The very best books celebrating African American culture and values, by African American authors and/or illustrators, from 1970 to the present.
Middle schooler Jordan Banks had hoped to attend art school, but mom sends him to a private prep school where he is one of a handful of black kids. No one at Riverdale Academy Day School is openly hostile towards him for his race, but he deals with a series of microaggressions, like being called the name of another black student, or everyone looking at him when the teacher is discussing students on financial aid. Craft mixes humor with heart in this hilarious yet thoughtful graphic novel.
Winner of the 2017 Michael Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. U.S. Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis continues his story in the concluding volume of this graphic novel trilogy, which opens with the bombing of the Birmingham Baptist Church, Freedom Summer and ends with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 being signed into law.
Gr. 4 and up. An unnamed narrator (based on Nelson's grandmother) tells the story of African Americans from before the American Revolution to the election of Barack Obama. Gorgeously illustrated and compellingly told.
Grades 4-8. During the summer of 1968, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters travel to Oakland, California to visit their mother, who abandoned them as babies. While there, they reluctantly spend time at a summer camp run by the Black Panthers.
Gr. 3 and up. An elderly ball player regales his audience with the trials and triumphs of determined athletes and fans, beautifully enhanced by Nelson's glorious art. Includes a forward by Hank Aaron, himself once a player in the Negro League.
Grades 3 - 8. Archival photographs focus on the children and teens and the role they played in school integration, with text imagining how the participants must have felt.
Gr. 4 and up. 10-year-old Bud escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of a man he believes is his father, renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway. Winner of the 2000 Newbery Medal.
Seventeen-year-old Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high school, enlists in the Army in the summer of 1967 and spends a devastating year on active duty in Vietnam.