting from Zahra and her family for some time. But this time feels different. Zahra is panicked that he may really be gone for good, lost to her forever.

Zahra can’t let that happen. So, she, along with Sammie, embarks on a road trip from New York to Atlanta, Zahra’s hometown, in search of Zahra’s brother, but also to uncover just what the moths and their ancestors want with them, and what to do about their individual and collective futures.

Sharp and wholly original, Gone Like Yesterday is a novel about family and legacy but also a literary exploration of racial identity, self, and what it means to be found.


Click for more detail about She Persisted: Dorothy Height by Kelly Starling Lyons She Persisted: Dorothy Height

by Kelly Starling Lyons
Philomel Books (Feb 07, 2023)
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Inspired by the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger, a chapter book series about women who spoke up and rose up against the odds—including Dorothy Height!

Growing up as a Black girl in the 1920s and 1930s, Dorothy Height was denied access to a local swimming pool as well as admission to Barnard College because of her race. But she persisted in pushing for change, and became a seminal figure in both the civil rights and women’s rights movements. She went on to be awarded the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom.

In this chapter book biography by award-winning author Kelly Starling Lyons, readers learn about the amazing life of Dorothy Height—and how she persisted.

Complete with an introduction from Chelsea Clinton, black-and-white illustrations throughout, and a list of ways that readers can follow in Dorothy Height’s footsteps and make a difference! A perfect choice for kids who love learning and teachers who want to bring inspiring women into their curriculum.

And don’t miss out on the rest of the books in the She Persisted series, featuring so many more women who persisted, including Harriet Tubman, Marian Anderson, Oprah Winfrey, Ruby Bridges, and more!


Click for more detail about Who Is Lebron James? by Crystal Hubbard Who Is Lebron James?

by Crystal Hubbard
Penguin Workshop (Feb 07, 2023)
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How did a young boy from Ohio go on to become one of the greatest basketball players of all time? Read about the incredible life and career of LeBron James in this addition to the #1 New York Times best-selling Who Was? series.

Today, LeBron James is an international superstar who has won four NBA Championships, earned two Olympic gold medals, written books, and starred in blockbuster movies. He has played for the Los Angeles Lakers, the Miami Heat, and the Cleveland Cavaliers, and has gained fans across the country as he led each of those three teams to victory. Many basketball lovers consider LeBron James to be one of the greatest players of all time. But how did LeBron come to be "King James?" Find out all about LeBron’s childhood, how he started playing basketball at the age of nine, and went on to rule the court in this new book for young readers!

Look for more Who HQ titles:

  • Who Is Michael Jordan?
  • Who Was Kobe Bryant?
  • Who Is Shaquille O’Neal?
  • What Are the Summer Olympics?


Click for more detail about A Spell of Good Things by Ayobami Adebayo A Spell of Good Things

by Ayobami Adebayo
Knopf Publishing Group (Feb 07, 2023)
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A dazzling story of modern Nigeria and two families caught in the riptides of wealth, power, romantic obsession, and political corruption from the celebrated author of Stay with Me, “in the lineage of great works by Chinua Achebe and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie” (The New York Times).

Eniola is tall for his age, a boy who looks like a man. Because his father has lost his job, Eniola spends his days running errands for the local tailor, collecting newspapers, begging when he must, dreaming of a big future.

Wuraola is a golden girl, the perfect child of a wealthy family. Now an exhausted young doctor in her first year of practice, she is beloved by Kunle, the volatile son of an ascendant politician.

When a local politician takes an interest in Eniola and sudden violence shatters a family party, Wuraola’s and Eniola’s lives become intertwined. In her breathtaking second novel, Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ shines her light on Nigeria, on the gaping divide between the haves and the have-nots, and the shared humanity that lives in between.


Click for more detail about Right by My Side by David Haynes Right by My Side

by David Haynes
Penguin Group USA (Jan 31, 2023)
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Move over, Holden Caulfield, and meet Marshall Field Finney, in the 30th-anniversary edition of Right by My Side, by a celebrated chronicler of Black middle-class life in the American Midwest

A Penguin Classic

With wit and realism, David Haynes presents a different kind of Holden Caulfield in fifteen-year-old Marshall Field Finney, an ordinary, sullen teenager who discovers storytelling as a way to ease his adolescent anger and family tensions. Living with his parents in “Washington Park,” a housing development outside St. Louis, Missouri in the 1980s, his high-strung mother walks out on him and his father, a flawed yet strong man who manages the local landfill. Marshall’s two best friends, one Black and one white, are his only allies, as they navigate school and family life together. Through these relationships, Haynes poses Marshall’s universal questions about his place in his community and what’s next in his life. Ultimately, Marshall’s story proves that people take care of each other, families take care of others, and a boy finds his own resilience to become a young man.

“[Haynes] belongs to the old realist tradition that believes that everyday life, if truly rendered, is more than exciting enough.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Haynes offers engaging characters who tackle fundamental issues such as love, family and benevolence,” Publishers Weekly


Click for more detail about This Here Flesh: Spirituality, Liberation, and the Stories That Make Us by Cole Arthur Riley This Here Flesh: Spirituality, Liberation, and the Stories That Make Us

by Cole Arthur Riley
Crown Publishing Group (Jan 31, 2023)
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New York Times Bestseller - In her stunning debut, the creator of Black Liturgies weaves stories from three generations of her family alongside contemplative reflections to discover the “necessary rituals” that connect us with our belonging, dignity, and liberation.

“This is the kind of book that makes you different when you’re done.”—Ashley C. Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Somebody’s Daughter

“Reaches deep beneath the surface of words unspoken, wounds unhealed, and secrets untempered to break them open in order for fresh light to break through.”—Morgan Jerkins, New York Times bestselling author of This Will Be My Undoing and Caul Baby

One of the Best Books of the Year: The Root, Library Journal

“From the womb, we must repeat with regularity that to love ourselves is to survive. I believe that is what my father wanted for me and knew I would so desperately need: a tool for survival, the truth of my dignity named like a mercy new each morning.”

So writes Cole Arthur Riley in her unforgettable book of stories and reflections on discovering the sacred in her skin. In these deeply transporting pages, Arthur Riley reflects on the stories of her grandmother and father, and how they revealed to her an embodied, dignity-affirming spirituality, not only in what they believed but in the act of living itself. Writing memorably of her own childhood and coming to self, Arthur Riley boldly explores some of the most urgent questions of life and faith: How can spirituality not silence the body, but instead allow it to come alive? How do we honor, lament, and heal from the stories we inherit? How can we find peace in a world overtaken with dislocation, noise, and unrest? In this indelible work of contemplative storytelling, Arthur Riley invites us to descend into our own stories, examine our capacity to rest, wonder, joy, rage, and repair, and find that our humanity is not an enemy to faith but evidence of it.

At once a compelling spiritual meditation, a powerful intergenerational account, and a tender coming-of-age narrative, This Here Flesh speaks potently to anyone who suspects that our stories might have something to say to us.


Click for more detail about River Sing Me Home by Eleanor Shearer River Sing Me Home

by Eleanor Shearer
Berkley Books (Jan 31, 2023)
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Rare. Moving. Powerful. This beautiful, page-turning and redemptive story of a mother’s gripping journey across the Caribbean to find her stolen children in the aftermath of slavery is a remarkable debut.

Her search begins with an ending.…


The master of the Providence plantation in Barbados gathers his slaves and announces the king has decreed an end to slavery. As of the following day, the Emancipation Act of 1834 will come into effect. The cries of joy fall silent when he announces that they are no longer his slaves; they are now his apprentices. No one can leave. They must work for him for another six years. Freedom is just another name for the life they have always lived. So Rachel runs.

Away from Providence, she begins a desperate search to find her children—the five who survived birth and were sold. Are any of them still alive? Rachel has to know. The grueling, dangerous journey takes her from Barbados then, by river, deep into the forest of British Guiana and finally across the sea to Trinidad. She is driven on by the certainty that a mother cannot be truly free without knowing what has become of her children, even if the answer is more than she can bear. These are the stories of Mary Grace, Micah, Thomas Augustus, Cherry Jane and Mercy. But above all this is the story of Rachel and the extraordinary lengths to which a mother will go to find her children…and her freedom.


Click for more detail about The (Young) Antiracist’s Workbook: Questions for Changemakers by Ibram X. Kendi and Nic Stone The (Young) Antiracist’s Workbook: Questions for Changemakers

by Ibram X. Kendi and Nic Stone
One World (Jan 31, 2023)
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Kids 12 and up can discover ways to work toward a better future in this illustrated workbook guiding them to reflect on their understanding of race—from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist.

Antiracism is not a destination but a journey—one that takes deliberate, consistent work. Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s concept of antiracism has changed the way we talk about race, equality, and justice in America, pointing us toward new ways of thinking about ourselves and our society. Young people must be included in conversations on race, which is why Dr. Kendi has created this workbook with bestselling YA author Nic Stone for readers age twelve and up.

Reflection questions include:

  • Have you ever tried to change something about yourself to fit in? Did it work? Why or why not?
  • How does the word racist feel when you hear or say it? Is it a weapon or a descriptor? Why?
  • Why is empathy an important tool for any antiracist’s toolbox?


Whether or not you’ve read How to Be a (Young) Antiracist, this workbook offers the opportunity to reflect on your personal commitment to antiracism and is a log of your journey toward a better future.


Click for more detail about You Gotta Meet Mr. Pierce!: The Storied Life of Folk Artist Elijah Pierce by Carmella Van Vleet and Chiquita Mullins Lee You Gotta Meet Mr. Pierce!: The Storied Life of Folk Artist Elijah Pierce

by Carmella Van Vleet and Chiquita Mullins Lee
Kokila (Jan 31, 2023)
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A picture book biography about the barber shop of woodcarver Elijah Pierce, recipient of the highest folk art honor in the United States.

“Creeeeak!” goes the screen door to self-taught artist Elijah Pierce’s barbershop art studio. A young boy walks in for an ordinary haircut and walks out having discovered a lifetime of art.

Mr. Pierce’s wood carvings are in every corner of the small studio. There are animals, scenes from his life, and those detailing the socio-political world around him. It’s this collection of work that will eventually win Elijah the National Heritage Fellowship in 1982 just two years before his death. But the young boy visiting the shop in the 1970s doesn’t know that yet. All he knows is: “You gotta meet Mr. Pierce!”

Based on the true story of Elijah Pierce and his community barber shop in Columbus, Ohio, this picture book includes cleverly collaged museum-sourced photos of his art and informative backmatter about his life. With engaging text by Pierce to the Soul! playwright Chiquita Mullins-Lee and Christopher Award-winning author Carmella Van Vleet, it’s illustrated with striking Japanese woodblock by Jennifer Mack-Watkins. A new addition to vital Black art history!


Click for more detail about How to Be a (Young) Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi and Nic Stone How to Be a (Young) Antiracist

by Ibram X. Kendi and Nic Stone
Kokila (Jan 31, 2023)
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he #1 New York Times bestseller that sparked international dialogue is now a book for young adults! Based on the adult bestseller by Ibram X. Kendi, and co-authored by bestselling author Nic Stone, How to be a (Young) Antiracist will serve as a guide for teens seeking a way forward in acknowledging, identifying, and dismantling racism and injustice.

The New York Times bestseller How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi is shaping the way a generation thinks about race and racism. How to be a (Young) Antiracist is a dynamic reframing of the concepts shared in the adult book, with young adulthood front and center. Aimed at readers 12 and up, and co-authored by award-winning children’s book author Nic Stone, How to be a (Young) Antiracist empowers teen readers to help create a more just society. Antiracism is a journey—and now young adults will have a map to carve their own path. Kendi and Stone have revised this work to provide anecdotes and data that speaks directly to the experiences and concerns of younger readers, encouraging them to think critically and build a more equitable world in doing so.


Click for more detail about The Davenports by Krystal Marquis The Davenports

by Krystal Marquis
Dial Books (Jan 31, 2023)
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Instant New York Times Bestseller

The Davenports delivers a totally escapist, swoon-worthy romance while offering a glimpse into a period of African American history often overlooked.

“A fresh, utterly enchanting read.” —Ayana Gray, New York Times bestselling author of the Beasts of Prey trilogy

The Davenports are one of the few Black families of immense wealth and status in a changing United States, their fortune made through the entrepreneurship of William Davenport, a formerly enslaved man who founded the Davenport Carriage Company years ago. Now it’s 1910, and the Davenports live surrounded by servants, crystal chandeliers, and endless parties, finding their way and finding love—even where they’re not supposed to.

There is Olivia, the beautiful elder Davenport daughter, ready to do her duty by getting married … until she meets the charismatic civil rights leader Washington DeWight and sparks fly. The younger daughter, Helen, is more interested in fixing cars than falling in love—unless it’s with her sister’s suitor. Amy-Rose, the childhood friend turned maid to the Davenport sisters, dreams of opening her own business—and marrying the one man she could never be with, Olivia and Helen’s brother, John. But Olivia’s best friend, Ruby, also has her sights set on John Davenport, though she can’t seem to keep his interest … until family pressure has her scheming to win his heart, just as someone else wins hers.

Inspired by the real-life story of the Patterson family, The Davenports is the tale of four determined and passionate young Black women discovering the courage to steer their own path in life—and love.


Click for more detail about Sun Keep Rising by Kristen R. Lee Sun Keep Rising

by Kristen R. Lee
Crown Books for Young Readers (Jan 24, 2023)
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When rent increases put a teen mom at risk of losing her home, she resorts to a dangerous game to keep her family afloat. But all games have consequences, and this isn’t one she can afford to lose. A gripping story about race, income instability, and the strength it takes to survive from a critically acclaimed author.

“Kristen R. Lee is a miraculous story weaver”-Mahogany L. Browne, author of Vinyl Moon

B’onca always knew how to get by. And then her daughter is born. She wouldn’t trade Mia for anything, but there is never enough cash to go around. When their gentrifying Memphis neighborhood results in higher prices and then an eviction notice, B’onca’s already fragile world spirals. Desperate to make things right, B’onca forges a risky plan to help pay the bills. But one wrong move could cost B’onca—and her family—everything.

From the celebrated author of Required Reading for the Disenfranchised Freshman comes a compelling story about a teen mom navigating income disparity and racial inequality, and defying challenges to protect those she loves.


Click for more detail about A is for Aretha by Leslie Kwan A is for Aretha

by Leslie Kwan
Kokila (Jan 24, 2023)
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An exciting ABC board book featuring Black women musicians whose artistry and activism globally changed the way we hear and interact with music, one song at a time.

Spotlighting 26 Black women in music, A is for Aretha is a celebration of the contributions they made not only within their industry but also of the social causes that often underpinned their music. Within these pages are women whose music encouraged joy and self-love, advocated for racial justice, buoyed civil rights protests, and trailblazed paths for Black creatives that are still felt to this day.

This board book is a perfect gift for a baby shower or the youngest music fan.


Click for more detail about Ice Cream Man: How Augustus Jackson Made a Sweet Treat Better by Glenda Armand Ice Cream Man: How Augustus Jackson Made a Sweet Treat Better

by Glenda Armand
Crown Books for Young Readers (Jan 17, 2023)
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Discover the inspiring story of Augustus Jackson, an African American entrepreneur who is known as “the father of ice cream,” in this beautifully illustrated picture-book biography.

Augustus Jackson was born in 1808 in Philadelphia. While most African Americans were enslaved at that time, in Pennsylvania, slavery was against the law. But while Augustus and his family were free, they were poor, and they depended on their garden and their chickens for food. Augustus enjoyed helping his mom prepare meals for their family. He dreamed of becoming a professional cook, and when his mom suggested he may be able to make meals for the president one day, Augustus didn’t waste any time in making that dream a reality. In 1820, when he was only twelve years old, he set off for Washington, DC. He applied to work in the White House, where the head cook offered him a job as a kitchen helper. After five years of working hard, Augustus, or Gus, was promoted to cook. He went on to serve presidents James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, and Andrew Jackson.

During his time at the White House, Augustus became an expert at making a popular egg-based dessert. He soon made an eggless version—known to us today as ice cream—and left the White House determined to make and sell the frozen treat to everyone, not just the wealthy. Gus headed back home to Philadelphia, and in 1830, he opened his very own ice cream parlor. He devised a way to keep the ice cream frozen so that it could be shipped and sold to other businesses. Gus also began adding rock salt to the ice that he used to make his ice cream, which made the mixture freeze more quickly. This allowed him to speed up his production process. He created more ice cream with new flavors, and soon he was shipping product via train to places like New York City, which was 100 miles away. Gus’s dream had come true, and better yet, he had brought smiles to many faces.

Shining a light on a little-known visionary, this inspiring picture-book biography includes an afterword, a list of sources, and an easy-to-follow recipe so readers can make their own delicious ice cream!


Click for more detail about My Red, White, and Blue by Alana Tyson My Red, White, and Blue

by Alana Tyson
Philomel Books (Jan 17, 2023)
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A powerful story about the mixture of pride and pain that one Black family finds in the American flag, and an invitation for each of us to choose how we relate to America, its history, and the flag that means so many things to so many people.

What does the American flag mean to you?

For some, it’s a vision of hope and opportunity. For others, it represents pain and loss. And for many, it’s more complicated than that—a symbol of a nation where the basic ideas of freedom and equality are still up for debate.

From slavery and segregation through Rosa Parks and Barack Obama, the history of Black people in America is a mixture of pride and pain. And while the flag might mean different things to different people, with some choosing to kneel and others to salute, ultimately, it is up to each of us to decide: the American flag is ours to see and relate to as we choose.

In this powerfully validating story that showcases many facets of Black American history through the eyes of a young Black boy in conversation with his grandfather, we are all invited to choose how to relate to America, and to the flag that means so many things to so many people.


Click for more detail about Justice Rising: 12 Amazing Black Women in the Civil Rights Movement by Katheryn Russell-Brown Justice Rising: 12 Amazing Black Women in the Civil Rights Movement

by Katheryn Russell-Brown
Viking Books for Young Readers (Jan 10, 2023)
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A celebration of twelve Black women who were pivotal to the civil rights movement and the fight for justice and equal rights in America.

You’ve heard the names Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King, but what about the many other women who were crucial to the civil rights movement?

  • Ella Baker
  • Ruby Bridges
  • Claudette Colvin
  • Dorothy Cotton
  • Fannie Lou Hammer
  • Coretta Scott King
  • Diane Nash
  • Rosa Parks
  • Bernice Johnson
  • Gloria Richardson
  • Joanne Robinson
  • Cheyenne Webb

Told through twelve short biographies, this book celebrates just some of the many Black women—each of whom has been largely underrepresented until now—who were instrumental to the nation’s fight for civil rights and the contributions they made in driving the Movement forward.

An empowering, eye-opening look at how one person can impact greater change, this book is both a conversation starter and much-needed history lesson for our modern world.


Click for more detail about Put Your Shoes On & Get Ready! by Raphael G. Warnock Put Your Shoes On & Get Ready!

by Raphael G. Warnock
Philomel Books (Jan 10, 2023)
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From Georgia’s first Black Senator Raphael Warnock comes an inspiring picture book about finding your dreams and making your mark in the world.

Before Raphael Warnock became a pastor and the first Black senator from Georgia, he was a little boy whose father told him to get up, get dressed, put on his shoes, and get ready! So that’s what he did, along every step of his journey. From his work boots to his marching band shoes to his shiny lace-ups, Senator Reverend Warnock found the right shoes to fit his feet and to carry him toward his dreams.

This inspirational story, with bold, brilliant art by TeMika Grooms, follows Raphael Warnock’s journey from Savannah, Georgia, to the United States Senate and shows young readers that they, too, can find the power to be themselves and make a difference when they have the shoes that fit their feet.


Click for more detail about The Green Piano: How Little Me Found Music by Roberta Flack and Tonya Bolden The Green Piano: How Little Me Found Music

by Roberta Flack and Tonya Bolden
Anne Schwartz Books (Jan 10, 2023)
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This autobiographical picture book by the multiple Grammy Award-winning singer Roberta Flack recounts her childhood in a home surrounded by music and love: it all started with a beat-up piano that her father found in a junkyard, repaired, and painted green.

Growing up in a Blue Ridge mountain town, little Roberta didn’t have fancy clothes or expensive toys…but she did have music. And she dreamed of having her own piano.

When her daddy spies an old, beat-up upright piano in a junkyard, he knows he can make his daughter’s dream come true. He brings it home, cleans and tunes it, and paints it a grassy green. And soon the little girl has an instrument to practice on, and a new dream to reach for—one that will make her become a legend in the music industry.

Here is a lyrical picture book—perfect for aspiring piano players and singers—that shares an intimate look at Roberta Flack’s family and her special connection to music.


Click for more detail about Friday I’m in Love by Camryn Garrett Friday I’m in Love

by Camryn Garrett
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers (Jan 10, 2023)
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It’s too late for a Sweet Sixteen, but what if Mahalia had a coming-out party? A love letter to romantic comedies, sweet sixteen blowouts, Black joy, and queer pride.

Mahalia Harris wants.

She wants a big Sweet Sixteen like her best friend, Naomi.
She wants the super-cute new girl Siobhan to like her back.
She wants a break from worrying—about money, snide remarks from white classmates, pitying looks from church ladies … all of it.

Then inspiration strikes: It’s too late for a Sweet Sixteen, but what if she had a coming-out party? A singing, dancing, rainbow-cake-eating celebration of queerness on her own terms.

The idea lights a fire beneath her, and soon Mahalia is scrimping and saving, taking on extra hours at her afterschool job, trying on dresses, and awkwardly flirting with Siobhan, all in preparation for the coming out of her dreams. But it’s not long before she’s buried in a mountain of bills, unfinished schoolwork, and enough drama to make her English lit teacher blush. With all the responsibility on her shoulders, will Mahalia’s party be over before it’s even begun?

A novel about finding yourself, falling in love, and celebrating what makes you you.


Click for more detail about What Does Brown Mean To You? by Ron Grady What Does Brown Mean To You?

by Ron Grady
Nancy Paulsen Books (Jan 04, 2023)
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This joyously affirming picture book follows a young boy throughout his day as he plays, paints, and bakes, making positive associations with the color of his skin.

This joyously affirming picture book follows a young boy throughout his day as he plays, paints, and bakes, making positive associations with the color of his skin.

To Benny, brown is more than just a color. Brown is his Gram’s coffee and his Gramp’s morning kiss. Brown is the wooden spoon he uses for mixing and baking. It’s the ground that grows the tomatoes he loves and it’s the log he plays on. Brown is the fuzzy blanket he takes to his room at the end of the day. Brown is him and brown is love.

In tender, lyrical text and warmly exuberant illustrations, What Does Brown Mean to You? celebrates all the brilliant and beautiful shades of brown, encouraging children to explore and see the beauty of their skin reflected in their families, communities, and the world around them.


Click for more detail about A Boy and His Mirror by Marchánt Davis A Boy and His Mirror

by Marchánt Davis
Nancy Paulsen Books (Jan 03, 2023)
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Debut author and actor Marchánt Davis joins forces with the bestselling illustrator Keturah A. Bobo to bring to life the story of a boy whose mirror gives him a whole new way of seeing himself.

Marchánt Davis’s uplifting picture book debut encourages us all to look beyond appearances—reminding us that while styles come and go, celebrating one another for who we are, never goes out of fashion. New York Times bestselling illustrator Keturah A. Bobo’s stunning art makes A Boy and His Mirror a standout among books that celebrate hair by showing the changing nature of what’s in style. As our main character Chris says, dang, it’s only hair. So let it fly! And claim your style.

Chris loves wearing his hair long, so why do his classmates tease him about it? When he looks for answers in his mirror, something wonderfully unusual happens: A lady appears with wise words that make him feel like a king! But when he starts acting like a king at school, it’s time for another visit to the mirror. This time, the woman gives Chris some good advice that he happily shares, about being less judgmental and offering respect to all. The message goes over well, and Chris couldn’t be happier—demonstrating the power of empathy. His willingness to put himself out there leads to some kids approaching him, and plenty of playground fun. Chris feels good knowing he was able to clear the air, say how he feels, and stay true to himself.


Click for more detail about Beyonce: A Little Golden Book Biography by Lavaille Lavette Beyonce: A Little Golden Book Biography

by Lavaille Lavette
Golden Books (Jan 03, 2023)
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This captivating Little Golden Book biography celebrates Beyoncé’s rise from a shy little girl to a world-famous superstar.

Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Beyoncé performed in various singing and dancing competitions as a child. She rose to fame in the late 1990s as the lead singer of Destiny’s Child, one of the best-selling girl groups of all time. Beyoncé continues to inspire and demonstrate that dreams—no matter how big—can be achieved through hard work and determination. Michelle Obama has called her a "role model for us all."

Look for more Little Golden Book biographies:

  • Willie Nelson
  • Dolly Parton
  • Taylor Swift
  • Tony Bennett


Click for more detail about Matchmaker #3 by Kelly Starling Lyons Matchmaker #3

by Kelly Starling Lyons
Penguin Workshop (Dec 27, 2022)
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From the award-winning author of the Jada Jones chapter books comes an illustrated spinoff series perfect for STEM fans!

Valentine’s Day is approaching, and Miles Lewis doesn’t really like all the mush that comes with it. He is excited about the candy experiments they’re doing in science class, though. And when his teacher asks for adult volunteers to help out, Miles and his friend Jada share that they’re both planning on inviting their grandparents. That’s when they realize that Miles’s Nana and Jada’s Pop Pop have a lot in common—could they be a perfect match?


Click for more detail about Smart Sisters by Mechal Renee Roe Smart Sisters

by Mechal Renee Roe
Doubleday Books for Young Readers (Dec 27, 2022)
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Confident, empowered sisters and best friends are celebrated in this read-together picture book celebrating sisterly love and joy. From the author of the Happy Hair series, which promotes self-love, positivity, and acceptance.

Perfect together! Always and forever! My sister and me!

Beautiful Black and Brown girls with gorgeous natural hairstyles are the stars of this vibrant, rhythmic picture book. With encouraging words of unity and support on each page, it’s a great read-aloud to promote confidence and self-esteem among girls of all ages.

Look for all the books in the Happy Hair series:

  • Happy Hair
  • Cool Cuts
  • I’m Growing Great
  • I Love Being Me! (Step Into Reading)
  • I Am Born to Be Awesome! (Step Into Reading)


Click for more detail about What Was Reconstruction? by Sherri L. Smith What Was Reconstruction?

by Sherri L. Smith
Penguin Workshop (Dec 27, 2022)
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In the same style as the New York Times Best-Selling Who Was? series, What Was? focuses on compelling historical events, great battles, protests, and discoveries.

Learn about a pivotal time in American history and its momentous effects on civil rights in America in this enlightening title about Reconstruction.

Reconstruction — the period after the Civil War — was meant to give newly freed Black people the same rights as white people. And indeed there were monumental changes once slavery ended — thriving new Black communities, the first Black members in Congress, and a new sense of dignity for many Black Americans. But this time of hope didn’t last long and instead, a deeply segregated United States continued on for another hundred years. Find out what went wrong in this fascinating overview of a troubled time.


Click for more detail about In It to Win It by Sharon C. Cooper In It to Win It

by Sharon C. Cooper
Berkley Books (Dec 13, 2022)
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Two entrepreneurs compete for a property but secure the biggest win of all—each other—in this second chance romantic comedy by USA Today bestselling author Sharon C. Cooper.

Spoiled, fickle, and prissy are only a few of the adjectives that have been used to describe Morgan Redford. Though she’s never had to worry about money, she’s determined to make a name for herself on her own terms. Her new venture won’t be an epic fail like her former professional cuddling service or the short-lived pet hotel. This time, through the nonprofit she cofounded, Morgan is doing something meaningful—helping teens who are aging out of foster care—and she’s got her eye on a property that could house these kids. But the competition is steep, and one of the bidders is someone she never expected… .

When real estate developer Drake Faulkner learns that his ex—the one who ghosted him years ago—is a potential buyer for the property his eccentric mentor is selling, his competitive streak amps up. No way is he letting her win the property he wants. Bitter? Yes. Petty? Probably. But his mentor has a stipulation: potential buyers must participate in an Ironman competition of sorts for the property. Drake refuses to play along with this ridiculous demand, until he discovers Morgan has signed up. If Little Miss Can’t Run a Block Without Gasping for Air is doing it, he will too. But as the gauntlet of games heats up and forces them to face the past, they are met with a pull that feels all too familiar.

Now, if only they could keep their eyes on the prize instead of on each other—but who’s to say they can’t do both?


Click for more detail about To the Realization of Perfect Helplessness by Robin Coste Lewis To the Realization of Perfect Helplessness

by Robin Coste Lewis
Knopf Publishing Group (Dec 06, 2022)
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A genre-bending exploration of poetry, photography, and human migration—another revelatory visual expedition from the National Book Award–winning poet who changed the way we see art, the museum, and the Black female figure.

“Lewis pushes the limits of language and image, composing lines alongside a cache of hundreds of photographs found under her late grandmother’s bed only days before the house was slated to be razed.” —Kevin Young, The New Yorker

Twenty-five years ago, after her maternal grandmother’s death, Robin Coste Lewis discovered a stunning collection of photographs in an old suitcase under her bed, filled with everything from sepia tintypes to Technicolor Polaroids. Lewis’s family had survived one of the largest migrations in human history, when six million Americans fled the South, attempting to escape from white supremacy and white terrorism. But these photographs of daily twentieth-century Black life revealed a concealed, interior history. The poetry Lewis joins to these vivid images stands forth as an inspiring alternative to the usual ways we frame the old stories of “race” and “migration,” placing them within a much vaster span of time and history.

In what she calls “a film for the hands” and “an origin myth for the future,” Lewis reverses our expectations of both poetry and photography: “Black pages, black space, black time––the Big Black Bang.” From glamorous outings to graduations, birth announcements, baseball leagues, and back-porch delight, Lewis creates a lyrical documentary about Black intimacy. Instead of colonial nostalgia, she offers us “an exalted Black privacy.” What emerges is a dynamic reframing of what it means to be human and alive, with Blackness at its center. “I am trying / to make the gods / happy,” she writes amid these portraits of her ancestors. “I am trying to make the dead / clap and shout.”


Click for more detail about Harriet Tubman: A Little Golden Book Biography by JaNay Brown-Wood Harriet Tubman: A Little Golden Book Biography

by JaNay Brown-Wood
Golden Books (Dec 06, 2022)
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Inspire and educate your little one with a Little Golden Book biography about Harriet Tubman! It’s the perfect introduction to nonfiction for young readers—as well as fans of all ages!

This Little Golden Book about Harriet Tubman—a true hero who helped to free enslaved Black people as a conductor on the Underground Railroad—is an inspiring read-aloud for young children.

Look for more Little Golden Book biographies:

  • Barack Obama
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • Joe Biden
  • Kamala Harris
  • Sonia Sotomayor
  • Dr. Fauci


Click for more detail about Who Is Ketanji Brown Jackson? by Shelia P. Moses Who Is Ketanji Brown Jackson?

by Shelia P. Moses
Penguin Workshop (Nov 29, 2022)
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Discover how a young girl who was the star of her school’s debate team became a federal jurist and the first Black woman to sit on the United States Supreme Court.

Presenting Who HQ Now: an exciting addition to the #1 New York Times Best-Selling Who Was? series!

Born in Washington, DC, in 1970, and raised in Miami, Florida, Ketanji Brown Jackson developed an interest in law and politics at an early age. As a preschooler, she sat with her father and watched him complete his law school assignments. And even though some people, including a school guidance counselor, discouraged Ketanji from aiming high, she proved them wrong and graduated with honors from Harvard Law School. She went on to serve on the U.S. District Court in 2013 and the United States Court of Appeals in 2021 before making history and becoming the first Black woman to be confirmed to the United States Supreme Court in 2022.

Learn more about Ketanji Brown Jackson’s story in this addition to the New York Times bestselling series.


Click for more detail about The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times by Michelle Obama The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times

by Michelle Obama
Crown Publishing Group (Nov 15, 2022)
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I’ve learned it’s okay to recognize that self-worth comes wrapped in vulnerability, and that what we share as humans on this earth is the impulse to strive for better, always and no matter what. We become bolder in brightness. If you know your light, you know yourself. You know your own story in an honest way. In my experience, this type of self-knowledge builds confidence, which in turn breeds calmness and an ability to maintain perspective, which leads, finally, to being able to connect meaningfully with others—and this to me is the bedrock of all things. One light feeds another. One strong family lends strength to more. One engaged community can ignite those around it. This is the power of the light we carry.”

In an inspiring follow-up to her critically acclaimed, #1 bestselling memoir Becoming, former First Lady Michelle Obama shares practical wisdom and powerful strategies for staying hopeful and balanced in today’s highly uncertain world.

There may be no tidy solutions or pithy answers to life’s big challenges, but Michelle Obama believes that we can all locate and lean on a set of tools to help us better navigate change and remain steady within flux. In The Light We Carry, she opens a frank and honest dialogue with readers, considering the questions many of us wrestle with: How do we build enduring and honest relationships? How can we discover strength and community inside our differences? What tools do we use to address feelings of self-doubt or helplessness? What do we do when it all starts to feel like too much?

Michelle Obama offers readers a series of fresh stories and insightful reflections on change, challenge, and power, including her belief that when we light up for others, we can illuminate the richness and potential of the world around us, discovering deeper truths and new pathways for progress. Drawing from her experiences as a mother, daughter, spouse, friend, and First Lady, she shares the habits and principles she has developed to successfully adapt to change and overcome various obstacles—the earned wisdom that helps her continue to “become.” She details her most valuable practices, like “starting kind,” “going high,” and assembling a “kitchen table” of trusted friends and mentors. With trademark humor, candor, and compassion, she also explores issues connected to race, gender, and visibility, encouraging readers to work through fear, find strength in community, and live with boldness.

“When we are able to recognize our own light, we become empowered to use it,” writes Michelle Obama. A rewarding blend of powerful stories and profound advice that will ignite conversation, The Light We Carry inspires readers to examine their own lives, identify their sources of gladness, and connect meaningfully in a turbulent world.


Click for more detail about Little Black Girl: Oh, the Things You Can Do! by Kirby Howell-Baptiste Little Black Girl: Oh, the Things You Can Do!

by Kirby Howell-Baptiste
Nancy Paulsen Books (Nov 15, 2022)
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An empowering and joyous picture book by actress Kirby Howell-Baptiste (The Sandman) that instills confidence and encourages little Black girls to reach for their wildest dreams.

Illustrated by the talented Paul Davey, this inspiring picture book celebrates all little Black girls, the power of community, and the joy and hope of being a child.

In beautiful, lyrical text actress Kirby Howell-Baptiste tells the story of one Black girl and her limitless potential as she pursues her dream of robotics. Determined to have her robot ready for the school fair, getting everything done in time won’t be easy, but this little Black girl knows she is destined to shine and is not going to let anything hold her back from achieving her dream. With bright, bold plans in mind she begins to sketch and build her robot. The joy she has pursuing her passion is infectious and she has a community of strong women around her, encouraging and supporting her as she lives out her dream.

You have sparks in your brain and fire in your heart.
You can decide where to stop and where to start.
You were born unique. None of us are the same.
Your only job: Make them remember your name.


Click for more detail about Little Black Boy: Oh, the Things You Will Do! by Kirby Howell-Baptiste and Larry C. Fields III Little Black Boy: Oh, the Things You Will Do!

by Kirby Howell-Baptiste and Larry C. Fields III
Nancy Paulsen Books (Nov 15, 2022)
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A little Black boy finds the courage to go after his dreams in this empowering and inspirational picture book by actress Kirby Howell-Baptiste (The Sandman) with actor Larry Fields.

With vivid, dimensional illustrations by Paul Davey, this encouraging and hopeful picture book celebrates the joy of being a little Black boy and their bright futures.

Fascinated by marine wildlife, a little Black boy dreams of one day swimming in the ocean alongside all the creatures that make it their home. It will take courage to move from the safety of the swimming pool to the vastness of the ocean, but as he begins his journey of discovery, he soon finds there’s nothing he can’t do. He realizes if he cares about the animals in the ocean, he must also care about their home and sets out to preserve the beaches he loves by picking up trash. This little boy is determined not only to reach his dream of becoming a marine biologist, but to make a difference in the world and to share his passion of environmental conservation with everyone.

Little Black Boy, Oh the things you will do.
Has anyone mentioned the world’s open to you?


Click for more detail about Pride and Protest by Nikki Payne Pride and Protest

by Nikki Payne
Berkley Books (Nov 15, 2022)
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A Phenomenal Book Club pick for November 2022!

A woman goes head-to-head with the CEO of a corporation threatening to destroy her neighborhood in this fresh and modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice by debut author Nikki Payne.

Liza B.—the only DJ who gives a jam—wants to take her neighborhood back from the soulless property developer dropping unaffordable condos on every street corner in DC. But her planned protest at a corporate event takes a turn after she mistakes the smoldering-hot CEO for the waitstaff. When they go toe-to-toe, the sparks fly—but her impossible-to-ignore family thwarts her every move. Liza wants Dorsey Fitzgerald out of her hood, but she’ll settle for getting him out of her head.

At first, Dorsey writes off Liza Bennett as more interested in performing outrage than acting on it. As the adopted Filipino son of a wealthy white family, he’s always felt a bit out of place and knows a fraud when he sees one. But when Liza’s protest results in a viral meme, their lives are turned upside down, and Dorsey comes to realize this irresistible revolutionary is the most real woman he’s ever met.


Click for more detail about The Book of Jose: A Memoir by Fat Joe and Shaheem Reid The Book of Jose: A Memoir

by Fat Joe and Shaheem Reid
Roc Lit 101 (Nov 15, 2022)
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Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum–selling artist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Fat Joe pulls back the curtain on his larger-than-life persona in this gritty, intimate memoir about growing up in the South Bronx and finding his voice through music.

Fat Joe is a hip-hop legend, but this is not a tale of celebrity; it is the story of Joseph Cartagena, a kid who came of age in the South Bronx during its darkest years of drugs, violence, and abandonment, and how he navigated that traumatizing landscape until he found—through art, friendship, luck, and will—a rocky path to a different life.

Joe is born into a sprawling Puerto Rican and Cuban family in the projects of the South Bronx. From infancy his life is threatened by violence, and by the time he starts middle school, he is faced with the grim choice that defined a generation: to become predator or prey. Soon Joe and his crew dominate the streets, but he finds his true love among the park jams where the Bronx’s wild energy takes musical form. His identity splits in two: a hustler roaming record stores, looking for beats; and a budding rapper whose violent rep rings in the streets. As Joe’s day-to-day life becomes more fraught with betrayal, addiction, and death, until he himself is shot and almost killed, he gravitates toward the music that gives him both a voice to tell the stories of his young life and the tools he needs to create a new one. The challenges never stop—but neither does Joe.

This memoir, written in Joe’s own intensely compelling voice, moves with the momentum of pulp fiction, but underneath the tragicomedy and riveting tales of the streets and the industry is a thought-provoking story about a generation of survivors raised in warlike conditions—the life-and-death choices they had to make, the friends they lost and mourned, and the glittering lives they created from the ruins.


Click for more detail about Who Is the Man in the Air?: Michael Jordan by Gabe Soria Who Is the Man in the Air?: Michael Jordan

by Gabe Soria
Penguin Workshop (Nov 01, 2022)
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Discover the story behind Michael Jordan’s incredible triumph in the 1997 Flu Game in this powerful graphic novel written by Murder Ballads’ Gabe Soria and illustrated by award-winning artist Brittney Williams.

Presenting Who HQ Graphic Novels: an exciting addition to the #1 New York Times best-selling Who Was? series!

Explore the relentless grit of Michael Jordan, as he powers through a mysterious illness in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA finals against the Utah Jazz, infamously known as The Flu Game. A story of athleticism, willpower, and triumph, this graphic novel invites readers to immerse themselves into the unyielding drive of one of the greatest basketball players of all time — brought to life by gripping narrative and vivid full-color illustrations that jump off the page.


Click for more detail about My Fade Is Fresh by Shauntay Grant My Fade Is Fresh

by Shauntay Grant
Penguin Workshop (Nov 01, 2022)
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A little girl makes sure she walks out of the barbershop rocking the fabulous hair style she chooses.

Learn the importance of speaking up for what you want through this fun and empowering picture book.

When a little girl walks into her local barbershop, she knows she wants the flyest, freshest fade on the block! But there are so many beautiful hairstyles to choose from, and the clients and her mother suggest them all: parts, perms, frizzy fros, dye jobs, locs, and even cornrows!

But this little girl stays true to herself and makes sure she leaves the shop feeling on top with the look she picks!

Author Shauntay Grant’s sweet, rhyming story encourages young girls to be self-confident and celebrates the many shapes and forms Black hair can take. Through their stunning illustrations, Kitt Thomas is able to bring life and movement to the versatile styles featured in this book.


Click for more detail about Twelve Dinging Doorbells by Tameka Fryer Brown Twelve Dinging Doorbells

by Tameka Fryer Brown
Kokila (Oct 18, 2022)
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A cumulative all-holiday carol packed to the brim with family, food, love, and Black joy, especially perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, graduations, and all family celebrations.

Every holiday, aunties, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and neighbors come over to eat, sing, and celebrate life. But all our main character can think about is the sweet potato pie Granny makes just for her. As tables fill with baked macaroni and cheese, chitlins, and other sides a-steaming, she and Granny move the pie to keep it intact. The task becomes tricker as the room grows with dancing and card games and pie cravings. Just when all seems lost and there’s no more pie, Granny pulls out a sweet surprise.

Written to the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” Twelve Dinging Doorbells is exuberant. Author Tameka Fryer Brown’s cumulative rhyme is impossible to resist, and the humorous details in Ebony Glenn’s cut-paper collage will welcome readers to this party again and again.


Click for more detail about Maybe an Artist, a Graphic Memoir by Liz Montague Maybe an Artist, a Graphic Memoir

by Liz Montague
Random House Studio (Oct 18, 2022)
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A heartfelt and funny graphic novel memoir from one of the first Black female cartoonists to be published in the New Yorker, when she was just 22 years old.

When Liz Montague was a senior in college, she wrote to the New Yorker, asking them why they didn’t publish more inclusive comics. The New Yorker wrote back asking if she could recommend any. She responded: yes, me.

Those initial cartoons in the New Yorker led to this memoir of Liz’s youth, from the age of five through college—how she navigated life in her predominantly white New Jersey town, overcame severe dyslexia through art, and found the confidence to pursue her passion. Funny and poignant, Liz captures the age-old adolescent questions of “who am I?” and “what do I want to be?” with pitch-perfect clarity and insight.

This brilliant, laugh-out-loud graphic memoir offers a fresh perspective on life and social issues and proves that you don’t need to be a dead white man to find success in art.


Click for more detail about Me and Muhammad Ali by Jabari Asim Me and Muhammad Ali

by Jabari Asim
Nancy Paulsen Books (Oct 11, 2022)
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A little boy’s joyous encounter with his hero, boxing champion and poet Muhammad Ali, is everything he’s dreamed of—and more!

Like most of the kids he knows, Langston is a huge fan of boxing champ Muhammed Ali. After all, Ali is the greatest for so many reasons—his speed, his strength, his confidence—and his poetry. Langston loves that Ali can float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, and Ali’s words give him confidence to spin his own poems. When Langston hears the champ is coming to the local high school, he’s ecstatic—this will be a day that will go down in history for him. When the big day arrives, Langston gets a special haircut, and floats like a butterfly to meet his hero—so imagine his disappointment when a guard tries to stop him at the door, saying the event is just for students. Fortunately, Langston has learned a thing or two about fearlessness from the champ and is quick about not taking “no” for an answer. And just like that, a dream comes true for Langston that leaves him feeling wrapped in a warm glow and chanting I’m quick and I’m strong. I’m Black and I’m free. I’m brave and I’m bold, like Muhammad Ali!


Click for more detail about 
Me and the Boss: A Story about Mending and Love by Michelle Edwards Me and the Boss: A Story about Mending and Love

by Michelle Edwards
Anne Schwartz Books (Oct 11, 2022)
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All the highs and lows of having a bossy, protective, and loving older sibling are depicted in this heartwarming picture book by a critically acclaimed author and award-winning illustrator. Meet Lee, a little boy who won’t give up until he learns how to sew, and Zora, the sister who watches him try—and ultimately succeed!

I know big sisters. Zora, the boss, she’s mine, explains Lee as he and Zora head to the library, where Mrs. C is teaching the children how to sew. Though Zora sews a beautiful flower on her cloth square, little Lee makes a mess out of the half-moon he is trying to stitch. That night, when he can’t sleep, he gives sewing another try…and succeeds, even mending the hole in his pants pocket! The next morning, he sneaks into Zora’s room and sews the ear back on Bess, her stuffed bear. When Zora discovers Bess, she wraps Lee in her special big sister hug—for just a moment—and then is back to being the boss once again. An acclaimed author and a Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe Award-winning illustrator create a funny, oh-so-true portrait of a brother and sister’s relationship in this winning picture book.


Click for more detail about Recognize! (paperback): An Anthology Honoring and Amplifying Black Life by Cheryl Willis Hudson and Wade Hudson Recognize! (paperback): An Anthology Honoring and Amplifying Black Life

by Cheryl Willis Hudson and Wade Hudson
Yearling (Oct 04, 2022)
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BLACK LIVES HAVE ALWAYS MATTERED.

In the stunning follow-up to The Talk: Conversations About Race, Love & Truth, award-winning Black authors and artists come together to create a moving anthology collection celebrating Black love, Black creativity, Black resistance, and Black life.

A multifaceted, sometimes disheartening, yet consistently enriching primer on the unyielding necessity of those three words: Black Lives Matter. -Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

Prominent Black creators lend their voice, their insight, and their talent to an inspiring anthology that celebrates Black culture and Black life. Essays, poems, short stories, and historical excerpts blend with a full-color eight-page insert of spellbinding art to capture the pride, prestige, and jubilation that is being Black in America. In these pages, find the stories of the past, the journeys of the present, and the light guiding the future.


Click for more detail about Jackal by Erin E. Adams Jackal

by Erin E. Adams
Bantam (Oct 04, 2022)
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It’s watching.

Liz Rocher is coming home … reluctantly. As a Black woman, Liz doesn’t exactly have fond memories of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a predominantly white town. But her best friend is getting married, so she braces herself for a weekend of awkward, passive-aggressive reunions. Liz has grown, though; she can handle whatever awaits her. But on the day of the wedding, somewhere between dancing and dessert, the couple’s daughter, Caroline, disappears—and the only thing left behind is a piece of white fabric covered in blood.

It’s taking.

As a frantic search begins, with the police combing the trees for Caroline, Liz is the only one who notices a pattern: A summer night. A missing girl. A party in the woods. She’s seen this before. Keisha Woodson, the only other Black girl in Liz’s high school, walked into the woods with a mysterious man and was later found with her chest cavity ripped open and her heart removed. Liz shudders at the thought that it could have been her, and now, with Caroline missing, it can’t be a coincidence. As Liz starts to dig through the town’s history, she uncovers a horrifying secret about the place she once called home. Children have been going missing in these woods for years. All of them Black. All of them girls.

It’s your turn.

With the evil in the forest creeping closer, Liz knows what she must do: find Caroline, or be entirely consumed by the darkness.


Click for more detail about Talking about a Revolution by Yassmin Abdel-Magied Talking about a Revolution

by Yassmin Abdel-Magied
Random House Australia (Oct 01, 2022)
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With her trademark optimism, sass, boldness and search for answers, across a collection of new and revisited essays, Yassmin Abdel-Magied explores resistance, transformation, and revolution.

Yassmin Abdel-Magied started out a dynamic, optimistic, naïve, youthful grass-roots organizer and oil rig worker before she found herself taking on the heft of the Australian political and media establishment, unintentionally.

From her new home in Europe she brings her characteristic warmth, clarity and inquisitive nature to the concepts of ’the private and public self’ and ’systems and society’ that structure this collection.

In “The Private and Public Self,” Yassmin shares her passions for cars and cryptocurrency as well as the personal challenges around her activism and leaving Australia. She provides a hearty defence of hobbies and expands on the value and process of carving out a private life and self in an incredibly public-facing world. The concept of identity when one is a “forever migrant” - by ancestry, and by choice - is interrogated, as is what it means to organise for social justice when you aren’t sure where you belong.

In “Systems and Society,” through essays on cultural appropriation, the meaning of citizenship, and unconscious bias, Yassmin charts how her thinking on activism, transformative change and justice has evolved. She brings an abolitionist lens to social justice work and, recalling her days as a young revolutionary, encourages younger generations of activists to decide if it is empowerment they are working towards, or power.

In all these essays, written with the passion, lived-experience and intelligence of someone who wants to improve our world, the concept of revolution, however big or small, is ever-present.


Click for more detail about Soul of the Deep by Natasha Bowen Soul of the Deep

by Natasha Bowen
Random House Books for Young Readers (Sep 27, 2022)
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The highly anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestseller Skin of the Sea, in which the world must pay the price for one mermaid’s choice, and a dark force reverberates across realms. Perfect for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and those eagerly anticipating the live-action film adaptation of The Little Mermaid.

One life.
One choice.
One sacrifice.

To save those closest to her, Simi traded away everything: her freedom, her family, and the boy she loves. Now she is sworn to serve a new god, watching over the Land of the Dead at the bottom of the ocean.

But when signs of demons begin to appear, it’s clear there are deeper consequences of Simi’s trade. These demons spell the world’s ruin … and because of Simi, they now have a way into the human realm.

With the fate of the world at stake, Simi must break her promise and team up with a scheming trickster of a god. And if they succeed, perhaps Simi can also unbreak her heart along the way, and find herself again.

“Epic and original … Simi’s story will stay with me for a long time.” —Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Instructions for Dancing


Click for more detail about Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm by Laura Warrell Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm

by Laura Warrell
Pantheon Books (Sep 27, 2022)
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“A modern masterpiece.” —Jason Reynolds, best-selling author of Look Both Ways

It’s 2013, and Circus Palmer, a forty-year-old Boston-based trumpet player and old-school ladies’ man, lives for his music and refuses to be tied down. Before a gig in Miami, he learns that the woman who is secretly closest to his heart, the free-spirited drummer Maggie, is pregnant by him. Instead of facing the necessary conversation, Circus flees, setting off a chain of interlocking revelations from the various women in his life. Most notable among them is his teenage daughter, Koko, who idolizes him and is awakening to her own sexuality even as her mentally fragile mother struggles to overcome her long-failed marriage and rejection by Circus. Delivering a lush orchestration of diverse female voices, Warrell spins a provocative, soulful, and gripping story of passion and risk, fathers and daughters, wives and single women, and, finally, hope and reconciliation, in answer to the age-old question: how do we find belonging when love is unrequited?


Click for more detail about The Furrows by Namwali Serpell The Furrows

by Namwali Serpell
Hogarth Press (Sep 27, 2022)
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How do you grieve an absence? A brilliantly inventive novel about loss and belonging, from the award-winning author of The Old Drift.

ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022—Vulture, Lit Hub, Electric Lit, BookPage

I don’t want to tell you what happened. I want to tell you how it felt.

Cassandra Williams is twelve; her little brother, Wayne, is seven. One day, when they’re alone together, there is an accident and Wayne is lost forever. His body is never recovered. The missing boy cleaves the family with doubt. Their father leaves, starts another family elsewhere. But their mother can’t give up hope and launches an organization dedicated to missing children.

As C grows older, she sees her brother everywhere: in bistros, airplane aisles, subway cars. Here is her brother’s face, the light in his eyes, the way he seems to recognize her, too. But it can’t be, of course. Or can it? Then one day, in another accident, C meets a man both mysterious and familiar, a man who is also searching for someone and for his own place in the world. His name is Wayne.

Namwali Serpell’s remarkable new novel captures the uncanny experience of grief, the way the past breaks over the present like waves in the sea. The Furrows is a bold exploration of memory and mourning that twists unexpectedly into a story of mistaken identity, double consciousness, and the wishful—and sometimes willful—longing for reunion with those we’ve lost.


Click for more detail about The Black Period: On Personhood, Race, and Origin by Hafizah Augustus Geter The Black Period: On Personhood, Race, and Origin

by Hafizah Augustus Geter
Random House (Sep 20, 2022)
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An acclaimed poet reclaims her origin story as the queer daughter of a Muslim Nigerian immigrant and a Black American visual artist in this groundbreaking memoir, combining lyrical prose, biting criticism, and haunting visuals.

“Hafizah Augustus Geter is a genuine artist, not bound by genre or form. Her only loyalty is the harrowing beauty of the truth.”—Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage

“I say, ‘the Black Period,’ and mean ‘home’ in all its shapeshifting ways.” In The Black Period, Hafizah creates a space for the beauty of Blackness, Islam, disability, and queerness to flourish, celebrating the many layers of her existence that America has time and again sought to erase.

At nineteen, she lost her mother to a sudden stroke. Weeks later, her father became so heartsick that he needed a triple bypass. By her thirties, she was constantly in pain, pinballing between physical therapy appointments, her grief, and the grind that is the American Dream. Hafizah realized she’d spent years internalizing the narratives that white supremacy had fed her about herself. Suddenly, she says, I was standing at the cliff of my own life, remembering.

Recalling her parents’ lessons on the art of Black revision, and mixing history, political analysis, and cultural criticism, alongside stunning original artwork created by her father, renowned artist Tyrone Geter, Hafizah maps out her own narrative, weaving between a childhood populated with Southern and Nigerian relatives; her days in a small Catholic school; a loving but tragically short relationship with her mother; and the feelings of joy and community that the Black Lives Matter protests engendered in her as an adult. All throughout, she forms a new personal and collective history, addressing the systems of inequity that make life difficult for non-able-bodied persons, queer people, and communities of color while capturing a world brimming with potential, art, music, hope, and love.

A unique combination of gripping memoir and Afrofuturist thought, in The Black Period, Hafizah manages to sidestep shame, confront disability, embrace forgiveness, and emerge from the erasures America imposes to exist proudly and unabashedly as herself.


Click for more detail about Brown Baby Jesus: A Picture Book by Dorena Williamson Brown Baby Jesus: A Picture Book

by Dorena Williamson
WaterBrook Press (Sep 20, 2022)
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Celebrate Christmas with this unique retelling of the Nativity story featuring Jesus as a melanated baby in a story that’s rich with Scripture, historical accuracy, and a multicultural weaving of love—from the author of Crowned with Glory.

Like Moses, brown baby Jesus would be a deliverer. Like Rahab, brown baby Jesus would save His people from destruction. Like David, brown baby Jesus would rule as a great king. Like the colorful threads that make up a beautiful cloth, Brown Baby Jesus brings together the characters and stories leading to Jesus—showing how God included many races and nations in the story we celebrate each year.

With an unconventional Christmas setting of Egypt and written in sweet, lyrical prose, Brown Baby Jesus is sure to become a holiday classic embraced by families of all races and backgrounds.


Click for more detail about Ready? Set. Birthday! by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson Ready? Set. Birthday!

by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
Random House Books for Young Readers (Sep 20, 2022)
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This Step 2 early reader captures all the excitement and anticipation that every child experiences in the lead-up to their special day—their birthday!

Raymond likes to do everything fast! It’s almost his birthday and he can’t wait! He tries goes outside to play. He helps Papa wash the car. He even goes to bed early in hopes time will fly, but his birthday can’t come fast enough! Maybe his friend Roxy can help him enjoy the wait …and his special day, too! This sequel to Ready? Set. Raymond (which marks its 20th Anniversary in 2022!) will delight fans and new readers alike.

Step 2 Readers use basic vocabulary and short sentences to tell simple stories. They are perfect for children who recognize familiar words and can sound out new words with help.


Click for more detail about Standing in the Need of Prayer (paperback): A Modern Retelling of the Classic Spiritual by Carole Boston Weatherford Standing in the Need of Prayer (paperback): A Modern Retelling of the Classic Spiritual

by Carole Boston Weatherford
Crown Books for Young Readers (Sep 20, 2022)
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From an award-winning author and critically acclaimed artist comes a stunning and deeply moving picture book based on the popular spiritual "Standing in the Need of Prayer." The classic lyrics have been reworked to chronicle the milestones, struggles, tragedies, and triumphs of African American history. A perfect gift or timeless keepsake!

This inspirational book encapsulates African American history and invites conversations at all levels. Carole Boston Weatherford’s riveting text and Frank Morrison’s evocative and detailed paintings are informative reminders of yesterday, hopeful images for today, and aspirational dreams of tomorrow.

Starting from 1619 and stretching more than four hundred years, this book features such pivotal moments in history as the arrival of enslaved people in Jamestown, Virginia; Nat Turner’s rebellion; the integration of the US military; the Selma to Montgomery marches; and peaceful present-day protests. It also celebrates the feats of African American musicians and athletes, such as Duke Ellington and Florence Griffith Joyner.

At the end of the book, readers will find descriptions of the people, places, and events that are featured, along with a note from Carole Boston Weatherford.

Visually stunning and incredibly timely, this book reckons with a painful history while serving as a testament to the human spirit’s ability to persevere in even the most hopeless of circumstances. Its universal message of faith, strength, and resilience will resonate with readers of all ages.


Click for more detail about Drunk on Love by Jasmine Guillory Drunk on Love

by Jasmine Guillory
Berkley Books (Sep 20, 2022)
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An intoxicating and sparkling new romance by New York Times bestselling author Jasmine Guillory.

Margot Noble needs some relief from the stress of running the family winery with her brother. Enter Luke: sexy, charming, and best of all in the too-small world of Napa, a stranger. The chemistry between them is undeniable, and Margot is delighted that she lucked into the perfect one-night stand she’ll never have to see again. That is, until the winery’s newest hire, Luke, walks in the next morning. Margot is determined to keep things purely professional, but when their every interaction reminds her of the attraction still bubbling between them, it proves to be much more challenging than she expects.

Luke Williams had it all, but when he quits his high-salary tech job in Silicon Valley in a blaze of burnout and moves back to Napa to help a friend, he realizes he doesn’t want to tell the world—or his mom—why he’s now working at a winery. His mom loves bragging about her successful son—how can he admit that the job she’s so proud of broke him? Luke has no idea what is next for him, but one thing is certain: he wants more from the incredibly smart and sexy woman he hooked up with—even after he learns she’s his new boss. But even if they can find a way to be together that wouldn’t be an ethical nightmare, would such a successful woman really want a tech-world dropout?

Set against a lush backdrop of Napa Valley wine country, nothing goes to your head as fast as a taste of love—even if it means changing all your plans.


Click for more detail about Eternally Yours by Patrice Caldwell Eternally Yours

by Patrice Caldwell
Viking Books for Young Readers (Sep 20, 2022)
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Give in to this irresistible paranormal romance anthology filled with tales of the mortal and the monstrous. In Eternally Yours, fifteen of today’s bestselling writers explore love in its many forms …

Contributors include.

Kalynn Bayron,
Kendare Blake,
Kat Cho,
Melissa de la Cruz,
Hafsah Faizal,
Sarah Gailey,
Chloe Gong,
Alexis Henderson,
Adib Khorram,
Anna-Marie McLemore,
Casey McQuiston,
Sandhya Menon,
kshaya Raman,
Marie Rutkoski, and
Julian Winters.

Vampires and merpeople, angels and demons—the stories in this anthology imagine worlds where the only thing more powerful than the supernatural, is love.

A girl in a graveyard goes on an unexpected date, a shipwrecked sailor makes a connection on a forbidden island, a piano melody summons a soul mate. Creatures of folktales and legend, of land and sea, of centuries past and life after life, all wrapped into one spellbinding compendium. Once you sink into its pages, it’ll never let you go.


Click for more detail about You’ve Been Chosen: Thriving Through the Unexpected by Cynt Marshall You’ve Been Chosen: Thriving Through the Unexpected

by Cynt Marshall
Ballantine Books (Sep 13, 2022)
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A relentlessly optimistic memoir by one of the most influential Black business leaders in America today, offering hope and practical guidance for navigating life’s most difficult challenges

“Do you want to be lifted up? You have come to the right place.”—Hoda Kotb

Cynt Marshall has spent her entire life beating personal and professional odds while also helping everyone she meets see how they are uniquely equipped to thrive. Through it all, this self-described “people person” never stopped reaching out and built a reputation as an inspiring motivator and mentor in business and beyond.

Marshall grew up in a northern California housing project with a violent father who once broke her nose, but also with a strong, devoted mother who kept her family fed and focused, reminding them, “It’s not where you live, but how you live.” Heeding her mother’s advice, Marshall excelled first at school and then in her professional life, overcoming overt and subtle racism to become, at forty, one of the first Black woman officers at AT&T, while also navigating both grief and joy as she started a family of her own.

All that life experience prepared Marshall for the day when, at fifty-one, she was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer, just one lymph node from stage 4. Overnight, her life changed, but her commitment to serve others did not.

You’ve Been Chosen offers what Marshall calls “the good, the great, the bad, and the ugly parts” of her journey through both cancer and everything that led up to it. Along the way, she tackles the tough questions we all face: What will I do with what I have been given? How will I respond to challenges with both grace and grit? Where will this new path take me if I keep moving? And how can I offer something good back to the world as a result?

Cynt Marshall’s deep faith and positivity will inspire and motivate you, and her story will help you see how all your experiences, even the hardest moments, can work together for something good, bringing you to positive places you’d have never experienced otherwise. She shows you how to find your own “voice of power” and encourages you to remember—and believe—that you, too, have been equipped to walk your unique path with purpose. That you, too, have been chosen.


Click for more detail about Who Is Stacey Abrams? by Shelia P. Moses Who Is Stacey Abrams?

by Shelia P. Moses
Penguin Workshop (Sep 13, 2022)
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Discover how a young girl who loved to read and write became a voting rights activist, a candidate for governor of Georgia, and an author.

Presenting Who HQ Now: an exciting addition to the #1 New York Times Best-Selling Who Was? series!

Stacey Abrams began her career in politics at the age of seventeen when she was hired as a typist for a congressional campaign. From there, she worked hard to get into Yale law school and, eventually, was elected into the House of Representatives. In 2018, she became the first Black woman in the United States to be a major party’s nominee for governor when she was selected as the Democratic candidate. Although she didn’t win that race, she decided to run again in 2022, proving that she never backs down from a challenge. Stacey made it her mission to help ensure that all people who are eligible have the right and ability to vote. Her Fair Fight Action organization helps prevent voter suppression across the country.

When she was growing up, Stacey was taught three important principles by her parents: go to school, go to church, and take care of each other. And these are the same beliefs she holds today.


Click for more detail about Marriage Be Hard: 12 Conversations to Keep You Laughing, Loving, and Learning with Your Partner by Kevin Fredericks and Melissa Fredericks Marriage Be Hard: 12 Conversations to Keep You Laughing, Loving, and Learning with Your Partner

by Kevin Fredericks and Melissa Fredericks
Convergent Books (Sep 13, 2022)
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New York Times bestseller • Discover the keys to upholding your vows while staying sane in this hilariously candid guide to relationships, from the husband-and-wife team of comedian Kevin Fredericks and influencer Melissa Fredericks

Growing up, Kevin and Melissa Fredericks were taught endless rules around dating, sex, and marriage, but not a lot about what actually makes a relationship work. When they first got married, they felt alone—like every other couple had perfect chemistry while the two of them struggled. There were conversations that they didn’t know they needed to have, fears that affected how they related to each other, and seasons of change that put their marriage to the test.

Part of their story reads like a Christian fairytale: high school sweethearts, married in college, never sowed any wild oats, with two sons and a thriving marriage. But there’s another side of their story: the night Melissa kicked Kevin out of her car after years of communication problems, the time early in their marriage when Kevin bordered on an emotional affair, the way they’ve used social media and podcasts to conduct a no-holds-barred conversation about forbidden topics like jealousy, divorce, and how to be Christian and sex positive. (Because, as Kevin writes, “Your hormones don’t care about your religious beliefs. Your hormones want you to subscribe to OnlyFans.”)

In Marriage Be Hard, the authors provide a hilarious and fresh master class on what it takes to build and maintain a lasting relationship. Drawing on interviews with experts and nearly two decades of marriage, they argue that

  • Compatibility is overrated.
  • Communication is about way more than simply talking.
  • Seeing divorce as an option can actually help your marriage.
  • There’s such a thing as healthy jealousy.

Real marriage is not automatic. It ain’t no Tesla on the open road. Sometimes it’s a stick shift on a hill in the rain with no windshield wipers. But if you get comfortable visiting—and revisiting—the topics that matter, it can transform your bond with your partner and the life you’re building together.

Written for those tired of unrealistic relationship books—and for anyone wondering if they’re the only ones breaking all the rules—Marriage Be Hard is a breath of fresh air and the manual you wish existed after you said “I do.”


Click for more detail about We Were the Fire: Birmingham 1963 by Shelia P. Moses We Were the Fire: Birmingham 1963

by Shelia P. Moses
Nancy Paulsen Books (Sep 06, 2022)
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The powerful story of an eleven-year-old Black boy determined to stand up for his rights, who’s pulled into the action of the 1963 civil rights demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama.

Rufus Jackson Jones is from Birmingham, the place Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called the most segregated place in the country. A place that in 1963 is full of civil rights activists including Dr. King. The adults are trying to get more attention to their cause—to show that separate is not equal. Rufus’s dad works at the local steel factory, and his mom is a cook at the mill. If they participate in marches, their bosses will fire them. So that’s where the kids decide they will come in. Nobody can fire them.

So on a bright May morning in 1963, Rufus and his buddies join thousands of other students to peacefully protest in a local park. There they are met with policemen and firemen who turn their powerful hoses on them, and that’s where Rufus realizes that they are the fire. And they will not be put out.

Shelia Moses gives readers a deeply personal account of one boy’s heroism during what came to be know as the Children’s Crusade in this important novel that highlights a key turning point in the civil rights movement.


Click for more detail about Black-Eyed Peas and Hoghead Cheese: A Story of Food, Family, and Freedom by Glenda Armand Black-Eyed Peas and Hoghead Cheese: A Story of Food, Family, and Freedom

by Glenda Armand
Crown Books for Young Readers (Sep 06, 2022)
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A little girl helping her grandmother prepare a holiday meal learns about the origins of soul food in this powerful picture book that celebrates African American cuisine and identity from an award-winning author.

Know what I like most about Grandma’s kitchen?
More than jambalaya? More than sweet potato pie? Even more than pralines?
Grandma’s stories! Every meal Grandma cooks comes with a story.
What will today’s story be?

While visiting her grandma in Louisiana, nine-year-old Frances is excited to help prepare the New Year’s Day meal. She listens as Grandma tells stories—dating back to the Atlantic Slave Trade—about the food for their feast. Through these stories, Frances learns not only about the ingredients and the dishes they are making but about her ancestors and their history as well.

A celebration of the stories that connect us, this picture book urges us to think about the foods we eat and why we eat them. This book was inspired by the author’s own childhood and includes her family’s very own recipe for pralines in the back!


Click for more detail about Rules of Engagement by Stacey Abrams aka Selena Montgomery Rules of Engagement

by Stacey Abrams aka Selena Montgomery
Berkley Books (Sep 06, 2022)
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Love is a game of chance in this romantic suspense novel by New York Times bestselling author and American politician and activist Stacey Abrams, writing under her pen name, Selena Montgomery.

Dr. Raleigh Foster, an operative for a top-secret intelligence organization, knows that her undercover work has its risks. So she doesn’t hesitate when asked to infiltrate Scimitar, the terrorist group that has stolen lethal environmental technology. But when she’s assigned a partner—brooding, sexy Adam Grayson—to pose as her lover, Raleigh discovers that the most dangerous risk of all…is falling in love.

Adam blames himself for the botched mission that got his best friend killed by Scimitar, and he believes that Raleigh may have contributed to the man’s death. But the closer he works with his alluring partner, the more his suspicions turn to trust—and intense desire. Now, as he and Raleigh untangle a twisted web of secrets and lies, the tension mounts between them…until their masquerade as a couple proves too tempting to resist.


Click for more detail about Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Dreams of Wakanda: Creators, Writers, and Comics Legends on the Impact of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther by Mateus Manhanini Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Dreams of Wakanda: Creators, Writers, and Comics Legends on the Impact of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther

by Mateus Manhanini
Random House Worlds (Sep 06, 2022)
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Join creators, writers, and comics legends as they discuss the impact of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther in this gorgeously illustrated collection of essays

Marvel Studios’ Black Panther has become more than just a movie—it has shaped conversations about art, culture, science fiction, representation, justice, fashion, comics, creativity, and so much more. Celebrate the legacy of the film with this collection of all-new personal essays and reflections that shed light on its monumental impact, including firsthand stories from artists involved in the film, cultural analysis from journalists and academics, and thoughtful insights from writers and comics legends. Each contributor brings their unique expertise and experience to explore the film’s genesis and significance from every angle. Complete with gorgeous original illustrations, Dreams of Wakanda brings together a wide array of diverse and multifaceted perspectives that exemplify the many ways the film has impacted cinema, culture, and society.

In this collection:

  • Costume designer Ruth E. Carter takes us through her Afrofuturistic designs.
  • Writer Tre Johnson discusses the metaphoric qualities of vibranium.
  • Author Yona Harvey reflects on how the film has resonated with audiences across the African diaspora.
  • Journalist Hannah Giorgis uncovers how the soundtrack fits into sonic portraits of Blackness.

The contributors:

Marlene Allen Ahmed - Aaron C. Allen - Maurice Broaddus - Ruth E. Carter - Hannah Giorgis - Yona Harvey - Tre Johnson - Arvell Jones - Frederick Joseph - Suyi Davies Okungbowa - Dwayne Wong Omowale - Gil Robertson IV - Foreword by Nic Stone - Art by Mateus Manhanini

To celebrate the launch of this book and Black Panther’s global impact, Disney and Penguin Random House are donating books to First Book and Books for Africa respectively. Disney is donating books valued at approximately $1,000,000 to support First Book, a leading nonprofit that serves children in underserved communities and addresses the needs of the whole child by supporting their education, basic needs, and wellness—all of which are essential to educational equity. Penguin Random House (PRH) is donating PRH titles valued at approximately $100,000 to Books For Africa. Books For Africa was founded upon a singular mission: to end the book famine in Africa. BFA collects, sorts, and ships books, computers, tablets, and library enhancement materials to every country in Africa.


Click for more detail about Patchwork by Matt De La Peña Patchwork

by Matt De La Peña
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (Aug 30, 2022)
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From a Newbery Medal-winning author and a New York Times bestselling illustrator comes a deeply moving ode to the complexity and uniqueness of every child.

In profound, uplifting verse and sumptuous artwork, beloved creators Matt de la Peña and Corinna Luyken explore the endless possibilities each child contains: A young dancer may grow into a computer coder; a basketball player might become a poet; a class clown may one day serve as an inspiring teacher; and today’s quiet empath might be tomorrow’s great leader. Here’s a profound and uplifting new classic with an empowering message for readers of all ages: Your story is still being written.


Click for more detail about Golden Ax by Rio Cortez Golden Ax

by Rio Cortez
Penguin Books (Aug 30, 2022)
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Longlisted for the 2022 National Book Award for Poetry
Longlisted for the 2023 PEN Open Book Award
Finalist for the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award

“Outstanding … the poetry in these pages is intelligent, lyrical, as invested in the past as the present and future with witty nods to pop culture.” —Roxane Gay, author of Hunger

“I’ve never read anything like it. Truly a sublime experience.” —Jason Reynolds, author of Ain’t Burned All the Bright

A groundbreaking collection about Afropioneerism past and present from Pushcart Prize-nominated poet and New York Times bestselling author Rio Cortez

From a visionary writer praised for her captivating work on Black history and experience comes a poetry collection exploring personal, political, and artistic frontiers, journeying from her family’s history as “Afropioneers” in the American West to shimmering glimpses of transcendent, liberated futures.

In poems that range from wry, tongue-in-cheek observations about contemporary life to more nuanced meditations on her ancestors—some of the earliest Black pioneers to settle in the western United States after Reconstruction—Golden Ax invites readers to re-imagine the West, Black womanhood, and the legacies that shape and sustain the pursuit of freedom.


Click for more detail about Afterlives by Abdulrazak Gurnah Afterlives

by Abdulrazak Gurnah
Riverhead Books (Aug 23, 2022)
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From the winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature, a sweeping, multi-generational saga of displacement, loss, and love, set against the brutal colonization of east Africa.

When he was just a boy, Ilyas was stolen from his parents on the coast of east Africa by German colonial troops. After years away, fighting against his own people, he returns home to find his parents gone and his sister, Afiya, abandoned into de facto slavery. Hamza, too, returns home from the war, scarred in body and soul and with nothing but the clothes on his back–until he meets the beautiful, undaunted Afiya. As these young people live and work and fall in love, their fates knotted ever more tightly together, the shadow of a new war on another continent falls over them, threatening once again to carry them away.


Click for more detail about Scenes from My Life: A Memoir by Michael K. Williams Scenes from My Life: A Memoir

by Michael K. Williams
Crown Publishing Group (Aug 23, 2022)
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ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: NPR

When Michael K. Williams died on September 6, 2021, he left behind a career as one of the most electrifying actors of his generation. From his star turn as Omar Little in The Wire to Chalky White in Boardwalk Empire to Emmy-nominated roles in HBO’s The Night Of and Lovecraft Country, Williams inhabited a slew of indelible roles that he portrayed with a rawness and vulnerability that leapt off the screen. Beyond the nominations and acclaim, Williams played characters who connected, whose humanity couldn’t be denied, whose stories were too often left out of the main narrative.

At the time of his death, Williams had nearly finished a memoir that tells the story of his past while looking to the future, a book that merges his life and his life’s work. Mike, as his friends knew him, was so much more than an actor. In Scenes from My Life, he traces his life in whole, from his childhood in East Flatbush and his early years as a dancer to his battles with addiction and the bar fight that left his face with his distinguishing scar. He was a committed Brooklyn resident and activist who dedicated his life to working with social justice organizations and his community, especially in helping at-risk youth find their voice and carve out their future. Williams worked to keep the spotlight on those he fought for and with, whom he believed in with his whole heart.

Imbued with poignance and raw honesty, Scenes from My Life is the story of a performer who gave his all to everything he did—in his own voice, in his own words, as only he could.


Click for more detail about Sam’s Super Seats by Keah Brown Sam’s Super Seats

by Keah Brown
Kokila (Aug 23, 2022)
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A joyful picture book about a disabled girl with cerebral palsy who goes back-to-school shopping with her best friends, from #DisabledandCute creator and The Pretty One author Keah Brown.

Sam loves herself, learning, and making her family and friends laugh. She also loves comfortable seats, including a graceful couch named after Misty Copeland and Laney, the sassy backseat of Mom’s car.

After a busy morning of rest, Sam and her friends try on cute outfits at the mall and imagine what the new school year might bring. It’s not until Sam feels tired, and the new seat she meets isn’t so super, that she discovers what might be her best idea all day.

With hilarious, charming text by Keah Brown and exuberant illustrations by Sharee Miller, Sam’s Super Seats celebrates the beauty of self-love, the power of rest, and the necessity of accessible seating in public spaces. Includes narrative description of art for those with low/limited vision.


Click for more detail about Perish by LaToya Watkins Perish

by LaToya Watkins
Tiny Reparations Books (Aug 23, 2022)
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From a stunning new voice, comes a powerful debut novel, Perish, about a Black Texan family, exploring the effects of inherited trauma and intergenerational violence as the family comes together to say goodbye to their matriarch on her deathbed.

Bear it or perish. Those are the words Helen Jean hears that fateful night in her cousin’s outhouse that change the trajectory of her life.

Spanning decades, Perish tracks the choices Helen Jean—the matriarch of the Turner family—makes and the ways those choices have rippled across generations, from her children to hergrandchildren and beyond.

Told in alternating chapters that follow four members of the Turner family: Julie B., a woman who regrets her wasted youth and the time spent under Helen Jean’s thumb; Alex, a police officer grappling with a dark and twisted past; Jan, a mother of two, who yearns to go to school and leave Jerusalem, Texas, and all of its trauma behind for good; and Lydia, a woman whose marriage is falling apart because her body can’t seem to stay pregnant, as they’re called home to say goodbye to their mother and grandmother.

This family’s “reunion” unearths long-kept secrets and forces each member to ask themselves important questions about who is deserving of forgiveness and who bears the cross of blame.

Tackling themes like family, trauma, legacy, home, class, race, and more, this beautiful yet heart-wrenching novel, will appeal to anyone who is interested in the intricacies of family and the ways bonds can be made, maintained, or irrevocably broken.


Click for more detail about If You Read This by Kereen Getten If You Read This

by Kereen Getten
Delacorte Press (Aug 16, 2022)
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From the author of the critically acclaimed novel When Life Gives You Mangos comes a captivating journey of love, loss, and letters.

When Brie was younger, her mama used to surprise her with treasure hunts around their island town. After she died three years ago, these became Brie’s favorite memories.

Now, on her twelfth birthday, her mama has another surprise: a series of letters leading Brie on one last treasure hunt.

The first letter guides Brie to a special place.

The next urges her to unlock a secret.

And the last letter will change life as she knows it.

In this poignant coming-of-age story of new memories, surprises, and moments of healing, Kereen Getten beautifully captures the edge of adolescence, when everything is thrilling, amazing, and terrifying in a way it will never be again.


Click for more detail about Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead Harlem Shuffle

by Colson Whitehead
Anchor Books (Aug 09, 2022)
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New York Times Bestseller

From the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys, this gloriously entertaining novel is “fast-paced, keen-eyed and very funny … about race, power and the history of Harlem all disguised as a thrill-ride crime novel” (San Francisco Chronicle).

"Ray Carney was only slightly bent when it came to being crooked…" To his customers and neighbors on 125th street, Carney is an upstanding salesman of reasonably priced furniture, making a decent life for himself and his family. He and his wife Elizabeth are expecting their second child, and if her parents on Striver’s Row don’t approve of him or their cramped apartment across from the subway tracks, it’s still home.

Few people know he descends from a line of uptown hoods and crooks, and that his façade of normalcy has more than a few cracks in it. Cracks that are getting bigger all the time.

Cash is tight, especially with all those installment-plan sofas, so if his cousin Freddie occasionally drops off the odd ring or necklace, Ray doesn’t ask where it comes from. He knows a discreet jeweler downtown who doesn’t ask questions, either.

Then Freddie falls in with a crew who plan to rob the Hotel Theresa—the "Waldorf of Harlem"—and volunteers Ray’s services as the fence. The heist doesn’t go as planned; they rarely do. Now Ray has a new clientele, one made up of shady cops, vicious local gangsters, two-bit pornographers, and other assorted Harlem lowlifes.

Thus begins the internal tussle between Ray the striver and Ray the crook. As Ray navigates this double life, he begins to see who actually pulls the strings in Harlem. Can Ray avoid getting killed, save his cousin, and grab his share of the big score, all while maintaining his reputation as the go-to source for all your quality home furniture needs?

Harlem Shuffle’s ingenious story plays out in a beautifully recreated New York City of the early 1960s. It’s a family saga masquerading as a crime novel, a hilarious morality play, a social novel about race and power, and ultimately a love letter to Harlem.

But mostly, it’s a joy to read, another dazzling novel from the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning Colson Whitehead.


Click for more detail about Mademoiselle Revolution by Zoe Sivak Mademoiselle Revolution

by Zoe Sivak
Berkley Books (Aug 02, 2022)
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A bisexual, biracial protagonist from the late 1700s. A violent slave uprising in Haiti and it’s rippling effects into 18th century Paris. The drama of high-society French revolutionaries, with infamous agitator Robespierre and his mistress at the center.

When you think of the French Revolution, you probably don’t think of Haiti. Yet when the slaves of then Saint-Domingue lit their flame of revolution in 1791, it sparked and landed across the Atlantic. A new book takes us through both upheavals, as seen through the eyes a woman—the daughter of a white planter and an enslaved woman—caught between them.

Author Zoe Sivak, not yet 30 years old [as of July 2022], identifies as both Black and queer, like her protagonist.

A powerful, engrossing story of a biracial heiress who escapes to Paris when the Haitian Revolution burns across her island home. But as she works her way into the inner circle of Robespierre and his mistress, she learns that not even oceans can stop the flames of revolution.

Sylvie de Rosiers, as the daughter of a rich planter and an enslaved woman, enjoys the comforts of a lady in 1791 Saint-Domingue society. But while she was born to privilege, she was never fully accepted by island elites. After a violent rebellion begins the Haitian Revolution, Sylvie and her brother leave their family and old lives behind to flee unwittingly into another uprising—in austere and radical Paris. Sylvie quickly becomes enamored with the aims of the Revolution, as well as with the revolutionaries themselves—most notably Maximilien Robespierre and his mistress, Cornélie Duplay. As a rising leader and abolitionist, Robespierre sees an opportunity to exploit Sylvie’s race and abandonment of her aristocratic roots as an example of his ideals, while the strong-willed Cornélie offers Sylvie safe harbor and guidance in free thought. Sylvie battles with her past complicity in a slave society and her future within this new world order as she finds herself increasingly torn between Robespierre’s ideology and Cornélie’s love. When the Reign of Terror descends, Sylvie must decide whether to become an accomplice while a new empire rises on the bones of innocents…or risk losing her head.


Click for more detail about Barack Obama: A Little Golden Book Biography by Frank Berrios Barack Obama: A Little Golden Book Biography

by Frank Berrios
Golden Books (Aug 02, 2022)
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Help your little one dream big with a Little Golden Book biography about President Barack Obama! The perfect introduction to nonfiction for young readers—as well as fans of all ages!

This Little Golden Book about Barack Obama—the 44th President of the United States and the country’s first Black president—is an inspiring read-aloud for young girls and boys.

Look for more Little Golden Book biographies:

  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • Joe Biden
  • Kamala Harris
  • Sonia Sotomayor
  • Dr. Fauci


Click for more detail about Beasts of Ruin by Ayana Gray Beasts of Ruin

by Ayana Gray
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (Jul 26, 2022)
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In this much anticipated follow up to New York Times bestselling Beasts of Prey, Koffi’s powers grow stronger and Ekon’s secrets turn darker as they face the god of death.

Koffi has saved her city and the boy she loves, but at a terrible price. Now a servant to the cunning god of death, she must use her newfound power to further his continental conquest, or risk the safety of her home and loved ones. As she reluctantly learns to survive amidst unexpected friends and foes, she will also have to choose between the life—and love—she once had, or the one she could have, if she truly embraces her dangerous gifts.

Cast out from the only home he’s ever known, Ekon is forced to strike new and unconventional alliances to find and rescue Koffi before it’s too late. But as he gets closer to the realm of death each day, so too does he draw nearer to a terrible truth—one that could cost everything.

Koffi and Ekon—separated by land, sea, and gods—will have to risk everything to reunite again. But the longer they’re kept apart, the more each of their loyalties are tested. Soon, both may have to reckon with changing hearts—and maybe, changing destinies.


Click for more detail about The Accidental Pinup by Danielle Jackson The Accidental Pinup

by Danielle Jackson
Berkley Books (Jul 19, 2022)
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Rival photographers are forced to collaborate on a body-positive lingerie campaign, but they might have to readjust their focus when sparks fly.

Photographer Cassie Harris loves her job—her company Buxom Boudoir makes people look beautiful and feel empowered with her modern twist on classic pinup photography. Cassie’s best friend, Dana, is about to launch her own dangerously dreamy lingerie line and wants Cassie to shoot and direct the career-changing national campaign. But company politics and Dana’s complicated pregnancy interfere, and Cassie finds herself—a proud plus size Black woman—not behind the camera but in front of it.

Though she’s never modeled herself, Cassie’s pretty sure she can handle the sheer underwear and caution tape bralettes. She’s not sure she can work so intimately with the chosen photographer, her long-time competitor in the Chicago photography scene, Reid Montgomery. Their chemistry is undeniable on set, however, and feelings can develop faster than film…


Click for more detail about Take Back the Block by Chrystal D. Giles Take Back the Block

by Chrystal D. Giles
Yearling (Jul 05, 2022)
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Brand-new kicks, ripped denim shorts, Supreme tee—

Wes Henderson has the best style in sixth grade. That—and hanging out with his crew (his best friends since little-kid days) and playing video games—is what he wants to be thinking about at the start of the school year, not the protests his parents are always dragging him to.

But when a real estate developer makes an offer to buy Kensington Oaks, the neighborhood Wes has lived his whole life, everything changes. The grownups are supposed to have all the answers, but all they’re doing is arguing. Even Wes’s best friends are fighting. And some of them may be moving. Wes isn’t about to give up the only home he’s ever known. Wes has always been good at puzzles, and he knows there has to be a missing piece that will solve this puzzle and save the Oaks. But can he find it … before it’s too late?

Exploring community, gentrification, justice, and friendship, Take Back the Block introduces an irresistible 6th grader and asks what it means to belong—to a place and a movement—and to fight for what you believe in.


Click for more detail about Dele Weds Destiny by Tomi Obaro Dele Weds Destiny

by Tomi Obaro
Knopf (Jun 28, 2022)
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The story of three once-inseparable college friends in Nigeria who reunite for the first time in thirty years at a lavish wedding in Lagos for one of their daughters—a sparkling debut novel about mothers and daughters, culture and class, sex and love, and the extraordinary resilience of female friendship.

“Fast-paced, glamorous, and bursting with emotion…. The bonds between women—as friends, and across the generations—are the jewels that make this story shine.” —Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage

Funmi, Enitan, and Zainab first meet at university in Nigeria and become friends for life despite their differences.

Funmi is beautiful, brash, and determined; Enitan is homely and eager, seeking escape from her single mother’s smothering and needy love; Zainab is elegant and reserved, raised by her father’s first two wives after her mother’s death in childbirth. Their friendship is complicated but enduring, and over the course of the novel, the reader learns about their loves and losses. How Funmi stole Zainab’s boyfriend and became pregnant, only to have an abortion and lose the boyfriend to police violence. How Enitan was seduced by an American Peace Corps volunteer, the only one who ever really saw her, but is culturally so different from him—a Connecticut WASP—that raising their daughter together put them at odds. How Zainab fell in love with her teacher, a friend of her father’s, and ruptured her relationship with her father to have him.

Now, some thirty years later, the three women are reunited for the first time, in Lagos. The occasion: Funmi’s daughter, Destiny, is getting married. Enitan brings her American daughter, Remi. Zainab travels by bus, nervously leaving her ailing husband in the care of their son. Funmi, hosting the weekend of elaborate festivities with her wealthy husband, wants everything to go perfectly. But as the big day approaches, it becomes clear that something is not right. As the novel builds powerfully toward the big event, the complexities of the mothers’ friendship—and the private wisdom each has earned—come to bear on a riveting, heartrending moment of decision. Dele Weds Destiny is a sensational debut from a dazzling new voice in contemporary fiction. 


Click for more detail about Hell of a Book: A Novel by Jason Mott Hell of a Book: A Novel

by Jason Mott
Dutton (Jun 28, 2022)
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Winner of the 2021 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction, Joyce Carol Oates Literary Prize Finalist, 2022 Chautauqua Prize Finalist, Willie Morris Award for Southern Writing Shortlist, 2021 Aspen Words Literary Prize Shortlist, 2022 Maya Angelou Book Award Shortlist, 2022 Carnegie Medal Longlist

A Read With Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick!
An Ebony Magazine Publishing Book Club Pick!
One of Washington Post’s 50 Notable Works of Fiction
One of Philadelphia Inquirer’s Best Books of 2021
One of Shelf Awareness’s Top Ten Fiction Titles of the Year
One of TIME Magazine’s 100 Must-Read Books
One of NPR.org’s "Books We Love"
EW’s "Guide to the Biggest and Buzziest Books of 2021"
One of the New York Public Library’s Best Books for Adults
San Diego Union Tribune—My Favorite Things from 2021
Writer’s Bone’s Best Books of 2021
Atlanta Journal Constitution—Top 10 Southern Books of the Year
One of the Guardian’s (UK) Best Ten 21st Century Comic Novels
One of Entertainment Weekly’s 15 Books You Need to Read This June
On Entertainment Weekly’s "Must List"
One of the New York Post’s Best Summer Reading books
One of GMA’s 27 Books for June
One of USA Today’s 5 Books Not to Miss
One of Fortune’s 21 Most Anticipated Books Coming Out in the Second Half of 2021
One of The Root’s PageTurners: It’s Getting Hot in Here
One of Real Simple’s Best New Books to Read in 2021

An astounding work of fiction from New York Times bestselling author Jason Mott, always deeply honest, at times electrically funny, that goes to the heart of racism, police violence, and the hidden costs exacted upon Black Americans and America as a whole.

In Jason Mott’s Hell of a Book, a Black author sets out on a cross-country publicity tour to promote his bestselling novel. That storyline drives Hell of a Book and is the scaffolding of something much larger and more urgent: Mott’s novel also tells the story of Soot, a young Black boy living in a rural town in the recent past, and The Kid, a possibly imaginary child who appears to the author on his tour.

As these characters’ stories build and converge, they astonish. For while this heartbreaking and magical book entertains and is at once about family, love of parents and children, art and money, it’s also about the nation’s reckoning with a tragic police shooting playing over and over again on the news. And with what it can mean to be Black in America.

Who has been killed? Who is The Kid? Will the author finish his book tour, and what kind of world will he leave behind? Unforgettably told, with characters who burn into your mind and an electrifying plot ideal for book club discussion, Hell of a Book is the novel Mott has been writing in his head for the last ten years. And in its final twists, it truly becomes its title.


Click for more detail about The Scent of Burnt Flowers  by Blitz Bazawule The Scent of Burnt Flowers

by Blitz Bazawule
Ballantine Books (Jun 28, 2022)
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Fleeing persecution in 1960s America, a Black couple seeks asylum in Ghana, but fresh dangers and old secrets threaten their newfound freedom in this hypnotic debut novel.

“A colorful, delicious ride through the senses and beyond; a tale of danger, love, and all the small, true things that will not be named.”—Yrsa Daley-Ward, PEN Ackerley Prize–winning author of The Terrible

When the windshield of his Chevy Impala shatters in a dark diner parking lot in Alabama, Melvin moves without thinking. A split-second reaction marrows in his bones from the days of war, but this time it is the safety of his fiancé, Bernadette, at stake. Impulse keeps them alive, and yet they flee with blood on their hands. What is life like now that they are fugitives? Pack passports. Empty bank accounts. Set their old life on fire. The couple disguise themselves as a pastor and a reluctant pastor’s wife who’s hiding a secret from her fiancé. With a persistent FBI agent on their trail, they travel to Ghana to seek the help of Melvin’s old college friend who happens to be the country’s embattled president, Kwame Nkrumah.The couple’s chance encounter with Ghana’s most beloved highlife musician, Kwesi Kwayson, who’s on his way to perform for the president, sparks a journey full of suspense, lust, magic, and danger as Nkrumah’s regime crumbles around them. What was meant to be a fresh start quickly spirals into chaos, threatening both their relationship and their lives. Kwesi and Bernadette’s undeniable attraction and otherworldly bond cascades during their three-day trek, and so does Melvin’s intense jealousy. All three must confront one another and their secrets, setting off a series of cataclysmic events.

Steeped in the history and mythology of postcolonial West Africa at the intersection of the civil rights movement in America, this gripping and ambitious debut merges political intrigue, magical encounters, and forbidden romance in an epic collision of morality and power.


Click for more detail about Invisible Things: A Novel by Mat Johnson Invisible Things: A Novel

by Mat Johnson
One World (Jun 28, 2022)
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ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022—The Millions

A sharp allegorical novel about a hidden human civilization, a crucial election, and a mysterious invisible force that must not be named, by one of our most imaginative comic novelists

When sociologist Nalini Jackson joins the SS Delany for the first manned mission to Jupiter, all she wants is a career opportunity: the chance to conduct the first field study of group dynamics on long-haul cryoships. But what she discovers instead is an entire city encased in a bubble on Europa, Jupiter’s largest moon.

Even more unexpected, Nalini and the rest of the crew soon find themselves abducted and joining its captive population, forced to start new lives in a place called New Roanoke.

New Roanoke is a city riven by wealth inequality and governed by a feckless, predatory elite, its economy run on heedless consumption and income inequality. But in other ways it’s different from the cities we already know: it’s covered by an enormous dome, it’s populated by alien abductees, and it happens to be terrorized by an invisible entity so disturbing that no one even dares acknowledge its existence.

Albuquerque chauffer Chase Eubanks is pretty darn sure aliens stole his wife. People mock him for saying that, but he doesn’t care who knows it. So when his philanthropist boss funds a top-secret rescue mission to save New Roanoke’s abductees, Chase jumps at the chance to find her. The plan: Get the astronauts out and provide the population with the tech they need to escape this alien world. The reality: Nothing is ever simple when dealing with the complex, contradictory, and contrarian impulses of everyday earthlings.

This is a madcap, surreal adventure into a Jovian mirror world, one grappling with the same polarized politics, existential crises, and mass denialism that obsess and divide our own. Will New Roanoke survive? Will we?


Click for more detail about The Final Strife by Saara El-Arifi The Final Strife

by Saara El-Arifi
Del Ray (Jun 21, 2022)
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Book One of The Ending Fire Trilogy

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Oprah Daily, Autostraddle

Red is the blood of the elite, of magic, of control.
Blue is the blood of the poor, of workers, of the resistance.
Clear is the blood of the slaves, of the crushed, of the invisible.

Sylah dreams of days growing up in the resistance, being told she would spark a revolution that would free the empire from the red-blooded ruling classes’ tyranny. That spark was extinguished the day she watched her family murdered before her eyes.

Anoor has been told she’s nothing, no one, a disappointment, by the only person who matters: her mother, the most powerful ruler in the empire. But when Sylah and Anoor meet, a fire burns between them that could consume the kingdom—and their hearts.

Hassa moves through the world unseen by upper classes, so she knows what it means to be invisible. But invisibility has its uses: It can hide the most dangerous of secrets, secrets that can reignite a revolution. And when she joins forces with Sylah and Anoor, together these grains of sand will become a storm.

As the empire begins a set of trials of combat and skill designed to find its new leaders, the stage is set for blood to flow, power to shift, and cities to burn.


Click for more detail about Kindergarten: Where Kindness Matters Every Day by Vera Ahiyya Kindergarten: Where Kindness Matters Every Day

by Vera Ahiyya
Random House Studio (Jun 21, 2022)
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Written by kindergarten teacher and Instagram influencer affectionately known as the Tutu Teacher, comes a picture book about a class that creates a kindness pledge to ensure that their class is the kindest it can possibly be.

It's the first day of Kindergarten and Leo isn't at all ready. Leo is a quiet kid and would prefer to stay home. Over the summer, his new teacher, Ms. Perry sent a letter asking her students to think about how to show kindness in school. She explained that they would be making a kindness pledge, and each student should bring one way to show kindness on the first day.

As it turns out, Leo's classmates have lots of ideas about kindness: like raising your hand, never leaving anyone out, and apologizing if you hurt someone's feelings. At the end of the first day, Ms. Perry asks if anyone witnessed something they'd like her to add to the kindness pledge? Lots of hands shoot up in the air. Several classmates say they noticed Leo returning crayons to the box, holding the door for everyone, and helping a friend who fell. Leo smiles as he realizes he really does know a lot about kindness after all.

A story reassuringly told by Vera Ahiyya and brought to exuberant life by illustrator Joey Chou, this story about a classroom coming together to make a kindergarten into a KINDergarten is sure to calm the nerves—and offer inspiration—to new kindergartners and the adults in their lives.


Click for more detail about Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation by Linda Villarosa Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation

by Linda Villarosa
Doubleday (Jun 14, 2022)
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From an award-winning writer at the New York Times Magazine and a contributor to the 1619 Project comes a landmark book that tells the full story of racial health disparities in America, revealing the toll racism takes on individuals and the health of our nation.

In 2018, Linda Villarosa’s New York Times Magazine article on maternal and infant mortality among black mothers and babies in America caused an awakening. Hundreds of studies had previously established a link between racial discrimination and the health of Black Americans, with little progress toward solutions. But Villarosa’s article exposing that a Black woman with a college education is as likely to die or nearly die in childbirth as a white woman with an eighth-grade education made racial disparities in health care impossible to ignore. Now, in Under the Skin, Linda Villarosa lays bare the forces in the American health-care system and in American society that cause Black people to “live sicker and die quicker” compared to their white counterparts.

Today’s medical texts and instruments still carry fallacious slavery-era assumptions that Black bodies are fundamentally different from white bodies. Study after study of medical settings show worse treatment and outcomes for Black patients. Black people live in dirtier, more polluted communities due to environmental racism and neglect from all levels of government. And, most powerfully, Villarosa describes the new understanding that coping with the daily scourge of racism ages Black people prematurely. Anchored by unforgettable human stories and offering incontrovertible proof, Under the Skin is dramatic, tragic, and necessary reading.

Book Review

Click for more detail about A Way Out of No Way: A Memoir of Truth, Transformation, and the New American Story by Raphael G. Warnock A Way Out of No Way: A Memoir of Truth, Transformation, and the New American Story

by Raphael G. Warnock
Penguin Press (Jun 14, 2022)
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“A compelling, insightful memoir that details an extraordinary journey.” —Bryan Stevenson

On the heels of his historic election to the United States Senate, Raphael G. Warnock shares his remarkable spiritual and personal journey.

Senator Reverend Raphael G. Warnock occupies a singular place in American life. As senior pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, and now as a senator from Georgia, he is the rare voice who can call out the uncomfortable truths that shape contemporary American life and, at a time of division, summon us all to a higher moral ground.

Senator Warnock grew up in the Kayton Homes housing projects in Savannah, the eleventh of twelve children. His dad was a World War II veteran, and as a teenager his mom picked tobacco and cotton in rural Georgia. Both were Pentecostal preachers. After graduating from Morehouse College, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s alma mater, Senator Warnock studied for a decade at Union Theological Seminary while serving at Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church. At thirty-five, he became the senior pastor at Ebenezer, where Dr. King had preached and served.

In January 2021, Senator Warnock won a runoff election that flipped control of the Senate at one of the most pivotal moments in recent American history. He is the first Black senator from Georgia, only the eleventh Black senator in American history, and just the second Black senator from the South since Reconstruction. As he said in his maiden speech from the well of the senate, Senator Warnock’s improbable journey reflects the ongoing toggle between the pain and promise of the American story.

A powerful preacher and a leading voice for voting rights and democracy, Senator Warnock has a once-in-a-generation gift to inspire and lead us forward. A Way Out of No Way tells his remarkable story for the first time.


Click for more detail about How to Raise an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi How to Raise an Antiracist

by Ibram X. Kendi
One World (Jun 14, 2022)
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The book that every parent, caregiver, and teacher needs to raise the next generation of antiracist thinkers, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist and recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Grant.

The tragedies and reckonings around racism that are rocking the country have created a specific crisis for parents, educators, and other caregivers: How do we talk to our children about racism? How do we teach children to be antiracist? How are kids at different ages experiencing race? How are racist structures impacting children? How can we inspire our children to avoid our mistakes, to be better, to make the world better?

These are the questions Ibram X. Kendi found himself avoiding as he anticipated the birth of his first child. Like most parents or parents-to-be, he felt the reflex to not talk to his child about racism, which he feared would stain her innocence and steal away her joy. But research and experience changed his mind, and he realized that raising his child to be antiracist would actually protect his child, and preserve her innocence and joy. He realized that teaching students about the reality of racism and the myth of race provides a protective education in our diverse and unequal world. He realized that building antiracist societies safeguards all children from the harms of racism.

Following the accessible genre of his internationally bestselling How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi combines a century of scientific research with a vulnerable and compelling personal narrative of his own journey as a parent and as a child in school. The chapters follow the stages of child development from pregnancy to toddler to schoolkid to teenager. It is never too early or late to start raising young people to be antiracist.


Click for more detail about Goodnight Racism by Ibram X. Kendi Goodnight Racism

by Ibram X. Kendi
Kokila (Jun 14, 2022)
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National Book Award–winning and New York Times bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist, Antiracist Baby) returns with a new picture book that serves as a modern bedtime classic.

As children all over the world get ready for bed, the moon watches over them. The moon knows that when we sleep, we dream. And when we dream, we imagine what is possible and what the world can be.

With dynamic, imaginative art and poetic prose, Goodnight Racism delivers important messages about antiracism, justice, and equality in an easy-to-read format that empowers readers both big and small. Goodnight Racism gives children the language to dream of a better world and is the perfect book to add to their social justice toolkit.

image from Goodnight Racism


Click for more detail about Game: An Autobiography by Grant Hill Game: An Autobiography

by Grant Hill
Penguin Press (Jun 07, 2022)
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The full, frank story of a remarkable life’s journey—to the pinnacle of success as a basketball player, icon, and entrepreneur, to the depths of personal trauma and back, to a place of flourishing and peace—made possible above all by a family’s love

Grant Hill always had game. His choice of college was a subject of national interest, and his arrival at Duke University cemented the program’s arrival at the top. In his freshman year, he led the team to its first NCAA championship, and three championship appearances in four years. His Duke career produced some of the most iconic moments in college basketball history, and Coach K proved to be a lifelong mentor. Later, as one of the NBA’s best players and a new face of the Detroit Pistons franchise, Hill was the first person with the potential to give Michael Jordan a run for his money, not just as a player but as a brand. His $45 million rookie contract was almost the least of it. He turned down Nike for Fila, and soon Method Man and Tupac Shakur were wearing his shoes.

Hill writes candidly about all of it, including the transactional impermanence of life in the league and the isolation caused by his growing fame. His parents and friends helped ground him, and eventually he met a gifted musician named Tamia. The love he found with her and the arrival of their two beautiful daughters would be his rock as a brutal and mysterious injury sidelined him, coinciding with his wife’s own serious health struggles.

With openness and insight, Hill relates his entire path, including post-career highlights like his Hall of Fame induction, co-ownership of the Atlanta Hawks, the directorship of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team, and even a yearly gig calling the Final Four. Hill’s father, Calvin, used to tell him that there were always a lot of reasons but never any excuses, and Game is a distillation of a lifetime’s effort to understand the reasons—the good and the bad. At his hardest moments, Hill sought out wisdom from others, stories of inspiration and overcoming obstacles. Now, with Game, he has returned the favor.

Praise For Game: An Autobiography
“I have long said that if it wasn’t for an injury while playing in the NBA, Grant Hill would have gone down as one of the best all-around NBA players the game has ever seen. Before his injury, he was doing things that we’ve only seen from Michael, Kobe and LeBron. He has added to his legacy by writing a remarkably honest and reflective book about the journey—a book about the struggles, and about the grind, but also about the love that made it all worthwhile. I was moved and inspired.” —Earvin “Magic” Johnson, American former professional basketball player and former president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers


Click for more detail about She Persisted: Marian Anderson by Katheryn Russell-Brown She Persisted: Marian Anderson

by Katheryn Russell-Brown
Philomel Books (Jun 07, 2022)
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Inspired by the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger, a chapter book series about women who spoke up and rose up against the odds—including Marian Anderson!

When renowned classical singer Marian Anderson wasn’t allowed to sing at a theater in Washington, DC, because she was Black, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt invited her to sing at the Lincoln Memorial, at a concert attended by thousands of people. Marian went on to sing around the world on behalf of the UN and the US State Department, and as a part of the Civil Rights Movement, she also performed at the March on Washington. She went on to win many awards, including the first ever Presidential Medal of Freedom and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award—and she inspired countless people along the way.

In this chapter book biography by award-winning author Katheryn Russell-Brown, readers learn about the amazing life of Marian Anderson—and how she persisted.

Complete with an introduction from Chelsea Clinton, black-and-white illustrations throughout, and a list of ways that readers can follow in Marian Anderson’s footsteps and make a difference!

And don’t miss out on the rest of the books in the She Persisted series, featuring so many more women who persisted, including Coretta Scott King, Harriet Tubman, Ruby Bridges, and more!


Click for more detail about Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley Nightcrawling

by Leila Mottley
Knopf Publishing Group (Jun 07, 2022)
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Oprah announced Nightcrawling as the selection, on June 7, 2022, on CBS Mornings

Mottley joined the hosts in the studio to discuss the latest Oprah’s Book Club selection and the surprising way she found out her novel was being chosen (see video below). “It brings me great joy to introduce readers to new authors, and this young poet Leila Mottley wrote a soul-searching portrait of survival and hope,” said Oprah Winfrey. “I was absolutely floored when Ms. Winfrey popped up in what I thought was going to be a regular meeting,” said Leila Mottley. “It was the surprise of a lifetime! I am beyond grateful to be able to share my debut novel with the passionate readers of Oprah’s Book Club.”

Nightcrawling tells the story of Kiara and her brother, Marcus, who are scraping by in an East Oakland apartment complex optimistically called the Regal-Hi. Both have dropped out of high school, their family fractured by death and prison. But while Marcus clings to his dream of rap stardom, Kiara hunts for work to pay their rent—which has more than doubled—and to keep the nine-year-old boy next door, abandoned by his mother, safe and fed. One night, what begins as a drunken misunderstanding with a stranger turns into the job Kiara never imagined wanting but now desperately needs: nightcrawling. Her world breaks open even further when her name surfaces in an investigation that exposes her as a key witness in a massive scandal within the Oakland Police Department.

More About Nightcrawling

Nightcrawling is a scorching, incredibly readable book that takes seriously the task of readerly provocation on every page. Get ready. Or don’t. It doesn’t matter. Leila Mottley is here.” —Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy

“Leila Mottley’s commanding debut, inspired by the life events of one woman’s struggle for body and soul against crushing exploitation, is fierce and devastating, rendered with electrifying urgency by this colossal young talent.” —Ayana Mathis, author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

Kiara and her brother, Marcus, are scraping by in an East Oakland apartment complex optimistically called the Regal-Hi. Both have dropped out of high school, their family fractured by death and prison.

But while Marcus clings to his dream of rap stardom, Kiara hunts for work to pay their rent--which has more than doubled--and to keep the nine-year-old boy next door, abandoned by his mother, safe and fed. One night, what begins as a drunken misunderstanding with a stranger turns into the job Kiara never imagined wanting but now desperately needs: nightcrawling. Her world breaks open even further when her name surfaces in an investigation that exposes her as a key witness in a massive scandal within the Oakland Police Department.

Rich with raw beauty, electrifying intensity, and piercing vulnerability, Nightcrawling marks the stunning arrival of a voice unlike any we have heard before.


Click for more detail about Who Was the Greatest?: Muhammad Ali by Gabe Soria Who Was the Greatest?: Muhammad Ali

by Gabe Soria
Penguin Workshop (May 31, 2022)
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Discover the story behind Muhammad Ali and the boxing match that captivated the world, the Thrilla In Manila, in this powerful graphic novel — written by Murder Ballads’ Gabe Soria and illustrated by award-winning artists Chris Brunner and Rico Renzi.

Presenting Who HQ Graphic Novels: an exciting addition to the #1 New York Times best-selling Who Was? series!

Explore the journey Muhammad Ali took to win his final match against fellow heavyweight boxing champion Joe Frazier, known as the Thrilla in Manila. A story of athleticism, heart, and determination, this graphic novel invites readers to immerse themselves into the explosive power of the boxing champion and civil rights activist— brought to life by gripping narrative and vivid full-color illustrations that jump off the page.

A 2023 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers!


Click for more detail about Mae Makes a Way: The True Story of Mae Reeves, Hat & History Maker by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich Mae Makes a Way: The True Story of Mae Reeves, Hat & History Maker

by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
Crown Books for Young Readers (May 24, 2022)
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Mae had a dream to make one-of-a-kind hats. But the path for a Black female designer was unclear, so Mae made a way, leaving her home in the segregated South to study at the Chicago School of Millinery.

Spread from the book Mae Makes a Way

Mae had the skills but craved the independence to create her own styles. So, Mae found a way. In Philadelphia, she became the first Black woman to own a business on South Street. Whether you were Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Marian Anderson, or a lady from the neighborhood, Mae wanted you to look good and feel special in one of her original hats.

Perfect for fans of Hidden Figures, Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer Ann Cole Lowe, and Mae Among the Stars, this inspirational and informative picture book biography paints a picture of the mother, businesswoman, and community advocate who led the way for Black women in fashion. The book also includes interviews with Mae Reeve’s daughter.

Published in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, acclaimed author Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich (Two Naomis) and award-winning illustrator Andrea Pippins (I Love My Hair) bring the life of fashion entrepreneur and civic organizer Mae Reeves to the page. And when you are done reading, explore Mae’s store and styles in person at her permanent exhibit at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.


Click for more detail about Migrations: A History of Where We All Came from by David Olusoga Migrations: A History of Where We All Came from

by David Olusoga
DK Publishing (Dorling Kindersley) (May 24, 2022)
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Discover how the migration of peoples has shaped the modern world.

This beautifully illustrated book details the movement of people and cultures around the world – from the early migrations of Homo erectus out of Africa 50,000 years ago to modern refugee movements and migrations.

Through vibrant photographs, illustrations, and maps, Migrations explores famous (and infamous) movements in history, from the Middle Passage and Trail of Tears to the California Gold Rush, the Italian diaspora, and the Windrush generation.

While many traditional world histories focus on (mainly European) “exploration” and “discovery,” Migrations explores the story of each continent and focuses on cultures rather than conquest. Migrations highlights the human story and the positives: what has survived, not just what was destroyed.

Migrations is a history book with a fresh perspective, focusing on a topic ever more relevant in the modern world: Where did we come from? And what brought us here?


Click for more detail about Break This House by Candice Iloh Break This House

by Candice Iloh
Dutton Books for Young Readers (May 24, 2022)
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From Printz honoree and National Book Award Finalist Candice Iloh, a prose novel about a teenager reckoning with her family’s—and her hometown’s—secrets.

Yaminah Okar left Obsidian and the wreckage of her family years ago. She and her father have made lives for themselves in Brooklyn. She thinks she’s moved on to bigger and better things. She thinks she’s finally left behind that city she would rather forget. But when a Facebook message about her estranged mother pierces Yaminah’s new bubble, memories of everything that happened before her parents’ divorce come roaring back. Now, Yaminah must finally reckon with the truth about her mother and the growing collapse of a place she once called home.


Click for more detail about The Queen Of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes The Queen Of Kindergarten

by Derrick Barnes
Nancy Paulsen Books (May 23, 2022)
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A confident little Black girl has a fantastic first day of school in this companion to the New York Times bestseller The King of Kindergarten.

MJ is more than ready for her first day of kindergarten! With her hair freshly braided and her mom’s special tiara on her head, she knows she’s going to rock kindergarten. But the tiara isn’t just for show—it also reminds her of all the good things she brings to the classroom, stuff like her kindness, friendliness, and impressive soccer skills, too! Like The King of Kindergarten, this is the perfect book to reinforce back-to-school excitement and build confidence in the newest students.


Click for more detail about History Smashers: The Underground Railroad by Kate Messner History Smashers: The Underground Railroad

by Kate Messner
Random House Books for Young Readers (May 17, 2022)
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Myths! Lies! Secrets! Uncover the hidden truth about the Underground Railroad and Black Americans' struggle for freedom. Perfect for fans of I Survived! and Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales.

Before the Civil War, there was a crack team of abolitionists who used quilts and signal lanterns to guide enslaved people to freedom. RIGHT? WRONG! The truth is, the Underground Railroad wasn't very organized, and most freedom seekers were on their own.

With a mix of sidebars, illustrations, photos, and graphic panels, acclaimed author Kate Messner and coauthor and Brown Bookshelf contributor Gwendolyn Hooks deliver the whole truth about the Underground Railroad.

Discover the nonfiction series that smashes everything you thought you knew about history!


Click for more detail about Rising Troublemaker by Luvvie Ajayi Rising Troublemaker

by Luvvie Ajayi
Philomel Books (May 17, 2022)
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In this young readers edition of her New York Times bestseller Professional Troublemaker, Luvvie Ajayi Jones uses her honesty and humor to inspire teens to be their bravest, boldest, truest selves, in order to create a world they would be proud to live in.The world can feel like a dumpster fire, with endless things to be afraid of. It can make you feel powerless to ask for what you need, use your voice, and show up truly as your whole self. Add the fact that often, people might make you feel like your way of showing up is TOO MUCH. BE TOO MUCH, and use it for good. That is what it means to be a troublemaker. In this book, Luvvie Ajayi Jones - bestseller of books, sorceress of side-eyes and critic of culture - gives you the permission you might need to be the troublemaker you are, or wish to be. This is the book she needed when she was the kid who got in trouble for her mouth when she spoke up about what she felt was not fair. This is the book she needed when kids made fun of her Nigerian accent. This is the book that she needed when it was time to call herself a writer, but she was too scared. As a Rising Troublemaker, you need to know that the beautiful, audacious life you want is on the other side of doing the things that will scare you. This book will help you face and fight your fear and start living that life ASAP.                                     


Click for more detail about His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice by Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice

by Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa
Viking (May 17, 2022)
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“Since we know George Floyd’s death with tragic clarity, we must know Floyd’s America—and life—with tragic clarity. Essential for our times.” —Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist

“A much-needed portrait of the life, times, and martyrdom of George Floyd, a chronicle of the racial awakening sparked by his brutal and untimely death, and an essential work of history I hope everyone will read.” —Henry Louis Gates, Jr., author of The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song

A landmark biography by two prizewinning Washington Post reporters that reveals how systemic racism shaped George Floyd’s life and legacy—from his family’s roots in the tobacco fields of North Carolina, to ongoing inequality in housing, education, health care, criminal justice, and policing—telling the story of how one man’s tragic experience brought about a global movement for change.

The events of that day are now tragically familiar: on May 25, 2020, George Floyd became the latest Black person to die at the hands of the police, murdered outside of a Minneapolis convenience store by white officer Derek Chauvin. The video recording of his death set off the largest protest movement in the history of the United States, awakening millions to the pervasiveness of racial injustice. But long before his face was painted onto countless murals and his name became synonymous with civil rights, Floyd was a father, partner, athlete, and friend who constantly strove for a better life.

His Name Is George Floyd tells the story of a beloved figure from Houston’s housing projects as he faced the stifling systemic pressures that come with being a Black man in America. Placing his narrative within the context of the country’s enduring legacy of institutional racism, this deeply reported account examines Floyd’s family roots in slavery and sharecropping, the segregation of his schools, the overpolicing of his community amid a wave of mass incarceration, and the callous disregard toward his struggle with addiction—putting today’s inequality into uniquely human terms. Drawing upon hundreds of interviews with Floyd’s closest friends and family, his elementary school teachers and varsity coaches, civil rights icons, and those in the highest seats of political power, Washington Post reporters Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa offer a poignant and moving exploration of George Floyd’s America, revealing how a man who simply wanted to breathe ended up touching the world.

Book Review

Click for more detail about The World Belonged To Us by Jacqueline Woodson The World Belonged To Us

by Jacqueline Woodson
Nancy Paulsen Books (May 10, 2022)
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The World Belonged To Us is a celebration of playing – the collaborative, imaginative, joyful playing of my childhood in Brooklyn. I wrote these books for myself at first because I needed to remember all the places in our lives where happiness prevails. I’m beyond excited to share that joy with young people and anyone else who needs it.”

Leo Espinosa remarks, “I first felt connected to the story of The World Belonged To Us because I am a child of the 70’s and it brought up vivid memories of the priceless moments I shared with my friends in the street, always running, pedaling, laughing; just us, making up our own rules. Though my childhood happened in another country, many miles away from Brooklyn, the feeling was exactly the same.”


Click for more detail about Our Unfinished March: The Violent Past and Imperiled Future of the Vote-A History, a Crisis, a Plan by Eric Holder Our Unfinished March: The Violent Past and Imperiled Future of the Vote-A History, a Crisis, a Plan

by Eric Holder
One World (May 10, 2022)
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A brutal, bloody, and at times hopeful history of the vote; a primer on the opponents fighting to take it away; and a playbook for how we can save our democracy before it’s too late—from the former U.S. Attorney General on the front lines of this fight

Voting is our most important right as Americans—“the right that protects all the others,” as Lyndon Johnson famously said when he signed the Voting Rights Act—but it’s also the one most violently contested throughout U.S. history. Since the gutting of the act in the landmark Shelby County v. Holder case in 2013, many states have passed laws restricting the vote. After the 2020 election, President Trump’s effort to overturn the vote has evolved into a slow-motion coup, with many Republicans launching an all-out assault on our democracy. The vote seems to be in unprecedented peril.

But the peril is not at all unprecedented. America is a fragile democracy, Eric Holder argues, whose citizens have only had unfettered access to the ballot since the 1960s. He takes readers through three dramatic stories of how the vote was won: first by white men, through violence and insurrection; then by white women, through protests and mass imprisonments; and finally by African Americans, in the face of lynchings and terrorism. Next, he dives into how the vote has been stripped away since Shelby—a case in which Holder was one of the parties. He ends with visionary chapters on how we can reverse this tide of voter suppression and become a true democracy where every voice is heard and every vote is counted.

Full of surprising history, intensive analysis, and actionable plans for the future, this is a powerful primer on our most urgent political struggle from one of the country’s leading advocates.


Click for more detail about Most Perfect You by Jazmyn Simon Most Perfect You

by Jazmyn Simon
Random House Books for Young Readers (May 03, 2022)
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Jazmyn Simon’s debut is a moving love letter to children struggling to accept themselves inside and out—exactly as they are. This gorgeous picture book was inspired by a conversation between the author and her daughter.

I was shown all the smiles in the entire world. I looked at all of the many bright smiles until I found my favorite: your smile.

After comparing herself to other little girls, Irie confides in her mama that she feels something is wrong with her, that she’s not perfect as she is. And so Irie’s mama tells the magical story of how Irie was intentionally and wonderfully made. In fact, Irie is made up of all her mother’s favorite things: sparkling eyes, a bright smile, and a kind heart.

Actor and activist Jazmyn Simon’s tender picture book emphasizes the unique beauty and strength of all children, encouraging them to love their most perfect selves.


Click for more detail about Black No More by George S. Schuyler Black No More

by George S. Schuyler
Penguin Group USA (May 01, 2022)
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A biting 1931 science fiction satire of American racism, and one of the first works of Afrofuturism.

It’s New Years Day in 1933 in New York City and Max Disher, a young black man, has just heard the news: a mysterious doctor has discovered a strange process that can turn black skin white—a new way to "solve the American race problem." Max, who is tired of being rejected and abused because of his dark skin, leaps at the opportunity. After receiving the "Black-No-More" procedure, he becomes Matthew Fisher, a white man who is able to attain everything he has ever wanted: money, power, and a beautiful wife. But it soon becomes apparent that America, whiter than ever, is becoming more and more dangerous …

An extraordinary, cutting satire, Black No More is an utterly unique work of science fiction, and one of the first works of Black speculative fiction.


Click for more detail about Always with You, Always with Me by Kelly Rowland and Jessica McKay Always with You, Always with Me

by Kelly Rowland and Jessica McKay
Viking Books for Young Readers (Apr 26, 2022)
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An instant New York Times bestseller!
A loving ode to modern motherhood by Kelly Rowland and Jessica McKay.

Grammy Award-winning artist Kelly Rowland and educator Jessica McKay have crafted a lyrical celebration of working moms everywhere and a soothing story for their children. As a mother gets ready to go to work, first she works on building the world for her child. Because it can sometimes be hard to be separated during the day, Mom collects some simple words that she and her child can repeat whenever they are missing each other or feeling overwhelmed:

Always with you,
always with me,
mommy and child,
together we’ll be.

For any child who needs a little reassurance or just to share a sweet gesture of affection, Always with You, Always with Me is a loving tribute to families that honors the work a mother does both inside and outside of the home.


Click for more detail about Truth’s Table: Black Women’s Musings on Life, Love, and Liberation by Ekemini Uwan, Christina Edmondson, Michelle Higgins Truth’s Table: Black Women’s Musings on Life, Love, and Liberation

by Ekemini Uwan, Christina Edmondson, Michelle Higgins
Convergent Books (Apr 26, 2022)
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A collection of essays and stories documenting the lived theology and spirituality we need to hear in order to lean into a more freeing, loving, and liberating faith—from the hosts of the beloved Truth’s Table podcast

“The liberating work of Truth’s Table creates breathing room to finally have those conversations we’ve been needing to have.”—Morgan Harper Nichols, artist and poet

Once upon a time, an activist, a theologian, and a psychologist walked into a group chat. Everything was laid out on the table: Dating. Politics. The Black church. Pop culture. Soon, other Black women began pulling up chairs to gather round. And so, the Truth’s Table podcast was born.

In their literary debut, co-hosts Christina Edmondson, Michelle Higgins, and Ekemini Uwan offer stories by Black women and for Black women examining theology, politics, race, culture, and gender matters through a Christian lens. For anyone seeking to explore the spiritual dimensions of hot-button issues within the church, or anyone thirsty to deepen their faith, Truth’s Table provides exactly the survival guide we need, including:

• Michelle Higgins’s unforgettable treatise revealing the way “racial reconciliation” is a spiritually bankrupt, empty promise that can often drain us of the ability to do real justice work
• Ekemini Uwan’s exploration of Blackness as the image of God in the past, present, and future
• Christina Edmondson’s reimagination of what a more just and liberating form of church discipline might look like—one that acknowledges and speaks to the trauma in the room

These essays deliver a compelling theological re-education and pair the spiritual formation and political education necessary for Black women of faith.


Click for more detail about Shine Bright: A Personal History of Black Women in Pop by Danyel Smith Shine Bright: A Personal History of Black Women in Pop

by Danyel Smith
Roc Lit 101 (Apr 19, 2022)
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American pop music is arguably this country’s greatest cultural contribution to the world, and its singular voice and virtuosity were created by a shining thread of Black women geniuses stretching back to the country’s founding. This is their surprising, heartbreaking, soaring story—written by one of the preeminent cultural critics of her generation.

A weave of biography, criticism, and memoir, Shine Bright is Danyel Smith’s intimate history of Black women’s music as the foundational story of American pop. Smith has been writing this history for more than five years. But as a music fan, and then as an essayist, editor (Vibe, Billboard), and podcast host (Black Girl Songbook), she has been living this history since she was a latchkey kid listening to “Midnight Train to Georgia” on the family stereo.

Smith’s detailed narrative begins with Phillis Wheatley, an enslaved woman who sang her poems, and continues through the stories of Mahalia Jackson, Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, and Mariah Carey, as well as the under-considered careers of Marilyn McCoo, Deniece Williams, and Jody Watley.

Shine Bright is an overdue paean to musical masters whose true stories and genius have been hidden in plain sight—and the book Danyel Smith was born to write.


Click for more detail about Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez Take My Hand

by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
Berkley Books (Apr 12, 2022)
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A searing and compassionate new novel about a young Black nurse’s shocking discovery and the burning quest for justice in post-segregation Alabama, from the AALBC and New York Times bestselling author of Wench.

Montgomery, Alabama, 1973. Fresh out of nursing school, Civil Townsend intends to make a difference, especially in her African American community. At the Montgomery Family Planning Clinic, she hopes to help women shape their destinies, to make their own choices for their lives and bodies.

But when her first week on the job takes her along a dusty country road to a worn-down one-room cabin, Civil is shocked to learn that her new patients, Erica and India, are children—just eleven and thirteen years old. Neither of the Williams sisters has even kissed a boy, but they are poor and Black, and for those handling the family’s welfare benefits, that’s reason enough to have the girls on birth control. As Civil grapples with her role, she takes India, Erica, and their family into her heart. Until one day she arrives at their door to learn the unthinkable has happened, and nothing will ever be the same for any of them.

Decades later, with her daughter grown and a long career in her wake, Dr. Civil Townsend is ready to retire, to find her peace, and to leave the past behind. But there are people and stories that refuse to be forgotten. That must not be forgotten.

Because history repeats what we don’t remember.

Inspired by true events and brimming with hope, Take My Hand is a stirring exploration of accountability and redemption.

Praise For Take My Hand…

“Dolen Perkins-Valdez is a brilliant writer in a class all by herself. I love her voice and how she makes the past feel immediate and relevant, because it is.”
Terry McMillan, #1 AALBC and New York Times bestselling author

“Dolen Perkins Valdez takes a moment in our history that has been hidden inside the folds of time and she brings those heinous acts back into the light. This is a riveting story of one woman’s fight against a system that believes it has the right to determine who should give birth in this country and who should not. Civil Townsend’s plight as she seeks justice is heartbreaking, but also inspiring, reminding us that one woman can stand and make a difference. Beautifully written in typical Dolen Perkins Valdez’s style, I didn’t put this book down until I closed the last page and even then, I wanted more.”
Victoria Christopher Murray, New York Times bestselling author of The Personal Librarian

“Delicate and poetic, Dolen manages to fuse beauty and tragedy in her work, which makes her a masterful storyteller and gifted writer. In this story, Dolen speaks eloquently for those who, in being denied the right of having a choice and agency over their bodies, have lost their voice. This haunting tale, captured through the lens of an unforgettable narrator and a cast of memorable characters, will stay with you for a very, very long time.”
Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of bestselling novels Patsy and Here Comes the Sun


Click for more detail about Constructing a Nervous System: A Memoir by Margo Jefferson Constructing a Nervous System: A Memoir

by Margo Jefferson
Pantheon Books (Apr 12, 2022)
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A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: The New York Times, TIME Magazine, Oprah Daily, The New Yorker, Washington Post, Vulture, Buzzfeed, Publishers Weekly

**ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE FINALIST**

The Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and memoirist Margo Jefferson has lived in the thrall of a cast of others—her parents and maternal grandmother, jazz luminaries, writers, artists, athletes, and stars. These are the figures who thrill and trouble her, and who have made up her sense of self as a person and as a writer. In her much-anticipated follow-up to Negroland, Jefferson brings these figures to life in a memoir of stunning originality, a performance of the elements that comprise and occupy the mind of one of our foremost critics.

In Constructing a Nervous System, Jefferson shatters her self into pieces and recombines them into a new and vital apparatus on the page, fusing the criticism that she is known for, fragments of the family members she grieves for, and signal moments from her life, as well as the words of those who have peopled her past and accompanied her in her solitude, dramatized here like never before. Bing Crosby and Ike Turner are among the author’s alter egos. The sounds of a jazz LP emerge as the intimate and instructive sounds of a parent’s voice. W. E. B. Du Bois and George Eliot meet illicitly. The muscles and movements of a ballerina are spliced with those of an Olympic runner, becoming a template for what a black female body can be.

The result is a wildly innovative work of depth and stirring beauty. It is defined by fractures and dissonance, longing and ecstasy, and a persistent searching. Jefferson interrogates her own self as well as the act of writing memoir, and probes the fissures at the center of American cultural life.


Click for more detail about Peaces by Helen Oyeyemi Peaces

by Helen Oyeyemi
Riverhead Books (Apr 05, 2022)
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"Enchanting … the most surprising, confounding, and oddly insightful couple’s trip in recent literary history."Entertainment Weekly

The prize-winning, bestselling author of Gingerbread; Boy, Snow, Bird; and What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours returns with a vivid and inventive new novel about a couple forever changed by an unusual train voyage.

When Otto and Xavier Shin declare their love, an aunt gifts them a trip on a sleeper train to mark their new commitment—and to get them out of her house. Setting off with their pet mongoose, Otto and Xavier arrive at their sleepy local train station, but quickly deduce that The Lucky Day is no ordinary locomotive. Their trip on this former tea-smuggling train has been curated beyond their wildest imaginations, complete with mysterious and welcoming touches, like ingredients for their favorite breakfast. They seem to be the only people on board, until Otto discovers a secretive woman who issues a surprising message. As further clues and questions pile up, and the trip upends everything they thought they knew, Otto and Xavier begin to see connections to their own pasts, connections that now bind them together.

A spellbinding tale from a star author, Peaces is about what it means to be seen by another person—whether it’s your lover or a stranger on a train—and what happens when things you thought were firmly in the past turn out to be right beside you.


Click for more detail about Memphis by Tara M. Stringfellow Memphis

by Tara M. Stringfellow
The Dial Press (Apr 05, 2022)
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A spellbinding debut novel tracing three generations of a Southern Black family and one daughter’s discovery that she has the power to change her family’s legacy.ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022—Oprah Daily, Essence, Glamour, Business Insider, Marie Claire, The Millions, She Reads, Book Riot, Bad FormSummer 1995: Ten-year-old Joan, her mother, and her younger sister flee her father’s explosive temper and seek refuge at her mother’s ancestral home in Memphis. This is not the first time violence has altered the course of the family’s trajectory. Half a century earlier, Joan’s grandfather built this majestic house in the historic Black neighborhood of Douglass—only to be lynched days after becoming the first Black detective in the city. Joan tries to settle into her new life, but family secrets cast a longer shadow than any of them expected.As she grows up, Joan finds relief in her artwork, painting portraits of the community in Memphis. One of her subjects is their enigmatic neighbor Miss Dawn, who claims to know something about curses, and whose stories about the past help Joan see how her passion, imagination, and relentless hope are, in fact, the continuation of a long matrilineal tradition. Joan begins to understand that her mother, her mother’s mother, and the mothers before them persevered, made impossible choices, and put their dreams on hold so that her life would not have to be defined by loss and anger—that the sole instrument she needs for healing is her paintbrush.Unfolding over seventy years through a chorus of unforgettable voices that move back and forth in time, Memphis paints an indelible portrait of inheritance, celebrating the full complexity of what we pass down, in a family and as a country: brutality and justice, faith and forgiveness, sacrifice and love.


Click for more detail about Business Not As Usual by Sharon C. Cooper Business Not As Usual

by Sharon C. Cooper
Berkley Books (Apr 05, 2022)
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A woman learns the hard way about mixing business with pleasure in this hilarious new romantic comedy by USA Today bestselling author Sharon C. Cooper.I am beautiful. I am confident. I am lovable. I am a lottery winner.This is the mantra that will get Dreamy Daniels through each day until she makes it big. So what if she lives in a seedy part of Los Angeles in a house that’s one earthquake away from crumbling, or works an unfulfilling secretarial job while struggling to finish her bachelor’s degree? All Dreamy needs to do is win the lottery, which she’s been entering in as a weekly tradition with her grandfather. When she catches the attention of her boss’s potential investor, Dreamy has to remind herself to focus on her career goals so she can be her own boss. Who cares if he has the social grace of the Duke of Sussex and the suaveness of Idris Elba? No distractions allowed.Growing up with a father who is an A-list actor and a socialite mother, venture capitalist Karter Redford lives in the world of the rich and famous. Instead of attending movie premieres, however, he prefers spending his time helping the less fortunate, backing start-up companies and investing in cutting edge ideas. Karter is used to his life revolving around work, but when he decides he wants someone to share it with, he falls for someone his mother would never approve of: hilarious, quirky Dreamy, who has goals of her own…but also isn’t a wealthy, upper-crust socialite. Though it’s clear they’re from different worlds, their relationship might just be his greatest investment yet.


Click for more detail about Show the World! by Angela Dalton Show the World!

by Angela Dalton
Viking Books for Young Readers (Apr 05, 2022)
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A celebration of self-expression and the power of using your voice, centering Black children, and exploring the many things they can do, create, and say to make their mark.

Look around! Can you see?
The many spaces, places, and ways to
show the world all that you can be?

From painting, music, and slam poetry, to engineering, protesting, and photography, a young narrator journeys through her neighborhood, encouraging readers to explore all the many ways they can express themselves. A gorgeously illustrated and powerful celebration of self-expression shows children that there are so many spaces and opportunities to use their voices—and show the world exactly who they are.

What will you show the world?


Click for more detail about What Is Juneteenth? by Kirsti Jewel What Is Juneteenth?

by Kirsti Jewel
Penguin Workshop (Apr 05, 2022)
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Discover more about Juneteenth, the important holiday that celebrates the end of chattel slavery in the United States.

On June 19, 1865, a group of enslaved men, women, and children in Texas gathered around a Union solder and listened as he read the most remarkable words they would ever hear. They were no longer enslaved: they were free. The inhumane practice of forced labor with no pay was now illegal in all of the United States. This news was cause for celebration, so the group of people jumped in excitement, danced, and wept tears of joy. They did not know it at the time, but their joyous celebration of freedom would become a holiday—Juneteenth—that is observed each year by more and more Americans.

Author Kirsti Jewel shares stories from Juneteenth celebrations, both past and present, and chronicles the history that led to the creation of this joyous day.

With 80 black-and-white illustrations and an engaging 16-page photo insert, readers will be excited to read this latest addition to Who HQ!


Click for more detail about The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural by Patricia C. Mckissack The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural

by Patricia C. Mckissack
Yearling (Mar 29, 2022)
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In that special half-hour of twilight—the dark-thirty—there are stories to be told. Mesmerizing, suspenseful, and breathtakingly original, these tales make up a heart-stopping collection of lasting value, a book not quickly forgotten.

Originally published in 1992.


Click for more detail about Nature Lover #6 by Kelly Starling Lyons Nature Lover #6

by Kelly Starling Lyons
Penguin Workshop (Mar 29, 2022)
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Jada Jones is back for the sixth book of this popular, celebrated series perfect for STEM fans!

Readers who love Ivy and Bean or Katie Woo will want to meet Jada Jones. —School Library Journal

Jada is thrilled when she gets to go on an outdoor class field trip with her Pop Pop, a nature lover, as a chaperone. She can’t wait to show him off to her friends—and show him what she knows. But the trip has some twists along the way, including a soaring zip line she’s not sure she wants to try. What happens when Jada’s shining moment starts to lose its luster?

Praise for Jada Jones: Rock Star
Fast-paced, with supersimple vocabulary and a smattering of earth science to spark interest in young rock collectors everywhere. —Kirkus Reviews


Click for more detail about Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire by Caroline Elkins Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire

by Caroline Elkins
Knopf Publishing Group (Mar 29, 2022)
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From a Pulitzer Prize–winning historian: a searing study of the British Empire that probes the country’s pervasive use of violence throughout the twentieth century and traces how these practices were exported, modified, and institutionalized in colonies around the globe

Sprawling across a quarter of the world’s land mass and claiming nearly seven hundred million people, Britain’s twentieth-century empire was the largest empire in human history. For many Britons, it epitomized their nation’s cultural superiority. But what legacy did the island nation deliver to the world? Covering more than two hundred years of history, Caroline Elkins reveals an evolutionary and racialized doctrine that espoused an unrelenting deployment of violence to secure and preserve the nation’s imperial interests. She outlines how ideological foundations of violence were rooted in the Victorian era calls for punishing recalcitrant "natives," and how over time, its forms became increasingly systematized. And she makes clear that when Britain could no longer maintain control over the violence it provoked and enacted, it retreated from empire, destroying and hiding incriminating evidence of its policies and practices.

Drawing on more than a decade of research on four continents, Legacy of Violence implicates all sides of Britain’s political divide in the creation, execution, and cover-up of imperial violence. By demonstrating how and why violence was the most salient factor underwriting Britain’s empire and the nation’s imperial identity at home, Elkins upends long-held myths and sheds new light on empire’s role in shaping the world today.


Click for more detail about Just Try One Bite by Adam Mansbach Just Try One Bite

by Adam Mansbach
Dial Books (Mar 22, 2022)
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From the bestselling author of Go the **** to Sleep and healthy eating advocate Camila Alves McConaughey comes a whimsical role reversal in which picky eater parents are confronted by their three kids, with hilarious results

These three kids are determined to get their parents to put down the ice cream, cake, and chicken fried steak to just try one bite of healthy whole foods. But it’s harder than it looks when these over-the-top gagging, picky parents refuse to give things like broccoli and kale a chance. Kids will love the jaunty rhyme that’s begging to be read aloud and the opportunity to be way smarter—and healthier—than their parents.


Click for more detail about Homecoming: Overcome Fear and Trauma to Reclaim Your Whole, Authentic Self by Thema Bryant Homecoming: Overcome Fear and Trauma to Reclaim Your Whole, Authentic Self

by Thema Bryant
TarcherPerigee (Mar 15, 2022)
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A road map for dismantling the fear and shame that keep you from living a free and authentic life.

In the aftermath of stress, disappointment, and trauma, people often fall into survival mode, even while a part of them longs for more. Juggling multiple demands and responsibilities keeps them busy, but not healed. As a survivor of sexual assault, racism, and evacuation from a civil war in Liberia, Dr. Thema Bryant knows intimately the work involved in healing. Having made the journey herself, in addition to guiding others as a clinical psychologist and ordained minister, Dr. Thema shows you how to reconnect with your authentic self and reclaim your time, your voice, your life.

Signs of disconnection from self can take many forms, including people-pleasing, depression, anxiety, and resentment. Healing starts with recognizing and expressing emotions in an honest way and reconnecting with the neglected parts of yourself, but it can’t be done in a vacuum. Dr. Thema gives you the tools to meaningfully connect with your larger community, even if you face racism and sexism, heartbreak, grief, and trauma. Rather than shrinking in the face of life’s difficulties, you will discover in Homecoming the therapeutic approaches and spiritual practices to live a more expansive life characterized by empowerment, healthier relationships, gratitude, and a deeper sense of purpose.


Click for more detail about Emile and the Field by Kevin Young Emile and the Field

by Kevin Young
Make Me a World (Mar 15, 2022)
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In this lyrical picture book from an award-winning poet, a young boy cherishes a neighborhood field throughout the changing seasons. With stunning illustrations and a charming text, this beautiful story celebrates a child’s relationship with nature.

There was a boy
named Emile
who fell
in love with a field.

It was wide
and blue—
and if you could have
seen it
so would’ve you.

Emile loves the field close to his home—in spring, summer, and fall, when it gives him bees and flowers, blossoms and leaves. But not as much in winter, when he has to share his beautiful, changeable field with other children…and their sleds. This relatable and lyrical ode to one boy’s love for his neighborhood field celebrates how spending time in nature allows children to dream, to imagine…and even to share.


Click for more detail about When We Were Birds by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo When We Were Birds

by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
Doubleday Books (Mar 15, 2022)
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One of NPR.org’s Best Books of the Year

A mythic love story set in Trinidad, Ayanna Lloyd Banwo’s radiant debut is a masterwork of lush imagination and exuberant storytelling—a spellbinding and hopeful novel about inheritance, loss, and love’s seismic power to heal.

In the old house on a hill, where the city meets the rainforest, Yejide’s mother is dying. She is leaving behind a legacy that now passes to Yejide: one St Bernard woman in every generation has the power to shepherd the city’s souls into the afterlife. But after years of suffering her mother’s neglect and bitterness, Yejide is looking for a way out.

Raised in the countryside by a devout Rastafarian mother, Darwin has always abided by the religious commandment not to interact with death. He has never been to a funeral, much less seen a dead body. But when the only job he can find is grave digging, he must betray the life his mother built for him in order to provide for them both. Newly shorn of his dreadlocks and his past, and determined to prove himself, Darwin finds himself adrift in a city electric with possibility and danger.

Yejide and Darwin will meet inside the gates of Fidelis, an ancient and sprawling cemetery, where the dead lie uneasy in their graves and a reckoning with fate beckons them both.


Click for more detail about Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo Glory

by NoViolet Bulawayo
Viking (Mar 08, 2022)
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2022 BOOKER PRIZE FINALIST

“Manifoldly clever…brilliant… Glory is its own vivid world, drawn from its own folklore. This is a satire with sharper teeth, angrier, and also very, very funny.” —Violet Kupersmith, The New York Times Book Review

“Genius.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds

From the award-winning author of the Booker-prize finalist We Need New Names, an exhilarating novel about the fall of an oppressive regime, and the chaos and opportunity that rise in its wake.

NoViolet Bulawayo’s bold new novel follows the fall of the Old Horse, the long-serving leader of a fictional country, and the drama that follows for a rumbustious nation of animals on the path to true liberation. Inspired by the unexpected fall by coup in November 2017 of Robert G. Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s president of nearly four decades, Glory shows a country’s imploding, narrated by a chorus of animal voices that unveil the ruthlessness required to uphold the illusion of absolute power and the imagination and bulletproof optimism to overthrow it completely. By immersing readers in the daily lives of a population in upheaval, Bulawayo reveals the dazzling life force and irresistible wit that lie barely concealed beneath the surface of seemingly bleak circumstances.

And at the center of this tumult is Destiny, a young goat who returns to Jidada to bear witness to revolution—and to recount the unofficial history and the potential legacy of the females who have quietly pulled the strings here. The animal kingdom—its connection to our primal responses and its resonance in the mythology, folktales, and fairy tales that define cultures the world over—unmasks the surreality of contemporary global politics to help us understand our world more clearly, even as Bulawayo plucks us right out of it.

Although Zimbabwe is the immediate inspiration for this thrilling story, Glory was written in a time of global clamor, with resistance movements across the world challenging different forms of oppression. Thus it often feels like Bulawayo captures several places in one blockbuster allegory, crystallizing a turning point in history with the texture and nuance that only the greatest fiction can.


Click for more detail about Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head: Poems by Warsan Shire Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head: Poems

by Warsan Shire
Random House Trade Paperbacks (Mar 01, 2022)
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Poems of migration, womanhood, trauma, and resilience from the celebrated collaborator on Beyoncé’s Lemonade and Black Is King, award-winning Somali British poet Warsan Shire

"The beautifully crafted poems in this collection are fiercely tender gifts."—Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist

"Shire is the real thing—fresh, cutting, indisputably alive."—Dwight Garner, The New York Times

Longlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize - One of the Best Books of the Year: Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Publishers Weekly

Mama, I made it / out of your home / alive, raised by / the voices / in my head.

With her first full-length poetry collection, Warsan Shire introduces us to a young girl, who, in the absence of a nurturing guide, makes her own way toward womanhood. Drawing from her own life, as well as pop culture and news headlines, Shire finds vivid, unique details in the experiences of refugees and immigrants, mothers and daughters, Black women and teenage girls. In Shire’s hands, lives spring into fullness. This is noisy life, full of music and weeping and surahs and sirens and birds. This is fragrant life, full of blood and perfume and shisha smoke and jasmine and incense. This is polychrome life, full of henna and moonlight and lipstick and turmeric and kohl. The long-awaited collection from one of our most exciting contemporary poets, this book is a blessing, an incantatory celebration of resilience and survival. Each reader will come away changed.


Click for more detail about Why Not You? by Ciara and Russell Wilson Why Not You?

by Ciara and Russell Wilson
Random House Books for Young Readers (Mar 01, 2022)
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From Grammy-winning pop star Ciara and Super Bowl champion quarterback Russell Wilson comes a picture book to inspire young readers to see the value in themselves, be brave, and go after their biggest dreams!

Why not you? Amazing you! You’re a winner! You’re so strong! You are perfect and important—you and all your gifts belong!

We all have big dreams! Sometimes it’s hard to imagine our big dreams coming true. But what if someone saw all the amazing and spectacular parts of us—our winning smiles, our fancy feet, our warm hearts—and asked, “Why not you?”

Whether it’s becoming a football player or a pop star or the president or a scientist: Why not you?

In this picture book debut, superstars Ciara and Russell Wilson encourage readers to see themselves achieving their dreams, no matter how outrageous they may seem. It’s a lyrical celebration of self-esteem, perseverance, and daring to shoot for the stars.


Click for more detail about I’m So (Not) Over You by Kosoko Jackson I’m So (Not) Over You

by Kosoko Jackson
Berkley Books (Feb 22, 2022)
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One of… Essence’s New Books We Can’t Wait To Read In 2022 Oprah Daily’s Most Anticipated Romance Novels of 2022 Buzzfeed’s Highly Anticipated LGBTQ Romance Novels in 2022 Popsugar’s New Romance Novels That Will Make You Fall in Love With 2022 BookRiot’s Most Anticipated New Adult Romance Reads For Spring 2022 E! News and LifeSavvy’s February Books to Fall in Love With Bustle’s Most Anticipated Books of February Betches’ Books You Need to Read in 2022A chance to rewrite their ending is worth the risk in this swoony romantic comedy from Kosoko Jackson. It’s been months since aspiring journalist Kian Andrews has heard from his ex-boyfriend, Hudson Rivers, but an urgent text has them meeting at a café. Maybe Hudson wants to profusely apologize for the breakup. Or confess his undying love… But no, Hudson has a favor to ask—he wants Kian to pretend to be his boyfriend while his parents are in town, and Kian reluctantly agrees. The dinner doesn’t go exactly as planned, and suddenly Kian is Hudson’s plus one to Georgia’s wedding of the season. Hudson comes from a wealthy family where reputation is everything, and he really can’t afford another mistake. If Kian goes, he’ll help Hudson preserve appearances and get the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the biggest names in media. This could be the big career break Kian needs. But their fake relationship is starting to feel like it might be more than a means to an end, and it’s time for both men to fact-check their feelings.


Click for more detail about Level Up by Stacey Abrams aka Selena Montgomery Level Up

by Stacey Abrams aka Selena Montgomery
Portfolio (Feb 22, 2022)
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An inspiring and revelatory guide to starting and scaling a small business, from powerhouse duo Stacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson Like many business owners, renowned politician and activist Stacey Abrams didn’t start a business because she dreamed of calling herself an entrepreneur. Her part-time post (and its $17,310 annual salary) as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives necessitated striking out on her own as a consultant—her first small business. Then, Stacey and her friend Lara Hodgson launched an infrastructure advisory firm—named Insomnia Consulting because they did their best thinking at 3:00 a.m.—and then another business, and then another. Fifteen years into their entrepreneurial journey together, they have tackled the obstacles that many business owners face: how to grow sustainably, hire thoughtfully, and keep up with the Goliaths in your industry. Now, for the first time, Stacey and Lara share their inspiring and relatable personal story and lessons learned the hard way to show how every business owner can confront the forces that conspire to keep small businesses small. Lauded for her “resilient, visionary leadership” (Barack Obama) and celebrated as a “passionate advocate of democracy” (Madeleine Albright), Stacey now brings her fierce sense of justice to the challenges that America’s business owners face. Level Up arms readers with the confidence, know-how, and savvy to overcome the obstacles that hold their businesses back.


Click for more detail about Moon Witch, Spider King by Marlon James Moon Witch, Spider King

by Marlon James
Riverhead Books (Feb 15, 2022)
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From Marlon James, author of the bestselling National Book Award finalist Black Leopard, Red Wolf, the second book in the Dark Star trilogy, his African Game of Thrones.

In Black Leopard, Red Wolf, Sogolon the Moon Witch proved a worthy adversary to Tracker as they clashed across a mythical African landscape in search of a mysterious boy who disappeared. In Moon Witch, Spider King, Sogolon takes center stage and gives her own account of what happened to the boy, and how she plotted and fought, triumphed and failed as she looked for him. It’s also the story of a century-long feud—seen through the eyes of a 177-year-old witch—that Sogolon had with the Aesi, chancellor to the king. It is said that Aesi works so closely with the king that together they are like the eight limbs of one spider. Aesi’s power is considerable—and deadly. It takes brains and courage to challenge him, which Sogolon does for reasons of her own.

Both a brilliant narrative device—seeing the story told in Black Leopard, Red Wolf from the perspective of an adversary and a woman—as well as a fascinating battle between different versions of empire, Moon Witch, Spider King delves into Sogolon’s world as she fights to tell her own story. Part adventure tale, part chronicle of an indomitable woman who bows to no man, it is a fascinating novel that explores power, personality, and the places where they overlap.


Click for more detail about Bitter by Akwaeke Emezi Bitter

by Akwaeke Emezi
Knopf Books for Young Readers (Feb 15, 2022)
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From National Book Award finalist Akwaeke Emezi comes a companion novel to the critically acclaimed PET that explores both the importance and cost of social revolution—and how youth lead the way.After a childhood in foster care, Bitter is thrilled to have been chosen to attend Eucalyptus, a special school where she can focus on her painting surrounded by other creative teens. But outside this haven, the streets are filled with protests against the deep injustices that grip the city of Lucille. Bitter’s instinct is to stay safe within the walls of Eucalyptus … but  her  friends  aren’t  willing  to  settle  for  a  world  that’s  so  far  away from what they deserve. Pulled between old friendships, her artistic passion, and a new romance, Bitter isn’t sure where she  belongs—in  the  studio  or  in  the  streets.  And  if  she  does  find a way to help the revolution while being true to who she is, she must also ask: at what cost?  This  timely  and  riveting  novel—a  companion  to  the  National  Book Award finalist Pet—explores the power of youth, protest, and art. 


Click for more detail about Blue: A History of the Color as Deep as the Sea and as Wide as the Sky by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond Blue: A History of the Color as Deep as the Sea and as Wide as the Sky

by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers (Feb 15, 2022)
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Discover a world of creativity and tradition in this fascinating picture book that explores the history and cultural significance of the color blue. From a critically acclaimed author and an award-winning illustrator comes a vivid, gorgeous book for readers of all ages.

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.

With stunning illustrations by Caldecott Honor Artist Daniel Minter, this vibrant and fascinating picture book follows one color’s journey through time and across the world, as it becomes the blue we know today.


Click for more detail about It’s about Damn Time: How to Turn Being Underestimated Into Your Greatest Advantage by Arlan Hamilton It’s about Damn Time: How to Turn Being Underestimated Into Your Greatest Advantage

by Arlan Hamilton
Currency (Feb 15, 2022)
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“A hero’s tale of what’s possible when we unlock our potential, continue the search for knowledge, and draw on our lived experiences to guide us through the darkest moments.”—Stacey Abrams

From a Black, gay woman who broke into the boys’ club of Silicon Valley comes an empowering guide to finding your voice, working your way into any room you want to be in, and achieving your own dreams.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY FORTUNE

In 2015, Arlan Hamilton was on food stamps and sleeping on the floor of the San Francisco airport, with nothing but an old laptop and a dream of breaking into the venture capital business. She couldn’t understand why people starting companies all looked the same (White and male), and she wanted the chance to invest in the ideas and people who didn’t conform to this image of how a founder is supposed to look. Hamilton had no contacts or network in Silicon Valley, no background in finance—not even a college degree. What she did have was fierce determination and the will to succeed.

As much as we wish it weren’t so, we still live in a world where being underrepresented often means being underestimated. But as someone who makes her living investing in high-potential founders who also happen to be female, LGBTQ, or people of color, Hamilton understands that being undervalued simply means that a big upside exists. Because even if you have to work twice as hard to get to the starting line, she says, once you are on a level playing field, you will sprint ahead.

Despite what society would have you believe, Hamilton argues, a privileged background, an influential network, and a fancy college degree are not prerequisites for success. Here she shares the hard-won wisdom she’s picked up on her remarkable journey from food-stamp recipient to venture capitalist, with lessons like “The Best Music Comes from the Worst Breakups,” “Let Someone Shorter Stand in Front of You,” “The Dangers of Hustle Porn,” and “Don’t Let Anyone Drink Your Diet Coke.” Along the way, she inspires us all to defy other people’s expectations and to become the role models we’ve been looking for.

Praise for It’s About Damn Time

"Reading Arlan Hamilton’s It’s About Damn Time is like having a conversation with that frank, bawdy friend who somehow always manages to make you laugh, get a little emo, and, ultimately, think about ­­the world in a different way… . The book is warm, witty, and unflinching in its critique of the fake meritocracy that permeates Silicon Valley."—Shondaland


Click for more detail about Dirty Bird Blues by Clarence Major Dirty Bird Blues

by Clarence Major
Penguin Group USA (Feb 08, 2022)
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A quietly influential force in African American literature and art, Clarence Major makes his Penguin Classics debut with the twenty-fifth-anniversary edition of Dirty Bird Blues

Set in post-World War II Chicago and Omaha, the novel features Manfred Banks, a young, harmonica-blowing blues singer who is always writing music in his head. Torn between his friendships with fellow musicians and nightclub life and his responsibilities to his wife and child, along with the pressures of dealing with a racist America that assaults him at every turn, Manfred seeks easy answers in "Dirty Bird" (Old Crow whiskey) and in moving on. He moves to Omaha with hopes of better opportunities as a blue-collar worker, but the blues in his soul and the dreams in his mind keep bringing him back to face himself. After a nightmarish descent into his own depths, Manfred emerges with fresh awareness and possibility. Through Manfred, we witness and experience the process by which modern American English has been vitalized and strengthened by the poetry and the poignancy of the African-American experience. As Manfred struggles with the oppressive constraints of society and his private turmoil, his rich inner voice resonates with the blues.


Click for more detail about Crowned with Glory by Dorena Williamson Crowned with Glory

by Dorena Williamson
WaterBrook Press (Feb 08, 2022)
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An ode to Black hair and Black girl joy, this joy-filled rhyming picture book invites young readers into the world of a young Black girl as she rocks her God-given beauty.

Hello, world! I’m a gift from above.
I already know that I am loved.
Gazing around with a great big grin—there’s a whole wide world for me to take in.

From the hair on her head to the tips of her toes, Azira knows that she is awesome! And whether it’s styled in twists, curls, braids, Bantu knots, a textured bun, or left totally natural, her hair is just one of the countless things that helps Azira celebrate who God made her to be. She’s able to live out a beautiful story because God has crowned her with glory—and Azira wants you to do the same!

Young readers will be inspired by this empowering, uplifting reminder to always be and love who God created them to be.


Click for more detail about The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr. The Prophets

by Robert Jones, Jr.
G.P. Putnam’s Sons (Feb 08, 2022)
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Best Book of the Year NPR - The Washington Post - Boston Globe - TIME - USA Today - Entertainment Weekly - Real Simple - Parade - Buzzfeed - Electric Literature - LitHub - BookRiot - PopSugar - Goop - Library Journal - BookBub - KCRW

  • - Finalist for the National Book Award
  • - One of the New York Times Notable Books of the Year
  • - One of the New York Times Best Historical Fiction of the Year
  • - Instant New York Times Bestseller

A singular and stunning debut novel about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, the refuge they find in each other, and a betrayal that threatens their existence.

Isaiah was Samuel’s and Samuel was Isaiah’s. That was the way it was since the beginning, and the way it was to be until the end. In the barn they tended to the animals, but also to each other, transforming the hollowed-out shed into a place of human refuge, a source of intimacy and hope in a world ruled by vicious masters. But when an older man—a fellow slave—seeks to gain favor by preaching the master’s gospel on the plantation, the enslaved begin to turn on their own. Isaiah and Samuel’s love, which was once so simple, is seen as sinful and a clear danger to the plantation’s harmony.

With a lyricism reminiscent of Toni Morrison, Robert Jones, Jr., fiercely summons the voices of slaver and enslaved alike, from Isaiah and Samuel to the calculating slave master to the long line of women that surround them, women who have carried the soul of the plantation on their shoulders. As tensions build and the weight of centuries—of ancestors and future generations to come—culminates in a climactic reckoning, The Prophets fearlessly reveals the pain and suffering of inheritance, but is also shot through with hope, beauty, and truth, portraying the enormous, heroic power of love.


Click for more detail about Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word - With a New Introduction by the Author by Randall Kennedy Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word - With a New Introduction by the Author

by Randall Kennedy
Pantheon Books (Feb 08, 2022)
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The twentieth anniversary edition of one of the most controversial books ever published on race and language is now more relevant than ever in this season of racial reckoning.

In addition to a brave and bracing inquiry into the origins, uses and impact of the infamous word, this edition features an extensive new introduction accounting for major developments in its evolution during the last two decades of its vexed history.


In the new introduction to his classic work, Kennedy questions the claim that "nigger" is the most tabooed term in the American language, faced with the implacable prevalence of its old-fashioned anti-Black sense. "Nigger" continues to be part of the loud soundtrack of the worst instances of racial aggression in American life—racially motivated assaults and murders, arson, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and workplace harassment.

Consider this: twenty years ago, Kennedy wrote that any major politician credibly accused of using "nigger" would be immediately abandoned and ostracized. He was wrong. Donald Trump, POTUS himself, was credibly charged, and the allegation caused little more than a yawn. No one doubted the accuracy of the claim but amidst all his other racist acts his "nigger-baiting" no longer seemed shocking. "Nigger" is still very much alive and all too widely accepted.

On the other hand, Kennedy is concerned to address the many episodes in which people have been punished for quoting, enunciating, or saying "nigger" in circumstances that should have made it clear that the speakers were doing nothing wrong—or at least nothing sufficiently wrong to merit the extent of the denunciation they suffered.
He discusses, for example, the inquisition of Bill Maher (and his pathetic apology) and the (white) teachers who have been disciplined for reading out loud texts that contain "nigger." He argues that in assessing these controversies, we ought to be more careful about the use/mention distinction: menacingly calling someone a "nigger" is wholly different than quoting a sentence from a text by James Baldwin or Toni Morrison or Flannery O’Connor or Mark Twain.

Too, Kennedy argues against the proposition that different rules should apply depending upon the race of the speaker of "nigger," offering stunningly commonsensical reasons for abjuring the erection of such boundaries.

He concludes by venturing a forecast about the likely status of "nigger" in American culture during the next twenty years when we will see the clear ascendance of a so-called "minority majority" body politic—which term itself is redolent of white supremacy.


Click for more detail about Recitatif  by Toni Morrison Recitatif

by Toni Morrison
Knopf (Feb 01, 2022)
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NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER

• A beautiful, arresting story about race and the relationships that shape us through life by the legendary Nobel Prize winner—for the first time in a beautifully produced stand-alone edition, with an introduction by Zadie Smith

“A puzzle of a story, then—a game…. When [Morrison] called Recitatif an ‘experiment’ she meant it. The subject of the experiment is the reader.” —Zadie Smith, award-winning, best-selling author of White Teeth

In this 1983 short story—the only short story Morrison ever wrote—we meet Twyla and Roberta, who have known each other since they were eight years old and spent four months together as roommates in St. Bonaventure shelter. Inseparable then, they lose touch as they grow older, only later to find each other again at a diner, a grocery store, and again at a protest. Seemingly at opposite ends of every problem, and at each other’s throats each time they meet, the two women still cannot deny the deep bond their shared experience has forged between them.

Another work of genius by this masterly writer, Recitatif keeps Twyla’s and Roberta’s races ambiguous throughout the story. Morrison herself described Recitatif, a story which will keep readers thinking and discussing for years to come, as “an experiment in the removal of all racial codes from a narrative about two characters of different races for whom racial identity is crucial.” We know that one is white and one is Black, but which is which? And who is right about the race of the woman the girls tormented at the orphanage? A remarkable look into what keeps us together and what keeps us apart, and how perceptions are made tangible by reality, Recitatif is a gift to readers in these changing times.


Click for more detail about Hey You!: An Empowering Celebration of Growing Up Black by Dapo Adeola Hey You!: An Empowering Celebration of Growing Up Black

by Dapo Adeola
Nancy Paulsen Books (Feb 01, 2022)
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This remarkable picture book is a lyrical, inspirational exploration of growing up Black, written by award-winning illustrator Dapo Adeola, and brought to life by some of the most exciting Black artists of today.

Remember to dream your own dreams
Love your beautiful skin
You always have a choice

This book addresses—honestly, yet hopefully—the experiences Black children face growing up with systemic racism, as well as providing hope for the future and delivering a message of empowerment to a new generation of dreamers. It’s a message that is both urgent and timeless—and offers a rich and rewarding reading experience for every child. To mirror the rich variety of the Black diaspora, this book showcases artwork from Dapo Adeola and eighteen more incredible Black illustrators in one remarkable and cohesive reading experience.

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Click for more detail about Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson Black Cake

by Charmaine Wilkerson
Ballantine Books (Feb 01, 2022)
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“Exquisite and expansive, Black Cake took ahold of me from the first page and didn’t let go. This is a novel about the formation and reformation of a family, and the many people, places, and events that can shape our inheritances without our knowing. A gripping, poignant debut from an important, new voice.”—Naima Coster, New York Times bestselling author of What’s Mine and Yours

Black Cake has all the ingredients of the tastiest stories: secrets, romance, danger, and a cast of characters so real you want to scream at them one moment and hug them the next.”—Dawnie Walton, author of The Final Revival of Opal & Nev

In development as a Hulu original series produced by Marissa Jo Cerar, Oprah Winfrey (Harpo Films), and Kapital Entertainment We can’t choose what we inherit. But can we choose who we become?

In present-day California, Eleanor Bennett’s death leaves behind a puzzling inheritance for her two children, Byron and Benny: a black cake, made from a family recipe with a long history, and a voice recording. In her message, Eleanor shares a tumultuous story about a headstrong young swimmer who escapes her island home under suspicion of murder. The heartbreaking tale Eleanor unfolds, the secrets she still holds back, and the mystery of a long-lost child challenge everything the siblings thought they knew about their lineage and themselves.

Can Byron and Benny reclaim their once-close relationship, piece together Eleanor’s true history, and fulfill her final request to “share the black cake when the time is right”? Will their mother’s revelations bring them back together or leave them feeling more lost than ever?

Charmaine Wilkerson’s debut novel is a story of how the inheritance of betrayals, secrets, memories, and even names can shape relationships and history. Deeply evocative and beautifully written, Black Cake is an extraordinary journey through the life of a family changed forever by the choices of its matriarch.


Click for more detail about When Life Gives You Mangos by Kereen Getten When Life Gives You Mangos

by Kereen Getten
Yearling (Feb 01, 2022)
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Named to Oprah Magazine’s Best Caribbean Books for Your 2021 reading list, imagination and adventure run wild in the most talked about middle grade debut of the year!

A small village on a Jamaican island.
A girl who doesn’t remember the previous summer.
A best friend who is no longer acting like one; a new girl who fills that hole in her heart.
A summer of finding fallen mangos, creating made-up games and dancing in the rain.
Secrets she keeps from others…and herself.
The courage to face the truth even in the toughest of storms.

Inspired by the author’s childhood experiences, When Life Give You Mangos is a celebration of island life as well as a rich, lyrical mystery.

Read it…and don’t spoil the unforgettable ending!

A recommended read for classroom discussions and educators looking for diverse offerings.


Click for more detail about Required Reading for the Disenfranchised Freshman by Kristen R. Lee Required Reading for the Disenfranchised Freshman

by Kristen R. Lee
Crown Books for Young Readers (Feb 01, 2022)
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A striking debut novel about racism on elite college campuses. Fans of Dear White People will embrace this activist-centered contemporary novel about a college freshman grappling with the challenges of attending an elite university with a disturbing racist history, which may not be as distant as it seems.

Savannah Howard sacrificed her high school social life to make sure she got into a top college. Her sights were set on an HBCU, but when she is accepted to the ivy-covered walls of Wooddale University on a full ride, how can she say no?

Wooddale is far from the perfectly manicured community it sells on its brochures, though. Savannah has barely unpacked before she comes face to face with microagressions stemming from racism and elitism. Then Clive Wilmington’s statue is vandalized with blackface. The prime suspect? Lucas Cunningham, Wooddale’s most popular student and son of a local prominent family. Soon Savannah is unearthing secrets of Wooddale’s racist history. But what’s the price for standing up for what is right? And will telling the truth about Wooddale’s past cost Savannah her own future?

A stunning, challenging, and timely debut about racism and privilege on college campuses.


Click for more detail about The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb The Violin Conspiracy

by Brendan Slocumb
Anchor (Feb 01, 2022)
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GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK! • In this riveting page-turner, Ray McMillian is a Black classical musician on the rise—until a shocking theft sends him on a desperate quest to recover his lost family heirloom violin on the eve of the most prestigious musical competition in the world. This “galvanizing blend of thriller, coming-of-age drama, and probing portrait of racism … will do for classical music what The Queen’s Gambit did for chess” (Booklist). "This novel, which will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page, is sure to be a favorite.” —The Washington PostGrowing up Black in rural North Carolina, Ray McMillian’s life is already mapped out. If he’s lucky, he’ll get a job at the hospital cafeteria. If he’s extra lucky, he’ll earn more than minimum wage. But Ray has a gift and a dream—he’s determined to become a world-class professional violinist, and nothing will stand in his way. Not his mother, who wants him to stop making such a racket; not the fact that he can’t afford a violin suitable to his talents; not even the racism inherent in the world of classical music.  When he discovers that his great-great-grandfather’s beat-up old fiddle is actually a priceless Stradivarius, all his dreams suddenly seem within reach. Together, Ray and his violin take the world by storm. But on the eve of the renowned and cutthroat Tchaikovsky Competition—the Olympics of classical music—the violin is stolen, a ransom note for five million dollars left in its place. Ray will have to piece together the clues to recover his treasured Strad … before it’s too late. With the descendants of the man who once enslaved Ray’s great-great-grandfather asserting that the instrument is rightfully theirs, and with his family staking their own claim, Ray doesn’t know who he can trust—or whether he will ever see his beloved violin again.


Click for more detail about And We Rise by Erica Martin And We Rise

by Erica Martin
Viking Books for Young Readers (Feb 01, 2022)
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A powerful, impactful, eye-opening journey that explores through the Civil Rights Movement in 1950s-1960s America in spare and evocative verse, with historical photos interspersed throughout.

In stunning verse and vivid use of white space, Erica Martin’s debut poetry collection walks readers through the Civil Rights Movement—from the well-documented events that shaped the nation’s treatment of Black people, beginning with the “Separate but Equal” ruling — and introduces lesser-known figures and moments that were just as crucial to the Movement and our nation’s centuries-long fight for justice and equality.

A poignant, powerful, all-too-timely collection that is both a vital history lesson and much-needed conversation starter in our modern world. Complete with historical photographs, author’s note, chronology of events, research, and sources.


Click for more detail about Because Claudette by Tracey Baptiste Because Claudette

by Tracey Baptiste
Dial Books (Feb 01, 2022)
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From NYT bestselling author Tracey Baptiste comes a singular picture book that is both a biography about Claudette Colvin, the teen whose activism launched the Montgomery bus boycott, and a celebration of collective action.

When fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin boarded a segregated bus on March 2, 1955, she had no idea she was about to make history. At school she was learning about abolitionists like Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth, which helped inspire her decision to refuse to give up her seat to a white woman, which led to her arrest, which began a crucial chain of events: Rosa Park’s sit-in nine months later, the organization of the Montgomery bus boycott by activists like Professor Jo Ann Robinson and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the Supreme Court decision that Alabama’s bus segregation was unconstitutional — a major triumph for the civil rights movement.

Because of Claudette’s brave stand against injustice, history was transformed. Now it’s time for young readers to learn about this living legend, her pivotal role in the civil rights movement, and the power of one person reaching out to another in the fight for change.


Click for more detail about What the Fireflies Knew by Kai Harris What the Fireflies Knew

by Kai Harris
Tiny Reparations Books (Feb 01, 2022)
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In the vein of Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones and Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees, a coming-of-age novel told by almost-eleven-year-old Kenyatta Bernice (KB), as she and her sister try to make sense of their new life with their estranged grandfather in the wake of their father’s death and their mother’s disappearance

An ode to Black girlhood and adolescence as seen through KB’s eyes, What the Fireflies Knew follows KB after her father dies of an overdose and the debts incurred from his addiction cause the loss of the family home in Detroit. Soon thereafter, KB and her teenage sister, Nia, are sent by their overwhelmed mother to live with their estranged grandfather in Lansing, Michigan. Over the course of a single sweltering summer, KB attempts to navigate a world that has turned upside down.

Her father has been labeled a fiend. Her mother’s smile no longer reaches her eyes. Her sister, once her best friend, now feels like a stranger. Her grandfather is grumpy and silent. The white kids who live across the street are friendly, but only sometimes. And they’re all keeping secrets. As KB vacillates between resentment, abandonment, and loneliness, she is forced to carve out a different identity for herself and find her own voice.

A dazzling and moving novel about family, identity, and race, What the Fireflies Knew poignantly reveals that heartbreaking but necessary component of growing up—the realization that loved ones can be flawed and that the perfect family we all dream of looks different up close.


Click for more detail about Civil Rights Queen by Tomiko Brown-Nagin Civil Rights Queen

by Tomiko Brown-Nagin
Pantheon Books (Jan 25, 2022)
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With the US Supreme Court nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson, “it makes sense to revisit the life and work of another Black woman who profoundly shaped the law: Constance Baker Motley” (CNN). The first major biography of one of our most influential judges—an activist lawyer who became the first Black woman appointed to the federal judiciary—that provides an eye-opening account of the twin struggles for gender equality and civil rights in the 20th Century. “A must-read for anyone who dares to believe that equal justice under the law is possible and is in search of a model for how to make it a reality.” —Anita HillBorn to an aspirational blue-collar family during the Great Depression, Constance Baker Motley was expected to find herself a good career as a hair dresser. Instead, she became the first black woman to argue a case in front of the Supreme Court, the first of ten she would eventually argue. The only black woman member in the legal team at the NAACP’s Inc. Fund at the time, she defended Martin Luther King in Birmingham, helped to argue in Brown vs. The Board of Education, and played a critical role in vanquishing Jim Crow laws throughout the South. She was the first black woman elected to the state Senate in New York, the first woman elected Manhattan Borough President, and the first black woman appointed to the federal judiciary.     Civil Rights Queen captures the story of a remarkable American life, a figure who remade law and inspired the imaginations of African Americans across the country. Burnished with an extraordinary wealth of research, award-winning, esteemed Civil Rights and legal historian and dean of the Harvard Radcliffe Institute, Tomiko Brown-Nagin brings Motley to life in these pages. Brown-Nagin compels us to ponder some of our most timeless and urgent questions—how do the historically marginalized access the corridors of power? What is the price of the ticket? How does access to power shape individuals committed to social justice? In Civil Rights Queen, she dramatically fills out the picture of some of the most profound judicial and societal change made in twentieth-century America.


Click for more detail about Brave. Black. First. Puzzle: A Jigsaw Puzzle and Poster Celebrating African American Women Who Changed the World by Cheryl Willis Hudson Brave. Black. First. Puzzle: A Jigsaw Puzzle and Poster Celebrating African American Women Who Changed the World

by Cheryl Willis Hudson
Clarkson Potter (Jan 25, 2022)
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A one-of-a-kind puzzle featuring groundbreaking African American women, published in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Based on the children’s book Brave. Black. First., this puzzle celebrates the artists, athletes, activists, politicians, and writers who championed civil rights in their communities. From Sojourner Truth and Ruby Bridges to Angela Y. Davis and Michelle Obama, the collaged image captures the iconic moments of African American women whose heroism and bravery rewrote the American story for the better.

The included poster offers additional biographical information, serving as both a handy reference tool and a beautiful way to honor these heroes on a wall or in a school locker.


Click for more detail about Star Child: A Biographical Constellation of Octavia Estelle Butler by Ibi Zoboi Star Child: A Biographical Constellation of Octavia Estelle Butler

by Ibi Zoboi
Dutton Books for Young Readers (Jan 25, 2022)
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From the New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist, a biography in verse and prose of science fiction visionary Octavia Butler.

Acclaimed novelist Ibi Zoboi illuminates the young life of the visionary storyteller Octavia E. Butler in poems and prose. Born into the Space Race, the Red Scare, and the dawning Civil Rights Movement, Butler experienced an American childhood that shaped her into the groundbreaking science-fiction storyteller whose novels continue to challenge and delight readers fifteen years after her death.

For ages 10 and up.


Click for more detail about Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband? by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband?

by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn
Pamela Dorman Books (Jan 18, 2022)
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NAMED A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF 2022 BY MARIE CLAIRE, PARADE, ESSENCE, MS. MAGAZINE, POPSUGAR, BUSTLE, BOOKRIOT, DEBUTIFUL AND MORE! “Feel good, funny, and clever, it’s got smash-hit written all over it!” –Josie Silver, New York Times bestselling author of One Day in December “Yinka is a lovable and relatable disaster—which is to say, she isn’t actually a disaster at all…I adore her.”—Emily Henry, #1 New York Times bestselling author of People We Meet on Vacation Meet Yinka: a thirty-something, Oxford-educated, British Nigerian woman with a well-paid job, good friends, and a mother whose constant refrain is “Yinka, where is your huzband?”        Yinka’s Nigerian aunties frequently pray for her delivery from singledom, her work friends think she’s too traditional (she’s saving herself for marriage!), her girlfriends think she needs to get over her ex already, and the men in her life…well, that’s a whole other story.  But Yinka herself has always believed that true love will find her when the time is right.      Still, when her cousin gets engaged, Yinka commences Operation Find-A-Date for Rachel’s Wedding. Aided by a spreadsheet and her best friend, Yinka is determined to succeed. Will Yinka find herself a huzband? And what if the thing she really needs to find is herself?     Yinka, Where is Your Huzband? is a fresh, uplifting story of an unconventional heroine who bravely asks the questions we all have about love. Wry, moving, irresistible, this is a love story that makes you smile but also makes you think—and explores what it means to find your way between two cultures, both of which are yours.


Click for more detail about The Witch’s Apprentice (Dragons in a Bag #3) by Zetta Elliott The Witch’s Apprentice (Dragons in a Bag #3)

by Zetta Elliott
Random House Books for Young Readers (Jan 18, 2022)
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Zetta Elliott wants Black children today to see themselves in stories. Stories of all types and especially ones that she never saw herself in while growing up. In her urban fantasy series Dragons in a Bag, Elliott has crafted a young, middle grade fantasy series that opens a new genre for children of color to see themselves in and enjoy.

With the publication of The Witch’s Apprentice, the third installment in the acclaimed series, readers will now be able to binge read all three books at once, or savor their reading experience by exploring each book individually. Join Jaxon and his friends through a reimagined New York City and Chicago as they embark on their latest adventure to unlock the mystery behind a strange sleep sickness engulfing the city.

I try to tell stories that give voice to the diverse realities of children. I write as much for parents as I do for their children because sometimes adults need the simple instruction a picture book can provide. I write books my parents never had the chance to read to me. I write the books I wish I had had as a child.”

With magic, adventure, dragons and a thrilling journey that Jax must take to save his city, The Witch’s Apprentice ushers in a fast paced and thrilling story sure to capture the imagination of young readers.

The dragons may be out of the bag, but Jaxon is ready to hatch some magic of his own in this third book in the critically acclaimed series.

Ever since the baby dragons were returned to the magical realm, things have been off. The New York summer has been unusually cold. A strange sleeping sickness is spreading across the city. And Jaxon’s friends Kenny and Kavita have begun to change, becoming more like the fairy and dragon they once cared for.

On top of all that, Jax is hiding a secret—Vik entrusted him with a phoenix egg! Jax wants to help his friends and learn how to hatch the phoenix, but so far his lessons as a witch’s apprentice haven’t seemed very useful. Where can he find the strength—and the magic—he needs?


Click for more detail about Akata Woman by Nnedi Okorafor Akata Woman

by Nnedi Okorafor
Viking Books for Young Readers (Jan 18, 2022)
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From award-winning author Nnedi Okorafor, the electrifying third book in the series that started with Akata Witch, named one of Time magazine’s “100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time” and “100 Best YA Books of All Time”!

“In this series, Okorafor creates a stunningly original world of African magic that draws on Nigerian folk beliefs and rituals instead of relying on the predictable tropes of Western fantasy novels.”
—Time magazine

From the moment Sunny Nwazue discovered she had mystical energy flowing in her blood, she sought to understand and control her powers. Throughout her adventures in Akata Witch and Akata Warrior, she had to navigate the balance between nearly everything in her life—America and Nigeria, the “normal” world and the one infused with juju, human and spirit, good daughter and powerful Leopard Person.

Now, those hard lessons and abilities are put to the test in a quest so dangerous and fantastical, it would be madness to go…but may destroy the world if she does not. With the help of her friends, Sunny embarks on a mission to find a precious object hidden deep in an otherworldly realm. Defeating the guardians of the prize will take more from Sunny than she has to give, and triumph will mean she will be forever changed.


Click for more detail about I’m Growing Great by Mechal Renee Roe I’m Growing Great

by Mechal Renee Roe
Doubleday Books for Young Readers (Jan 18, 2022)
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Confident, empowered girls are celebrated in this follow-up to Happy Hair, a flower-filled, nature-loving, read-together picture book that encourages growth and positivity,

Lovely and wise, shine at sunrise! I am growing each day!

Beautiful Black and Brown girls with gorgeous natural hairstyles full of flowers, butterflies, and other garden treasures are the stars of this vibrant, rhythmic picture book from the author/illustrator of Happy Hair and Cool Cuts. Set in a backdrop of nature’s glorious color and bounty, it’s the perfect springtime read-aloud to promote confidence and self-esteem for girls of all ages.

Look for all the books in the Happy Hair series:

  • Happy Hair
  • Cool Cuts
  • Smart Sisters
  • I Love Being Me! (Step Into Reading)
  • I Am Born to Be Awesome! (Step Into Reading)


Click for more detail about Letters to the Sons of Society by Shaka Senghor Letters to the Sons of Society

by Shaka Senghor
Convergent Books (Jan 18, 2022)
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The New York Times bestselling author of Writing My Wrongs invites men everywhere on a journey of honesty and healing through this book of moving letters to his sons—one whom he is raising and the other whose childhood took place during Senghor’s nineteen-year incarceration.   “A visceral and visual journey for the ages … the perfect road map for us to remove the barriers and obstacles against our true feelings.”—Kenya Barris, creator of black-ishONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022—EssenceShaka Senghor has lived the life of two fathers. With his first son, Jay, born shortly after Senghor was incarcerated for second-degree murder, he experienced the regret of his own mistakes and the disconnection caused by a society that sees Black lives as disposable. With his second, Sekou, born after Senghor’s release, he has experienced healing, transformation, intimacy, and the possibilities of a world where men and boys can openly show one another affection, support, and love.In this collection of beautifully written letters to Jay and Sekou, Senghor traces his journey as a Black man in America and unpacks the toxic and misguided messages about masculinity, mental health, love, and success that boys learn from an early age. He issues a passionate call to all fathers and sons—fathers who don’t know how to show their sons love, sons who are navigating a fatherless world, boys who have been forced to grow up before their time—to cultivate positive relationships with other men, seek healing, tend to mental health, grow from pain, and rewrite the story that has been told about them.Letters to the Sons of Society is a soulful examination of the bond between father and sons, and a touchstone for anyone seeking a kinder, more just world.


Click for more detail about Red Lip Theology: For Church Girls Who’ve Considered Tithing to the Beauty Supply Store When Sunday Morning Isn’t Enough by Candice Marie Benbow Red Lip Theology: For Church Girls Who’ve Considered Tithing to the Beauty Supply Store When Sunday Morning Isn’t Enough

by Candice Marie Benbow
Convergent Books (Jan 18, 2022)
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“Candice Marie Benbow is a once-in-a-generation theologian, the kind who, having ground dogma into dust with the fine point of a stiletto, leads us into the wide-open spaces of faith.”—Brittney Cooper, author of Eloquent Rage and co-editor of The Crunk Feminist Collection

“This lush, funny, deeply personal memoir is a beautiful gift to church girls everywhere and an instant classic on faith and getting free.”—Deesha Philyaw, author of the PEN/Faulkner Award-winning The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

A moving essay collection promoting freedom, self-love, and divine wholeness for Black women and opening new levels of understanding and ideological transformation for non-Black women and allies Blurring the boundaries of righteous and irreverent, Red Lip Theology invites us to discover freedom in a progressive Christian faith that incorporates activism, feminism, and radical authenticity. Essayist and theologian Candice Marie Benbow’s essays explore universal themes like heartache, loss, forgiveness, and sexuality, and she unflinchingly empowers women who struggle with feeling loved and nurtured by church culture. Benbow writes powerfully about experiences at the heart of her Black womanhood. In honoring her single mother’s love and triumphs—and mourning her unexpected passing—she finds herself forced to shed restrictions she’d been taught to place on her faith practice. And by embracing alternative spirituality and womanist theology, and confronting staid attitudes on body positivity and LGBTQ+ rights, Benbow challenges religious institutions, faith leaders, and communities to reimagine how faith can be a tool of liberation and transformation for women and girls.


Click for more detail about My Little Golden Book about Misty Copeland by Sherri L. Smith My Little Golden Book about Misty Copeland

by Sherri L. Smith
Golden Books (Jan 18, 2022)
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Help your little one dream big with a Little Golden Book biography all about Misty Copeland, the American Ballet Theatre’s first Black principal dancer! The perfect introduction to nonfiction for preschoolers!

This LLittle Golden Book introduces ballet prodigy Misty Copeland to the youngest readers. The first Black principal dancer in the history of the American Ballet Theatre—who didn’t start dancing until she was almost thirteen—continues to impress the world and pave the way for young Black girls to chase their dreams.


Click for more detail about When Winter Robeson Came by Brenda Woods When Winter Robeson Came

by Brenda Woods
Nancy Paulsen Books (Jan 11, 2022)
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The whole world seems to transform during the summer of 1965, when Eden’s cousin from Mississippi comes to visit her in L.A. just as the Watts Riots erupt, in this stirring new novel by Coretta Scott King Honor winner Brenda Woods.

When Eden’s cousin Winter comes for a visit, it turns out he’s not just there to sightsee. He wants to figure out what happened to his dad, who disappeared ten years earlier from the Watts area of L.A. So the cousins set out to investigate together, and what they discover brings them joy—and heartache. It also opens up a whole new understanding of their world, just as the area they’ve got their sights on explodes in a clash between the police and the Black residents. For six days Watts is like a war zone, and Eden and Winter become heroes in their own part of the drama. Eden hopes to be a composer someday, and the only way she can describe that summer is a song with an unexpected ending, full of changes in tempo and mood—totally unforgettable.


Click for more detail about Vinyl Moon by Mahogany L. Browne Vinyl Moon

by Mahogany L. Browne
Crown Books for Young Readers (Jan 11, 2022)
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“A true embodiment of the term Black Girl Magic.” –Booklist

A teen girl hiding the scars of a past relationship finds home and healing in the words of strong Black writers. A beautiful sophomore novel from a critically acclaimed author and poet that explores how words have the power to shape and uplift our world even in the midst of pain.

When Darius told Angel he loved her, she believed him. But five weeks after the incident, Angel finds herself in Brooklyn, far from her family, from him, and from the California life she has known. Angel feels out of sync with her new neighborhood. At school, she can’t shake the feeling everyone knows what happened—and that it was her fault. The only place that makes sense is Ms. G’s class. There, Angel’s classmates share their own stories of pain, joy, and fortitude. And as Angel becomes immersed in her revolutionary literature course, the words from Black writers like Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, and Zora NEale Hurston speak to her and begin to heal the wounds of her past.

This stunning novel weaves together prose, poems, and vignettes to tell the story of Angel, a young woman whose past was shaped by domestic violence but whose love of language and music and the gift of community grant her the chance to find herself again.


Click for more detail about Who Sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott?: Rosa Parks: A Who HQ Graphic Novel by Insha Fitzpatrick Who Sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott?: Rosa Parks: A Who HQ Graphic Novel

by Insha Fitzpatrick
Penguin Workshop (Jan 11, 2022)
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Discover the story behind Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott in this compelling graphic novel — written by Oh My Gods! author Insha Fitzpatrick and illustrated by #DrawingWhileBlack organizer Abelle Hayford.

Presenting Who HQ Graphic Novels: an exciting addition to the #1 New York Times best-selling Who Was? series!

From refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger to sparking civil rights protests across America, explore how Rosa Parks’s powerful act earned her the title “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.” A story of resistance, strength, and unwavering spirit, this graphic novel invites readers to immerse themselves in the life of the American Civil Rights leader — brought to life by gripping narrative and vivid full-color illustrations that jump off the page.


Click for more detail about The Faith of Elijah Cummings: The North Star of Equal Justice by Carole Boston Weatherford The Faith of Elijah Cummings: The North Star of Equal Justice

by Carole Boston Weatherford
Random House Studio (Jan 11, 2022)
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Congressman and civil rights advocate Elijah Cummings dedicated his life to public service. This comprehensive and visually stunning biography details his humble beginnings and unwavering faith as he waged an endless battle for truth, justice, and equality.

We can do better.

When Elijah Cummings was a little boy, he struggled in school. His teachers thought he talked too much and asked too many questions. They said he’d never be able to read or write well.

Despite his difficulties, Elijah never gave up. He persevered, having faith that with hard work, he’d be able to achieve his goals.
Best known as a voice for people of color and an advocate for equal opportunity, Elijah Cummings was a man of faith and dignity, a beacon of justice, and an unrelenting warrior for equality and change.

Carole Boston Weatherford and Laura Freeman marry words and images beautifully in this picture book biography of politician and civil rights champion Elijah Cummings, detailing his inspiring journey—from his humble beginnings as the son of former sharecroppers to his unwavering faith as he became a lawyer, state legislator, and leading congressman. Best known as a voice for people of color and an advocate for equal opportunity, Elijah Cummings was a man of faith and dignity, a beacon of justice, and an unrelenting warrior for equality and change.


Click for more detail about Sweet Justice: Georgia Gilmore and the Montgomery Bus Boycott by Mara Rockliff Sweet Justice: Georgia Gilmore and the Montgomery Bus Boycott

by Mara Rockliff
Random House Studio (Jan 11, 2022)
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An inspiring picture-book biography about the woman whose cooking helped feed and fund the Montgomery bus boycott of 1956, from an award-winning illustrator.

Georgia Gilmore was cooking when she heard the news Mrs. Rosa Parks had been arrested—pulled off a city bus and thrown in jail all because she wouldn’t let a white man take her seat. To protest, the radio urged everyone to stay off city buses for one day: December 5, 1955. Throughout the boycott—at Holt Street Baptist Church meetings led by a young minister named Martin Luther King, Jr.—and throughout the struggle for justice, Georgia served up her mouth-watering fried chicken, her spicy collard greens, and her sweet potato pie, eventually selling them to raise money to help the cause.

Here is the vibrant true story of a hidden figure of the civil rights movement, told in flavorful language by a picture-book master, and stunningly illustrated by a Caldecott Honor recipient and seven-time Coretta Scott King award-winning artist.


Click for more detail about The Year We Learned to Fly by Jacqueline Woodson The Year We Learned to Fly

by Jacqueline Woodson
Nancy Paulsen Books (Jan 04, 2022)
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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.

On a dreary, stuck-inside kind of day, a brother and sister heed their grandmother’s advice: “Use those beautiful and brilliant minds of yours. Lift your arms, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and believe in a thing. Somebody somewhere at some point was just as bored you are now.” And before they know it, their imaginations lift them up and out of their boredom. Then, on a day full of quarrels, it’s time for a trip outside their minds again, and they are able to leave their anger behind. This precious skill, their grandmother tells them, harkens back to the days long before they were born, when their ancestors showed the world the strength and resilience of their beautiful and brilliant minds. Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical text and Rafael Lopez’s dazzling art celebrate the extraordinary ability to lift ourselves up and imagine a better world.


Click for more detail about Daddy Speaks Love by Leah Henderson Daddy Speaks Love

by Leah Henderson
Nancy Paulsen Books (Jan 04, 2022)
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A moving tribute to the joy and grounding that fathers bring to their children’s lives.

What does a daddy do? From day one, this daddy speaks love to his little one. And along with that love, his words and actions speak many other things, too: like truth, joy, comfort, and pride. Like many dads, he answers a million questions and tries to make sure that days are full of fun adventures, giggles, and hugs. Dads are good at scaring away imaginary monsters, and honest about how to confront the real ones too. They set an example for the future, speaking out for equality and justice, while sharing lessons from the past. But most of all, daddies encourage their young ones to fight for a better world, with the comfort of knowing their dads are right beside them. Daddy Speaks Love speaks to that everlasting bond between children and their fathers and is a perfect gift for special occasions including Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, birthdays, baby showers, and more!


Click for more detail about Marley and the Family Band by Cedella Marley with Tracey Baptiste Marley and the Family Band

by Cedella Marley with Tracey Baptiste
Random House Books for Young Readers (Jan 04, 2022)
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Daughter of Bob Marley and New York Times bestselling author Cedella Marley debuts her first-ever original picture book character, inspired by Cedella’s own childhood growing up with her famous family.

Tonight was Marley’s big night. Concert night.

When Marley and her family make the move from warm, vibrant Jamaica to Delaware, she’s prepared for life to change. She’s confident that she and her siblings—Sharon, Ziggy, and little Steve—can make new friends, as long as her musical debut goes off without a hitch.

On the morning of the concert, Marley wakes up to a day too rainy for her performance…or so everyone thinks. Ever determined, Marley concocts a plan to make her debut happen and ends up learning more about her new neighbors than she ever expected.

In this vibrant picture book inspired by her childhood and iconic father, Bob, Cedella Marley assures children that nothing can stop the music as long as they have community.


Click for more detail about Operation Sisterhood (Hardcover) by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich Operation Sisterhood (Hardcover)

by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
Crown Books for Young Readers (Jan 04, 2022)
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Fans of the Netflix reboot of The Babysitters Club will delight as four new sisters band together in the heart of New York City. Discover this jubilant novel about the difficulties of change, the loyalty of sisters, and the love of family from a prolific award-winning author.

Bo and her mom always had their own rhythm. But ever since they moved to Harlem, Bo’s world has fallen out of sync. She and Mum are now living with Mum’s boyfriend Bill, his daughter Sunday, the twins, Lili and Lee, the twins’ parents…along with a dog, two cats, a bearded dragon, a turtle, and chickens. All in one brownstone! With so many people squished together, Bo isn’t so sure there is room for her.

Set against the bursting energy of a New York City summer, award-winning author Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich delivers a joyful novel about a new family that hits all the right notes!

“This ode to Black girlhood and the communities that serve them offers humor, tenderness, and charm.” –Renée Watson, New York Times bestselling author


Click for more detail about African Town by Irene Latham and Charles Waters African Town

by Irene Latham and Charles Waters
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (Jan 04, 2022)
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Chronicling the story of the last Africans brought illegally to America in 1860, African Town is a powerful and stunning novel-in-verse.

In 1860, long after the United States outlawed the importation of enslaved laborers, 110 men, women and children from Benin and Nigeria were captured and brought to Mobile, Alabama aboard a ship called Clotilda. Their journey includes the savage Middle Passage and being hidden in the swamplands along the Alabama River before being secretly parceled out to various plantations, where they made desperate attempts to maintain both their culture and also fit into the place of captivity to which they’d been delivered. At the end of the Civil War, the survivors created a community for themselves they called African Town, which still exists to this day. Told in 14 distinct voices, including that of the ship that brought them to the American shores and the founder of African Town, this powerfully affecting historical novel-in-verse recreates a pivotal moment in US and world history, the impacts of which we still feel today.

Also read the book Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” by Zora Neale Hurston where she interviews the eighty-six-year-old Cudjo Lewis, who was the last person alive who survived horrific journey described in African Town.


Click for more detail about She Persisted: Coretta Scott King by Kelly Starling Lyons She Persisted: Coretta Scott King

by Kelly Starling Lyons
Philomel Books (Jan 04, 2022)
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Inspired by the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger comes a chapter book series about women who spoke up and rose up against the odds—including Coretta Scott King!

In this chapter book biography by award-winning author Kelly Starling Lyons, readers learn about the amazing life of Coretta Scott King—and how she persisted.

Coretta Scott King is known for being the wife of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but she was a civil rights activist and leader in her own right! She was a singer and an author too, and her work made a difference for Black Americans and for all women for decades to come.

Complete with an introduction from Chelsea Clinton, black-and-white illustrations throughout, and a list of ways that readers can follow in Coretta Scott King’s footsteps and make a difference!


Click for more detail about What Was the Harlem Renaissance? by Sherri L. Smith What Was the Harlem Renaissance?

by Sherri L. Smith
Penguin Workshop (Dec 28, 2021)
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In this book from the #1 New York Times bestselling series, learn how this vibrant Black neighborhood in upper Manhattan became home to the leading Black writers, artists, and musicians of the 1920s and 1930s.

Travel back in time to the 1920s and 1930s to the sounds of jazz in nightclubs and the 24-hours-a-day bustle of the famous Black neighborhood of Harlem in uptown Manhattan. It was a dazzling time when there was an outpouring of the arts of African Americans—the poetry of Langston Hughes; the novels of Zora Neale Hurston; the sculptures of Augusta Savage and that brand-new music called jazz as only Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong could play it. Author Sherri Smith traces Harlem’s history all the way to its seventeenth-century roots, and explains how the early-twentieth-century Great Migration brought African Americans from the deep South to New York City and gave birth to the golden years of the Harlem Renaissance.

With 80 fun black-and-white illustrations and an engaging 16-page photo insert, readers will be excited to read this latest addition to Who HQ!


Click for more detail about Renegades (Special): Born in the USA (Deluxe Signed Edition) by Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen Renegades (Special): Born in the USA (Deluxe Signed Edition)

by Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen
Crown Publishing Group (Dec 14, 2021)
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DELUXE CLOTHBOUND EDITION IN SLIPCASE, SIGNED BY BOTH AUTHORS

New York Times bestseller • Two longtime friends share an intimate and urgent conversation about life, music, and their enduring love of America, with all its challenges and contradictions, in this stunningly produced expansion of their groundbreaking Higher Ground podcast, featuring more than 350 photographs, exclusive bonus content, and never-before-seen archival material.

Renegades: Born in the USA is a candid, revealing, and entertaining dialogue between President Barack Obama and legendary musician Bruce Springsteen that explores everything from their origin stories and career-defining moments to our country’s polarized politics and the growing distance between the American Dream and the American reality. Filled with full-color photographs and rare archival material, it is a compelling and beautifully illustrated portrait of two outsiders—one Black and one white—looking for a way to connect their unconventional searches for meaning, identity, and community with the American story itself. It includes:

• Original introductions by President Obama and Bruce Springsteen
• Exclusive new material from the Renegades podcast recording sessions
• Obama’s never-before-seen annotated speeches, including his “Remarks at the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Marches”
• Springsteen’s handwritten lyrics for songs spanning his 50-year-long career
• Rare and exclusive photographs from the authors’ personal archives
• Historical photographs and documents that provide rich visual context for their conversation

In a recording studio stocked with dozens of guitars, and on at least one Corvette ride, Obama and Springsteen discuss marriage and fatherhood, race and masculinity, the lure of the open road and the call back to home. They also compare notes on their favorite protest songs, the most inspiring American heroes of all time, and more. Along the way, they reveal their passion for—and the occasional toll of—telling a bigger, truer story about America throughout their careers, and explore how our fractured country might begin to find its way back toward unity and global leadership.


Click for more detail about Call Us What We Carry: Poems by Amanda Gorman Call Us What We Carry: Poems

by Amanda Gorman
Viking Books (Dec 07, 2021)
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The breakout poetry collection by #1 New York Times bestselling author and presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman

Formerly titled The Hill We Climb and Other Poems, Amanda Gorman’s remarkable new collection reveals an energizing and unforgettable voice in American poetry. Call Us What We Carry is Gorman at her finest. Including “The Hill We Climb,” the stirring poem read at the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden, and bursting with musical language and exploring themes of identity, grief, and memory, this lyric of hope and healing captures an important moment in our country’s consciousness while being utterly timeless.


Click for more detail about The Met Faith Ringgold: Narrating the World in Pattern and Color by Sharna Jackson The Met Faith Ringgold: Narrating the World in Pattern and Color

by Sharna Jackson
DK Publishing (Dorling Kindersley) (Nov 30, 2021)
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See the world through Faith Ringgold’s eyes and be inspired to produce your own masterpieces.

Have you ever wondered exactly what your favorite artists were looking at to make them draw, sculpt, or paint the way they did? In this charming illustrated series of books to keep and collect, created in full collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you can see what they saw and be inspired to create your own artworks too.

In What the Artist Saw: Faith Ringgold, meet inspiring American activist Faith Ringgold. Step into her life and learn what led her to mix different media and craft powerful stories into quilts. Travel with her from Harlem, New York, to Europe, Ghana, and Nigeria. Pick a cause that you care about and try combining it with fabric or sculpture to make your own artworks!

In this series, follow the artists’ stories and find intriguing facts about their environments and key masterpieces. Then see what you can see and make your own art. Take a closer look at landscapes with Georgia O’Keeffe or even yourself with Vincent van Gogh. Try carving a woodblock print at home with Hokusai. Every book in this series is one to treasure and keep: perfect for budding young artists to explore exhibitions with and then continue their own artistic journeys.


Click for more detail about The Black History Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained by David Olusoga The Black History Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained

by David Olusoga
DK Publishing (Dorling Kindersley) (Nov 23, 2021)
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Learn about the most important milestones in Black history in The Black History Book.

Part of the fascinating Big Ideas series, this book tackles tricky topics and themes in a simple and easy to follow format. Learn about Black History in this overview guide to the subject, great for novices looking to find out more and experts wishing to refresh their knowledge alike! The Black History Book brings a fresh and vibrant take on the topic through eye-catching graphics and diagrams to immerse yourself in.

This captivating book will broaden your understanding of Black History, with:

- Covers the most important milestones in Black and African history
- Packed with facts, charts, timelines and graphs to help explain core concepts
- A visual approach to big subjects with striking illustrations and graphics throughout
- Easy to follow text makes topics accessible for people at any level of understanding

The Black History Book is a captivating introduction to the key milestones in Black History,
culture, and society across the globe – from the ancient world to the present, aimed at adults with an interest in the subject and students wanting to gain more of an overview. Explore the rich history of the peoples of Africa and the African diaspora, and the struggles and triumphs of Black communities around the world, all through engaging text and bold graphics.

Your Black History Questions, Simply Explained

Which were the most powerful African empires? Who were the pioneers of jazz? What sparked the Black Lives Matter movement? If you thought it was difficult to learn about the legacy of African-American history, The Black History Book presents crucial information in an easy to follow layout. Learn about the earliest human migrations to modern Black communities, stories of the early kingdoms of Ancient Egypt and Nubia; the powerful medieval and early modern empires; and the struggle against colonization. This book also explores Black history beyond the African continent, like the Atlantic slave trade and slave resistance settlements; the Harlem Renaissance and Jazz Age; the Windrush migration; civil rights and Black feminist movements.

The Big Ideas Series

With millions of copies sold worldwide, The Black History Book is part of the award-winning Big Ideas series from DK. The series uses striking graphics along with engaging writing, making big topics easy to understand.


Click for more detail about Ancient Egypt: The Definitive Visual History by DK Ancient Egypt: The Definitive Visual History

by DK
DK Publishing (Dorling Kindersley) (Nov 16, 2021)
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Written by a team of respected Egyptologists, this book includes the following exciting things:

  • Themed spreads explore developments in areas like religion, writing, painting, ceramics and medicine.
  • Biography spreads feature the lives of the most influential pharaohs and queens.
  • Detailed maps set the main sites in context, and show the growth of the civilization and its trade network.
  • An optional 80-page reference section provides a directory of the pharaohs and gods and goddesses.

Unlock every aspect of Ancient Egypt, from pharaohs and pyramids to ordinary people’s everyday lives and beliefs. With 31 Egyptian dynasties and 3,000 years of history, from the time of Narmer to that of Cleopatra and so much more, this is the perfect comprehensive guide to Egypt’s ancient civilization.

There’s so much to learn and experience with this up-to-date biography on Ancient Egypt. With more than 850 photos, illustrations and maps, this is the perfect book for thinkers, borrowers, life-long learners or anyone with an interest in ancient civilizations and Egyptology.


Click for more detail about The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story by Nikole Hannah-Jones The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story

by Nikole Hannah-Jones
One World (Nov 16, 2021)
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Donate a Copy The 1619 Project to the Literary Freedom Project


A dramatic expansion of a groundbreaking work of journalism, The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story offers a profoundly revealing vision of the American past and present.

In late August 1619, a ship arrived in the English colony of Virginia bearing a cargo of twenty to thirty enslaved people from Africa. Their arrival led to the barbaric and unprecedented system of American chattel slavery that would last for the next 250 years. This is sometimes referred to as the country’s original sin, but it is more than that: It is the source of so much that still defines the United States.

The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story builds on one of the most consequential journalistic events of recent years: The New York Times Magazine’s award-winning "1619 Project," which reframed our understanding of American history by placing slavery and its continuing legacy at the center of our national narrative. This new book substantially expands on the original 1619 Project, weaving together eighteen essays that explore the legacy of slavery in present-day America with thirty-six poems and works of fiction that illuminate key moments of oppression, struggle, and resistance. The essays show how the inheritance of 1619 reaches into every part of contemporary American society, from politics, music, diet, traffic, and citizenship to capitalism, religion, and our democracy itself. This legacy can be seen in the way we tell stories, the way we teach our children, and the way we remember. Together, the elements of the book reveal a new origin story for the United States, one that helps explain not only the persistence of anti-Black racism and inequality in American life today, but also the roots of what makes the country unique.

The book also features a significant elaboration of the original project’s Pulitzer Prize-winning lead essay, by Nikole Hannah-Jones, on how the struggles of Black Americans have expanded democracy for all Americans, as well as two original pieces from Hannah-Jones, one of which makes a profound case for reparative solutions to this legacy of injustice.

This is a book that speaks directly to our current moment, contextualizing the systems of race and caste within which we operate today. It reveals long-glossed-over truths around our nation’s founding and construction—and the way that the legacy of slavery did not end with emancipation, but continues to shape contemporary American life.

The 1619 Project is an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of our national narrative. It is led by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, along with New York Times editor-in-chief Jake Silverstein and New York Times Magazine editors Ilena Silverman and Caitlin Roper.


Click for more detail about J.D. and the Hair Show Showdown by J. Dillard J.D. and the Hair Show Showdown

by J. Dillard
Kokila (Nov 16, 2021)
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Eight-year-old kid barber J.D. takes his talent to an Atlanta hair show in this illustrated chapter book and follow-up to J.D. and the Great Barber Battle.

At only eight years old, J.D. the Kid Barber has already won a barber battle and appeared on local TV. Now he’s the youngest barber to be invited to the Beauty Brothers Hair Expo in Atlanta! J.D. gets the VIP treatment—he takes his first flight, rides in a limo for the first time, and gets gifts from the show’s sponsors. At the show, there are hair classes to take, product samples to try, and some of J.D.’s favorite hair influencers to meet. And, of course, there’s his own demo alongside kid hairstylist, Isabel Is Incredible. But what J.D. is most excited about is snapping a pic with eleven-year-old rap sensation Li’l Eazy Breezy, which is harder than it sounds! The world of hair and beauty is so much bigger than J.D. could’ve imagined, and he’s ready to step up his game.

Check out the other chapter books in the J.D. the Kid Barber series:

  • J.D. and the Great Barber Battle
  • J.D. and the Family Business


Click for more detail about Born on the Water: The 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renée Watson Born on the Water: The 1619 Project

by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renée Watson
Kokila (Nov 16, 2021)
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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.

Images from The 1619 Project: Born on the Water book

A young student receives a family tree assignment in school, but she can only trace back three generations. Grandma gathers the whole family, and the student learns that 400 years ago, in 1619, their ancestors were stolen and brought to America by white slave traders.

But before that, they had a home, a land, a language. She learns how the people said to be born on the water survived.

And the people planted dreams and hope,
willed themselves to keep
living, living.

And the people learned new words
for love
for friend
for family

for joy
for grow
for home.

With powerful verse and striking illustrations by Nikkolas Smith, Born on the Water provides a pathway for readers of all ages to reflect on the origins of American identity.

Praise for The 1619 Project: Born on the Water:

  • A Barnes & Noble “Book of the Year” finalist
  • A Barnes & Noble “Best Picture Book of 2021”
  • A Publishers Weekly “Best Book of 2021”
  • An Amazon “Best of November, Ages 6-8”

Images from The 1619 Project: Born on the Water book


Click for more detail about The Office of Historical Corrections: A Novella and Stories by Danielle Evans The Office of Historical Corrections: A Novella and Stories

by Danielle Evans
Riverhead Books (Nov 09, 2021)
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Winner of the 2021 Joyce Carol Oates Prize

The award-winning author of Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self brings her signature voice and insight to the subjects of race, grief, apology, and American history.

Danielle Evans is widely acclaimed for her blisteringly smart voice and X-ray insights into complex human relationships. With The Office of Historical Corrections, Evans zooms in on particular moments and relationships in her characters’ lives in a way that allows them to speak to larger issues of race, culture, and history. She introduces us to Black and multiracial characters who are experiencing the universal confusions of lust and love, and getting walloped by grief—all while exploring how history haunts us, personally and collectively. Ultimately, she provokes us to think about the truths of American history—about who gets to tell them, and the cost of setting the record straight.

In “Boys Go to Jupiter,” a white college student tries to reinvent herself after a photo of her in a Confederate-flag bikini goes viral. In “Richard of York Gave Battle in Vain,” a photojournalist is forced to confront her own losses while attending an old friend’s unexpectedly dramatic wedding. And in the eye-opening title novella, a black scholar from Washington, DC, is drawn into a complex historical mystery that spans generations and puts her job, her love life, and her oldest friendship at risk.


Click for more detail about The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars by Rachel Montez Minor The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars

by Rachel Montez Minor
Crown Books for Young Readers (Nov 09, 2021)
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Celebrate the connections between parents, children, and the universe in this lyrical debut picture book from actress, dancer, and singer Rachel Montez Minor, with enchanting illustrations by Annie Won.

In simple rhyme with a universal message, this book celebrates diverse children, their power to inspire those around them, and the invisible bonds of family and humanity that can never be broken.

Readers are encouraged to shine their light and positivity on those around them and to always lift each other up. We are all one, living together on our planet, connected under the sun, the moon, and the stars.


Click for more detail about Calvin by JR Ford and Vanessa Ford Calvin

by JR Ford and Vanessa Ford
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (Nov 09, 2021)
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In this joyful and impactful picture book, a transgender boy prepares for the first day of school and introduces himself to his family and friends for the first time.

Calvin has always been a boy, even if the world sees him as a girl. He knows who he is in his heart and in his mind but he hasn’t yet told his family. Finally, he can wait no longer: "I’m not a girl," he tells his family. "I’m a boy—a boy in my heart and in my brain." Quick to support him, his loving family takes Calvin shopping for the swim trunks he’s always wanted and back-to-school clothes and a new haircut that helps him look and feel like the boy he’s always known himself to be. As the first day of school approaches, he’s nervous and the "what-ifs" gather up inside him. But as his friends and teachers rally around him and he tells them his name, all his "what-ifs" begin to melt away.

Inspired by the authors’ own transgender child and accompanied by warm and triumphant illustrations, this authentic and personal text promotes kindness and empathy, offering a poignant and inclusive back-to-school message: all should feel safe, respected, and welcomed.


Click for more detail about Passing (Movie Tie-In) by Nella Larsen Passing (Movie Tie-In)

by Nella Larsen
Penguin Books (Nov 09, 2021)
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Now a major motion picture starring Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga, Nella Larsen’s powerful, thrilling, and tragic tale about the fluidity of racial identity that continues to resonate today.

Clare Kendry is living on the edge. Light-skinned, elegant, and ambitious, she is married to a racist white man unaware of her African American heritage, and has severed all ties to her past after deciding to "pass" as a white woman. Clare’s childhood friend, Irene Redfield, just as light-skinned, has chosen to remain within the African American community, and is simultaneously allured and repelled by Clare’s risky decision to engage in racial masquerade for personal and societal gain. After frequenting African American-centric gatherings together in Harlem, Clare’s interest in Irene turns into a homoerotic longing for Irene’s black identity that she abandoned and can never embrace again, and she is forced to grapple with her decision to pass for white in a way that is both tragic and telling. First published in 1929, Passing feels just as timely as ever today.

“[Larsen’s novels] open up a whole world of experience and struggle that seemed to me, when I first read them years ago, absolutely absorbing, fascinating, and indispensable.” —Alice Walker


Click for more detail about New Kid: We Fit Together: A 450-Piece Puzzle Featuring Original Art by Jerry Craft by Jerry Craft New Kid: We Fit Together: A 450-Piece Puzzle Featuring Original Art by Jerry Craft

by Jerry Craft
Clarkson Potter (Nov 09, 2021)
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This colorful 450-piece puzzle in a keepsake box features original art by Jerry Craft—a must-have for fans of his bestselling graphic novels New Kid and Class Act.

Jerry Craft’s breakout graphic novel New Kid was devoured by hundreds of thousands of middle-schoolers who related to the ups and downs of his characters’ lives. This 450-piece jigsaw puzzle featuring original art of Jordan and his friends lets readers bring New Kid home in a new way. Once the puzzle is assembled, the box becomes a place for kids to safely store souvenirs, notes, and treasures.


Click for more detail about Sky Watcher #5 by Kelly Starling Lyons Sky Watcher #5

by Kelly Starling Lyons
Penguin Workshop (Nov 09, 2021)
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Jada Jones is back for the fifth book of this popular, celebrated series perfect for STEM fans!

Readers who love Ivy and Bean or Katie Woo will want to meet Jada Jones. —School Library Journal

Jada is excited to do a school project about her hero Dr. Mae Jemison, a former NASA astronaut and the first Black woman to travel to outer space. She even gets to pretend to be her for the presentation in front of her teacher, parents, and friends! But when Jada’s research reminds her how accomplished her hero truly is, she suddenly feels like she’s made a mistake. How can she portray someone who seems to have everything together when she feels like she’s falling apart?

Praise for Jada Jones: Rock Star
Fast-paced, with supersimple vocabulary and a smattering of earth science to spark interest in young rock collectors everywhere. —Kirkus Reviews


Click for more detail about Prayers for the People: Things We Didn’t Know We Could Say to God by Terry J. Stokes Prayers for the People: Things We Didn’t Know We Could Say to God

by Terry J. Stokes
Convergent Books (Nov 09, 2021)
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A collection of timely, stirring, and witty prayers that give language to the full breadth of our everyday experiences—from joy to sorrow, and everything in between

“This is the prayer book I need right now, full of humor and beauty, candor and holy longing.”—Jeff Chu, co-curator of Evolving Faith and author of Does Jesus Really Love Me?

In his debut collection of short-form prayers (aka collects), Terry Stokes names many things we didn’t realize we could pray for, such as student loan debt cancellation, strength when we’re about to make small talk, and restraint when we have the opportunity to be petty. The collection features an impressive range of humor and inspiration, and spans lament and solidarity, including prayers for:

  • when one dreads the thought of returning to work on Monday
  • when one has been left on read by a friend
  • before shooting one’s shot
  • after shooting one’s shot
  • before walking into Target
  • when one fears getting canceled
  • those working in retail
  • when one’s team is struggling

These tender, moving, and entertaining prayers invite us to access the wonder and joy of God’s presence in every situation we encounter. By putting words to the emotions and needs that lie beneath our petitions, our celebrations, and our protests. Stokes’s prayers make for an engaging and heartfelt read that will delight and encourage any person of faith in the modern age.


Click for more detail about Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen Skin of the Sea

by Natasha Bowen
Random House Books for Young Readers (Nov 02, 2021)
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A way to survive.
A way to serve.
A way to save.

Simi prayed to the gods, once. Now she serves them as Mami Wata—a mermaid—collecting the souls of those who die at sea and blessing their journeys back home.

But when a living boy is thrown overboard, Simi goes against an ancient decree and does the unthinkable—she saves his life. And punishment awaits those who dare to defy the gods.

To protect the other Mami Wata, Simi must journey to the Supreme Creator to make amends. But all is not as it seems. There’s the boy she rescued, who knows more than he should. And something is shadowing Simi, something that would rather see her fail… .

Danger lurks at every turn, and as Simi draws closer, she must brave vengeful gods, treacherous lands, and legendary creatures. Because if she fails, she risks not only the fate of all Mami Wata, but also the world as she knows it.

“The most engrossing, thought-provoking, beautiful novel I’ve read in ages. Skin of the Sea knocks your socks off and leaves you wanting more.” —Namina Forna, New York Times bestselling author of The Gilded Ones


Click for more detail about The Fastest Way to Fall by Denise Williams The Fastest Way to Fall

by Denise Williams
Berkley Books (Nov 02, 2021)
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Britta didn’t plan on falling for her personal training, and Wes didn’t plan on Britta. Plans change and it’s unclear if love, career, or both will meet them at the finish line.

Britta Colby works for a lifestyle website, and when tasked to write about her experience with a hot new body-positive fitness app that includes personal coaching, she knows it’s a major opportunity to prove she should write for the site full-time. As CEO of the FitMe app, Wes Lawson finally has the financial security he grew up without, but despite his success, his floundering love life and complicated family situation leaves him feeling isolated and unfulfilled. He decides to get back to what he loves —coaching. Britta’s his first new client and they click immediately.

As weeks pass, she’s surprised at how much she enjoys experimenting with her exercise routine. He’s surprised at how much he looks forward to talking to her every day. They convince themselves their attraction is harmless, but when they start working out in person, Wes and Britta find it increasingly challenging to deny their chemistry and maintain a professional distance.

Wes isn’t supposed to be training clients, much less meeting with them, and Britta’s credibility will be sunk if the lifestyle site finds out she’s practically dating the fitness coach she’s reviewing. Walking away from each other is the smartest thing to do, but running side by side feels like the start of something big.


Click for more detail about Santa in the City by Tiffany D. Jackson Santa in the City

by Tiffany D. Jackson
Dial Books (Nov 02, 2021)
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A little girl’s belief in Santa is restored in this ode to the magic of Christmas. This is a holiday gift readers will treasure for years to come!

It’s two weeks before Christmas, and Deja is worried that Santa might not be able to visit her—after all, as a city kid, she doesn’t have a chimney for him to come down and none of the parking spots on her block could fit a sleigh, let alone eight reindeer! But with a little help from her family, community, and Santa himself, Deja discovers that the Christmas spirit is alive and well in her city.

With bold, colorful illustrations that capture the joy of the holidays, this picture book from award-winning author Tiffany D. Jackson and illustrator Reggie Brown is not to be missed.


Click for more detail about Rebel Girls of Black History by Rebel Girls Rebel Girls of Black History

by Rebel Girls
Dial Books (Nov 02, 2021)
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Color with stickers to create gorgeous keepsakes of exceptional Black women. These twelve heroes will encourage any Rebel Girl to pursue her dreams without limits.  It’s the perfect gift for young dreamers!With this terrific hands-on book, perfect for summer travel and beyond, kids as young as age 5 can create twelve beautiful posters of the heroes featured in the New York Times bestselling Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls books. Numbered stickers make it easy and fun to bring these inspirational women to life. The heavy paper stock and perforated pages mean that each portrait can be removed from the book to decorate your future hero’s bedroom. The trailblazing Black girls and women in this sticker book include Ruby Bridges, Oprah Winfrey, Serena and Venus Williams, Harriet Tubman, Misty Copeland, Kamala Harris, and more.


Click for more detail about Listen, Layla by Yassmin Abdel-Magied Listen, Layla

by Yassmin Abdel-Magied
Penguin (Au Yr) (Nov 01, 2021)
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What’s a queen to do when her summer plans go horribly wrong? A powerful, funny and timely novel for young readers by writer, broadcaster and award-winning social advocate, Yassmin Abdel-Magied.

Exploring the diaspora experience, race, politics and identity, Listen, Layla by Yassmin Abdel-Magied is an own voices novel for young readers, which bursts with passion, humour and truth.

Layla has ended the school year on a high and can’t wait to spend the holidays hanging out with her friends and designing a prize-winning Grand Designs Tourismo invention. But Layla’s plans are interrupted when her grandmother in Sudan falls ill and the family rush to be with her.

The last time Layla went to Sudan she was only a young child. Now she feels torn between her Sudanese and Australian identities. As political tensions in Sudan erupt, so too do tensions between Layla and her family. Layla is determined not to lose her place in the invention team, but will she go against her parents’ wishes? What would a Kandaka do?


Click for more detail about Memorial by Bryan Washington Memorial

by Bryan Washington
Riverhead Books (Oct 26, 2021)
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“A masterpiece.” —NPR

“Brilliantly details the smallest moments that mean the absolute most, the heartbreakingly human limitations of how we love one another, and with all its many roommates and zip codes and implications, Memorial beautifully rests in how difficult it is to ever truly go home.” —Kiley Reid, author of Such a Fun Age

A funny and profound story about family in all its strange forms, joyful and hard-won vulnerability, becoming who you’re supposed to be, and the limits of love. Benson and Mike are two young guys who live together in Houston. Mike is a Japanese American chef at a Mexican restaurant and Benson’s a Black day care teacher, and they’ve been together for a few years—good years—but now they’re not sure why they’re still a couple. There’s the sex, sure, and the meals Mike cooks for Benson, and, well, they love each other.

But when Mike finds out his estranged father is dying in Osaka just as his acerbic Japanese mother, Mitsuko, arrives in Texas for a visit, Mike picks up and flies across the world to say goodbye. In Japan he undergoes an extraordinary transformation, discovering the truth about his family and his past. Back home, Mitsuko and Benson are stuck living together as unconventional roommates, an absurd domestic situation that ends up meaning more to each of them than they ever could have predicted. Without Mike’s immediate pull, Benson begins to push outwards, realizing he might just know what he wants out of life and have the goods to get it.

Both men will change in ways that will either make them stronger together, or fracture everything they’ve ever known. And just maybe they’ll all be okay in the end.


Click for more detail about Renegades: Born in the USA by Barack Obama Renegades: Born in the USA

by Barack Obama
Crown Publishing Group (Oct 26, 2021)
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New York Times bestseller • Two longtime friends share an intimate and urgent conversation about life, music, and their enduring love of America, with all its challenges and contradictions, in this stunningly produced expansion of their groundbreaking Higher Ground podcast, featuring more than 350 photographs, exclusive bonus content, and never-before-seen archival material.

Renegades: Born in the USA is a candid, revealing, and entertaining dialogue between President Barack Obama and legendary musician Bruce Springsteen that explores everything from their origin stories and career-defining moments to our country’s polarized politics and the growing distance between the American Dream and the American reality. Filled with full-color photographs and rare archival material, it is a compelling and beautifully illustrated portrait of two outsiders—one Black and one white—looking for a way to connect their unconventional searches for meaning, identity, and community with the American story itself. It includes:

• Original introductions by President Obama and Bruce Springsteen
• Exclusive new material from the Renegades podcast recording sessions
• Obama’s never-before-seen annotated speeches, including his “Remarks at the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Marches”
• Springsteen’s handwritten lyrics for songs spanning his 50-year-long career
• Rare and exclusive photographs from the authors’ personal archives
• Historical photographs and documents that provide rich visual context for their conversation

In a recording studio stocked with dozens of guitars, and on at least one Corvette ride, Obama and Springsteen discuss marriage and fatherhood, race and masculinity, the lure of the open road and the call back to home. They also compare notes on their favorite protest songs, the most inspiring American heroes of all time, and more. Along the way, they reveal their passion for—and the occasional toll of—telling a bigger, truer story about America throughout their careers, and explore how our fractured country might begin to find its way back toward unity and global leadership.


Click for more detail about African Goddess Rising Oracle: A 44-Card Deck and Guidebook by Abiola Abrams African Goddess Rising Oracle: A 44-Card Deck and Guidebook

by Abiola Abrams
Hay House (Oct 26, 2021)
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A breathtakingly beautiful oracle deck of 44 African goddesses, spirits, queens, and ancestors from many powerful peoples and pantheons—reaching from the continent of Africa and throughout the diaspora by intuitive spiritual teacher Abiola Abrams.

“From the moment that I received the sacred assignment to birth this deck, these magical folks would not leave me alone. I come from generations of intuitives and healers, so divine channeling is not new to me. But these oracle keepers were persistent! They “dreamed me,” pursued me, and guided me through this co-creation.

Although African spirituality is vast, most practices share foundational beliefs including: ancestral veneration, reverence for elders and community, respecting natural phenomenon, and the power to transmute obstacles. This deck is faithful to our sacred truths and secrets passed down through oral tradition.

This deck will support you as a tool for divination, healing, awakening, and personal development.

Rise up. It is your time.

Asè!” (the power to make things happen or so let it be)
– from the guidebook


Click for more detail about Black Futures (paperback) by Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham Black Futures (paperback)

by Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham
One World (Oct 26, 2021)
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“A literary experience unlike any I’ve had in recent memory … a blueprint for this moment and the next, for where Black folks have been and where they might be going.”—The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)

What does it mean to be Black and alive right now?

Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham have brought together this collection of work—images, photos, essays, memes, dialogues, recipes, tweets, poetry, and more—to tell the story of the radical, imaginative, provocative, and gorgeous world that Black creators are bringing forth today. The book presents a succession of startling and beautiful pieces that generate an entrancing rhythm: Readers will go from conversations with activists and academics to memes and Instagram posts, from powerful essays to dazzling paintings and insightful infographics.

In answering the question of what it means to be Black and alive, Black Futures opens a prismatic vision of possibility for every reader.


Click for more detail about Woke Racism by John McWhorter Woke Racism

by John McWhorter
Portfolio (Oct 26, 2021)
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Acclaimed linguist and award-winning writer John McWhorter argues that an illiberal neoracism, disguised as antiracism, is hurting Black communities and weakening the American social fabric.

Americans of good will on both the left and the right are secretly asking themselves the same question: how has the conversation on race in America gone so crazy? We’re told read books and listen to music by people of color but that wearing certain clothes is “appropriation.” We hear that being white automatically gives you privilege and that being Black makes you a victim. We want to speak up but fear we’ll be seen as unwoke, or worse, labeled a racist. According to John McWhorter, the problem is that a well-meaning but pernicious form of antiracism has become, not a progressive ideology, but a religion—and one that’s illogical, unreachable, and unintentionally neoracist.

In Woke Racism, McWhorter reveals the workings of this new religion, from the original sin of “white privilege” and the weaponization of cancel culture to ban heretics, to the evangelical fervor of the “woke mob.” He shows how this religion that claims to “dismantle racist structures” is actually harming his fellow Black Americans by infantilizing Black people, setting Black students up for failure, and passing policies that disproportionately damage Black communities. The new religion might be called “antiracism,” but it features a racial essentialism that’s barely distinguishable from racist arguments of the past.

Fortunately for Black America, and for all of us, it’s not too late to push back against woke racism. McWhorter shares scripts and encouragement with those trying to deprogram friends and family. And most importantly, he offers a roadmap to justice that actually will help, not hurt, Black America.


Click for more detail about Monster in the Middle by Tiphanie Yanique Monster in the Middle

by Tiphanie Yanique
Riverhead Books (Oct 19, 2021)
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Monster in the Middle takes the reader on a generational love journey that spans some of America’s most perilous moments. From the Vietnam War to the Challenger explosion to Covid-19, she follows two families over a 50-year stretch of American history in a collection of stories that together form a larger tale of how our time, place and position in the world impacts how we experience love and intimacy. Monster in the Middle is the quintessential novel for 2021.

Yanique calls on themes from some of the best American, Caribbean and international fiction, using her signature lyrical writing style. This historical fiction travels throughout America, from California and Tennessee to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It explores intimacy through a generational, historical and societal lens. It provides a rare look into post-colonialism in America, as well as the divergent experience of being black in America over the last 50 years.

Monster in the Middle challenges everything we know about relationships and how they are shaped by our cultures, our families, our communities, our race, and our time and location within history. Each generation in each location faces their own unique challenges and circumstances. This novel touches on some of the most poignant historical moments, bringing us to this apex moment in the present, where we’re all masked, still searching for love and struggling to reconcile political and cultural differences. This book asks us to rethink what it means to be American during turbulent times, particularly an American in love.


Click for more detail about A Journal for Jordan (Movie Tie-In): A Story of Love and Honor by Dana Canedy A Journal for Jordan (Movie Tie-In): A Story of Love and Honor

by Dana Canedy
Crown Publishing Group (Oct 19, 2021)
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A hauntingly beautiful account of a family fractured by war … filled with vivid and heartbreaking details.”—The New York Times Book Review

SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE • “Full of wonderful treasures offered by a unique and spirited father … written with serene grace: part memoir, part love story, all heart.”—James McBride, author of The Color of Water

In 2005, Dana Canedy’s fiancé, First Sergeant Charles Monroe King, began to write what would become a two-hundred-page journal for his son in case he did not make it home from the war in Iraq. He was killed by a roadside bomb on October 14, 2006. His son, Jordan, was seven months old.

Inspired by his example, Dana was determined to preserve his memory for their son. A Journal for Jordan is a mother’s fiercely honest letter to her child about the parent he lost before he could even speak. It is also a father’s advice and prayers for the son he will never know.

A father figure to the soldiers under his command, Charles moved naturally into writing to his son. In neat block letters, he counseled him on everything from how to withstand disappointment and deal with adversaries to how to behave on a date. And he also wrote of recovering a young soldier’s body, piece by piece, from a tank—and the importance of honoring that young man’s life. He finished the journal two months before his death while home on a two-week leave, so intoxicated with love for his infant son that he barely slept.

This is also the story of Dana and Charles together—two seemingly mismatched souls who loved each other deeply and lost each other too soon. A Journal for Jordan is a tender introduction, a loving good-bye, a reporter’s inquiry into her soldier’s life, and a heartrending reminder of the human cost of war.


Click for more detail about Rebel Sisters by Tochi Onyebuchi Rebel Sisters

by Tochi Onyebuchi
Razorbill (Oct 19, 2021)
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In the epic, action-packed sequel to the brilliant (Booklist, starred review) novel War Girls, the battles are over, but the fight for justice has just begun.

It’s been five years since the Biafran War ended. Ify is now nineteen and living where she’s always dreamed—the Space Colonies. She is a respected, high-ranking medical officer and has dedicated her life to helping refugees like herself rebuild in the Colonies.

Back in the still devastated Nigeria, Uzo, a young synth, is helping an aid worker, Xifeng, recover images and details of the war held in the technology of destroyed androids. Uzo, Xifeng, and the rest of their team are working to preserve memories of the many lives lost, despite the government’s best efforts to eradicate any signs that the war ever happened.

Though they are working toward common goals of helping those who suffered, Ify and Uzo are worlds apart. But when a mysterious virus breaks out among the children in the Space Colonies, their paths collide. Ify makes it her mission to figure out what’s causing the deadly disease. And doing so means going back to the homeland she thought she’d left behind forever.


Click for more detail about Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora by Bryant Terry Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora

by Bryant Terry
4 Color Books (Oct 19, 2021)
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A beautiful, rich, and groundbreaking book exploring Black foodways within America and around the world, curated by food activist and author of Vegetable Kingdom Bryant Terry.

ONE OF THE TEN BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New Yorker, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe • ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR: The Washington Post, Time Out, NPR, Los Angeles Times, Food52, Glamour, New York Post, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Vice, Epicurious, Shelf Awareness, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal

“Mouthwatering, visually stunning, and intoxicating, Black Food tells a global story of creativity, endurance, and imagination that was sustained in the face of dispersal, displacement, and oppression.”—Imani Perry, Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University

In this stunning and deeply heartfelt tribute to Black culinary ingenuity, Bryant Terry captures the broad and divergent voices of the African Diaspora through the prism of food. With contributions from more than 100 Black cultural luminaires from around the globe, the book moves through chapters exploring parts of the Black experience, from Homeland to Migration, Spirituality to Black Future, offering delicious recipes, moving essays, and arresting artwork.

As much a joyful celebration of Black culture as a cookbook, Black Food explores the interweaving of food, experience, and community through original poetry and essays, including “Jollofing with Toni Morrison” by < a href="https://aalbc.com/authors/author.php?author_name=Sarah+Ladipo+Manyika">Sarah Ladipo Manyika, “Queer Intelligence” by Zoe Adjonyoh, “The Spiritual Ecology of Black Food” by Leah Penniman, and “Foodsteps in Motion” by Michael W. Twitty. The recipes are similarly expansive and generous, including sentimental favorites and fresh takes such as Crispy Cassava Skillet Cakes from Yewande Komolafe, Okra & Shrimp Purloo from BJ Dennis, Jerk Chicken Ramen from Suzanne Barr, Avocado and Mango Salad with Spicy Pickled Carrot and Rof Dressing from Pierre Thiam, and Sweet Potato Pie from Jenné Claiborne. Visually stunning artwork from such notables as Black Panther Party creative director Emory Douglas and artist Sarina Mantle are woven throughout, and the book includes a signature musical playlist curated by Bryant.

With arresting artwork and innovative design, Black Food is a visual and spiritual feast that will satisfy any soul.

Image reciepe Green Plantain Crisps

Book Review

Click for more detail about Defiant: Growing Up in the Jim Crow South by Wade Hudson Defiant: Growing Up in the Jim Crow South

by Wade Hudson
Crown Books for Young Readers (Oct 12, 2021)
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As the fight for equal rights continues ,Defiant takes a critical look at the strides and struggles of the past in this revelatory and moving memoir about a young Black man growing up in the South during the heart of the Civil Rights Movement. For fans of Trevor Noah: Born a Crime, Stamped from the Beginning, and Brown Girl Dreaming.

Born in 1946 in Mansfield, Louisiana, Wade Hudson came of age against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement. From their home on Mary Street, his close-knit family watched as the country grappled with desegregation, as the Klan targeted the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and as systemic racism struck across the nation and in their hometown.

Amidst it all, Wade was growing up. Getting into scuffles in the schoolyard, playing baseball on a team he put together, immersing himself in his church community, and starting to write. Most important, Wade learned how to find his voice and use it. From his family, his community, and his college classmates, Wade learned the importance of fighting for change by confronting the laws and customs that marginalized and demeaned people.

This powerful memoir reveals the struggles, joys, love, and ongoing resilience that it took to grow up Black in segregated America, and the lessons that carry over to our fight for a better future.


Click for more detail about Recognize!: An Anthology Honoring and Amplifying Black Life by Cheryl Willis Hudson and Wade Hudson Recognize!: An Anthology Honoring and Amplifying Black Life

by Cheryl Willis Hudson and Wade Hudson
Crown Books for Young Readers (Oct 12, 2021)
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In the stunning follow-up to The Talk: Conversations About Race, Love & Truth, more than 30 award-winning Black authors and artists come together to create a moving anthology collection celebrating Black love, Black creativity, Black resistance, and Black life.

BLACK LIVES HAVE ALWAYS MATTERED.
Prominent Black creators lend their voice, their insight, and their talent to an inspiring anthology that celebrates Black culture and Black life. Essays, poems, short stories, and historical excerpts blend with a full-color eight-page insert of spellbinding art to capture the pride, prestige, and jubilation that is being Black in America. In these pages, find the stories of the past, the journeys of the present, and the light guiding the future.

Featuring stories and original art by Vanessa Brantley-Newton; Mahogany L. Browne; Paula Chase; Dhonielle Clayton; Lesa Cline-Ransome; Floyd Cooper; Pat Cummings; Sharon Draper; Lamar Giles; Nikki Grimes; Ekua Holmes; Cheryl Willis Hudson; Curtis Hudson; Wade Hudson; Tiffany Jewell; Keith Knight; London Ladd; Kelly Starling Lyons; Kwame Mbalia; DeRay Mckesson; Robert H. Miller; Denene Milner; Jerdine Nolen; Adedayo Perkovich; James Ransome; Ronald L. Smith; Nic Stone; Don Tate; Eric Velasquez; Carole B. Weatherford; Alicia D. Williams; Shannon Wright; Ibi Zoboi


Click for more detail about Shoutin’ in the Fire: An American Epistle by Danté Stewart Shoutin’ in the Fire: An American Epistle

by Danté Stewart
Convergent Books (Oct 12, 2021)
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In Shoutin’ in the Fire, Danté Stewart gives breathtaking language to his reckoning with the legacy of white supremacy—both the kind that hangs over our country and the kind that is internalized on a molecular level. Stewart uses his personal experiences as a vehicle to reclaim and reimagine spiritual virtues like rage, resilience, and remembrance—and explores how these virtues might function as a work of love against an unjust, unloving world.

In 2016, Stewart was a rising leader at the predominantly white evangelical church he and his family were attending in Augusta, Georgia. Like many young church leaders, Stewart was thrilled at the prospect of growing his voice and influence within the community, and he was excited to break barriers as the church’s first Black preacher. But when Donald Trump began his campaign, so began the unearthing. Stewart started overhearing talk in the pews—comments ranging from microaggressions to outright hostility toward Black Americans. As this violence began to reveal itself en masse, Stewart quickly found himself isolated amid a people unraveled; this community of faith became the place where he and his family now found themselves most alone. This set Stewart on a journey—first out of the white church and then into a liberating pursuit of faith—by looking to the wisdom of the saints that have come before, including James H. Cone, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison, and by heeding the paradoxical humility of Jesus himself.

This sharply observed journey is an intimate meditation on coming of age in a time of terror. Stewart reveals the profound faith he discovered even after experiencing the violence of the American church: a faith that loves Blackness; speaks truth to pain and trauma; and pursues a truer, realer kind of love than the kind we’re taught, a love that sets us free.

“Some of us joke about Jesus needing better PR than what today’s evangelical church provides. Enter Danté Stewart. With unparalleled candor, vulnerability, and love, Stewart takes us along his personal journey to understanding what it is to be Black, Christian, and American. The church is long overdue for a reckoning with white supremacy, and Stewart has written a brilliant blueprint.”—Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

“Standing in a centuries old tradition of spiritual autobiography, Shoutin’ in the Fire is at once a coming of age story and a conversion narrative. From Pentecostal origins, he travels through institutions that hold onto an idea of ‘white Jesus,’ and finally to a spiritual reckoning in which he recognizes Black life to be not only valuable but holy…I highly recommend this book.”—Imani Perry, Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University and author of Breathe: A Letter to My Sons


Click for more detail about Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope in an American City by Andrea Elliott Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope in an American City

by Andrea Elliott
Random House (Oct 05, 2021)
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“Destined to become one of the classics of the genre” (Newsweek), the riveting, unforgettable story of a girl whose indomitable spirit is tested by homelessness, poverty, and racism in an unequal America—from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Andrea Elliott of The New York Times

Invisible Child follows eight dramatic years in the life of a girl whose imagination is as soaring as the skyscrapers near her Brooklyn shelter. Dasani was named after the bottled water that signaled Brooklyn’s gentrification and the shared aspirations of a divided city. In this sweeping narrative, Elliott weaves the story of Dasani’s childhood with the history of her family, tracing the passage of their ancestors from slavery to the Great Migration north. As Dasani comes of age, the homeless crisis in New York City has exploded amid the deepening chasm between rich and poor.

Dasani must guide her siblings through a city riddled by hunger, violence, drug addiction, homelessness, and the monitoring of child protection services. Out on the street, Dasani becomes a fierce fighter to protect the ones she loves. When she finally escapes city life to enroll in a boarding school, she faces an impossible question: What if leaving poverty means abandoning your family, and yourself?

By turns heartbreaking and inspiring, Invisible Child tells an astonishing story about the power of resilience, the importance of family, and the cost of inequality. Based on nearly a decade of reporting, Invisible Child illuminates some of the most critical issues in contemporary America through the life of one remarkable girl.


Click for more detail about Sonny Rollins Plays the Bridge by Gary Golio Sonny Rollins Plays the Bridge

by Gary Golio
Nancy Paulsen Books (Oct 05, 2021)
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James Ransome’s glorious art celebrates jazz icon Sonny Rollins and how he found an inspired spot to practice his saxophone when his neighbors complained.

Sonny Rollins loved his saxophone. As a teenager, he was already playing with jazz stars and making a name for himself. But in 1959, at age twenty-nine, he took a break from performing—to work on being a better, not just famous, musician. Practicing in a city apartment didn’t please the neighbors, so Sonny found a surprising alternative—the Williamsburg Bridge. There, with his head in the clouds and foghorns for company, Sonny could play to his heart’s content and perfect his craft. It was a bold choice, for a bold young man and musician.

Sonny’s passion for music comes alive in jazzy text and vivid, evocative paintings of New York City. His story celebrates striving to be your very best self, an inspiration to music lovers young and old.


Click for more detail about Dreams from My Father (young adult version): A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama Dreams from My Father (young adult version): A Story of Race and Inheritance

by Barack Obama
Delacorte Press (Oct 05, 2021)
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Now adapted for young adults—the AALBC and #1 New York Times bestselling memoir, which Toni Morrison called “quite extraordinary,” offers an intimate look at Barack Obama’s early days. This is a compelling journey tracing the future 44th president’s odyssey through family, race, and identity.

A revealing portrait of a young Black man asking questions about self-discovery and belonging—long before he became one of the most important voices in America. This unique edition includes a new introduction from the author, full-color photo insert, and family tree.

The son of a white American mother and a Black Kenyan father, Obama was born in Hawaii, where he lived until he was six years old, when he moved with his mother and stepfather to Indonesia. At twelve, he returned to Hawaii to live with his grandparents. Obama brings readers along as he faces the challenges of high school and college, living in New York, becoming a community organizer in Chicago, and traveling to Kenya. Through these experiences, he forms an enduring commitment to leadership and justice. Told through the lens of his relationships with his family—the mother and grandparents who raised him, the father he knows more as a myth than as a man, and the extended family in Kenya he meets for the first time—Obama confronts the complicated truth of his father’s life and legacy and comes to embrace his divided heritage.

On his journey to adulthood from a humble background, he forges his own path through trial and error while staying connected to his roots. Barack Obama is determined to lead a life of purpose, service, and authenticity. This powerful memoir will inspire readers to examine both where they come from and where they are capable of going.


Click for more detail about Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray Beasts of Prey

by Ayana Gray
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (Sep 28, 2021)
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An Instant New York Times and Indie Bestseller

There’s no such thing as magic in the broken city of Lkossa, especially for sixteen-year-old Koffi, who indentured to the notorious Night Zoo, knows the fearsome creatures in her care and paying off her family’s debts to secure their eventual freedom can be her only focus. But the night those she loves are gravely threatened by the Zoo’s cruel master, Koffi unleashes a power she doesn’t fully understand, upending her life completely. As the second son of a decorated hero, Ekon is all but destined to become a Son of the Six—an elite warrior—and uphold a family legacy. But on the night of his final rite of passage, Ekon encounters not only the Shetani—a vicious monster that has plagued the city for nearly a century and stalks his nightmares—but Koffi who seems to have the power to ward off the beast. Koffi’s power ultimately saves Ekon, but his choice to let her flee dooms his hopes of becoming a warrior.

Desperate to redeem himself, Ekon vows to hunt the Shetani and end its reign of terror, but he can’t do it alone. Koffi and Ekon form a tentative alliance and together enter the Greater Jungle, a world steeped in wild, frightening magic and untold dangers. The hunt begins. But it quickly becomes unclear whether they are the hunters or the hunted.


Click for more detail about Nina: A Story of Nina Simone by Traci N. Todd Nina: A Story of Nina Simone

by Traci N. Todd
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (Sep 28, 2021)
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This illuminating and defining picture book biography illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Christian Robinson, tells the story of little Eunice who grew up to become the acclaimed singer Nina Simone and her bold, defiant, and exultant legacy.

Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in small town North Carolina, Nina Simone was a musical child. She sang before she talked and learned to play piano at a very young age. With the support of her family and community, she received music lessons that introduced her to classical composers like Bach who remained with her and influenced her music throughout her life. She loved the way his music began softly and then tumbled to thunder, like her mother’s preaching, and in much the same way as her career. During her first performances under the name of Nina Simone her voice was rich and sweet but as the Civil Rights Movement gained steam, Nina’s voice soon became a thunderous roar as she raised her voice in powerful protest in the fight against racial inequality and discrimination.

2022 NCTE Orbis Pictus Award Winner
A 2022 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Finalist
A 2021 Publishers Weekly Best Book
A 2021 Kirkus Best Book
A 2021 Horn Book Fanfare List Pick


Click for more detail about Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth by Wole Soyinka Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth

by Wole Soyinka
Pantheon Books (Sep 28, 2021)
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The first Black person ever to win the Nobel Prize in Literature gives us a tour de force, his first novel in nearly half a century: a savagely satiric, gleefully irreverent, rollicking fictional meditation on how power and greed can corrupt the soul of a nation ("You don’t see things the same way when you encounter a voice like that" —Toni Morrison).

In an imaginary Nigeria, a cunning entrepreneur is selling body parts stolen from Dr. Menka’s hospital for use in ritualistic practices. Dr. Menka shares the grisly news with his oldest college friend, bon viveur, star engineer, and Yoruba royal, Duyole Pitan-Paynethe life of every partywho is about to assume a prestigious post at the United Nations in New York. It now seems that someone is determined that he not make it there. Neither Dr. Menka nor Duyole knows why, or how close the enemy is, how powerful.
Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth is at once a literary hoot, a crafty whodunit, and a scathing indictment of Nigeria’s political elite. It is a stirring call to arms against the abuse of power from one of that country’s fiercest political activists, who just happens to be a global literary giant.

"Soyinka is one of the best there is today —Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.


Click for more detail about Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence by Anita Hill Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence

by Anita Hill
Viking Books (Sep 28, 2021)
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“An elegant, impassioned demand that America see gender-based violence as a cultural and structural problem that hurts everyone, not just victims and survivors… It’s at times downright virtuosic in the threads it weaves together.”—NPR

From the woman who gave the landmark testimony against Clarence Thomas as a sexual menace, a new manifesto about the origins and course of gender violence in our society; a combination of memoir, personal accounts, law, and social analysis, and a powerful call to arms from one of our most prominent and poised survivors.

In 1991, Anita Hill began something that’s still unfinished work. The issues of gender violence, touching on sex, race, age, and power, are as urgent today as they were when she first testified. Believing is a story of America’s three decades long reckoning with gender violence, one that offers insights into its roots, and paths to creating dialogue and substantive change. It is a call to action that offers guidance based on what this brave, committed fighter has learned from a lifetime of advocacy and her search for solutions to a problem that is still tearing America apart.

We once thought gender-based violence—from casual harassment to rape and murder—was an individual problem that affected a few; we now know it’s cultural and endemic, and happens to our acquaintances, colleagues, friends and family members, and it can be physical, emotional and verbal. Women of color experience sexual harassment at higher rates than White women. Street harassment is ubiquitous and can escalate to violence. Transgender and nonbinary people are particularly vulnerable.

Anita Hill draws on her years as a teacher, legal scholar, and advocate, and on the experiences of the thousands of individuals who have told her their stories, to trace the pipeline of behavior that follows individuals from place to place: from home to school to work and back home. In measured, clear, blunt terms, she demonstrates the impact it has on every aspect of our lives, including our physical and mental wellbeing, housing stability, political participation, economy and community safety, and how our descriptive language undermines progress toward solutions. And she is uncompromising in her demands that our laws and our leaders must address the issue concretely and immediately.


Click for more detail about Bessie Smith: A Poet’s Biography of a Blues Legend by Jackie Kay Bessie Smith: A Poet’s Biography of a Blues Legend

by Jackie Kay
Vintage (Sep 28, 2021)
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A beautiful genre-bending tribute to the larger-than-life blues singer Bessie Smith. Scotland’s National Poet blends poetry, prose, fiction, and nonfiction to create an entirely unique biography of the Empress of the Blues.

There has never been anyone else like Bessie Smith. Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1894 and orphaned by the age of nine, Bessie Smith sang on street corners before becoming a big name in traveling shows. In 1923, she made her first recording for the newly founded Columbia Records. It sold 780,000 copies and catapulted her to fame. Known for her unmatched vocal talent, her timeless and personal blues narratives, her tough persona, and her ability to enrapture audiences with her raw voice, the Empress of the Blues remains a force and an enigma.

In this remarkable book, Kay combines history and personal narrative, poetry and prose to create an enthralling account of an extraordinary life, and to capture the soul of the woman she first identified with as a young Black girl growing up in Glasgow. Powerful and moving, Bessie Smith is at once a vivid biography of a central figure in American music history and a personal story about one woman’s search for recognition.

A VINTAGE ORIGINAL.


Click for more detail about Drumsticks: Nanette Hayes Mystery Series Book 3 by Charlotte Carter Drumsticks: Nanette Hayes Mystery Series Book 3

by Charlotte Carter
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (Sep 28, 2021)
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In the third book in the Nanette Hayes Mystery series, Nan finds a voodoo doll is bringing her some much needed luck…until the doll’s maker is murdered and Nan is dragged into the investigation.

Nanette is on the rocks. Heartbroken and alone, she finds what comfort she can in the bottom of a bottle. But her life seems to turn around when she’s given a voodoo doll, so much so that Nan seeks out the doll’s creator, Ida, to thank her. Unfortunately, the meeting doesn’t go so well, and Ida ends up with a bullet in her head. Guilt-ridden, Nan resolves to get justice for her new friend, only to find that Ida was hiding some dark skeletons in her closet. Now plunged into a dangerous world she doesn’t understand, Nan will have to team up with some unlikely allies, like her estranged father, a high school principal, and Leland Sweet, an NYPD officer with whom Nan has some major history. But will Nan solve Ida’s murder or fall victim to the same forces that brought her down?

Praise for the Nanette Hayes Mystery Series

“A terrific novel, from those witty, subversive opening sentences, to the edgy, melancholy and very satisfying ending.”—Margo Jefferson, the author of Negroland (on Rhode Island Red)


Click for more detail about Black Cowboy, Wild Horses by Julius Lester and Jerry Pinkney Black Cowboy, Wild Horses

by Julius Lester and Jerry Pinkney
Dial Books (Sep 28, 2021)
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Bob Lemmons is famous for his ability to track wild horses. He rides his horse, Warrior, picks up the trail of mustangs, then runs with them day and night until they accept his presence. Bob and Warrior must then challenge the stallion for leadership of the wild herd. A victorious Bob leads the mustangs across the wide plains and for one last spectacular run before guiding them into the corral. Bob’s job is done, but he dreams of galloping with Warrior forever to where the sky and land meet.

This splendid collaboration by an award-winning team captures the beauty and harshness of the frontier, a boundless arena for the struggle between freedom and survival. Based on accounts of Bob Lemmons, a former slave, Black Cowboy, Wild Horses has been rewritten as a picture book by Julius Lester from his story The Man Who Was a Horse in Long Journey Home, first published by Dial in 1972.


Click for more detail about Please Don’t Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes: Essays by Phoebe Robinson Please Don’t Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes: Essays

by Phoebe Robinson
Tiny Reparations Books (Sep 28, 2021)
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With sharp, timely insight, pitch-perfect pop culture references, and her always unforgettable voice, New York Times bestselling author, comedian, actress, and producer Phoebe Robinson is back with her most must-read book yet.

In her brand-new collection, Phoebe shares stories that will make you laugh, but also plenty that will hit you in the heart, inspire a little bit of rage, and maybe a lot of action. That means sharing her perspective on performative allyship, white guilt, and what happens when white people take up space in cultural movements; exploring what it’s like to be a woman who doesn’t want kids living in a society where motherhood is the crowning achievement of a straight, cis woman’s life; and how the dire state of mental health in America means that taking care of one’s mental health—aka “self-care”—usually requires disposable money.

She also shares stories about her mom slow-poking before a visit with Mrs. Obama, the stupidly fake reassurances of zip-line attendants, her favorite things about dating a white person from the UK, and how the lack of Black women in leadership positions fueled her to become the Black lady boss of her dreams. By turns perceptive, laugh-out-loud funny, and heartfelt, Please Don’t Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes is not only a brilliant look at our current cultural moment, it’s also a collection that will stay with readers for years to come.


Click for more detail about Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem by Amanda Gorman Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem

by Amanda Gorman
Viking Books for Young Readers (Sep 21, 2021)
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A lyrical picture book debut from inaugural National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman and #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator Loren Long

I can hear change humming
In its loudest, proudest song.
I don’t fear change coming,
And so I sing along.

In this stirring, much-anticipated picture book by inaugural Youth Poet Laureate 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.

With lyrical text and rhythmic illustrations that build to a dazzling crescendo by #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator Loren Long, Change Sings is a triumphant call to action for everyone to use their abilities to make a difference.


Click for more detail about The Best Short Stories 2021: The O. Henry Prize Winners by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie The Best Short Stories 2021: The O. Henry Prize Winners

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Anchor Books (Sep 14, 2021)
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Twenty prizewinning stories selected from the thousands published in magazines over the previous year—continuing the O. Henry Prize’s century-long tradition of literary excellence.

Now entering its second century, the prestigious annual story anthology has a new title, a new look, and a new guest editor. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has brought her own refreshing perspective to the prize, selecting stories by an engaging mix of celebrated names and young emerging voices. The winning stories are accompanied by an introduction by Adichie, observations from the winning writers on what inspired them, and an extensive resource list of magazines that publish short fiction.

Featured in this collection:

  • Daphne Palasi Andreades
  • David Means
  • Sindya Bhanoo
  • Crystal Wilkinson
  • Alice Jolly
  • David Rabe
  • Karina Sainz Borgo (translator, Elizabeth Bryer)
  • Jamel Brinkley
  • Tessa Hadley
  • Adachioma Ezeano
  • Anthony Doerr
  • Tiphanie Yanique
  • Joan Silber
  • Jowhor Ile
  • Emma Cline
  • Asali Solomon
  • Ben Hinshaw
  • Caroline Albertine Minor (translator, Caroline Waight)
  • Jianan Qian
  • Sally Rooney


Click for more detail about Corduroy Writes a Letter by Allan Eitzen Corduroy Writes a Letter

by Allan Eitzen
Random House Books for Young Readers (Sep 14, 2021)
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Corduroy was first introduced to readers in 1968 and soon became a classic character. Everybody’s favorite department store bear is having further adventures in a story about using your voice. Now available in Step into Reading, the premier reader line!

When Lisa wants to contact a movie theater owner about a problem, she thinks he’s too important and won’t respond. Can Corduroy help his friend with her good deed? He shows her how powerful a letter can be, and that speaking up about a problem can make a change!

Step 2 Readers use basic vocabulary and short sentences to tell simple stories, for children who recognize familiar words and can sound out new words with help. Rhyme and rhythmic text paired with picture clues help children decode the story.


Click for more detail about Corduroy Makes a Cake by Allan Eitzen Corduroy Makes a Cake

by Allan Eitzen
Random House Books for Young Readers (Sep 14, 2021)
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Corduroy was first introduced to readers in 1968 and soon became a classic character. Everybody’s favorite department store bear is having further adventures in this birthday story. Now available in Step into Reading, the premier reader line!

When Corduroy finds out that Lisa is having a birthday party, he decides to make her a very special cake. Instead of making a cake, Corduroy makes a great big mess! He doesn’t know what to do. Will he find another way to give Lisa a birthday surprise?

Step 2 Readers use basic vocabulary and short sentences to tell simple stories, for children who recognize familiar words and can sound out new words with help. Rhyme and rhythmic text paired with picture clues help children decode the story.


Click for more detail about Amistad: The Story of a Slave Ship by Patricia C. Mckissack Amistad: The Story of a Slave Ship

by Patricia C. Mckissack
Random House Books for Young Readers (Sep 14, 2021)
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An amazing chapter in American history is now available in Step into Reading, the premier leveled reader line.

In 1838, a slave ship named the Amistad took hundreds of kidnapped Africans on a long journey across the Atlantic. But the brave captives would not give up their freedom, taking over the ship so they could sail back to their homeland. This History Reader is not to be missed.

Step 4 Readers use challenging vocabulary and short paragraphs to tell exciting stories. For newly independent readers who read simple sentences with confidence.


Click for more detail about Redeeming Justice: From Defendant to Defender, My Fight for Equity on Both Sides of a Broken System by Jarrett Adams Redeeming Justice: From Defendant to Defender, My Fight for Equity on Both Sides of a Broken System

by Jarrett Adams
Convergent Books (Sep 14, 2021)
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"A moving and beautifully crafted memoir."—SCOTT TUROW
"A daring act of justified defiance."—SHAKA SENGHOR
"Nothing less than heroic."—JOHN GRISHAM

He was seventeen when an all-white jury sentenced him to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Now a pioneering lawyer, he recalls the journey that led to his exoneration—and inspired him to devote his life to fighting the many injustices in our legal system.

Seventeen years old and facing nearly thirty years behind bars, Jarrett Adams sought to figure out the why behind his fate. Sustained by his mother and aunts who brought him back from the edge of despair through letters of prayer and encouragement, Adams became obsessed with our legal system in all its damaged glory. After studying how his constitutional rights to effective counsel had been violated, he solicited the help of the Wisconsin Innocence Project, an organization that exonerates the wrongfully convicted, and won his release after nearly ten years in prison.

But the journey was far from over. Adams took the lessons he learned through his incarceration and worked his way through law school with the goal of helping those who, like himself, had faced our legal system at its worst. After earning his law degree, he worked with the New York Innocence Project, becoming the first exoneree ever hired by the nonprofit as a lawyer. In his first case with the Innocence Project, he argued before the same court that had convicted him a decade earlier—and won.

In this illuminating story of hope and full-circle redemption, Adams draws on his life and the cases of his clients to show the racist tactics used to convict young men of color, the unique challenges facing exonerees once released, and how the lack of equal representation in our courts is a failure not only of empathy but of our collective ability to uncover the truth. Redeeming Justice is an unforgettable firsthand account of the limits—and possibilities—of our country’s system of law.


Click for more detail about Say It Loud!: On Race, Law, History, and Culture by Randall Kennedy Say It Loud!: On Race, Law, History, and Culture

by Randall Kennedy
Pantheon Books (Sep 07, 2021)
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A collection of provocative essays exploring the key social justice issues of our time—from George Floyd to antiracism to inequality and the Supreme Court. Kennedy is among the most incisive American commentators on race (The New York Times).

Informed by sharpness of observation and often courting controversy, deep fellow feeling, decency, and wit, Say It Loud! includes:

The George Floyd Moment: Promise and Peril - Isabel Wilkerson, the Election of 2020, and Racial Caste - The Princeton Ultimatum: Antiracism Gone Awry - The Constitutional Roots of "Birtherism" - Inequality and the Supreme Court - "Nigger" The Strange Career Continues - Frederick Douglass: Everyone’s Hero - Remembering Thurgood Marshall - Why Clarence Thomas Ought to Be Ostracized - The Politics of Black Respectability - Policing Racial Solidarity

In each essay, Kennedy is mindful of complexity, ambivalence, and paradox, and he is always stirring and enlightening. Say It Loud! is a wide-ranging summa of Randall Kennedy’s thought on the realities and imaginaries of race in America.


Click for more detail about The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart by Alicia Garza The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart

by Alicia Garza
One World (Sep 07, 2021)
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An essential guide to building transformative movements to address the challenges of our time, from one of the country’s leading organizers and a co-creator of Black Lives Matter “Excellent and provocative … a gateway [to] urgent debates.”—Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, The New Yorker

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY Time • Marie Claire • Kirkus Reviews

In 2013, Alicia Garza wrote what she called “a love letter to Black people” on Facebook, in the aftermath of the acquittal of the man who murdered seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin. Garza wrote:

Black people. I love you. I love us. Our lives matter.

With the speed and networking capacities of social media, #BlackLivesMatter became the hashtag heard ’round the world. But Garza knew even then that hashtags don’t start movements—people do.

Long before #BlackLivesMatter became a rallying cry for this generation, Garza had spent the better part of two decades learning and unlearning some hard lessons about organizing. The lessons she offers are different from the “rules for radicals” that animated earlier generations of activists and diverge from the charismatic, patriarchal model of the American civil rights movement. She reflects instead on how making room amongst the woke for those who are still awakening can inspire and activate more people to fight for the world we all deserve.

This is the story of one woman’s lessons through years of bringing people together to create change. Most of all, it is a new paradigm for change for a new generation of changemakers, from the mind and heart behind one of the most important movements of our time.


Click for more detail about Dream Street by Tricia Elam Walker Dream Street

by Tricia Elam Walker
Anne Schwartz Books (Sep 07, 2021)
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NAMED ONE OF THE BEST CHILDREN’S BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES • FIVE STARRED REVIEWS

Visit a truly special street bursting with joy, hope, and dreams. Inspired by the neighborhood where they grew up as cousins, this gorgeous picture book from an award-winning illustrator and critically acclaimed author is the perfect gift or keepsake for every generation.

Welcome to Dream Street–the best street in the world! Jump rope with Azaria–can you Double Dutch one leg at a time? Dream big with Ede and Tari, who wish to create a picture book together one day. Say hello with Mr. Sidney, a retired mail carrier who greets everyone with the words, “Don’t wait to have a great day. Create one!” On Dream Street, love between generations rules, everyone is special, and the warmth of the neighborhood shines.

A magical story from the critically acclaimed author of Nana Akua Goes to School and a Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Award winning illustrator. Illuminating this vivid cast of characters are vibrant, joyful illustrations that make this neighborhood–based on the Roxbury neighborhood in Boston where the author and illustrator grew up together as cousins–truly sing. This book is a perfect way for parents to share with their children the importance of community.


Click for more detail about Fast Pitch by Nic Stone Fast Pitch

by Nic Stone
Crown Books for Young Readers (Aug 31, 2021)
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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone comes a challenging and heartwarming coming-of-age story about a softball player looking to prove herself on and off the field

Shenice Lockwood, captain of the Fulton Firebirds, is hyper-focused when she steps up to the plate. Nothing can stop her from leading her team to the U12 fast-pitch softball regional championship. But life has thrown some curveballs her way.

Strike one: As the sole team of all-brown faces, Shenice and the Firebirds have to work twice as hard to prove that Black girls belong at bat.

Strike two: Shenice’s focus gets shaken when her great-uncle Jack reveals that a career-ending—and family-name-ruining—crime may have been a setup.

Strike three: Broken focus means mistakes on the field. And Shenice’s teammates are beginning to wonder if she’s captain-qualified.

It’s up to Shenice to discover the truth about her family’s past—and fast—before secrets take the Firebirds out of the game forever.


Click for more detail about Coq Au Vin: Nanette Hayes Mystery Series Book 2 by Charlotte Carter Coq Au Vin: Nanette Hayes Mystery Series Book 2

by Charlotte Carter
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (Aug 31, 2021)
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Read a review of Coq Au Vin: A Nanette Hayes Mystery in Mosaic Literary Magazine (spring 1999, page 48)

In the second installment of the Nanette Hayes Mystery series, Nan is on her way to Paris in search of a missing relative… but will she lose more than just her heart in the city of love?

Nanette’s life is finally getting back to normal when her mother calls her with some upsetting news: Nan’s beloved bohemian Aunt Vivian has gone missing. Normally this is par for the course with Viv, but this time the circumstances surrounding Vivian’s disappearance are rather troubling. Would Nan be up to brushing up on her French language skills and flying to Paris to track her down?

Would she ever. Now swanning about her favorite city, Nan has a hard time keeping her attention on the task at hand… especially after she meets handsome violinist Andre, a fellow street musician from Detroit. But trouble has a way of finding Nan, and her search for Vivian lands her in the underbelly of historic Paris and in the crosshairs of some of its most dangerous denizens.

Praise for the Nanette Hayes Mystery Series

“A terrific novel, from those witty, subversive opening sentences, to the edgy, melancholy and very satisfying ending.”—Margo Jefferson, the author of Negroland (on Rhode Island Red)


Click for more detail about She Persisted: Ruby Bridges by Kekla Magoon She Persisted: Ruby Bridges

by Kekla Magoon
Philomel Books (Aug 24, 2021)
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Inspired by the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger, a chapter book series about women who stood up, spoke up and rose up against the odds!

In this chapter book biography by NAACP Image Award-winning author and Coretta Scott King Honor recipient Kekla Magoon, readers learn about the amazing life of Ruby Bridges—and how she persisted.

As a first grader, Ruby Bridges was the first Black student to integrate William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana. This was no easy task, especially for a six-year-old. Ruby’s bravery and perseverance inspired children and adults alike to fight for equality and social justice. Perfect for back-to-school reading!

Complete with an introduction from Chelsea Clinton, black-and-white illustrations throughout, and a list of ways that readers can follow in Ruby Bridges’s footsteps and make a difference! A perfect choice for kids who love learning and teachers who want to bring inspiring women into their curriculum.

And don’t miss out on the rest of the books in the She Persisted series, featuring so many more women who persisted, including Oprah Winfrey, Harriet Tubman, Claudette Colvin, Coretta Scott King, and more!


Click for more detail about The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You: Stories by Maurice Carlos Ruffin The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You: Stories

by Maurice Carlos Ruffin
One World (Aug 17, 2021)
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A collection of raucous stories that offer a panoramic view of New Orleans from the author of the "stunning and audacious" (NPR) debut novel We Cast a Shadow

Maurice Carlos Ruffin has an uncanny ability to reveal the hidden corners of a place we thought we knew. These perspectival, character-driven stories center on the margins and are deeply rooted in New Orleanian culture.

In "Beg Borrow Steal," a boy relishes time spent helping his father find work after coming home from prison; in "Ghetto University," a couple struggling financially turns to crime after hitting rock bottom; in "Before I Let Go," a woman who’s been in NOLA for generations fights to keep her home; in "Fast Hands, Fast Feet," an army vet and a runaway teen find companionship while sleeping under a bridge; in "Mercury Forges," a flash fiction piece among several in the collection, a group of men hurriedly make their way to an elderly gentleman’s home, trying to reach him before the water from Hurricane Katrina does; and in the title story, a young man works the street corners of the French Quarter, trying to achieve a freedom not meant for him.

These stories are intimate invitations to hear, witness, and imagine lives at once regional but largely universal, and undeniably New Orleanian, written by a lifelong resident of New Orleans and one of our finest new writers.


Click for more detail about Hell of a Book by Jason Mott Hell of a Book

by Jason Mott
Dutton (Aug 10, 2021)
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An astounding work of fiction from a New York Times bestselling author, always deeply honest, at times electrically funny, that goes to the heart of racism, police violence, and the hidden costs exacted upon Black Americans, and America as a whole

In Hell of a Book, an African-American author sets out on a cross-country book tour to promote his bestselling novel. That storyline drives Jason Mott’s novel and is the scaffolding of something much larger and more urgent: since his novel also tells the story of Soot, a young Black boy living in a rural town in the recent past, and The Kid, a possibly imaginary child who appears to the author on his tour.

Throughout, these characters’ stories build and build and as they converge, they astonish. For while this heartbreaking and magical book entertains and is at once about family, love of parents and children, art, and money, there always is the tragic story of a police shooting playing over and over on the news.

Who has been killed? Who is The Kid? Will the author finish his book tour, and what kind of world will he leave behind? Unforgettably powerful, an electrifying high-wire act, ideal for book clubs, and the book Mott says he has been writing in his head for ten years, Hell of a Book in its final twists truly becomes its title.


Click for more detail about Black Boy Joy: 17 Stories Celebrating Black Boyhood by Kwame Mbalia Black Boy Joy: 17 Stories Celebrating Black Boyhood

by Kwame Mbalia
Delacorte Press (Aug 03, 2021)
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Celebrate the joys of Black boyhood with stories from seventeen bestselling, critically acclaimed Black authors—including Jason Reynolds (the Track series), Jerry Craft (New Kid), and Kwame Mbalia (the Tristan Strong series)!

Black boy joy is…

Picking out a fresh first-day-of-school outfit.
Saving the universe in an epic intergalactic race.
Finding your voice—and your rhymes—during tough times.
Flying on your skateboard like nobody’s watching.

And more! From seventeen acclaimed Black male and non-binary authors comes a vibrant collection of stories, comics, and poems about the power of joy and the wonders of Black boyhood.

Contributors include

  1. B. B. Alston,
  2. Dean Atta,
  3. P. Djèlí Clark,
  4. Jay Coles,
  5. Jerry Craft,
  6. Lamar Giles,
  7. Don P. Hooper,
  8. George M. Johnson,
  9. Varian Johnson,
  10. Kwame Mbalia,
  11. Suyi Davies Okungbowa,
  12. Tochi Onyebuchi,
  13. Julian Randall,
  14. Jason Reynolds,
  15. Justin Reynolds,
  16. DaVaun Sanders, and
  17. Julian Winters


Click for more detail about Sugar Town Queens by Malla Nunn Sugar Town Queens

by Malla Nunn
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (Aug 03, 2021)
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From Los Angeles Times Book Prize Award winner and Edgar Award nominee Malla Nunn comes a stunning portrait of a family divided and a powerful story of how friendship saves and heals.

When Amandla wakes up on her fifteenth birthday, she knows it’s going to be one of her mother’s difficult days. Her mother has had another vision. This one involves Amandla wearing a bedsheet loosely stitched as a dress. An outfit, her mother says, is certain to bring Amandla’s father back home, as if he were the prince and this was the fairytale ending their family was destined for. But in truth, Amandla’s father has long been gone—since before Amandla was born—and even her mother’s memory of him is hazy. In fact, many of her mother’s memories from before Amandla was born are hazy. It’s just one of the many reasons people in Sugar Town give them strange looks—that and the fact her mother is white and Amandla is Black.

When Amandla finds a mysterious address in the bottom of her mother’s handbag along with a large amount of cash, she decides it’s finally time to get answers about her mother’s life. What she discovers will change the shape and size of her family forever. But with her best friends at her side, Amandla is ready to take on family secrets and the devil himself. These Sugar Town queens are ready to take over the world to expose the hard truths of their lives.


Click for more detail about New Kid Sketchbook: A Place for Your Cartoons, Doodles, and Stories by Jerry Craft New Kid Sketchbook: A Place for Your Cartoons, Doodles, and Stories

by Jerry Craft
Clarkson Potter (Aug 03, 2021)
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Turn your life into the stuff of cartoons with this drawing sketchbook inspired by the protagonist of the bestselling, award-winning graphic novel New Kid, Jordan Banks.

Jordan Banks, the New Kid, loves to draw. That’s why he always has his sketchbook with him—in case he sees something cool or has a good idea he wants to remember.

So author Jerry Craft created this sketchbook for kids like Jordan who want to draw. There’s lots of room for practicing all kinds of drawing styles, manga, cartoons, comic strips, sketching, and doodling, plus some tips on how to get better at it.

Because drawing panels and speech bubbles by hand can get wobbly, there’s a ruler you can tear off in the front to make straight lines, and some speech bubble stencils on a panel in the back that you can tear off and trace onto your cartoons.

One thing Jordan knows is: the more you draw, the better you’ll get. So pick up your pencil, start drawing, and remember to have fun.


Click for more detail about Rhode Island Red: Nanette Hayes Mystery Series Book 1 by Charlotte Carter Rhode Island Red: Nanette Hayes Mystery Series Book 1

by Charlotte Carter
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (Jul 27, 2021)
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The first book in the Nanette Hayes Mystery series introduces us to jazz-loving, street busker Nanette, whose love life leads her into some very hot water.

Nan’s day is not off to a good start. Her on-again, off-again relationship with Walter is off…again, and when she offers a fellow busker a place to stay for the night he ends up murdered on her kitchen floor. To make matters worse, the busker turns out to have been an undercover cop. And his former partner has taken an immediate and extreme dislike to Nan. When she finds that the dead man stashed a wad of cash in her apartment, cash that could go to help his blind girlfriend, Nan’s desire to do the right thing lands her in trouble.

Soon she’s on the hunt for a legendary saxophone worth its weight in gold. But there are plenty of people who would kill for the priceless instrument, and Nan’s new beau just might be one of them.

Praise for the Nanette Hayes Mystery Series

“A terrific novel, from those witty, subversive opening sentences, to the edgy, melancholy and very satisfying ending.”—Margo Jefferson, the author of Negroland (on Rhode Island Red)


Click for more detail about African Goddess Initiation: Sacred Rituals for Self-Love, Prosperity, and Joy by Abiola Abrams African Goddess Initiation: Sacred Rituals for Self-Love, Prosperity, and Joy

by Abiola Abrams
Hay House (Jul 20, 2021)
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A sacred feminine initiation of self-love and soul care rituals, tools, and exercises.

Spiritual teacher, intuitive coach, and award-winning author, Abiola Abrams invites you to activate African goddess magic to transmute your fears and limiting beliefs, so that you can create more happiness, abundance, and self-acceptance.

Africa is a continent of 54+ countries, and her children are global. There is no one African spiritual tradition. Our ancestors who were trafficked in The New World hid the secrets of our orishas, abosom, lwas, �l�s�, and god/desses behind saints, angels, and legendary characters. From South Africa to Egypt, Brazil to Haiti, Guyana to Louisiana, goddess wisdom still empowers us.

Writes Abiola, Spirit told me, We choose who shows up. And if you are holding this book, then this sacred medicine is meant for you. In this book, you will meet ancient goddesses and divine feminine energy ancestors, legendary queens, and mystical spirits. As you complete their powerful rituals, and ascend through their temples, you will:

. Awaken generational healing in the Temple of Ancestors;
. Manifest your miracles in the Temple of Conjurers;
. Release the struggle in the Temple of Warriors;
. Embrace your dark goddess self in the Temple of Shadows;
. Heal your primal wounds in the Temple of Lovers;
. Liberate your voice in the Temple of Griots;
. Open your third eye intuition in the Temple of Queens; and
. Surrender, meditate, and rise in the Temple of High Priestesses.

Welcome to your goddess circle!


Click for more detail about While We Were Dating by Jasmine Guillory While We Were Dating

by Jasmine Guillory
Berkley Books (Jul 13, 2021)
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An instant New York Times bestseller!

One of TIME Magazine’s 100 Must-Reads of 2021!

Two people realize that it’s no longer an act when they veer off-script in this sizzling romantic comedy by New York Times bestselling author Jasmine Guillory.

Ben Stephens has never bothered with serious relationships. He has plenty of casual dates to keep him busy, family drama he’s trying to ignore and his advertising job to focus on. When Ben lands a huge ad campaign featuring movie star, Anna Gardiner, however, it’s hard to keep it purely professional. Anna is not just gorgeous and sexy, she’s also down to earth and considerate, and he can’t help flirting a little…

Anna Gardiner is on a mission: to make herself a household name, and this ad campaign will be a great distraction while she waits to hear if she’s booked her next movie. However, she didn’t expect Ben Stephens to be her biggest distraction. She knows mixing business with pleasure never works out, but why not indulge in a harmless flirtation?

But their light-hearted banter takes a turn for the serious when Ben helps Anna in a family emergency, and they reveal truths about themselves to each other, truths they’ve barely shared with those closest to them.

When the opportunity comes to turn their real-life fling into something more for the Hollywood spotlight, will Ben be content to play the background role in Anna’s life and leave when the cameras stop rolling? Or could he be the leading man she needs to craft their own Hollywood ending?


Click for more detail about Up, Up, Up, Down! by Kimberly Gee Up, Up, Up, Down!

by Kimberly Gee
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (Jul 13, 2021)
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This action-packed toddler’s day with Dad is full of opposites—and now in board! From his first demand to be picked up and then immediately put down, opposites pop up all day long for this energetic boy. Breakfast is no, no, no, yes! At the sandbox, it’s make, make, make, break! And jumping into the pool goes from can’t, can’t, can’t, to can! Kimberly Gee’s expressive illustrations emphasize the loving connection between a boy and his father in this clever concept book about everyday highs and lows is now in sturdy board, ready to become a staple in toddlers’ hands and bookshelves.


Click for more detail about Maya and the Robot by Eve L. Ewing Maya and the Robot

by Eve L. Ewing
Kokila (Jul 13, 2021)
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From award-winning author Eve L. Ewing comes an illustrated middle grade novel about a forgotten homemade robot who comes to life just when aspiring fifth-grade scientist Maya needs a friend — and a science fair project.

Maya’s nervous about fifth grade. She tries to keep calm by reminding herself she knows what to expect. But then she learns that this year won’t be anything like the last. For the first time since kindergarten, her best friends Jada and MJ are placed in a different class without her, and introverted Maya has trouble making new friends.

She tries to put on a brave face since they are in fifth grade now, but Maya is nervous! Just when too much seems to be changing, she finds a robot named Ralph in the back of Mr. Mac’s convenience store closet. Once she uses her science skills to get him up and running, a whole new world of connection opens up as Ralph becomes a member of her family and Maya begins to step into her power. In this touching novel, Eve L. Ewing melds together a story about community, adapting to change, and the magic of ingenuity that reminds young readers that they can always turn to their own curiosity when feeling lost.


Click for more detail about My Voice Is a Trumpet by Jimmie Allen My Voice Is a Trumpet

by Jimmie Allen
Flamingo Books (Jul 13, 2021)
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Jimmie Allen, multi-platinum selling recording artist and the first Black musician to win The Academy of Country Music Awards New Male Artist of the Year Award will publish his debut picture book, My Voice Is a Trumpet (July 13 pub) with veteran illustrator Cathy Ann Johnson. The book is a powerful story about speaking up for what you believe in, at any age.

In My Voice Is a Trumpet all voices are as diverse as the characters and heard loud and clear. From voices that roar like a lion, to voices small as a bee, all it takes is confidence and a belief in the goodness of others to change the world.

“It’s very important to me that kids learn at a young age that they have a voice, and that it is powerful. It is up to us as adults to teach them to use their voice to encourage and show love,” says Allen. “Being a father of two kids, I try to encourage them to be themselves and love everyone around them. I’m hoping this book inspires at least one child and they always remember their voice is a trumpet.”

Coming at a time when issues of social justice are at the forefront of our society, My Voice Is a Trumpet is a pertinent and poignant book that gives children confidence in the power of their voice from a young age and the knowledge that all voices are valuable.

Sample image from My Voice Is a Trumpet




Click for more detail about The Beauty in Breaking: A Memoir by Michele Harper The Beauty in Breaking: A Memoir

by Michele Harper
Riverhead Books (Jun 29, 2021)
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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A New York Times Notable Book
"Riveting, heartbreaking, sometimes difficult, always inspiring." —The New York Times Book Review
"An incredibly moving memoir about what it means to be a doctor." —Ellen Pompeo

As seen/heard on Fresh Air, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC, Weekend Edition, and more

An emergency room physician explores how a life of service to others taught her how to heal herself.

Michele Harper is a female, African American emergency room physician in a profession that is overwhelmingly male and white. Brought up in Washington, D.C., in a complicated family, she went to Harvard, where she met her husband. They stayed together through medical school until two months before she was scheduled to join the staff of a hospital in central Philadelphia, when he told her he couldn’t move with her. Her marriage at an end, Harper began her new life in a new city, in a new job, as a newly single woman.

In the ensuing years, as Harper learned to become an effective ER physician, bringing insight and empathy to every patient encounter, she came to understand that each of us is broken—physically, emotionally, psychically. How we recognize those breaks, how we try to mend them, and where we go from there are all crucial parts of the healing process.

The Beauty in Breaking is the poignant true story of Harper’s journey toward self-healing. Each of the patients Harper writes about taught her something important about recuperation and recovery. How to let go of fear even when the future is murky: How to tell the truth when it’s simpler to overlook it. How to understand that compassion isn’t the same as justice. As she shines a light on the systemic disenfranchisement of the patients she treats as they struggle to maintain their health and dignity, Harper comes to understand the importance of allowing ourselves to make peace with the past as we draw support from the present. In this hopeful, moving, and beautiful book, she passes along the precious, necessary lessons that she has learned as a daughter, a woman, and a physician.


Click for more detail about The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray The Personal Librarian

by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray
Berkley Books (Jun 29, 2021)
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A Good Morning America Book Club Pick

Photo of Belle da Costa GreeneThe remarkable story of J. P. Morgan’s personal librarian, Belle da Costa Greene, the Black American woman who was forced to hide her true identity and pass as white to leave a lasting legacy that enriched our nation, from New York Times bestselling author Marie Benedict, and acclaimed author Victoria Christopher Murray.

In her twenties, Belle da Costa Greene is hired by J. P. Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for his newly built Pierpont Morgan Library. Belle becomes a fixture in New York City society and one of the most powerful people in the art and book world, known for her impeccable taste and shrewd negotiating for critical works as she helps create a world-class collection.

But Belle has a secret, one she must protect at all costs. She was born not Belle da Costa Greene but Belle Marion Greener. She is the daughter of Richard Greener, the first Black graduate of Harvard and a well-known advocate for equality. Belle’s complexion isn’t dark because of her alleged Portuguese heritage that lets her pass as white—her complexion is dark because she is African American.

The Personal Librarian tells the story of an extraordinary woman, famous for her intellect, style, and wit, and shares the lengths she must go to—for the protection of her family and her legacy—to preserve her carefully crafted white identity in the racist world in which she lives.




Click for more detail about She Persisted: Florence Griffith Joyner by Rita Williams-Garcia She Persisted: Florence Griffith Joyner

by Rita Williams-Garcia
Philomel Books (Jun 29, 2021)
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Inspired by the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger comes a chapter book series about women who stood up, spoke up and rose up against the odds!

In this chapter book biography by Rita Williams-Garcia, the award-winning author of One Crazy Summer, readers learn about the amazing life of three-time Olympic gold medalist Florence Griffith Joyner—and how she persisted.

Considered the fastest woman of all time, Florence Griffith Joyner, also known as Flo Jo, set two world records in 1988 that still stand today. But getting there wasn’t easy, and Flo Jo had to overcome many challenges along the way.

Complete with an introduction from Chelsea Clinton, black-and-white illustrations throughout, and a list of ways that readers can follow in Florence Griffith Joyner’s footsteps and make a difference!


Click for more detail about Filthy Animals by Brandon Taylor Filthy Animals

by Brandon Taylor
Riverhead Books (Jun 22, 2021)
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Named a Most Anticipated Book of the Year by Time, Elle, Entertainment Weekly, Cosmopolitan, O: The Oprah Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, BuzzFeed, Vulture, Thrillist, The Week, Lit Hub, The Rumpus, The Millions, and Paperback Paris

In the series of linked stories at the heart of Filthy Animals, set among young creatives in the American Midwest, a young man treads delicate emotional waters as he navigates a series of sexually fraught encounters with two dancers in an open relationship, forcing him to weigh his vulnerabilities against his loneliness. In other stories, a young woman battles with the cancers draining her body and her family; menacing undercurrents among a group of teenagers explode in violence on a winter night; a little girl tears through a house like a tornado, driving her babysitter to the brink; and couples feel out the jagged edges of connection, comfort, and cruelty.

One of the breakout literary stars of 2020, Brandon Taylor has been hailed by Roxane Gay as “a writer who wields his craft in absolutely unforgettable ways.” With Filthy Animals he renews and expands on the promise made in,Booker Prize finalist, Real Life, training his precise and unsentimental gaze on the tensions among friends and family, lovers and others. Psychologically taut and quietly devastating, Filthy Animals is a tender portrait of the fierce longing for intimacy, the lingering presence of pain, and the desire for love in a world that seems, more often than not, to withhold it.


Click for more detail about In the Heights: Finding Home by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Quiara Alegría Hudes, and Jeremy McCarter In the Heights: Finding Home

by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Quiara Alegría Hudes, and Jeremy McCarter
Random House (Jun 15, 2021)
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The eagerly awaited follow-up to the #1 New York Times bestseller Hamilton: The Revolution, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s new book gives readers an extraordinary inside look at In the Heights, his breakout Broadway debut, written with Quiara Alegr�a Hudes, soon to be a Hollywood blockbuster.

In 2008, In the Heights, a new musical from up-and-coming young artists, electrified Broadway. The show’s vibrant mix of Latin music and hip-hop captured life in Washington Heights, the Latino neighborhood in upper Manhattan. It won four Tony Awards and became an international hit, delighting audiences around the world. For the film version, director Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) brought the story home, filming its spectacular dance numbers on location in Washington Heights. That’s where Usnavi, Nina, and their neighbors chase their dreams and ask a universal question: Where do I belong?

In the Heights: Finding Home reunites Miranda with Jeremy McCarter, co-author of Hamilton: The Revolution, and Quiara Alegr�a Hudes, the Pulitzer Prize-winning librettist of the Broadway musical and screenwriter of the film. They do more than trace the making of an unlikely Broadway smash and a major motion picture: They give readers an intimate look at the decades-long creative life of In the Heights.

Like Hamilton: The Revolution, the book offers untold stories, perceptive essays, and the lyrics to Miranda’s songs—complete with his funny, heartfelt annotations. It also features newly commissioned portraits and never-before-seen photos from backstage, the movie set, and productions around the world.

This is the story of characters who search for a home—and the artists who created one.


Click for more detail about Becoming Vanessa by Vanessa Brantley-Newton Becoming Vanessa

by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers (Jun 15, 2021)
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Get ready to go back to school with this inclusive, empathetic story that will help kids new to the classroom transform from timid caterpillars into beautiful butterflies who love exactly who they are!

On Vanessa’s first day of school, her parents tell her it will be easy to make friends. Vanessa isn’t so sure. She wears her fanciest outfit so her new classmates will notice her right away. They notice, but the attention isn’t what she’d hoped for. As the day goes on, she feels more self-conscious. Her clothes are too bright, her feather boa has way too many feathers, and even her name is too hard to write.

The next day, she picks out a plain outfit, and tells her mom that her name is too long. She just wants to blend in, with a simple name like the other girls—why couldn’t her parents have named her Megan or Bella? But when her mother tells her the meaning behind her name, it gives her the confidence she needs to introduce her classmates to the real Vanessa. Perfect for readers of Alma and How She Got Her Name and The King of Kindergarten.


Click for more detail about All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake by Tiya Miles All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake

by Tiya Miles
Random House (Jun 08, 2021)
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A renowned historian traces the life of a single object handed down through three generations of Black women to craft an extraordinary testament to people who are left out of the archives.

In 1850s South Carolina, an enslaved woman named Rose faced a crisis, the imminent sale of her daughter Ashley. Thinking quickly, she packed a cotton bag with a few precious items as a token of love and to try to ensure Ashley’s survival. Soon after, the nine-year-old girl was separated from her mother and sold.

Decades later, Ashley’s granddaughter Ruth embroidered this family history on the bag in spare yet haunting language— including Rose’s wish that “It be filled with my Love always.” Ruth’s sewn words, the reason we remember Ashley’s sack today, evoke a sweeping family story of loss and of love passed down through generations. Now, in this illuminating, deeply moving new book inspired by Rose’s gift to Ashley, historian Tiya Miles carefully unearths these women’s faint presence in archival records to follow the paths of their lives—and the lives of so many women like them—to write a singular and revelatory history of the experience of slavery, and the uncertain freedom afterward, in the United States.

The search to uncover this history is part of the story itself. For where the historical record falls short of capturing Rose’s, Ashley’s, and Ruth’s full lives, Miles turns to objects and to art as equally important sources, assembling a chorus of women’s and families’ stories and critiquing the scant archives that for decades have overlooked so many. The contents of Ashley’s sack— a tattered dress, handfuls of pecans, a braid of hair, “my Love always”—are eloquent evidence of the lives these women lived. As she follows Ashley’s journey, Miles metaphorically unpacks the bag, deepening its emotional resonance and exploring the meanings and significance of everything it contained.

All That She Carried is a poignant story of resilience and of love passed down through generations of women against steep odds. It honors the creativity and fierce resourcefulness of people who preserved family ties even when official systems refused to do so, and it serves as a visionary illustration of how to reconstruct and recount their stories today.


Click for more detail about Dear Senthuran: A Black Spirit Memoir by Akwaeke Emezi Dear Senthuran: A Black Spirit Memoir

by Akwaeke Emezi
Riverhead Books (Jun 08, 2021)
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"[One] of our greatest living writers." —Shondaland

Named a Most Anticipated Book of the Year by Harper’s Bazaar, BuzzFeed, The Advocate, Lit Hub, Book Page, and Paperback Paris

A full-throated and provocative memoir in letters from the New York Times-bestselling author, "a dazzling literary talent whose works cut to the quick of the spiritual self." —Esquire

In three critically acclaimed novels, Akwaeke Emezi has introduced readers to a landscape marked by familial tensions, Igbo belief systems, and a boundless search for what it means to be free. Now, in this extraordinary memoir, the bestselling author of The Death of Vivek Oji reveals the harrowing yet resolute truths of their own life. Through candid, intimate correspondence with friends, lovers, and family, Emezi traces the unfolding of a self and the unforgettable journey of a creative spirit stepping into power in the human world. Their story weaves through transformative decisions about their gender and body, their precipitous path to success as a writer, and the turmoil of relationships on an emotional, romantic, and spiritual plane, culminating in a book that is as tender as it is brutal.

Electrifying and inspiring, animated by the same voracious intelligence that distinguishes their fiction, Dear Senthuran is a revelatory account of storytelling, self, and survival.


Click for more detail about Ain’t I a Woman? by Sojourner Truth Ain’t I a Woman?

by Sojourner Truth
Penguin Books (Jun 08, 2021)
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A collection of Sojourner Truth’s iconic words, including her famous speech at the 1851 Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio

A former slave and one of the most powerful orators of her time, Sojourner Truth fought for the equal rights of black women throughout her life. This selection of her impassioned speeches is accompanied by the words of other inspiring African-American female campaigners from the nineteenth century.

Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives—and upended them. Now Penguin brings you a new set of the acclaimed Great Ideas, a curated library of selections from the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.


Click for more detail about The Ugly Cry: A Memoir by Danielle Henderson The Ugly Cry: A Memoir

by Danielle Henderson
Viking Books (Jun 08, 2021)
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“If you fight that motherf**ker and you don’t win, you’re going to come home and fight me.” Not the advice you’d normally expect from your grandmother—but Danielle Henderson would be the first to tell you her childhood was anything but conventional.

Abandoned at ten years old by a mother who chose her drug-addicted, abusive boyfriend, Danielle was raised by grandparents who thought their child-rearing days had ended in the 1960s. She grew up Black, weird, and overwhelmingly uncool in a mostly white neighborhood in upstate New York, which created its own identity crises. Under the eye-rolling, foul-mouthed, loving tutelage of her uncompromising grandmother—and the horror movies she obsessively watched—Danielle grew into a tall, awkward, Sassy-loving teenager who wore black eyeliner as lipstick and was struggling with the aftermath of her mother’s choices. But she also learned that she had the strength and smarts to save herself, her grandmother gifting her a faith in her own capabilities that the world would not have most Black girls possess.

With humor, wit, and deep insight, Danielle shares how she grew up and grew wise—and the lessons she’s carried from those days to these. In the process, she upends our conventional understanding of family and redefines its boundaries to include the millions of people who share her story.


Click for more detail about The Talk (paperback): Conversations about Race, Love & Truth by Cheryl Willis Hudson and Wade Hudson The Talk (paperback): Conversations about Race, Love & Truth

by Cheryl Willis Hudson and Wade Hudson
Yearling (Jun 01, 2021)
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Thirty diverse, award-winning authors and illustrators invite you into their homes to witness the conversations they have with their children about race in America today in this powerful call-to-action that invites all families to be anti-racists and advocates for change.

As long as racist ideas persist, families will continue to have the difficult and necessary conversations with their young ones on the subject. In this inspiring collection, literary all-stars such as Renée Watson (Piecing Me Together), Grace Lin (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon), Meg Medina (Merci Suárez Changes Gears), Adam Gidwitz (The Inquisitor’s Tale), and many more engage young people in frank conversations about race, identity, and self-esteem. Featuring text and images filled with love, acceptance, truth, peace, and an assurance that there can be hope for a better tomorrow, The Talk is a stirring anthology and must-have resource published in partnership with Just Us Books, a Black-owned children’s publishing company that’s been in operation for over thirty years. Just Us Books continues its mission grounded in the same belief that helped launch the company: Good books make a difference. So, let’s talk.

Featured contributors: Selina Alko, Tracey Baptiste, Derrick Barnes, Natacha Bustos, Cozbi A. Cabrera, Raul Colón, Adam Gidwitz, Nikki Grimes, Rudy Gutierrez, April Harrison, Wade Hudson, Gordon C. James, Minh Lê, E. B. Lewis, Grace Lin, Torrey Maldonado, Meg Medina, Christopher Myers, Daniel Nayeri, Zeke Peña, Peter H. Reynolds, Erin K. Robinson, Traci Sorell, Shadra Strickland, Don Tate, MaryBeth Timothy, Duncan Tonatiuh, Renée Watson, Valerie Wilson Wesley, Sharon Dennis Wyeth


Click for more detail about Corduroy’s Garden by Allan Eitzen Corduroy’s Garden

by Allan Eitzen
Random House Books for Young Readers (Jun 01, 2021)
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Corduroy was first introduced to readers in 1968 and soon became a classic character. Everybody’s favorite department store bear is having further adventures, now in Step into Reading, the premier reader line!

Lisa leaves Corduroy to keep watch over her newly planted seeds. But when a puppy digs up the garden, it’s up to Corduroy to save the day! Based on the popular characters created by Don Freeman, the Corduroy easy-to-read series is ideal for independent readers.

Step 3 Readers feature engaging characters in easy-to-follow plots about popular topics; for children who are ready to read on their own.


Click for more detail about Corduroy’s Hike by Allan Eitzen Corduroy’s Hike

by Allan Eitzen
Random House Books for Young Readers (Jun 01, 2021)
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Corduroy was first introduced to readers in 1968 and soon became a classic character. Everybody’s favorite department store bear is having further adventures, now in Step into Reading, the premier reader line!

When Lisa goes on a hiking trip, Corduroy sneaks into her backpack. Lisa is surprised to find him there, but she thinks he’ll be safe as long as he stays tucked inside. Corduroy just has to take a peek outside, and when he does, he falls out! Will Lisa find him again? Based on the popular characters created by Don Freeman, the Corduroy easy-to-read series is ideal for independent readers.

Step 3 Readers feature engaging characters in easy-to-follow plots about popular topics; for children who are ready to read on their own.


Click for more detail about Marcus Makes a Movie by Kevin Hart Marcus Makes a Movie

by Kevin Hart
Crown Books for Young Readers (Jun 01, 2021)
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Stand-up comedian and Hollywood box-office hit Kevin Hart keeps the laughs coming in an illustrated middle-grade novel about a boy who has big dreams of making a blockbuster superhero film. Perfect for readers of James Patterson’s Middle School series and Lincoln Peirce’s Big Nate series.

Marcus is NOT happy to be stuck in after-school film class … until he realizes he can turn the story of the cartoon superhero he’s been drawing for years into an actual MOVIE! There’s just one problem: he has no idea what he’s doing. So he’ll need help, from his friends, his teachers, Sierra, the strong-willed classmate with creative dreams of her own, even Tyrell, the local bully who’d be a perfect movie villain if he weren’t too terrifying to talk to.

Making this movie won’t be easy. But as Marcus discovers, nothing great ever is—and if you want your dream to come true, you’ve got to put in the hustle to make it happen.

Comedy superstar Kevin Hart teams up with award-winning author Geoff Rodkey and lauded illustrator David Cooper for a hilarious, illustrated, and inspiring story about bringing your creative goals to life and never giving up, even when nothing’s going your way.


Click for more detail about Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon Instructions for Dancing

by Nicola Yoon
Delacorte Press (Jun 01, 2021)
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In this romantic page-turner from the author of Everything, Everything and The Sun is Also a Star, Evie has the power to see other people’s romantic fates—what will happen when she finally sees her own?

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. After all, even 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 everything 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’s only just met.

Falling for X is definitely not what Evie had in mind. If her visions of heartbreak have taught her anything, it’s that no one escapes love unscathed. But as she and X dance around and toward each other, Evie is forced to question all she thought she knew about life and love. In the end, is love worth the risk?


Click for more detail about Dead Dead Girls by Nekesa Afia Dead Dead Girls

by Nekesa Afia
Berkley Books (Jun 01, 2021)
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“In this terrific series opener, Afia evokes the women’s lives in all their wayward and beautiful glory, especially the abruptness with which their dreams, hopes and fears cease to exist.”- - The New York Times

The start of an exciting new historical mystery series set during the Harlem Renaissance from debut author Nekesa Afia.

Harlem, 1926. Young Black women like Louise Lloyd are ending up dead.

Following a harrowing kidnapping ordeal when she was in her teens, Louise is doing everything she can to maintain a normal life. She’s succeeding, too. She spends her days working at Maggie’s Café and her nights at the Zodiac, Harlem’s hottest speakeasy. Louise’s friends, especially her girlfriend, Rosa Maria Moreno, might say she’s running from her past and the notoriety that still stalks her, but don’t tell her that.

When a girl turns up dead in front of the café, Louise is forced to confront something she’s been trying to ignore—two other local Black girls have been murdered in the past few weeks. After an altercation with a police officer gets her arrested, Louise is given an ultimatum: She can either help solve the case or wind up in a jail cell. Louise has no choice but to investigate and soon finds herself toe-to-toe with a murderous mastermind hell-bent on taking more lives, maybe even her own….


Click for more detail about Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress by Alicia D. Williams Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress

by Alicia D. Williams
Anne Schwartz Books (Jun 01, 2021)
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Discover the inspiring story of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress and to run for president in this picture book biography from a Newbery Honor-winning author and a Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe New Talent Award-winning illustrator.

Image from Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress

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. Soon she is running for state assembly…and winning in a landslide. Three years later, she is on the campaign trail again, as the first black woman to run for Congress. Her slogan? "Fighting Shirley Chisholm—Unbought and Unbossed!" Does she win? You bet she does.

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Click for more detail about While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams aka Selena Montgomery While Justice Sleeps

by Stacey Abrams aka Selena Montgomery
Doubleday Books (May 25, 2021)
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From celebrated national leader and bestselling author Stacey Abrams, While Justice Sleeps is a gripping, complexly plotted thriller set within the halls of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Avery Keene, a brilliant young law clerk for the legendary Justice Howard Wynn, is doing her best to hold her life together—excelling in an arduous job with the court while also dealing with a troubled family. When the shocking news breaks that Justice Wynn—the cantankerous swing vote on many current high-profile cases—has slipped into a coma, Avery’s life turns upside down. She is immediately notified that Justice Wynn has left instructions for her to serve as his legal guardian and power of attorney. Plunged into an explosive role she never anticipated, Avery finds that Justice Wynn had been secretly researching one of the most controversial cases before the court—a proposed merger between an American biotech company and an Indian genetics firm, which promises to unleash breathtaking results in the medical field. She also discovers that Wynn suspected a dangerously related conspiracy that infiltrates the highest power corridors of Washington.

As political wrangling ensues in Washington to potentially replace the ailing judge whose life and survival Avery controls, she begins to unravel a carefully constructed, chess-like sequence of clues left behind by Wynn. She comes to see that Wynn had a much more personal stake in the controversial case and realizes his complex puzzle will lead her directly into harm’s way in order to find the truth. While Justice Sleeps is a cunningly crafted, sophisticated novel, layered with myriad twists and a vibrant cast of characters. Drawing on her astute inside knowledge of the court and political landscape, Stacey Abrams shows herself to be not only a force for good in politics and voter fairness but also a major new talent in suspense fiction.


Click for more detail about The Ground Breaking: An American City and Its Search for Justice by Scott Ellsworth The Ground Breaking: An American City and Its Search for Justice

by Scott Ellsworth
Dutton (May 18, 2021)
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And then they were gone.

More than one-thousand homes and businesses. Restaurants and movie theaters, churches and doctors’ offices, a hospital, a public library, a post office. Looted, burned, and bombed from the air.

Over the course of less than twenty-four hours in the spring of 1921, Tulsa’s infamous "Black Wall Street" was wiped off the map—and erased from the history books. Official records disappeared, researchers were threatened, and the worst single incident of racial violence in American history lay buried for more than fifty years. But there were some secrets that would not die.

A riveting and essential new book, The Ground Breaking not only tells the long-suppressed story of the notorious Tulsa Race Massacre. It also unearths the lost history of how the massacre was covered up, and of the courageous individuals who fought to keep the story alive. Most importantly, it recounts the ongoing archaeological and true crime saga of the search for the unmarked graves of the victims of the massacre, and of the fight to win restitution for the survivors and their families.

Both a forgotten chronicle from the nation’s past, and a story ripped from today’s headlines, The Ground Breaking is a page-turning reflection on how we, as Americans, must wrestle with the parts of our history that have been buried for far too long.


Click for more detail about The Women of Brewster Place: A Novel in Seven Stories by Gloria Naylor The Women of Brewster Place: A Novel in Seven Stories

by Gloria Naylor
Penguin Group USA (May 11, 2021)
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The National Book Award-winning novel—and contemporary classic—that launched the brilliant career of Gloria Naylor

"[A] shrewd and lyrical portrayal of many of the realities of black life … Miss Naylor bravely risks sentimentality and melodrama to write her compassion and outrage large, and she pulls it off triumphantly." —The New York Times Book Review

In her heralded first novel, Gloria Naylor weaves together the stories of seven women living in Brewster Place, a bleak-inner city sanctuary, creating a powerful, moving portrait of the strengths, struggles, and hopes of black women in America. Vulnerable and resilient, openhanded and openhearted, these women forge their lives in a place that in turn threatens and protects—a common prison and a shared home. Naylor renders both loving and painful human experiences with simple eloquence and uncommon intuition. Adapted into a 1989 ABC miniseries starring Oprah Winfrey, The Women of Brewster Place is a touching and unforgettable read.


Click for more detail about There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love: Letters from a Crisis by Tracy K. Smith and John Freeman There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love: Letters from a Crisis

by Tracy K. Smith and John Freeman
Vintage (May 11, 2021)
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This kaleidoscopic portrait of an unprecedented time brings together some of our most treasured writers today—Edwidge Danticat, Layli Long Soldier, Monica Youn, Julia Alvarez, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor—to give voice to the unthinkable grief and hopeful possibilities born in an era of revolution and change.

Now is an extraordinary time. Across the country, people are losing their loved ones, their livelihoods, their homes, and even their own lives to COVID-19. Despite the pandemic, countless protests erupted this summer over the recurring loss of Black lives. Reverberations of shock and outrage remain with us all. There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love captures and articulates all of these roiling sentiments unleashed by a profound national reckoning.

Drawing its title from a powerful letter to her son by Kirsten West Savali, the book fans out from there, offering a rich and intimate view of the change we underwent. Composed of searing letters, essays, poems, reflections, and screeds, There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love highlights the work of some of our most powerful and insightful writers who hail from across a range of backgrounds and from almost all fifty states. Among them, these writers have brought home four Pulitzers, two National Book Awards, a fistful of Whitings, and numerous citations in best American poetry, short story, and essay compilations. They are noisy with beauty, and their pieces ring louder and clearer than ever before.

Galvanizing and lyrical, this is a deeply profound anthology of writing filled with pain and beauty, warmth and intimacy. A remarkable feat of empathy, There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love offers solace in a time of swirling protest, change, and violence—reminding us of the human scale of the upheaval, and providing hope for a kinder future.


Click for more detail about Notes on Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Notes on Grief

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Knopf Publishing Group (May 11, 2021)
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Notes on Grief is an exquisite work of meditation, remembrance, and hope, written in the wake of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s beloved father’s death in the summer of 2020. As the COVID-19 pandemic raged around the world, and kept Adichie and her family members separated from one another, her father succumbed unexpectedly to complications of kidney failure.

Expanding on her original New Yorker piece, Adichie shares how this loss shook her to her core. She writes about being one of the millions of people grieving this year; about the familial and cultural dimensions of grief and also about the loneliness and anger that are unavoidable in it. With signature precision of language, and glittering, devastating detail on the page—and never without touches of rich, honest humor—Adichie weaves together her own experience of her father’s death with threads of his life story, from his remarkable survival during the Biafran war, through a long career as a statistics professor, into the days of the pandemic in which he’d stay connected with his children and grandchildren over video chat from the family home in Abba, Nigeria. In the compact format of We Should All Be Feminists and Dear Ijeawele, Adichie delivers a gem of a book—a book that fundamentally connects us to one another as it probes one of the most universal human experiences. Notes on Grief is a book for this moment—a work readers will treasure and share now more than ever—and yet will prove durable and timeless, an indispensable addition to Adichie’s canon.

"This intimate work implores, jerks us out of callousness, moves grief closer … Notes on Grief lays a path by which we might mourn our individual traumas among the aggregate suffering of this harrowing time. Our guide, Adichie, is uncloaked, full of ’wretched, roaring rage, ’ teaching us how to gather our disparate selves and navigate the still-raging pandemic. In the texture of many of these sentences you can almost feel where the writer has resisted bearing down with her refining tools—language and memory—so as to allow her emotional reality to remain splintered and sharp. Adichie is a consummate world-builder … Over the course of these 30 fragments, we witness a shift in perspective, an assurance that whatever comes next will never have been created before."
—Sarah Broom, The New York Times Book Review [front-page review]

"Notes on Grief makes visceral the experience of death and grieving. In poetic bursts of imagistic prose that mirror the fracturing of self after the death of a beloved parent, Adichie constructs a narrative of mourning — of haunting and of love. Notes on Grief becomes a work larger than its slim size, universal in the experience of the loss of a parent, and the struggle to mourn that loss."
—Hope Wabuke, NPR.org

"Elegantly spare … brutally frank . . With raw eloquence, Notes on Grief is both achingly personal and stunningly familiar to anyone who has felt the ’permanent scattering’ [of grief]. Written and published less than a year after her father’s death, Adichie’s pain on these pages is so palpable that one can almost taste its bitterness. She captures the bewildering messiness of loss in a society that requires serenity, when you’d rather just scream. Grief is impolite … Adichie’s words put welcome, authentic voice to this most universal of emotions, which is also one of the most universally avoided."
—Leslie Gray Streeter, The Washington Post

"Adichie unflinchingly gazes into the black hole of grief as through a telescope, exposing intimate moments and public convulsions while tapping her roots to channel a spectrum of emotions … Candid, elegant … The writer meets the moment."
Oprah Daily, "20 Best Books of May"

"Fierce, tender and raw … In Notes on Grief, Adichie reveals a more private self. This is a cathartic work for Adichie, a way to keep alive the spirit of her father by telling his stories. And in her writing, her father shines as a man of deep kindness and integrity, a dry wit and successful academic who was unstinting in his support of his daughter’s ambitions."
—Anderson Tepper, Los Angeles Times

"A story of loss achingly of its time … Adichie struggles not only with the shock of her unexpected loss but also with the impossibility of distance and by extension, access. She also realizes that each step toward the official recognition of [her father’s] passing will force her to accept that it has happened. I really appreciated Adichie’s discomfort with the language of grief. Books often come to you just when you need them … A book on grief is not the kind of book you want to have to give to anyone. But here we are."
—Allison Arieff, San Francisco Chronicle

"A poignant reflection… Adichie recounts her efforts to cope with her loss, to accept condolences, to carry out the inevitable rituals of death. Her Dad emerges as a wise, kind, thoughtful and understanding presence throughout Notes on Grief …The loveliest writing, however, is not about James Nwoye Adichie, but about the anguish and longing his death produces in those who suffer his absence most acutely. In death, those we love become more than we understood, more than we can ever remember alone. Adichie appreciates this power."
Carlos Lozada, The Washington Post

"Adichie’s exquisitely forthright chronicle of grief generously articulates the harrowing amplification of sorrow, helplessness, and loss during the COVID-19 pandemic … An intimate and essential illumination of a tragic time."
Booklist

"Adichie pays homage to her father’s remarkable life while observing her own surprising emotions as she moves through the messy process of bereavement … What is most memorable in this tribute is Adichie’s father’s love for his family and their enduring love for him. Adichie simply calls him "the loveliest man." The hole her father left behind began to fill with guilt, denial, loneliness, panic and eventually bottomless rage. A raw, moving account of mourning and loss, Adichie’s memoir reminds us there is no right or wrong way to grieve and that celebrating life every day is the best way to honor our loved ones."
—Sarojini Seupersad, BookPage

"Elegant, moving … An affecting paean to the author’s father, James Nwoye Adichie. The first professor of statistics in his country, James lived an eventful and sometimes fraught life. Funny and principled, he died during the pandemic—not of the virus but kidney disease. Adichie moves through some of the classic stages of grief, including no small amount of anger… Eventually, she reflects on a newfound awareness of mortality and finds a ’new urgency’ to live her life and do her work." —Kirkus [starred review]


Click for more detail about Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala Arsenic and Adobo

by Mia P. Manansala
Berkley Books (May 04, 2021)
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One of BuzzFeed’s Highly Anticipated Mystery Novels of 2021!

The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes—one that might just be killer….

When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She’s tasked with saving her Tita Rosie’s failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case.

With the cops treating her like she’s the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila’s left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longanisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block…


Click for more detail about Nine Nasty Words: English in the Gutter: Then, Now, and Forever by John McWhorter Nine Nasty Words: English in the Gutter: Then, Now, and Forever

by John McWhorter
Avery (May 04, 2021)
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Nine Nasty Words is a deeply intelligent celebration of language that teaches us how to see English in high definition and love it as it really is, right now and in its myriad incarnations to come.—The New York Times

Rollicking, salty, learned, and intensely informative, John McWhorter’s Nine Nasty Words is a grand tour through the history of the profanities we (sometimes) abhor and (sometimes) revel in (and sometimes both), peppered with cameos by everyone from Geoffrey Chaucer and Cole Porter to Tallulah Bankhead and the too-little-known singer-songwriter Lucille Bogan, still making people blush seventy-odd years after her death, God bless her. I laughed frequently and learned plenty.—Benjamin Dreyer, New York Times bestselling author of Dreyer’s English

Shakespeare’s Caliban spoke for the human race when he said ’You taught me language, and my profit on’t is, I know how to curse.’ Taboo language combines our touchiest social emotions with the poetic and metaphorical powers of language, and no one can explain these more clearly and compellingly than John McWhorter.—Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University; author of The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window Into Human Nature

Erudite and entertaining, McWhorter shows us foul language in its wonderful, fertile variety. We see how speech taboos that once applied to religion and the body now apply to groups of people—and why there should be such power (and pleasure) in transgressing them.—Aaron James, New York Times bestselling author of Assholes: A Theory

A bawdy, bodacious, and brilliant excursion through the wonderful world of profanity, filled with delicious tidbits (who knew that Edna St. Vincent Millay practiced slinging the sh*t while darning?) and linguistic amuse bouches. In other words, it’s a f***ing great read.—Ross and Kathryn Petras, New York Times bestselling authors of You’re Saying It Wrong

A lively and informative study, not to mention wonderful cocktail party material.—Kirkus Reviews

Effing delightful. A treat for every adult who used to look up swears in the dictionary (or still does).—June Casagrande, bestselling author of It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentences and Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies

Dispensing his vast linguistic expertise with the lightest and deftest of touches, John McWhorter shows brilliantly how the ’nastiest’ words can teach us about the dynamic and unruly nature of all language. Anyone interested in words (and not just the nasty ones) should read this book.—Joe Moran, author of First You Write a Sentence.

"Nine Nasty Words takes the reader round the back of the English language, only to show—with irrepressible humor and a dash of forbearance—how what we find there is central to who we are."—Rebecca Gowers, author of Horrible Words A Guide to the Misuse of English

If you want to get down and dirty in the gutter of English (and, be honest, who doesn’t?) you’d better go with a guide who knows his sh*t. McWhorter gives a jovial, expert tour of the ’bedrock swears’ from the offensive and profane to the merely ’salty, ’ not just where they came from, but how they have shifted and morphed in force, meaning, grammar and in the effect they produce.—Arika Okrent, author of In the Land of Invented Languages

Call me old-fashioned, but goshdarnit this book has an in-freaking-credible shipload of fizzy information. McWhorter’s delicate linguistic ear is put to indelicate and delectable use in this deep dive into the linguistic muck.—M.Lynne Murphy, Professor of Linguistics, University of Sussex, and author of The Prodigal Tongue

Only a kick-ass writer could wrest such erudite historical fun from language’s sh*thouse. Damn, this is one hell of a book, and this p***y will never curse the same again.—Ann Patty, author of Living with a Dead Language


Click for more detail about Many Shapes of Clay: a Story of Healing by Kenesha Sneed Many Shapes of Clay: a Story of Healing

by Kenesha Sneed
Prestel Junior (May 04, 2021)
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In this modern-day fable about grief, diversity, and family connections, a young girl discovers the joys–and pain–of the creative process.

Winner of the Bookstagang Best of 2021: Best Conversation Starter Picture Books of 2021. Longlisted for the Klaus Flugge Prize. Ezra Jack Keats Award Honoree.

Eisha lives with her mother, a ceramic artist, who helps her make a special shape out of a piece of clay. The shape reminds Eisha of her father, of the ocean, of a lemon. As Eisha goes through her neighborhood doing errands with her mother, the piece of clay hardens and then shatters into pieces when Eisha taps it.

In poignant and powerful words and pictures, Kenesha Sneed shows how Eisha learns to live with the sense of loss and of the joyful power of making something new out of what is left behind. Illustrated with Sneed’s bold colors, graphic lines, and gestural textures, the book celebrates diversity and shares a gentle message that we all have the ability to heal and create.


Click for more detail about You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience by Tarana Burke and Brené Brown You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience

by Tarana Burke and Brené Brown
Random House (Apr 27, 2021)
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Tarana Burke and Dr. Brené Brown bring together a dynamic group of Black writers, organizers, artists, academics, and cultural figures to discuss the topics the two have dedicated their lives to understanding and teaching: vulnerability and shame resilience.

Contributions by Kiese Laymon, Imani Perry, Laverne Cox, Jason Reynolds, Austin Channing Brown, and more

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY MARIE CLAIRE AND BOOKRIOT

It started as a text between two friends.

Tarana Burke, founder of the ‘me too.’ Movement, texted researcher and writer Brené Brown to see if she was free to jump on a call. Brené assumed that Tarana wanted to talk about wallpaper. They had been trading home decorating inspiration boards in their last text conversation so Brené started scrolling to find her latest Pinterest pictures when the phone rang.

But it was immediately clear to Brené that the conversation wasn’t going to be about wallpaper. Tarana’s hello was serious and she hesitated for a bit before saying, “Brené, you know your work affected me so deeply, but as a Black woman, I’ve sometimes had to feel like I have to contort myself to fit into some of your words. The core of it rings so true for me, but the application has been harder.”

Brené replied, “I’m so glad we’re talking about this. It makes sense to me. Especially in terms of vulnerability. How do you take the armor off in a country where you’re not physically or emotionally safe?”

Long pause.

“That’s why I’m calling,” said Tarana. “What do you think about working together on a book about the Black experience with vulnerability and shame resilience?”

There was no hesitation.

Burke and Brown are the perfect pair to usher in this stark, potent collection of essays on Black shame and healing. Along with the anthology contributors, they create a space to recognize and process the trauma of white supremacy, a space to be vulnerable and affirm the fullness of Black love and Black life.


Click for more detail about The Son of Mr. Suleman by Eric Jerome Dickey The Son of Mr. Suleman

by Eric Jerome Dickey
Dutton (Apr 20, 2021)
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From the AALBC.com and New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey—named one of USA Today’s 100 Black Novelists and Fiction Authors You Should Read—comes his final work: an unflinchingly timely novel about history, hearts, and family.

It’s the summer of 2019, and Professor Pi Suleman is a Black man from Memphis with a lot to endure—not only as a Black man in Trump’s America but in his hard-earned career as an adjunct professor. Pi is constantly forced to bite his tongue in the face of one of his tenured colleague’s prejudices and microaggressions. At the same time, he’s being blackmailed by a powerful professor who threatens to claim he has assaulted her, when in fact the truth is just the opposite, trapping him in a he-said-she-said with a white woman that, in this society, Pi knows he will never win.

When he meets Gemma Buckingham, a sophisticated entrepreneur who has just moved to Memphis from London to escape a deep heartbreak, things begin to look up. Though Gemma and Pi hail from separate cultures, their differences fuel a fiery and passionate connection that just may consume them both.

But Pi’s whirlwind romance is interrupted when his absentee father, a celebrated writer, passes away and Pi is called to Los Angeles to both collect his inheritance and learn about the man who never acknowledged him. With the complicated legacy of his famous father to make sense of, Gemma’s visa expiration date looming, and the threats of his colleague becoming increasingly intense, Pi must figure out who he is and what kind of man he will become in his father’s shadow.

In The Son of Mr. Suleman, Eric Jerome Dickey takes readers on a powerful journey exploring racism, colorism, life as a mixed-race person, sexual assault, microaggressions, truth and lies, cultural differences, politics, family legacies, perceptions, the impact of enslavement and Jim Crow, code-switching, the power of death, and the weight of love. It is an extraordinary story, page-turning and intense, and a book only Dickey could write.


Click for more detail about Born Ready: The True Story of a Boy Named Penelope by Jodie Patterson Born Ready: The True Story of a Boy Named Penelope

by Jodie Patterson
Crown Books for Young Readers (Apr 20, 2021)
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Jodie Patterson, activist and Chair of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation Board, shares her transgender son’s experience in this important picture book about identity and acceptance.

Penelope knows that he’s a boy. (And a ninja.) The problem is getting everyone else to realize it.

In this exuberant companion to Jodie Patterson’s adult memoir, The Bold World, Patterson shares her son Penelope’s frustrations and triumphs on his journey to share himself with the world. Penelope’s experiences show children that it always makes you stronger when you are true to yourself and who you really are.


Click for more detail about Saving American Beach: The Biography of African American Environmentalist Mavynee Betsch by Heidi Tyline King Saving American Beach: The Biography of African American Environmentalist Mavynee Betsch

by Heidi Tyline King
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (Apr 13, 2021)
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This heartfelt picture book biography, beautifully illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Ekua Holmes, tells the inspiring story of MaVynee Betsch. MaVynee was an African American opera singer who later became an environmentalist, dedicating herself to preserving a cherished legacy.

During the era of Jim Crow, MaVynee faced segregation and exclusion from most beaches in Jacksonville. In response, her grandfather purchased a beach where African American families could enjoy themselves without the reminders of their second-class citizenship. This beach became known as American Beach and attracted artists like Zora Neale Hurston and Ray Charles. It was at American Beach that MaVynee first discovered her passion for singing, launching her career as an acclaimed opera singer on an international stage. Yet, her deep love for American Beach remained unchanged.

After the Civil Rights Act desegregated public places, American Beach lost its significance and gradually fell into disrepair. However, MaVynee understood its historical importance to her family and countless others. With unwavering determination, she embarked on her second act as an activist and conservationist, devoting herself to preserving this vital piece of American history. Her efforts ultimately saved the place that had always felt like home to her.


Click for more detail about I Had a Brother Once: A Poem, a Memoir by Adam Mansbach I Had a Brother Once: A Poem, a Memoir

by Adam Mansbach
One World (Apr 13, 2021)
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A brilliant, genre-defying work—both memoir and epic poem—about the struggle for wisdom, grace, and ritual in the face of unspeakable loss

“A bruised and brave love letter from a brother right here to a brother now gone … a soaring, unblinking gaze into the meaning of life itself.”—Marlon James, author of Black Leopard, Red Wolf

my father said
david has taken his own life

Adam is in the middle of his own busy life, and approaching a career high in the form of a #1 New York Times bestselling book—when these words from his father open a chasm beneath his feet. I Had a Brother Once is the story of everything that comes after. In the shadow of David’s inexplicable death, Adam is forced to re-remember a brother he thought he knew and to reckon with a ghost, confronting his unsettled family history, his distant relationship with tradition and faith, and his desperate need to understand an event that always slides just out of his grasp. This is an expansive and deeply thoughtful poetic meditation on loss and a raw, darkly funny, human story of trying to create a ritual—of remembrance, mourning, forgiveness, and acceptance—where once there was a life.


Click for more detail about Everything Grows by Raffi Cavoukian Everything Grows

by Raffi Cavoukian
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers (Apr 06, 2021)
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Raffi’s beloved song celebrating the earth is available for the first time in a board book edition that readers will treasure as they grow. From children to animals, from leaves on a tree to fish in the sea, everything grows. Raffi’s popular and catchy song encourages kids to take in the world around them and appreciate the way everything is growing together. Lush illustrations by Nina Mata show families interacting with a community garden and marveling at the interconnectedness of the earth in this timely and timeless song and story. "The addition of Raffi’s voice to the American political landscape is actually invaluable — the singer-songwriter is the premier emissary for children and his positions carry with them an incredible weight."—New York Magazine


Click for more detail about A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance by Hanif Abdurraqib A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance

by Hanif Abdurraqib
Random House (Mar 30, 2021)
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A stirring meditation on Black performance in America from the New York Times bestselling author of Go Ahead in the Rain

“Whether heralding unsung entertainers or reexamining legends, Hanif Abdurraqib weaves together gorgeous essays that reveal the resilience, heartbreak, and joy within Black performance. I read this book breathlessly.”—Brit Bennett, author of The Vanishing Half

At the March on Washington in 1963, Josephine Baker was fifty-seven years old, well beyond her most prolific days. But in her speech she was in a mood to consider her life, her legacy, her departure from the country she was now triumphantly returning to. “I was a devil in other countries, and I was a little devil in America, too,” she told the crowd. Inspired by these few words, Hanif Abdurraqib has written a profound and lasting reflection on how Black performance is inextricably woven into the fabric of American culture. Each moment in every performance he examines—whether it’s the twenty-seven seconds in “Gimme Shelter” in which Merry Clayton wails the words “rape, murder,” a schoolyard fistfight, a dance marathon, or the instant in a game of spades right after the cards are dealt—has layers of resonance in Black and white cultures, the politics of American empire, and Abdurraqib’s own personal history of love, grief, and performance.

Abdurraqib writes prose brimming with jubilation and pain, infused with the lyricism and rhythm of the musicians he loves. With care and generosity, he explains the poignancy of performances big and small, each one feeling intensely familiar and vital, both timeless and desperately urgent. Filled with sharp insight, humor, and heart, A Little Devil in America exalts the Black performance that unfolds in specific moments in time and space—from midcentury Paris to the moon, and back down again to a cramped living room in Columbus, Ohio.


Click for more detail about The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country by Amanda Gorman The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country

by Amanda Gorman
Viking Books for Young Readers (Mar 30, 2021)
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A special edition of the poem The Hill We Climb, read at the inauguration of the 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden, on January 20, 2021

On January 20, 2021, Amanda Gorman became the sixth and youngest poet, at age twenty-two, to deliver a poetry reading at a presidential inauguration. Her inaugural poem, The Hill We Climb, is now available to cherish in this special edition.

Amanda Gorman’s powerful and historic poem “The Hill We Climb,” read at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, is now available as a collectible gift edition.

“Stunning.” —CNN
“Dynamic.” —NPR
“Deeply rousing and uplifting.” —Vogue

Taking the stage after the 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden, Gorman captivated the nation and brought hope to viewers around the globe. Her poem “The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country” can now be cherished in this special gift edition. Including an enduring foreword by Oprah Winfrey, this keepsake celebrates the promise of America and affirms the power of poetry.


Click for more detail about Who Was Jackie Robinson?: A Who Was? Board Book by Lisbeth Kaiser Who Was Jackie Robinson?: A Who Was? Board Book

by Lisbeth Kaiser
Rise X Penguin Workshop (Mar 30, 2021)
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The latest addition to the Who HQ program: board book biographies of relevant and important figures, created specifically for the preschool audience The #1 New York Times Bestselling Who Was? series expands into the board book space, bringing age-appropriate biographies of influential figures to readers ages 2-4. The chronology and themes of Jackie Robinson’s meaningful life are presented in a masterfully succinct text, with just a few sentences per page. The fresh, stylized illustrations are sure to captivate young readers and adults alike. With a read-aloud biographical summary in the back, this age-appropriate introduction honors and shares the life and work of one of the most influential professional baseball players of our time. WHO WAS? BOARD BOOKS bring inspiring biographies to the youngest readers in an accessible and memorable way.


Click for more detail about How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue How Beautiful We Were

by Imbolo Mbue
Random House (Mar 09, 2021)
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From the celebrated author of the New York Times bestseller Behold the Dreamers comes a sweeping, wrenching story about the collision of a small African village and an American oil company.

"A novel with the richness and power of a great contemporary fable, and a heroine for our time."—Sigrid Nunez, author of The Friend, winner of the National Book Award

We should have known the end was near. So begins Imbolo Mbue’s powerful second novel, How Beautiful We Were. Set in the fictional African village of Kosawa, it tells of a people living in fear amid environmental degradation wrought by an American oil company. Pipeline spills have rendered farmlands infertile. Children are dying from drinking toxic water. Promises of cleanup and financial reparations to the villagers are made—and ignored. The country’s government, led by a brazen dictator, exists to serve its own interests. Left with few choices, the people of Kosawa decide to fight back. Their struggle will last for decades and come at a steep price.

Told from the perspective of a generation of children and the family of a girl named Thula who grows up to become a revolutionary, How Beautiful We Were is a masterful exploration of what happens when the reckless drive for profit, coupled with the ghost of colonialism, comes up against one community’s determination to hold on to its ancestral land and a young woman’s willingness to sacrifice everything for the sake of her people’s freedom.


Click for more detail about Black Girl, Call Home by Jasmine Mans Black Girl, Call Home

by Jasmine Mans
Berkley Books (Mar 09, 2021)
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From spoken word poet Jasmine Mans comes an unforgettable poetry collection about race, feminism, and queer identity.

With echoes of Gwendolyn Brooks and Sonia Sanchez, Mans writes to call herself—and us—home. Each poem explores what it means to be a daughter of Newark, and America—and the painful, joyous path to adulthood as a young, queer Black woman.

Black Girl, Call Home is a love letter to the wandering Black girl and a vital companion to any woman on a journey to find truth, belonging, and healing.

“Each poem is a meditation on a moment, a memory, and a history that guides the reader through the experience of Black womanhood in a way I’ve not experienced before. These poems both explode and glimmer on the page. They demand to be read, to be shared, to be revisited time and time again.”
Clint Smith, #1 New York Times bestselling author of How the Word Is Passed

“You are carrying in your hands a Black woman’s heart.”
Jericho Brown, author of Pulitzer Prize winner The Tradition


Click for more detail about Becoming Adapted for Young Readers by Michelle Obama Becoming Adapted for Young Readers

by Michelle Obama
Delacorte Press (Mar 02, 2021)
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - Michelle Obama’s worldwide bestselling memoir, Becoming, is now adapted for young readers.

Michelle Robinson was born on the South Side of Chicago. From her modest beginnings, she would become Michelle Obama, the inspiring and powerful First Lady of the United States, when her husband, Barack Obama, was elected the forty-fourth president. They would be the first Black First Family in the White House and serve the country for two terms.

Growing up, Michelle and her older brother, Craig, shared a bedroom in their family’s upstairs apartment in her great-aunt’s house. Her parents, Fraser and Marian, poured their love and energy into their children. Michelle’s beloved dad taught his kids to work hard, keep their word, and remember to laugh. Her mom showed them how to think for themselves, use their voice, and be unafraid.

But life soon took her far from home. With determination, carefully made plans, and the desire to achieve, Michelle was eager to expand the sphere of her life from her schooling in Chicago. She went to Princeton University, where she learned what it felt like to be the only Black woman in the room. She then went to Harvard Law School, and after graduating returned to Chicago and became a high-powered lawyer. Her plans changed, however, when she met and fell in love with Barack Obama.

From her early years of marriage, and the struggle to balance being a working woman, a wife, and the mom of two daughters, Michelle Obama details the shift she made to political life and what her family endured as a result of her husband’s fast-moving political career and campaign for the presidency. She shares the glamour of ball gowns and world travel, and the difficulties of comforting families after tragedies. She managed to be there for her daughters’ swim competitions and attend plays at their schools without catching the spotlight, while defining and championing numerous initiatives, especially those geared toward kids, during her time as First Lady.

Most important, this volume for young people is an honest and fascinating account of Michelle Obama’s life led by example. She shares her views on how all young people can help themselves as well as help others, no matter their status in life. She asks readers to realize that no one is perfect, and that the process of becoming is what matters, as finding yourself is ever evolving. In telling her story with boldness, she asks young readers: Who are you, and what do you want to become?


Click for more detail about Home Is Not a Country by Safia Elhillo Home Is Not a Country

by Safia Elhillo
Make Me a World (Mar 02, 2021)
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“Nothing short of magic.” —Elizabeth Acevedo, New York Times bestselling author of The Poet X

From the acclaimed poet featured on Forbes Africa’s “30 Under 30” list, this powerful novel-in-verse captures one girl, caught between cultures, on an unexpected journey to face the ephemeral girl she might have been. Woven through with moments of lyrical beauty, this is a tender meditation on family, belonging, and home.

my mother meant to name me for her favorite flower
its sweetness garlands made for pretty girls
i imagine her yasmeen bright & alive
& i ache to have been born her instead

Nima wishes she were someone else. She doesn’t feel understood by her mother, who grew up in a different land. She doesn’t feel accepted in her suburban town; yet somehow, she isn’t different enough to belong elsewhere. Her best friend, Haitham, is the only person with whom she can truly be herself. Until she can’t, and suddenly her only refuge is gone.

As the ground is pulled out from under her, Nima must grapple with the phantom of a life not chosen—the name her parents meant to give her at birth—Yasmeen. But that other name, that other girl, might be more real than Nima knows. And the life Nima wishes were someone else’s… is one she will need to fight for with a fierceness she never knew she possessed.


Click for more detail about Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual by Luvvie Ajayi Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual

by Luvvie Ajayi
Penguin Life (Mar 02, 2021)
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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

From the New York Times bestselling author of I’m Judging You, a hilarious and transformational book about how to tackle fear—that everlasting hater—and audaciously step into lives, careers, and legacies that go beyond even our wildest dreams

Luvvie Ajayi Jones is known for her trademark wit, warmth, and perpetual truth-telling. But even she’s been challenged by the enemy of progress known as fear. She was once afraid to call herself a writer, and nearly skipped out on doing a TED talk that changed her life because of imposter syndrome. As she shares in Professional Troublemaker, she’s not alone.

We’re all afraid. We’re afraid of asking for what we want because we’re afraid of hearing no. We’re afraid of being different, of being too much or not enough. We’re afraid of leaving behind the known for the unknown. But in order to do the things that will truly, meaningfully change our lives, we have to become professional troublemakers: people who are committed to not letting fear talk them out of the things they need to do or say to live free.

With humor and honesty, and guided by the influence of her professional troublemaking Nigerian grandmother, Funmilayo Faloyin, Luvvie walks us through what we must get right within ourselves before we can do the things that scare us; how to use our voice for a greater good; and how to put movement to the voice we’ve been silencing—because truth-telling is a muscle.

The point is not to be fearless, but to know we are afraid and charge forward regardless. It is to recognize that the things we must do are more significant than our fears. This book is about how to live boldly in spite of all the reasons we have to cower. Let’s go!


Click for more detail about The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré The Girl with the Louding Voice

by Abi Daré
Dutton (Feb 23, 2021)
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AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A READ WITH JENNA TODAY SHOW BOOK CLUB PICK!

"A courageous story."—The New York Times

"A celebration of girls who dare to dream."—Imbolo Mbue, author of Behold the Dreamers (Oprah’s Book Club pick)

Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2020 by The New York Times, Marie Claire, Vogue, Essence, PopSugar, Daily Mail, Electric Literature, Red Magazine, Stylist, Daily Kos, Library Journal, The Every Girl, and Read It Forward!

A powerful, emotional debut novel told in the unforgettable voice of a young Nigerian woman who is trapped in a life of servitude but determined to fight for her dreams and choose her own future.

Adunni is a fourteen-year-old Nigerian girl who knows what she wants: an education. This, her mother has told her, is the only way to get a "louding voice"—the ability to speak for herself and decide her own future. But instead, Adunni’s father sells her to be the third wife of a local man who is eager for her to bear him a son and heir.

When Adunni runs away to the city, hoping to make a better life, she finds that the only other option before her is servitude to a wealthy family. As a yielding daughter, a subservient wife, and a powerless slave, Adunni is told, by words and deeds, that she is nothing.

But while misfortunes might muffle her voice for a time, they cannot mute it. And when she realizes that she must stand up not only for herself, but for other girls, for the ones who came before her and were lost, and for the next girls, who will inevitably follow; she finds the resolve to speak, however she can—in a whisper, in song, in broken English—until she is heard.


Click for more detail about J.D. and the Great Barber Battle by J. Dillard J.D. and the Great Barber Battle

by J. Dillard
Kokila (Feb 23, 2021)
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Eight-year-old J.D. turns a tragic home haircut into a thriving barber business in this hilarious new illustrated chapter book series

J.D. has a big problem—it’s the night before the start of third grade and his mom has just given him his first and worst home haircut. When the steady stream of insults from the entire student body of Douglass Elementary becomes too much for J.D., he takes matters into his own hands and discovers that, unlike his mom, he’s a genius with the clippers. His work makes him the talk of the town and brings him enough hair business to open a barbershop from his bedroom. But when Henry Jr., the owner of the only official local barbershop, realizes he’s losing clients to J.D., he tries to shut him down for good. How do you find out who’s the best barber in all of Meridian, Mississippi? With a GREAT BARBER BATTLE!

From the hilarious and creative mind of J. Dillard, an entrepreneur, public speaker, and personal barber, comes a new chapter book series with characters that are easy to fall for and nearly impossible to forget. Akeem S. Roberts’ lively illustrations make this series a must-buy for reluctant readers.

2021 New York Public Library Best Books
2021 Chicago Public Library Best Books
2021 School Library Journal Best Books
2022-2023 Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List
2022 NCTE Charlotte Huck Award Honor


Click for more detail about Unsung: Unheralded Narratives of American Slavery & Abolition by Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Unsung: Unheralded Narratives of American Slavery & Abolition

by Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Penguin Group USA (Feb 16, 2021)
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An new historical anthology from transatlantic slavery to the Reconstruction curated by the Schomburg Center, that makes the case for focusing on the histories of Black people as agents and architects of their own lives and ultimate liberation, with a foreword by Kevin Young

This is the first Penguin Classics anthology published in partnership with the Schomburg Center, a world-renowned cultural institution documenting black life in America and worldwide. A historic branch of NYPL located in Harlem, the Schomburg holds one of the world’s premiere collections of slavery material within the Lapidus Center for Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery. Unsung will place well-known documents by abolitionists alongside lesser-known life stories and overlooked or previously uncelebrated accounts of the everyday lives and activism that were central in the slavery era, but that are mostly excised from today’s master accounts. Unsung will also highlight related titles from founder Arturo Schomburg’s initial collection: rare histories and first-person narratives about slavery that assisted his generation in understanding the roots of their contemporary social struggles. Unsung will draw from the Schomburg’s rich holdings in order to lead a dynamic discussion of slavery, rebellion, resistance, and anti-slavery protest in the United States.


Click for more detail about The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song

by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Penguin Press (Feb 16, 2021)
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The instant New York Times bestseller and companion book to the PBS series.

"Absolutely brilliant … A necessary and moving work." —Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., author of Begin Again

"Engaging… . In Gates’s telling, the Black church shines bright even as the nation itself moves uncertainly through the gloaming, seeking justice on earth—as it is in heaven." —Jon Meacham, New York Times Book Review

From the New York Times bestselling author of Stony the Road and one of our most important voices on the African American experience comes a powerful new history of the Black church as a foundation of Black life and a driving force in the larger freedom struggle in America.

For the young Henry Louis Gates, Jr., growing up in a small, residentially segregated West Virginia town, the church was a center of gravity—an intimate place where voices rose up in song and neighbors gathered to celebrate life’s blessings and offer comfort amid its trials and tribulations. In this tender and expansive reckoning with the meaning of the Black Church in America, Gates takes us on a journey spanning more than five centuries, from the intersection of Christianity and the transatlantic slave trade to today’s political landscape. At road’s end, and after Gates’s distinctive meditation on the churches of his childhood, we emerge with a new understanding of the importance of African American religion to the larger national narrative—as a center of resistance to slavery and white supremacy, as a magnet for political mobilization, as an incubator of musical and oratorical talent that would transform the culture, and as a crucible for working through the Black community’s most critical personal and social issues.

In a country that has historically afforded its citizens from the African diaspora tragically few safe spaces, the Black Church has always been more than a sanctuary. This fact was never lost on white supremacists: from the earliest days of slavery, when enslaved people were allowed to worship at all, their meetinghouses were subject to surveillance and destruction. Long after slavery’s formal eradication, church burnings and bombings by anti-Black racists continued, a hallmark of the violent effort to suppress the African American struggle for equality. The past often isn’t even past—Dylann Roof committed his slaughter in the Mother Emanuel AME Church 193 years after it was first burned down by white citizens of Charleston, South Carolina, following a thwarted slave rebellion.

But as Gates brilliantly shows, the Black church has never been only one thing. Its story lies at the heart of the Black political struggle, and it has produced many of the Black community’s most notable leaders. At the same time, some churches and denominations have eschewed political engagement and exemplified practices of exclusion and intolerance that have caused polarization and pain. Those tensions remain today, as a rising generation demands freedom and dignity for all within and beyond their communities, regardless of race, sex, or gender. Still, as a source of faith and refuge, spiritual sustenance and struggle against society’s darkest forces, the Black Church has been central, as this enthralling history makes vividly clear.


Click for more detail about The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together

by Heather McGhee
One World (Feb 16, 2021)
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Heather McGhee’s specialty is the American economy—and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. From the financial crisis to rising student debt to collapsing public infrastructure, she found a common root problem: racism. But not just in the most obvious indignities for people of color. Racism has costs for white people, too. It is the common denominator of our most vexing public problems, the core dysfunction of our democracy and constitutive of the spiritual and moral crises that grip us all. But how did this happen? And is there a way out?

McGhee embarks on a deeply personal journey across the country from Maine to Mississippi to California, tallying what we lose when we buy into the zero-sum paradigm—the idea that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others. Along the way, she meets white people who confide in her about losing their homes, their dreams, and their shot at better jobs to the toxic mix of American racism and greed. This is the story of how public goods in this country—from parks and pools to functioning schools—have become private luxuries; of how unions collapsed, wages stagnated, and inequality increased; and of how this country, unique among the world’s advanced economies, has thwarted universal healthcare.

But in unlikely places of worship and work, McGhee finds proof of what she calls the Solidarity Dividend: gains that come when people come together across race, to accomplish what we simply can’t do on our own.

The Sum of Us is a brilliant analysis of how we arrived here: divided and self-destructing, materially rich but spiritually starved and vastly unequal. McGhee marshals economic and sociological research to paint an irrefutable story of racism’s costs, but at the heart of the book are the humble stories of people yearning to be part of a better America, including white supremacy’s collateral victims: white people themselves. With startling empathy, this heartfelt message from a Black woman to a multiracial America leaves us with a new vision for a future in which we finally realize that life can be more than a zero-sum game.


Click for more detail about Milo Imagines the World by Matt De La Peña Milo Imagines the World

by Matt De La Peña
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (Feb 02, 2021)
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The team behind the Newbery Medal winner and Caldecott Honor book Last Stop on Market Street and the award-winning New York Times bestseller Carmela Full of Wishes once again delivers a poignant and timely picture book that’s sure to become an instant classic.

Milo is on a long subway ride with his older sister. To pass the time, he studies the faces around him and makes pictures of their lives. There’s the whiskered man with the crossword puzzle; Milo imagines him playing solitaire in a cluttered apartment full of pets. There’s the wedding-dressed woman with a little dog peeking out of her handbag; Milo imagines her in a grand cathedral ceremony. And then there’s the boy in the suit with the bright white sneakers; Milo imagines him arriving home to a castle with a drawbridge and a butler. But when the boy in the suit gets off on the same stop as Milo—walking the same path, going to the exact same place—Milo realizes that you can’t really know anyone just by looking at them.


Click for more detail about The Spirit of Music: The Lesson Continues by Victor L. Wooten The Spirit of Music: The Lesson Continues

by Victor L. Wooten
Vintage (Feb 02, 2021)
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Grammy Award winner Victor Wooten’s inspiring parable of the importance of music and the threats that it faces in today’s world.

We may not realize it as we listen to the soundtrack of our lives through tiny earbuds, but music and all that it encompasses is disappearing all around us. In this fable-like story three musicians from around the world are mysteriously summoned to Nashville, the Music City, to join together with Victor to do battle against the “Phasers,” whose blinking “music-cancelling” headphones silence and destroy all musical sound. Only by coming together, connecting, and making the joyful sounds of immediate, “live” music can the world be restored to the power and spirit of music.


Click for more detail about Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019

by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain
One World (Feb 02, 2021)
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A chorus of extraordinary voices comes together to tell one of history’s great epics: the four-hundred-year journey of African Americans from 1619 to the present—edited by Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist, and Keisha N. Blain, author of Set the World on Fire.

The story begins in 1619—a year before the Mayflower—when the White Lion disgorges “some 20-and-odd Negroes” onto the shores of Virginia, inaugurating the African presence in what would become the United States. It takes us to the present, when African Americans, descendants of those on the White Lion and a thousand other routes to this country, continue a journey defined by inhuman oppression, visionary struggles, stunning achievements, and millions of ordinary lives passing through extraordinary history.

Four Hundred Souls is a unique one-volume “community” history of African Americans. The editors, Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, have assembled ninety brilliant writers, each of whom takes on a five-year period of that four-hundred-year span. The writers explore their periods through a variety of techniques: historical essays, short stories, personal vignettes, and fiery polemics. They approach history from various perspectives: through the eyes of towering historical icons or the untold stories of ordinary people; through places, laws, and objects. While themes of resistance and struggle, of hope and reinvention, course through the book, this collection of diverse pieces from ninety different minds, reflecting ninety different perspectives, fundamentally deconstructs the idea that Africans in America are a monolith—instead it unlocks the startling range of experiences and ideas that have always existed within the community of Blackness.

This is a history that illuminates our past and gives us new ways of thinking about our future, written by the most vital and essential voices of our present.


Click for more detail about No Heaven for Good Boys by Keisha Bush No Heaven for Good Boys

by Keisha Bush
Random House (Jan 26, 2021)
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“An extraordinary literary debut, as mesmerizing as it is heartbreaking … Bush is an amazing storyteller, by turns harrowing and tender, and no matter how difficult the journey, she never lets us lose sight of the two young cousins who are the beating hopeful loving heart of this triumphant must-read novel.”—Junot Díaz

Six-year-old Ibrahimah loves snatching pastries from his mother’s kitchen, harvesting string beans with his father, and searching for sea glass with his sisters. But when he is approached in his rural village one day by Marabout Ahmed, a seemingly kind stranger and highly regarded teacher, the tides of his life turn forever. Ibrahimah is sent to the capital city of Dakar to join his cousin Étienne in studying the Koran under Marabout Ahmed for a year, but instead of the days of learning that Ibrahimah’s parents imagine, the young boys, called Talibé, are forced to beg in the streets in order to line their teacher’s pockets.

To make it back home, Étienne and Ibrahimah must help each other survive both the dangers posed by their Marabout, and the darker sides of Dakar: threats of black-market organ traders, rival packs of Talibé, and mounting student protest on the streets. Drawn from real incidents and transporting readers between rural and urban Senegal, No Heaven for Good Boys is a tale of hope, resilience, and the affirming power of love.


Click for more detail about The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History by David F. Walker The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History

by David F. Walker
Ten Speed Press (Jan 19, 2021)
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A bold and fascinating graphic novel history of the revolutionary Black Panther Party.

Founded in Oakland, California, in 1966, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was a radical political organization that stood in defiant contrast to the mainstream civil rights movement. This gripping illustrated history explores the impact and significance of the Panthers, from their social, educational, and healthcare programs that were designed to uplift the Black community to their battle against police brutality through citizen patrols and frequent clashes with the FBI, which targeted the Party from its outset.

Using dramatic comic-book-style retellings and illustrated profiles of key figures, The Black Panther Party captures the major events, people, and actions of the party, as well as their cultural and political influence and enduring legacy.


Click for more detail about Chlorine Sky by Mahogany L. Browne Chlorine Sky

by Mahogany L. Browne
Crown Books for Young Readers (Jan 12, 2021)
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A novel-in-verse about a young girl coming-of-age and stepping out of the shadow of her former best friend. Perfect for readers of Elizabeth Acevedo and Nikki Grimes.

Mahogany L. Browne’s debut YA ia an absolute masterpiece. It will leave you breathless. —Elizabeth Acevedo, New York Times bestselling author of The Poet X

She looks me hard in my eyes
& my knees lock into tree trunks
My eyes don’t dance like my heartbeat racing
They stare straight back hot daggers.
I remember things will never be the same.
I remember things.

With gritty and heartbreaking honesty, Mahogany L. Browne delivers a novel-in-verse about broken promises, fast rumors, and when growing up means growing apart from your best friend.


Click for more detail about The Beautiful Struggle (Adapted for Young Adults) by Ta-Nehisi Coates The Beautiful Struggle (Adapted for Young Adults)

by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Delacorte Press (Jan 12, 2021)
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Adapted from the adult memoir by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Water Dancer and Between the World and Me, this father-son story explores how boys become men, and quite specifically, how Ta-Nehisi Coates became Ta-Nehisi Coates.

As a child, Ta-Nehisi Coates was seen by his father, Paul, as too sensitive and lacking focus. Paul Coates was a Vietnam vet who’d been part of the Black Panthers and was dedicated to reading and publishing the history of African civilization. When it came to his sons, he was committed to raising proud Black men equipped to deal with a racist society, during a turbulent period in the collapsing city of Baltimore where they lived.

Coates details with candor the challenges of dealing with his tough-love father, the influence of his mother, and the dynamics of his extended family, including his brother “Big Bill,” who was on a very different path than Ta-Nehisi. Coates also tells of his struggles at school and with girls, making this a timely story to which many readers will relate.


Click for more detail about Cool Cuts by Mechal Renee Roe Cool Cuts

by Mechal Renee Roe
Doubleday Books for Young Readers (Jan 05, 2021)
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An illustrated, joyful celebration of African-American boys’ hairstyles


Click for more detail about The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr. The Prophets

by Robert Jones, Jr.
G.P. Putnam’s Sons (Jan 05, 2021)
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  • #1 Indie Next Pick
  • The New York Times Book Review’s Books to Watch for in January
  • The Washington Post’s 10 Books to Read in January
  • TIME’s 10 New Books You Should Read in January
  • O, the Oprah Magazine’s 32 LGBTQ Books That Will Change the Literary Landscape in 2021
  • Good Morning America’s Best Books to Read this January
  • CNN’s Best Books of January
  • Harper’s Bazaar’s Winter’s Best New Releases
  • BuzzFeed’s Most Anticipated Historical Fiction of 2021
  • PopSugar’s Best Books of January
  • Lit Hub’s Most Anticipated Books of 2021
  • Electric Literature’s Most Anticipated Debuts of 2021
  • The Millions’ Most Anticipated Books of 2021
  • Debutiful’s Best Debuts of January
  • Lambda Literary’s Most Anticipated LGBTQ Books of January
  • LGBTQ Read’s Most Anticipated LGBTQIAP Fiction of 2021 Picks
  • Kirkus Reviews’ Most Anticipated Books of the Fall

Instant New York Times Bestseller
May this book cast its spell on all of us, restore to us some memory of our most warrior and softest selves. —The New York Times Book Review
“A new kind of epic…A grand achievement…While The Prophets’ dreamy realism recalls the work of Toni Morrison…its penetrating focus on social dynamics stands out more singularly.” —Entertainment Weekly

A singular and stunning debut novel about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, the refuge they find in each other, and a betrayal that threatens their existence.

Isaiah was Samuel’s and Samuel was Isaiah’s. That was the way it was since the beginning, and the way it was to be until the end. In the barn they tended to the animals, but also to each other, transforming the hollowed-out shed into a place of human refuge, a source of intimacy and hope in a world ruled by vicious masters. But when an older man—a fellow slave—seeks to gain favor by preaching the master’s gospel on the plantation, the enslaved begin to turn on their own. Isaiah and Samuel’s love, which was once so simple, is seen as sinful and a clear danger to the plantation’s harmony.

With a lyricism reminiscent of Toni Morrison, Robert Jones, Jr., fiercely summons the voices of slaver and enslaved alike, from Isaiah and Samuel to the calculating slave master to the long line of women that surround them, women who have carried the soul of the plantation on their shoulders. As tensions build and the weight of centuries—of ancestors and future generations to come—culminates in a climactic reckoning, The Prophets masterfully reveals the pain and suffering of inheritance, but is also shot through with hope, beauty, and truth, portraying the enormous, heroic power of love.


Click for more detail about C Is for Country by Lil Nas X C Is for Country

by Lil Nas X
Random House Books for Young Readers (Jan 05, 2021)
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New York Times Bestseller — It’s time to saddle up! Lil Nas X, the chart-topping music icon and internet sensation behind the hit single "Old Town Road," has crafted an empowering alphabet adventure that shows off his signature “S is for Swagger” and “X is for Extra” energy in a kid-friendly picture book that is one of a kind—just like him!

A is for Adventure. Every day is a brand-new start!
B is for Boots—whether they’re big or small, short or tall.
And C is for Country.

Join superstar Lil Nas X and Panini the pony on a fabulous journey through the alphabet from sunup to sundown. Featuring bold, bright art from Theodore Taylor III, kids will experience wide-open pastures, farm animals, guitar music, cowboy hats, and all things country in this debut picture book that’s perfect for music lovers learning their ABCs and for anyone who loves Nas’s unique genre-blending style and his iconic red-carpet looks. (After all, “F is for feathers. And fringe. And fake fur.”)


Click for more detail about Sprouting Wings: The True Story of James Herman Banning, the First African American Pilot to Fly Across the United States by Louisa Jaggar and Shari Becker Sprouting Wings: The True Story of James Herman Banning, the First African American Pilot to Fly Across the United States

by Louisa Jaggar and Shari Becker
Crown Books for Young Readers (Jan 05, 2021)
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The inspirational and true story of James Herman Banning, the first African American pilot to fly across the country, comes to life in this picture book biography perfect for fans of Hidden Figures and Little Leaders. Includes art from a Coretta Scott King award-winning illustrator.

James Herman Banning always dreamed of touching the sky. But how could a farm boy from Oklahoma find a plane? And how would he learn to fly it? None of the other pilots looked like him.

In a journey that would span 3,300 miles, take twenty-one days, and inspire a nation, James Herman Banning proved that you can’t put barriers on dreams. Louisa Jaggar incorporates over seven years of research, including Banning’s own writings and an interview with the aviator’s great-nephew. She teams up with cowriter Share Becker and award-winning illustrator Floyd Cooper to capture Banning’s historic flight across the United States.


Click for more detail about She Persisted: Harriet Tubman by Andrea Davis Pinkney She Persisted: Harriet Tubman

by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Philomel Books (Jan 05, 2021)
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Inspired by the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger comes a chapter book series about women who stood up, spoke up and rose up against the odds!

Born enslaved, Harriet Tubman rose up to become one of the most successful, determined and well-known conductors of the Underground Railroad. With her family’s love planted firmly in her heart, Harriet looked to the North Star for guidance—and its light helped guide her way out of slavery. Her courage made it possible for her to help others reach freedom too.

In this chapter book biography by bestselling and award-winning author Andrea Davis Pinkney, readers learn about the amazing life of Harriet Tubman—and how she persisted. Complete with an introduction from Chelsea Clinton!

Praise for She Persisted: Harriet Tubman

* This chapter-book biography humanizes [Tubman] and brings her to life … Pinkney and Flint have created a standout series opener. —Kirkus Reviews, *STARRED REVIEW*

The story-like text moves along at a brisk pace, relating anecdotes that will appeal to young readers … and the simple line drawings that appear every few pages add nuance. —Booklist

This engaging biography is a quick but informative read and well-matched for the intended audience. —School Library Journal


Click for more detail about What Is the Civil Rights Movement? by Sherri L. Smith What Is the Civil Rights Movement?

by Sherri L. Smith
Penguin Workshop (Dec 29, 2020)
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Relive the moments when African Americans fought for equal rights, and made history.

Even though slavery had ended in the 1860s, African Americans were still suffering under the weight of segregation a hundred years later. They couldn’t go to the same schools, eat at the same restaurants, or even use the same bathrooms as white people. But by the 1950s, black people refused to remain second-class citizens and were willing to risk their lives to make a change.

Author Sherri L. Smith brings to life momentous events through the words and stories of people who were on the frontlines of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

This book also features the fun black-and-white illustrations and engaging 16-page photo insert that readers have come love about the What Was? series!


Click for more detail about Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Movie Tie-In): A Play by August Wilson Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Movie Tie-In): A Play

by August Wilson
Plume (Dec 22, 2020)
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NOW A NETFLIX FILM STARRING VIOLA DAVIS AND CHADWICK BOSEMAN

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Fences and The Piano Lesson comes the extraordinary Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom—winner of the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play.

The time is 1927. The place is a run-down recording studio in Chicago. Ma Rainey, the legendary blues singer, is due to arrive with her entourage to cut new sides of old favorites. Waiting for her are her Black musician sidemen, the white owner of the record company, and her white manager. What goes down in the session to come is more than music. It is a riveting portrayal of black rage, of racism, of the self-hate that racism breeds, and of racial exploitation.


Click for more detail about Hands Up! by Breanna J. McDaniel Hands Up!

by Breanna J. McDaniel
Puffin Books (Dec 15, 2020)
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This triumphant picture book celebrates Black joy by reclaiming a charged phrase and showing readers how resistance can be part of their everyday lives.

A young Black girl lifts her baby hands up to greet the sun, reaches her hands up for a book on a high shelf, and raises her hands up in praise at a church service. She stretches her hands up high like a plane’s wings and whizzes down a hill so fast on her bike with her hands way up. As she grows, she lives through everyday moments of joy, love, and sadness. And when she gets a little older, she joins together with her family and her community in a protest march, where they lift their hands up together in resistance and strength.


Click for more detail about Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.?: A Who Was? Board Book by Lisbeth Kaiser Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.?: A Who Was? Board Book

by Lisbeth Kaiser
Rise X Penguin Workshop (Dec 08, 2020)
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Designed specifically for preschool comprehension, a board book introduction to the influential civil rights activist and speaker chronicles his early years, religious leadership and history-shaping work to promote equality for all peopl


Click for more detail about A Promised Land (Deluxe Signed Edition) by Barack Obama A Promised Land (Deluxe Signed Edition)

by Barack Obama
Crown Publishing Group (Dec 01, 2020)
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Originally retailing for $350, this signed, clothbound book in slipcase is a prized addition to any home’s library. Your purchase will also help support AALBC’s efforts to promote Black literature.

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times • NPR • The Guardian • Marie Claire In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency—a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office.

Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of U.S. partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune’s Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.

A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective—the story of one man’s bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of “hope and change,” and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.

This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama’s conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common understanding and built together, day by day.


Click for more detail about How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams How to Fail at Flirting

by Denise Williams
Berkley Books (Dec 01, 2020)
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One daring to-do list and a crash course in flirtation turn a Type A overachiever’s world upside down.

When her flailing department lands on the university’s chopping block, Professor Naya Turner’s friends convince her to shed her frumpy cardigan for an evening on the town. For one night her focus will stray from her demanding job and she’ll tackle a new kind of to-do list. When she meets a charming stranger… (more)

“A warm romance that bursts with realism and celebrates the symbiotic power of love and healing.”―Entertainment Weekly

“In this steamy romance, Naya Turner is an overachieving math professor blowing off work stress with a night on the town, which leads to a night with a dapper stranger. And then another, and another. She’s smitten by the time she realizes there’s a professional complication, and the relationship could put her job at risk. Williams blends rom-com fun with more weighty topics in her winsome debut.”—The Washington Post

“Denise Williams’s How to Fail at Flirting is absolutely SPECTACULAR!! Ripe with serious, real-life drama, teeming with playful banter, rich with toe-curling passion, full of heart-melting romance….Her debut grabbed me on page one and held me enthralled until the end, when I promptly started re-reading to enjoy the deliciousness again.”—Priscilla Oliveras, USA Today bestselling author


Click for more detail about Black Futures by Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham Black Futures

by Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham
One World (Dec 01, 2020)
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New York Times Editors’ Choice

What does it mean to be Black and alive right now?

Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham have brought together this collection of work—images, photos, essays, memes, dialogues, recipes, tweets, poetry, and more—to tell the story of the radical, imaginative, provocative, and gorgeous world that Black creators are bringing forth today. The book presents a succession of startling and beautiful pieces that generate an entrancing rhythm: Readers will go from conversations with activists and academics to memes and Instagram posts, from powerful essays to dazzling paintings and insightful infographics.

In answering the question of what it means to be Black and alive, Black Futures opens a prismatic vision of possibility for every reader.


Click for more detail about A Promised Land by Barack Obama A Promised Land

by Barack Obama
Crown Publishing Group (Nov 17, 2020)
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Enter our raffle to win a deluxe, autographed copy of A Promised Land


A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making—from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy

In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency—a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office.

Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of U.S. partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune’s Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.

A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective—the story of one man’s bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of "hope and change," and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.

This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama’s conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common understanding and built together, day by day.


Click for more detail about The Emperor’s Babe by Bernardine Evaristo The Emperor’s Babe

by Bernardine Evaristo
Penguin UK (Nov 17, 2020)
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FROM THE BOOKER PRIZE-WINNING AUTHOR OF GIRL, WOMAN, OTHER

’Wildly entertaining, deeply affecting’ Ali Smith

Londinium, AD 211. Zuleika is a modern girl living in an ancient world. She’s a back-alley firecracker, a scruffy Nubian babe with tangled hair and bare feet - and she’s just been married off a fat old Roman. Life as a teenage bride is no joke but Zeeks is a born survivor. She knows this city like the back of her hand: its slave girls and drag queens, its shining villas and rotting slums. She knows how to get by. Until one day she catches the eye of the most powerful man on earth, the Roman Emperor, and her trouble really starts…

Silver-tongued and merry-eyed, this is a story in song and verse, a joyful mash-up of today and yesterday. Kaleidoscoping distant past and vivid present, The Emperor’s Babe asks what it means to be a woman and to survive in this thrilling, brutal, breathless world.


Click for more detail about This Is Your Time by Ruby Bridges This Is Your Time

by Ruby Bridges
Delacorte Press (Nov 10, 2020)
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - Civil rights icon Ruby Bridges—who, at the age of six, was the first black child to integrate into an all-white elementary school in New Orleans—inspires readers and calls for action in this moving letter. Her elegant, memorable gift book is especially uplifting in the wake of Kamala Harris making US history as the first female, first Black, and first South Asian vice president-elect.

Written as a letter from civil rights activist and icon Ruby Bridges to the reader, This Is Your Time is both a recounting of Ruby’s experience as a child who had to be escorted to class by federal marshals when she was chosen to be one of the first black students to integrate into New Orleans’ all-white public school system and an appeal to generations to come to effect change.

This beautifully designed volume features photographs from the 1960s and from today, as well as stunning jacket art from The Problem We All Live With, the 1964 painting by Norman Rockwell depicting Ruby’s walk to school.

Ruby’s honest and impassioned words, imbued with love and grace, serve as a moving reminder that "what can inspire tomorrow often lies in our past." This Is Your Time will electrify people of all ages as the struggle for liberty and justice for all continues and the powerful legacy of Ruby Bridges endures.


Click for more detail about The Archer by Paulo Coelho The Archer

by Paulo Coelho
Knopf Publishing Group (Nov 10, 2020)
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From the #1 best-selling author of The Alchemist comes an inspiring story about a young man seeking wisdom from an elder, and the practical lessons imparted along the way. Includes stunning illustrations by Christoph Niemann.

"A novelist who writes in a universal language." —The New York Times

In The Archer we meet Tetsuya, a man once famous for his prodigious gift with a bow and arrow but who has since retired from public life, and the boy who comes searching for him. The boy has many questions, and in answering them Tetsuya illustrates the way of the bow and the tenets of a meaningful life. Paulo Coelho’s story suggests that living without a connection between action and soul cannot fulfill, that a life constricted by fear of rejection or failure is not a life worth living. Instead one must take risks, build courage, and embrace the unexpected journey fate has to offer.

With the wisdom, generosity, simplicity, and grace that have made him an international best seller, Paulo Coelho provides the framework for a rewarding life: hard work, passion, purpose, thoughtfulness, the willingness to fail, and the urge to make a difference.


Click for more detail about Happy Hair by Mechal Renee Roe Happy Hair

by Mechal Renee Roe
Doubleday Books for Young Readers (Oct 13, 2020)
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A visual and rhyming celebration of African-American girls’ hair


Click for more detail about Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory Royal Holiday

by Jasmine Guillory
Berkley Books (Oct 13, 2020)
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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Proposal and a “rising star in the romance genre” (Entertainment Weekly) comes a dazzling novel about a spontaneous holiday vacation that turns into an unforgettable romance.

Vivian Forest has been out of the country a grand total of one time, so when she gets the chance to tag along on her daughter Maddie’s work trip to England to style a royal family member, she can’t refuse. She’s excited to spend the holidays taking in the magnificent British sights, but what she doesn’t expect is to become instantly attracted to a certain private secretary, his charming accent, and unyielding formality.

Malcolm Hudson has worked for the Queen for years and has never given a personal, private tour—until now. He is intrigued by Vivian the moment he meets her and finds himself making excuses just to spend time with her. When flirtatious banter turns into a kiss under the mistletoe, things snowball into a full-on fling.

Despite a ticking timer on their holiday romance, they are completely fine with ending their short, steamy affair come New Year’s Day…or are they?


Click for more detail about I Am Benjamin Franklin by Brad Meltzer I Am Benjamin Franklin

by Brad Meltzer
Dial Books (Oct 13, 2020)
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The 21st book in the New York Times bestselling series of biographies about heroes tells the story of Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the U.S. who helped draft the Declaration of Independence while making important scientific contributions.

This friendly, fun biography series focuses on the traits that made our heroes great—the traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. Each book tells the story of an icon in a lively, conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers and that always includes the hero’s childhood influences. At the back are an excellent timeline and photos. This volume features Founding Father and scientist Benjamin Franklin.


Click for more detail about I Am Anne Frank by Brad Meltzer I Am Anne Frank

by Brad Meltzer
Dial Books (Oct 13, 2020)
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The 22nd book in the New York Times bestselling series of biographies about heroes tells the story of Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl who documented her life while hiding from the Nazis during World War II.

This engaging biography series focuses on the traits that made our heroes great—the traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. Each book tells the story of an icon in a lively, conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers. At the back are an excellent timeline and photos. This volume features Anne Frank, whose courage and hope during a time of terror are still an inspiration for people around the world today.


Click for more detail about Be Antiracist: A Journal for Awareness, Reflection, and Action by Ibram X. Kendi Be Antiracist: A Journal for Awareness, Reflection, and Action

by Ibram X. Kendi
One World (Oct 06, 2020)
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Reflect on your understanding of race and discover ways to work toward an antiracist future with this guided journal from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist and Stamped from the Beginning.

Antiracism is not a destination but a journey—one that takes deliberate, consistent work. Ibram X. Kendi’s concept of antiracism has reenergized and reshaped the conversation about racial justice in America and pointed us toward new ways of thinking about ourselves and our society. Whether or not you’ve read How to Be an Antiracist, this stunning paperback journal offers the opportunity to reflect on your personal commitment to antiracism. Be Antiracist is both a confessional and a log of your journey toward a more equitable and just society.

Be Antiracist helps you reflect on topics such as body, power, class, gender, and policy, as well as specific questions like, Who or what scares you the most when you think about race? and How can we go about disconnecting Blackness from criminality? and What constitutes an American to you? Kendi’s multipronged approach to self-reflection will challenge you to make change in yourself and your community, and contribute to an antiracist future.


Click for more detail about Lubaya’s Quiet Roar by Marilyn Nelson Lubaya’s Quiet Roar

by Marilyn Nelson
Dial Books (Oct 06, 2020)
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In this stirring picture book about social justice activism and the power of introverts, a quiet girl’s artwork makes a big impression at a protest rally.

Newbery Honor winner and National Book Award finalist Marilyn Nelson and fine artist Philemona Williamson have come together to create this lyrical, impactful story of how every child, even the quietest, can make a difference in their community and world. Young Lubaya is happiest when she’s drawing, often behind the sofa while her family watches TV. There, she creates pictures on the backs of her parents’ old protest posters. But when upsetting news shouts into their living room, her parents need the posters again. The next day her family takes part in a march, and there, on one side of the posters being held high, are Lubaya’s drawings of kids holding hands and of the sun shining over the globe–rousing visual statements of how the world could be. “Lubaya’s roar may not be loud, but a quiet roar can make history.”

Sample pages from Lubaya’s Quiet Roar by Marilyn Nelson, Illustrated by Philemona Williamson


Click for more detail about The Talk: Conversations about Race, Love & Truth by Cheryl Willis Hudson and Wade Hudson The Talk: Conversations about Race, Love & Truth

by Cheryl Willis Hudson and Wade Hudson
Crown Books for Young Readers (Sep 29, 2020)
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Perfect for readers of Flying Lessons & Other Stories, this collection gives an honest and raw depiction of the unique conversations parents of diverse kids have to keep them safe and anti-racist. Published in partnership with Just Us Books

In the powerful follow-up to the AALBC Bestseller, We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices, thirty diverse and award-winning authors and illustrators capture frank discussions about racism, identity, and self-esteem. Here is an invitation to all families to be advocates and allies for change.

Featured Contributors, Many of Whom are Profiled on AALBC, Include:

  • Selina Alko,
  • Tracey Baptiste,
  • Derrick Barnes,
  • Natacha Bustos,
  • Cozbi A. Cabrera,
  • Raúl Colón,
  • Adam Gidwitz,
  • Nikki Grimes,
  • Rudy Gutierrez,
  • April Harrison,
  • Wade Hudson,
  • Gordon C. James,
  • Minh Lê,
  • E. B. Lewis,
  • Grace Lin,
  • Torrey Maldonado,
  • Meg Medina,
  • Christopher Myers,
  • Daniel Nayeri,
  • Zeke Peña,
  • Peter H. Reynolds,
  • Erin K. Robinson,
  • Traci Sorell,
  • Shadra Strickland,
  • Don Tate,
  • MaryBeth Timothy,
  • Duncan Tonatiuh,
  • Renée Watson,
  • Valerie Wilson Wesley,
  • Sharon Dennis Wyeth


Click for more detail about Dear Justyce by Nic Stone Dear Justyce

by Nic Stone
Crown Books for Young Readers (Sep 29, 2020)
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The stunning sequel to the #1 New York Times bestseller Dear Martin. Incarcerated teen Quan writes letters to Justyce about his experiences in the American juvenile justice system. Perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Angie Thomas.

In the highly anticipated sequel to her New York Times bestseller, Nic Stone delivers an unflinching look into the flawed practices and silenced voices in the American juvenile justice system.

Vernell LaQuan Banks and Justyce McAllister grew up a block apart in the Southwest Atlanta neighborhood of Wynwood Heights. Years later, though, Justyce walks the illustrious halls of Yale University … and Quan sits behind bars at the Fulton Regional Youth Detention Center.

Through a series of flashbacks, vignettes, and letters to Justyce—the protagonist of Dear Martin—Quan’s story takes form. Troubles at home and misunderstandings at school give rise to police encounters and tough decisions. But then there’s a dead cop and a weapon with Quan’s prints on it. What leads a bright kid down a road to a murder charge? Not even Quan is sure.

A powerful, raw, must-read told through the lens of a Black boy ensnared by our broken criminal justice system. -Kirkus, Starred Review


Click for more detail about Bunheads by Misty Copeland Bunheads

by Misty Copeland
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (Sep 29, 2020)
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The first in a series of picture books inspired by premier ballerina and author Misty Copeland’s own early experiences in ballet.

From prima ballerina and New York Times bestselling author Misty Copeland comes the story of a young Misty, who discovers her love of dance through the ballet Copp�lia—a story about a toymaker who devises a villainous plan to bring a doll to life.

Misty is so captivated by the tale and its heroine, Swanilda, she decides to audition for the role. But she’s never danced ballet before; in fact, this is the very first day of her very first dance class!

Though Misty is excited, she’s also nervous. But as she learns from her fellow bunheads, she makes wonderful friends who encourage her to do her very best. Misty’s nerves quickly fall away, and with a little teamwork, the bunheads put on a show to remember.

Featuring the stunning artwork of newcomer Setor Fiadzigbey, Bunheads is an inspiring tale for anyone looking for the courage to try something new.


Click for more detail about When God Made You (Board Book) by Matthew Paul Turner When God Made You (Board Book)

by Matthew Paul Turner
Convergent Books (Sep 29, 2020)
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The best-selling favorite, now available as a board book! Whimsical rhyme and imaginative illustrations affirm that every child is God’s unique creation and beloved by Him.

YOU, you… God thinks about you.
God was thinking of you long before your debut.

From early on, children are looking to discover their place in the world and longing to understand how their personalities, traits, and talents fit in. The assurance that they are deeply loved and a unique creation in our big universe is certain to help them spread their wings and fly.

Through playful, charming rhyme and vivid, fantastical illustrations, When God Made Youinspires young readers to learn about their own special gifts and how they fit into God’s divine plan as they grow, explore, and begin to create for themselves.

‘Cause when God made YOU, somehow God knew
That the world needed someone exactly like you!


Click for more detail about Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America by Laila Lalami Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America

by Laila Lalami
Pantheon Books (Sep 22, 2020)
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What does it mean to be American? In this starkly illuminating and impassioned book, Pulitzer Prize—finalist Laila Lalami recounts her unlikely journey from Moroccan immigrant to U.S. citizen, using it as a starting point for her exploration of the rights, liberties, and protections that are traditionally associated with American citizenship. Tapping into history, politics, and literature, she elucidates how accidents of birth—such as national origin, race, and gender—that once determined the boundaries of Americanness still their shadows today.

Lalami poignantly illustrates how white supremacy survives through adaptation and legislation, with the result that a caste system is maintained that keeps the modern equivalent of white male landowners at the top of the social hierarchy. Conditional citizens, she argues, are all the people with whom America embraces with one arm and pushes away with the other.

Brilliantly argued and deeply personal, Conditional Citizens weaves together Lalami’s own experiences with explorations of the place of nonwhites in the broader American culture.


Click for more detail about Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh Every Body Looking

by Candice Iloh
Dutton Books for Young Readers (Sep 22, 2020)
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"Candice Iloh’s beautifully crafted narrative about family, belonging, sexuality, and telling our deepest truths in order to be whole is at once immensely readable and ultimately healing."—Jacqueline Woodson, New York Times Bestselling Author of Brown Girl Dreaming

"An essential—and emotionally gripping and masterfully written and compulsively readable—addition to the coming-of-age canon."—Nic Stone, New York Times Bestselling Author of Dear Martin

"This is a story about the sometimes toxic and heavy expectations set onthe backs of first-generation children, the pressures woven into the familydynamic, culturally and socially. About childhood secrets with sharp teeth. And ultimately, about a liberation that taunts every young person." —Jason Reynolds, New York Times Bestselling Author of Long Way Down

Candice Iloh weaves the key moments of Ada’s young life—her mother’s descent into addiction, her father’s attempts to create a home for his American daughter more like the one he knew in Nigeria, her first year at a historically black college—into a luminous and inspiring verse novel.


Click for more detail about Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi Transcendent Kingdom

by Yaa Gyasi
Knopf Publishing Group (Sep 15, 2020)
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Yaa Gyasi’s stunning follow-up to her acclaimed national best seller Homegoing is a powerful, raw, intimate, deeply layered novel about a Ghanaian family in Alabama.

Gifty is a sixth-year PhD candidate in neuroscience at Stanford University School of Medicine studying reward-seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after an ankle injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her. But even as she turns to the hard sciences to unlock the mystery of her family’s loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith and grappling with the evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalizing as it is elusive. Transcendent Kingdom is a deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief—a novel about faith, science, religion, love. Exquisitely written, emotionally searing, this is an exceptionally powerful follow-up to Gyasi’s phenomenal debut.


Click for more detail about You Don’t Have to Go to Mars for Love by Yona Harvey You Don’t Have to Go to Mars for Love

by Yona Harvey
Berkley Books (Sep 08, 2020)
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The poems of award-winning poet Yona Harvey’s much anticipated You Don’t Have to Go to Mars for Love follow an unnamed protagonist on her multidimensional, Afro-futuristic journey. Her story stretches the boundaries normally constraining a black, female body like hers. Half-superhero, half-secret-identity, she encounters side-slipping, speculative realities testing her in poems that appear like the panels of a comic book.

Music directs readers through large and small emotional arcs, constantly retroubled by lyric experimentation. Harvey layers her poems with a chorus of women’s voices. Her artful use of refrain emphasizes the protagonist’s meaning making and doubling back: “Who am I to say? The eye is often mistaken. Or is it the mind? Always eager to interpret.” Our hero is captured, escapes, scuba dives, goes interstellar, and she emerges on the other end of her journey renewed, invoking the gods: “taunt the sharks. & when the glaciers get to melting, / all God’s River’s we shall haunt.”


Click for more detail about Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson Before the Ever After

by Jacqueline Woodson
Nancy Paulsen Books (Sep 01, 2020)
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National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson’s stirring novel explores how a family moves forward when their glory days have passed.

For as long as ZJ can remember, his dad has been everyone’s hero. As a charming, talented pro football star, he’s as beloved to the neighborhood kids he plays with as he is to his millions of adoring sports fans. But lately life at ZJ’s house is anything but charming. His dad is having trouble remembering things and seems to be angry all the time. ZJ’s mom explains it’s because of all the head injuries his dad sustained during his career. ZJ can understand that—but it doesn’t make the sting any less real when his own father forgets his name. As ZJ contemplates his new reality, he has to figure out how to hold on tight to family traditions and recollections of the glory days, all the while wondering what their past amounts to if his father can’t remember it. And most importantly, can those happy feelings ever be reclaimed when they are all so busy aching for the past?


Click for more detail about I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes I Am Every Good Thing

by Derrick Barnes
Nancy Paulsen Books (Sep 01, 2020)
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An upbeat, empowering, important picture book from the team that created the award-winning Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut

I am
a nonstop ball of energy.
Powerful and full of light.
I am a go-getter. A difference maker. A leader.

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. There are superheroes in our midst!


Click for more detail about Rocket Says Clean Up! by Nathan Bryon Rocket Says Clean Up!

by Nathan Bryon
Random House Books for Young Readers (Sep 01, 2020)
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Plucky science-lover Rocket returns in another inspiring picture book about getting a community to notice the world around them, and, in this book, to CLEAN UP! their shoreline.

Rocket, is off to the islands to visit her grandparents. Her family loves nothing better than to beach comb and surf together…but the beach is clogged with trash! When she finds a turtle tangled in a net, Rocket decides that something must be done! Like a mini Greta Thunberg, our young activist’s enthusiasm brings everyone together…to clean up the beach and prevent plastics from spoiling nature. Perfect for fans of Rocket Says Look Up! and Ada Twist, Scientist, this book is for any youngster concerned about our environment. Rocket Says Clean Up! will inspire readers of all ages to dream big and tackle problems head-on.


Click for more detail about Owed by Joshua Bennett Owed

by Joshua Bennett
Penguin Books (Sep 01, 2020)
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From one of the most impressive voices in poetry today (Dissent magazine), a new collection that shines a light on forgotten or obscured parts of the past in order to reconstruct a deeper, truer vision of the present

Gregory Pardlo described Joshua Bennett’s first collection of poetry, The Sobbing School, as an arresting debut that was abounding in tenderness and rich with character, with a virtuosic kind of code switching. Bennett’s new collection, Owed, is a book with celebration at its center. Its primary concern is how we might mend the relationship between ourselves and the people, spaces, and objects we have been taught to think of as insignificant, as fundamentally unworthy of study, reflection, attention, or care. Spanning the spectrum of genre and form—from elegy and ode to origin myth—these poems elaborate an aesthetics of repair. What’s more, they ask that we turn to the songs and sites of the historically denigrated so that we might uncover a new way of being in the world together, one wherein we can truthfully reckon with the brutality of the past and thus imagine the possibilities of our shared, unpredictable present, anew.


Click for more detail about Who Was Kobe Bryant? by Ellen Labrecque Who Was Kobe Bryant?

by Ellen Labrecque
Penguin Workshop (Sep 01, 2020)
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Told in a new Who HQ Now format for trending topics, this Who Was? biography details NBA superstar Kobe Bryant’s legendary career and the impact of his legacy on the sports world and beyond.

Kobe Bryant was just an eighteen-year-old high-school basketball player when he decided to enter the National Basketball Association’s draft. Though he was the thirteenth overall pick by the Charlotte Hornets, he would never play a single game for them. Instead, Kobe was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he would spend his entire twenty-season career, winning five championships and numerous awards. Author Ellen Labreque takes readers through each exciting moment, from his iconic dunks to his 81-point game—all the milestones that span Kobe Bryant’s legendary career and legacy.


Click for more detail about His Truth Is Marching on: John Lewis and the Power of Hope by Jon Meacham His Truth Is Marching on: John Lewis and the Power of Hope

by Jon Meacham
Random House (Aug 25, 2020)
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An intimate and revealing portrait of civil rights icon and longtime U.S. congressman John Lewis, linking his life to the painful quest for justice in America from the 1950s to the present—from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Soul of America

John Lewis, who at age twenty-five marched in Selma, Alabama, and was beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, was a visionary and a man of faith. Drawing on decades of wide-ranging interviews with Lewis, Jon Meacham writes of how this great-grandson of a slave and son of an Alabama tenant farmer was inspired by the Bible and his teachers in nonviolence, Reverend James Lawson and Martin Luther King, Jr., to put his life on the line in the service of what Abraham Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature.”

From an early age, Lewis learned that nonviolence was not only a tactic but a philosophy, a biblical imperative, and a transforming reality. At the age of four, Lewis, ambitious to become a minister, practiced by preaching to his family’s chickens. When his mother cooked one of the chickens, the boy refused to eat it—his first act, he wryly recalled, of nonviolent protest. Integral to Lewis’s commitment to bettering the nation was his faith in humanity and in God—and an unshakable belief in the power of hope.

Meacham calls Lewis “as important to the founding of a modern and multiethnic twentieth- and twenty-first-century America as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and Samuel Adams were to the initial creation of the Republic itself in the eighteenth century.” A believer in the injunction that one should love one’s neighbor as oneself, Lewis was arguably a saint in our time, risking limb and life to bear witness for the powerless in the face of the powerful. In many ways he brought a still-evolving nation closer to realizing its ideals, and his story offers inspiration and illumination for Americans today who are working for social and political change.


Click for more detail about Dark Was the Night: Blind Willie Johnson’s Journey to the Stars by Gary Golio Dark Was the Night: Blind Willie Johnson’s Journey to the Stars

by Gary Golio
Nancy Paulsen Books (Aug 25, 2020)
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The poignant story of Blind Willie Johnson—the legendary Texas musician whose song "Dark Was the Night" was included on the Voyager I space probe’s Golden Record

Willie Johnson was born in 1897, and from the beginning he loved to sing—and play his cigar box guitar. But his childhood was interrupted when he lost his mother and his sight. How does a blind boy make his way in the world? Fortunately for Willie, the music saved him and brought him back into the light. His powerful voice, combined with the wailing of his slide guitar, moved people. Willie made a name for himself performing on street corners all over Texas. And one day he hit it big when he got a record deal and his songs were played on the radio. Then in 1977, his song—"Dark Was the Night"—was chosen to light up the darkness when it was launched into space on the Voyager I space probe’s famous Golden Record. His immortal song was selected for the way it expresses the loneliness humans all feel, while reminding us we’re not alone.


Click for more detail about Ikenga by Nnedi Okorafor Ikenga

by Nnedi Okorafor
Viking Books for Young Readers (Aug 18, 2020)
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Nnedi Okorafor’s first novel for middle grade readers introduces a boy who can access super powers with the help of the magical Ikenga.

Nnamdi’s father was a good chief of police, perhaps the best Kalaria had ever had. He was determined to root out the criminals that had invaded the town. But then he was murdered, and most people believed the Chief of Chiefs, most powerful of the criminals, was responsible. Nnamdi has vowed to avenge his father, but he wonders what a twelve-year-old boy can do. Until a mysterious nighttime meeting, the gift of a magical object that enables super powers, and a charge to use those powers for good changes his life forever. How can he fulfill his mission? How will he learn to control his newfound powers?
Award-winning Nnedi Okorafor, acclaimed for her Akata novels, introduces a new and engaging hero in her first novel for middle grade readers set against a richly textured background of contemporary Nigeria.


Click for more detail about Finna: Poems by Nate Marshall Finna: Poems

by Nate Marshall
One World (Aug 11, 2020)
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Sharp, lyrical poems celebrating the Black vernacular—its influence on pop culture, its necessity for familial survival, its rite in storytelling and in creating the safety found only within its intimacy

Definition of finna, created by the author: fin-na /ˈfinə/ contraction: (1) going to; intending to [rooted in African American Vernacular English] (2) eye dialect spelling of "fixing to" (3) Black possibility; Black futurity; Blackness as tomorrow

These poems consider the brevity and disposability of Black lives and other oppressed people in our current era of emboldened white supremacy, and the use of the Black vernacular in America’s vast reserve of racial and gendered epithets. Finna explores the erasure of peoples in the American narrative; asks how gendered language can provoke violence; and finally, how the Black vernacular, expands our notions of possibility, giving us a new language of hope:

nothing about our people is romantic
& it shouldn’t be. our people deserve
poetry without meter. we deserve our
own jagged rhythm & our own uneven
walk towards sun. you make happening happen.
we happen to love. this is our greatest
action.


Click for more detail about Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

by Isabel Wilkerson
Random House (Aug 04, 2020)
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The Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of The Warmth of Other Suns examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions.

"[Caste] should be at the top of every American’s reading list."—Chicago Tribune

"As we go about our daily lives, caste is the wordless usher in a darkened theater, flashlight cast down in the aisles, guiding us to our assigned seats for a performance. The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power—which groups have it and which do not."

In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.

Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people—including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball’s Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others—she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their out-cast of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity.

Beautifully written, original, and revealing, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents is an eye-opening story of people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary lives and of American life today.


Click for more detail about The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi The Death of Vivek Oji

by Akwaeke Emezi
Riverhead Books (Aug 04, 2020)
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What does it mean for a family to lose a child they never really knew?

One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.

Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations—a dramatic story of loss and transcendence that will move every reader.


Click for more detail about The Truths We Hold: An American Journey by Kamala Harris The Truths We Hold: An American Journey

by Kamala Harris
Penguin Books (Aug 04, 2020)
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A New York Times bestseller

From one of America’s most inspiring political leaders, a book about the core truths that unite us, and the long struggle to discern what those truths are and how best to act upon them, in her own life and across the life of our country.

Senator Kamala Harris’s commitment to speaking truth is informed by her upbringing. The daughter of immigrants, she was raised in an Oakland, California community that cared deeply about social justice; her parents—an esteemed economist from Jamaica and an admired cancer researcher from India—met as activists in the civil rights movement when they were graduate students at Berkeley. Growing up, Harris herself never hid her passion for justice, and when she became a prosecutor out of law school, a deputy district attorney, she quickly established herself as one of the most innovative change agents in American law enforcement. She progressed rapidly to become the elected District Attorney for San Francisco, and then the chief law enforcement officer of the state of California as a whole. Known for bringing a voice to the voiceless, she took on the big banks during the foreclosure crisis, winning a historic settlement for California’s working families. Her hallmarks were applying a holistic, data-driven approach to many of California’s thorniest issues, always eschewing stale "tough on crime" rhetoric as presenting a series of false choices. Neither "tough" nor "soft" but smart on crime became her mantra. Being smart means learning the truths that can make us better as a community, and supporting those truths with all our might. That has been the pole star that guided Harris to a transformational career as the top law enforcement official in California, and it is guiding her now as a transformational United States Senator, grappling with an array of complex issues that affect her state, our country, and the world, from health care and the new economy to immigration, national security, the opioid crisis, and accelerating inequality.

By reckoning with the big challenges we face together, drawing on the hard-won wisdom and insight from her own career and the work of those who have most inspired her, Kamala Harris offers in THE TRUTHS WE HOLD a master class in problem solving, in crisis management, and leadership in challenging times. Through the arc of her own life, on into the great work of our day, she communicates a vision of shared struggle, shared purpose, and shared values. In a book rich in many home truths, not least is that a relatively small number of people work very hard to convince a great many of us that we have less in common than we actually do, but it falls to us to look past them and get on with the good work of living our common truth. When we do, our shared effort will continue to sustain us and this great nation, now and in the years to come.


Click for more detail about This Is My America by Kim Johnson This Is My America

by Kim Johnson
Random House Books for Young Readers (Jul 28, 2020)
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Incredible and searing. Nic Stone, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin

The Hate U Give meets Just Mercy in this unflinching yet uplifting first novel that explores the racist injustices in the American justice system.

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?

Fans of Nic Stone, Tiffany D. Jackson, and Jason Reynolds won’t want to miss this provocative and gripping debut.


Click for more detail about Intimations: Six Essays by Zadie Smith Intimations: Six Essays

by Zadie Smith
Penguin Books (Jul 28, 2020)
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Intimations captures the uneasiness of our modern moment as Smith reflects on the COVID-19 pandemic and relates it to issues of privilege and inequity. Her urgent voice tackles everything from what becomes important during isolation to the global response to George Floyd’s killing. The author asks questions, both timely and timeless, about how we respond to crisis and suffering.” —TIME, Best New Books of July

Deeply personal and powerfully moving, a short and timely series of reflective essays by one of the most clear-sighted and essential writers of our time

Written during the early months of lockdown, Intimations explores ideas and questions prompted by an unprecedented situation. What does it mean to submit to a new reality—or to resist it? How do we compare relative sufferings? What is the relationship between time and work? In our isolation, what do other people mean to us? How do we think about them? What is the ratio of contempt to compassion in a crisis? When an unfamiliar world arrives, what does it reveal about the world that came before it?

Suffused with a profound intimacy and tenderness in response to these extraordinary times, Intimations is a slim, suggestive volume with a wide scope, in which Zadie Smith clears a generous space for thought, open enough for each reader to reflect on what has happened—and what should come next.

The author will donate her royalties from the sale of Intimations to charity.


Click for more detail about Shirley Chisholm Is a Verb by Veronica Chambers Shirley Chisholm Is a Verb

by Veronica Chambers
Dial Books (Jul 28, 2020)
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Veronica Chambers is the award-winning author of many books for children and adults, including Mama’s Girl and Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa. Born in Panama, she grew up in Brooklyn, where she remembers walking to school and seeing Shirley Chisholm for Congress posters all around her neighborhood. She has been a senior editor at the New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, and Glamour, and is currently the editor of Past Tense, the New York Times archival storytelling initiative devoted to publishing articles based on photographs recently rediscovered from its archives.

Rachelle Baker is a multi-disciplinary artist from Detroit, Michigan, with a background in relief printing, illustration, comic art, video art, and music. Her work can be seen in The New York Times and will appear in the book Making our Way Home: The Great Migration and the Black American Dream by Blair Imani, to be published by Ten Speed Press in January. This is her first fully illustrated picture book.


Click for more detail about Brave. Black. First. 100 Postcards by Cheryl Willis Hudson Brave. Black. First. 100 Postcards

by Cheryl Willis Hudson
Clarkson Potter (Jul 21, 2020)
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100 Postcards Celebrating More Than 50 African American Women Who Changed the World

These 100 stunning postcards celebrate 50 groundbreaking African American women, from Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks to Angela Davis and Beyoncé — published in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Based on the children’s book Brave. Black. First., these empowering postcards celebrate artists, athletes, activists, politicians, and writers who championed civil rights in their communities. Each card features the portrait on the front and, on the back, an inspiring quote, short biographical information, and space for writing a message. With two postcards for every portrait, you’ll have one to send and one to save. Taken together, the collection captures the iconic moments of fifty African American women whose heroism and bravery rewrote the American story for the better.

“These post cards make great flash cards: Would you be able to identify all the women?” —AALBC Founder, Troy Johnson


Click for more detail about In the Hands of the People: Thomas Jefferson on Equality, Faith, Freedom, Compromise, and the Art of Citizenship by Jon Meacham In the Hands of the People: Thomas Jefferson on Equality, Faith, Freedom, Compromise, and the Art of Citizenship

by Jon Meacham
Random House (Jun 30, 2020)
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Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham offers a collection of inspiring words about how to be a good citizen, from Thomas Jefferson and others, and reminds us why our country’s founding principles are still so important today.

Thomas Jefferson believed in the covenant between a government and its citizens, in both the government’s responsibilities to its people and also the people’s responsibility to the republic. In this illuminating book, a project of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, the #1 New York Times bestselling author Jon Meacham presents selections from Jefferson’s writing on the subject, with an afterword by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed and comments on Jefferson’s ideas from others, including Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, Frederick Douglass, Carl Sagan, and American presidents.

This curated collection revitalizes how to see an individual’s role in the world, as it explores such Jeffersonian concepts as religious freedom, the importance of a free press, public education, participation in government, and others.

Meacham writes, "In an hour of twenty-first-century division and partisanship, of declining trust in institutions and of widespread skepticism about the long-term viability of the American experiment, it is instructive to return to first principles. Not, to be sure, as an exercise in nostalgia or as a flight from the reality of our own time, but as an honest effort to see, as Jefferson wrote, what history may be able to tell us about the present and the future."


Click for more detail about Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own by Eddie S. Glaude Jr. Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own

by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
Crown Publishing Group (Jun 30, 2020)
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James Baldwin grew disillusioned by the failure of the Civil Rights movement to force America to confront its lies about race. In the era of Trump, what can we learn from his struggle?

“Not everything is lost. Responsibility cannot be lost, it can only be abdicated. If one refuses abdication, one begins again.” —James Baldwin

We live, according to Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., in the “after times,” when the promise of Black Lives Matter and the attempt to achieve a new America were challenged by the election of Donald Trump, a racist president whose victory represents yet another failure of America to face the lies it tells itself about race.

We have been here before: For James Baldwin, the after times came in the wake of the Civil Rights movement, when a similar attempt to compel a national confrontation with the truth was answered with the murders of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. In these years, spanning from the publication of The Fire Next Time in 1963 to that of No Name in the Street in 1972, Baldwin was transformed into a more overtly political writer, a change that came at great professional and personal cost. But from that journey, Baldwin emerged with a sense of renewed purpose about the necessity of pushing forward in the face of disillusionment and despair.

In the story of Baldwin’s crucible, Glaude suggests, we can find hope and guidance through our own after times, this Trumpian era of shattered promises and white retrenchment. Mixing biography—drawn partially from newly uncovered interviews—with history, memoir, and trenchant analysis of our current moment, “Begin Again” is Glaude’s attempt, following Baldwin, to bear witness to the difficult truth of race in America today. It is at once a searing exploration that lays bare the tangled web of race, trauma, and memory, and a powerful interrogation of what we all must ask of ourselves in order to call forth a new America.


Click for more detail about Queens of the Resistance: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by Brenda Jones and Krishan Trotman Queens of the Resistance: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

by Brenda Jones and Krishan Trotman
Plume (Jun 30, 2020)
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Part of the four-book Queens of the Resistance series, saluting some of the most beloved boss ladies in Congress: a celebration of AOC, the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress and its newest superstar

Not long ago, no one could even imagine a twenty-eight-year-old Latina upstart running for Congress representing Queens and the Bronx: It required facing the city’s nearly all-white, all-male political machine. But since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez graced the scene in all her bartending, tweet-talking, mold-breaking glory, the face of politics in the twenty-first century has changed. Today, Ocasio-Cortez is a foremost advocate for progress, whipping up support among her colleagues and gaining the secret admiration of her foes. She’s jousting with an outrageous president and a conservative media sphere that place her under relentless attack. Why? Because they fear her gift for speaking truth to power.

With illustrations, deep research, and writing as endlessly quotable as she is, Queens of the Resistance pays tribute to this phenomenal woman.

About the series: Each book of the Queens of the Resistance series is a celebration of the rebellion against the oppression of women and an embracement of the new in the United States government. The series is adorned with sass, discernment, and the badassery of the present and future leadership. The Doomsday Clock is at a minute to midnight, and the patriarchal power grid that lights "the shining city on a Hill" is about to black out. It’s time to yield to the alternative—the power of women.


Click for more detail about Queens of the Resistance: Elizabeth Warren by Brenda Jones and Krishan Trotman Queens of the Resistance: Elizabeth Warren

by Brenda Jones and Krishan Trotman
Plume (Jun 30, 2020)
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Part of the four-book Queens of the Resistance series, saluting some of the most beloved boss ladies in Congress: a celebration of Elizabeth Warren, the star senator from Massachusetts and 2020 presidential candidate

All hail Queen Elizabeth! She’s a "queen" but not a monarch who’s spent her life fighting to create a more equal society. Now one of the most recognizable women in politics, Warren took a winding road to become the badass senator from Massachusetts—the first woman senator ever elected from the state. Day-to-day struggle to make ends meet? Check. Single motherhood? Check. Law degree? Check. Tenured Harvard Law professor? You bet! And oh, she created a whole new government agency to protect consumers from predatory businesses. This the story of Liz’s hard-earned rise to the top of the game.

With illustrations, deep research, and writing as endlessly quotable as she is, Queens of the Resistance pays tribute to this phenomenal woman.

About the series: Each book of the Queens of the Resistance series is a celebration of the rebellion against the oppression of women and an embracement of the new in the United States government. The series is adorned with sass, discernment, and the badassery of the present and future leadership. The Doomsday Clock is at a minute to midnight, and the patriarchal power grid that lights "the shining city on a Hill" is about to black out. It’s time to yield to the alternative—the power of women.


Click for more detail about Queens of the Resistance: Nancy Pelosi by Brenda Jones and Krishan Trotman Queens of the Resistance: Nancy Pelosi

by Brenda Jones and Krishan Trotman
Plume (Jun 30, 2020)
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Part of the four-book Queens of the Resistance series, saluting some of the most beloved boss ladies in Congress: a celebration of the first woman Speaker of the House and a trailblazer for generations to come, Nancy Pelosi

Behold one of the toughest dealers in the political arena, a singularly shrewd operator who cut her teeth from deep within the ranks of the Democratic Party and climbed all the way to the top. Rising higher than any woman ever who came before, Madame Speaker created a blueprint that those after her could follow. And now, back to her rightful place as Madame Speaker, she’s prepared to take back power for the people … and at the end of it all, in characteristic class and style, she will pass on the gavel to the next generation of badass leaders.

With illustrations, deep research, and writing as endlessly quotable as she is, Queens of the Resistance pays tribute to this phenomenal woman.

About the series: Each book of the Queens of the Resistance series is a celebration of the rebellion against the oppression of women and an embracement of the new in the United States government. The series is adorned with sass, discernment, and the badassery of the present and future leadership. The Doomsday Clock is at a minute to midnight, and the patriarchal power grid that lights "the shining city on a Hill" is about to black out. It’s time to yield to the alternative—the power of women.


Click for more detail about Queens of the Resistance: Maxine Waters by Brenda Jones and Krishan Trotman Queens of the Resistance: Maxine Waters

by Brenda Jones and Krishan Trotman
Plume (Jun 30, 2020)
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Part of the four-book Queens of the Resistance series, saluting some of the most beloved boss ladies in Congress: a celebration of Representative Maxine Waters, who reclaimed her time and led the first calls for impeachment

Maxine Waters is an icon for a generation of women powerbrokers in politics. She is an "unbought and unbossed" acolyte of all the legendary firebrands, like Shirley Chisholm, Barbara Jordan, Tupac, and Malcolm X. The daughter of a single mom from St. Louis, she’s smart, sassy, and an outright firecracker. She is the first woman of color, and the first person of color, to regulate the boyz at the big banks as the powerful chair of the House Financial Services Committee. Auntie Maxine called out the crimes and corruption of this Oval Office with precision before anyone else dared to take a stand. Make no mistake, she is coming for the "king," and whenever she aims, Maxine Waters doesn’t miss.

With illustrations, deep research, and writing as endlessly quotable as she is, Queens of the Resistance pays tribute to this phenomenal woman.

About the series: Each book of the Queens of the Resistance series will be a celebration of the rebellion against the oppression of women and an embracement of the new in the United States government. The series is adorned with sass, discernment, and the badassery of the present and future leadership. The Doomsday Clock is at a minute to midnight, and the patriarchal power grid that lights "the shining city on a Hill" is about to black out. It’s time to yield to the alternative—the power of women.


Click for more detail about Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory Party of Two

by Jasmine Guillory
Berkley Books (Jun 23, 2020)
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A chance meeting with a handsome stranger turns into a whirlwind affair that gets everyone talking in this New York Times bestseller.

Dating is the last thing on Olivia Monroe’s mind when she moves to LA to start her own law firm. But when she meets a gorgeous man at a hotel bar and they spend the entire night flirting, she discovers too late that he is none other than hotshot junior senator Max Powell. Olivia has zero interest in dating a politician, but when a cake arrives at her office with the cutest message, she can’t resist—it is chocolate cake, after all.

Olivia is surprised to find that Max is sweet, funny, and noble—not just some privileged white politician, as she assumed him to be. Because of Max’s high-profile job, they start seeing each other secretly, which leads to clandestine dates and silly disguises. But when they finally go public, the intense media scrutiny means people are now digging up her rocky past and criticizing her job, even her suitability as a trophy girlfriend. Olivia knows what she has with Max is something special, but is it strong enough to survive the heat of the spotlight?


Click for more detail about Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City by Wes Moore Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City

by Wes Moore
One World (Jun 23, 2020)
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"An illuminating portrait of Baltimore in the aftermath of the April 2015 death of Freddie Gray … Readers will be enthralled by this propulsive account."—Publishers Weekly

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Other Wes Moore, a kaleidoscopic account of five days in the life of a city on the edge, told through eight characters on the front lines of the uprising that overtook Baltimore and riveted the world

When Freddie Gray was arrested for possessing an "illegal knife" in April 2015, he was, by eyewitness accounts that video evidence later confirmed, treated "roughly" as police loaded him into a vehicle. By the end of his trip in the police van, Gray was in a coma from which he would never recover.

In the wake of a long history of police abuse in Baltimore, this killing felt like the final straw—it led to a week of protests, then five days described alternately as a riot or an uprising that set the entire city on edge and caught the nation’s attention.

Wes Moore is a Rhodes Scholar, bestselling author, decorated combat veteran, former White House fellow, and CEO of Robin Hood, one of the largest anti-poverty nonprofits in the nation. While attending Gray’s funeral, he saw every stratum of the city come together: grieving mothers, members of the city’s wealthy elite, activists, and the long-suffering citizens of Baltimore—all looking to comfort one another, but also looking for answers. He knew that when they left the church, these factions would spread out to their own corners, but that the answers they were all looking for could be found only in the city as a whole.

Moore—along with journalist Erica Green—tells the story of the Baltimore uprising both through his own observations and through the eyes of other Baltimoreans: Partee, a conflicted black captain of the Baltimore Police Department; Jenny, a young white public defender who’s drawn into the violent center of the uprising herself; Tawanda, a young black woman who’d spent a lonely year protesting the killing of her own brother by police; and John Angelos, scion of the city’s most powerful family and executive vice president of the Baltimore Orioles, who had to make choices of conscience he’d never before confronted.

Each shifting point of view contributes to an engrossing, cacophonous account of one of the most consequential moments in our recent history, which is also an essential cri de coeur about the deeper causes of the violence and the small seeds of hope planted in its aftermath.

"When Freddie Gray was arrested for possessing an ’illegal knife’ in April 2015, he was, by eyewitness accounts that video evidence later confirmed, treated ’roughly’ as police loaded him into a vehicle. By the end of his trip in the police van, Gray was in a coma he would never recover from. In the wake of a long history of police abuse in Baltimore, this killing felt like a final straw—it led to a week of protests and then five days described alternately as a riot or an uprising that set the entire city on edge, and caught the nation’s attention. Wes Moore is one of Baltimore’s most famous sons—a Rhodes Scholar, bestselling author, decorated combat veteran, White House fellow, and current President of the Robin Hood Foundation. While attending Gray’s funeral, he saw every strata of the city come together: grieving mothers; members of the city’s wealthy elite; activists; and the long-suffering citizens of Baltimore—all looking to comfort each other, but also looking for answers. Knowing that when they left the church, these factions would spread out to their own corners, but that the answers they were all looking for could only be found in the city as a whole, Moore—along with Pulitzer-winning coauthor Erica Green—tells the story of the Baltimore uprising. Through both his own observations, and through the eyes of other Baltimoreans: Partee, a conflicted black captain of the Baltimore Police Department; Jenny, a young white public defender who’s drawn into the violent center of the uprising herself; Tawanda, a young black woman who’d spent a lonely year protesting the killing of her own brother by police; and John DeAngelo, scion of the city’s most powerful family and owner of the Baltimore Orioles, who has to make choices of conscience he’d never before confronted. Each shifting point of view contributes to an engrossing, cacophonous account of one of the most consequential moments in our recent history—but also an essential cri de coeur about the deeper causes of the violence and the small seeds of hope planted in its aftermath"


Click for more detail about Jake the Fake Keeps His Cool by Craig Robinson and Adam Mansbach Jake the Fake Keeps His Cool

by Craig Robinson and Adam Mansbach
Crown Books for Young Readers (Jun 16, 2020)
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For fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Big Nate comes the third book in this laugh-out-loud series about a class clown faking his way through middle school from comedian and film star Craig Robinson, #1 New York Times bestselling author Adam Mansbach, and NAACP History Maker recipient and cartoonist Keith Knight.

Life couldn’t be better for Jake. He’s a student at Music and Arts Academy and a budding comedian, and he finally put an end to his fake-ster ways … or so he thought. There’s a new girl at school, and Jake would do anything to impress her, even pretending to be a master chef. And a world-renowned barber?

But at home, Jake is less impressed with his mom’s news: she’s pregnant. Now Jake has to fake being happy about becoming the Middle Child. The King of Cool is about to drop his chill.

Luckily, he has good friends and laughs on his side, along with more than two hundred illustrations—all about him!


Click for more detail about Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi Antiracist Baby

by Ibram X. Kendi
Kokila (Jun 16, 2020)
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From the National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning and How to Be an Antiracist comes a fresh new board book that empowers parents and children to uproot racism in our society and in ourselves.

Take your first steps with Antiracist Baby! Or rather, follow Antiracist Baby’s nine easy steps for building a more equitable world.

With bold art and thoughtful yet playful text, Antiracist Baby introduces the youngest readers and the grown-ups in their lives to the concept and power of antiracism. Providing the language necessary to begin critical conversations at the earliest age, Antiracist Baby is the perfect gift for readers of all ages dedicated to forming a just society.


Click for more detail about The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett The Vanishing Half

by Brit Bennett
Riverhead Books (Jun 02, 2020)
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From The New York Times-bestselling author of The Mothers, a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise.


Click for more detail about This Is What I Know about Art by Kimberly Drew This Is What I Know about Art

by Kimberly Drew
Penguin Workshop (Jun 02, 2020)
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Pocket Change Collective was born out of a need for space. Space to think. Space to connect. Space to be yourself. And this is your invitation to join us.

“Drew’s experience teaches us to embrace what we are afraid of and be true to ourselves. She uses her passion to change the art world and invites us to join her.”—Janelle Monáe, award-winning singer, actress, and producer

In this powerful and hopeful account, arts writer, curator, and activist Kimberly Drew reminds us that the art world has space not just for the elite, but for everyone.

Pocket Change Collective is a series of small books with big ideas from today’s leading activists and artists. In this installment, arts writer and co-editor of Black Futures Kimberly Drew shows us that art and protest are inextricably linked. Drawing on her personal experience through art toward activism, Drew challenges us to create space for the change that we want to see in the world. Because there really is so much more space than we think.


Click for more detail about I Am Strong: A Little Book about Rosa Parks by Brad Meltzer I Am Strong: A Little Book about Rosa Parks

by Brad Meltzer
Dial Books (Jun 02, 2020)
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Uses Rosa Parks’s life to teach young readers to always stand up for what is right.


Click for more detail about The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna The Gilded Ones

by Namina Forna
Delacorte Press (May 26, 2020)
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“Namina Forna could be the Toni Morrison Of YA Fantasy.” —Refinery 29

The start of a bold and immersive West African-inspired, feminist fantasy series for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and Black Panther. In this world, girls are outcasts by blood and warriors by choice.

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity-and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki-near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be-not even Deka herself.

The beautiful cover art is by Johnny Tarajosu


Click for more detail about The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir by André Leon Talley The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir

by André Leon Talley
Ballantine Books (May 19, 2020)
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“Discover what truly happens behind the scenes in the world of high fashion in this detailed, storied memoir from style icon, bestselling author, and former Vogue creative director André Leon Talley. During André Leon Talley’s first magazine job assisting Andy Warhol at Interview, a fateful meeting with Karl Lagerfeld began a decade’s long friendship with the enigmatic, often caustic designer. Propelled into the upper echelons by his knowledge and adoration of fashion, Talley moved to Paris as bureau chief of John Fairchild’s Women’s Wear Daily, befriending fashion’s most important designers. But as Talley made friends, he also made enemies. A racially tinged encounter with a member of the house of Yves Saint Laurent sent him back to New York and into the offices of Vogue under Grace Mirabella. There, he developed an unlikely but intimate friendship with Anna Wintour, and as she rose to the top of Vogue’s masthead, Talley became the most influential man in fashion. The Chiffon Trenches is a candid look at the who’s who of the last fifty years of fashion, and proof that fact is always fascinatingly more devilish than fiction. André Leon Talley’s engaging memoir tells the story of how he not only survived but thrived—despite racism, illicit rumors, and all the other challenges of this notoriously cutthroat industry—to become one of the most legendary voices and faces in fashion”

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - From the pages of Vogue to the runways of Paris, this deeply revealing memoir by a legendary style icon captures the fashion world from the inside out, in its most glamorous and most cutthroat moments.

"The Chiffon Trenches honestly and candidly captures fifty sublime years of fashion."—Manolo Blahnik

During André Leon Talley’s first magazine job, alongside Andy Warhol at Interview, a fateful meeting with Karl Lagerfeld began a decades-long friendship with the enigmatic, often caustic designer. Propelled into the upper echelons by his knowledge and adoration of fashion, Andrémoved to Paris as bureau chief of John Fairchild’s Women’s Wear Daily, befriending fashion’s most important designers (Halston, Yves Saint Laurent, Oscar de la Renta). But as André made friends, he also made enemies. A racially tinged encounter with a member of the house of Yves Saint Laurent sent him back to New York and into the offices of Vogue under Grace Mirabella.

There, he eventually became creative director, developing an unlikely but intimate friendship with Anna Wintour. As she rose to the top of Vogue’s masthead, André also ascended, and soon became the most influential man in fashion.

The Chiffon Trenches offers a candid look at the who’s who of the last fifty years of fashion. At once ruthless and empathetic, this engaging memoir tells with raw honesty the story of how Andr� not only survived the brutal style landscape but thrived—despite racism, illicit rumors, and all the other challenges of this notoriously cutthroat industry—to become one of the most renowned voices and faces in fashion.

Woven throughout the book are also André’s own personal struggles that have impacted him over the decades, along with intimate stories of those he has turned to for inspiration (Diana Vreeland, Diane von Furstenberg, Lee Radziwill, to name a few), and of course his Southern roots and ongoing faith, which have guided him since childhood.
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