The following is a list of African-American interest books for young readers; compiled from publisher responses to our September Call for Information, these titles are publishing between September 2018 and March 2019. For a list of African-American interest books for adults, please visit this page.
The Stuff of Stars (Sept., $17.99) by Marion Dane Bauer, illus. by Ekua Holmes, celebrates the birth of every child in an astonishing unfurling of our universe. Ages 4-8.
Zora and Me: The Cursed Ground (Sept., $16.99) by T.R. Simon fictionalizes Zora Neale Hurston’s childhood adventures, exploring the idea of collective memory and the lingering effects of slavery. Ages 10-14.
Being You (Oct., $17.95) by Alexs Pate, illus. by Soud. Two kids learn that they have a choice: they can accept the labels that others put on them, or they can let their inner selves shine. Ages 5-7.
The Journey of York: The Unsung Hero of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (Jan., $17.95) by Hasan Davis, illus. by Alleanna Harris, recounts the invaluable contributions to the expedition by the enslaved man taken on the journey, as the captains came to rely on his peacemaking role with the American Indian nations they encountered. Ages 9-12.
Ann Fights for Freedom: An Underground Railroad Survival Story (Feb., paper $7.95) by Nikki Shannon Smith, illus. by Alessia Trunfio. When the master falls into debt and plans to sell both Ann and her younger brother to two different owners, Ann is convinced her family must run away on the Underground Railroad. From the new Girls Survive series. Ages 8-12.
Let ‘Er Buck! George Fletcher, the People's Champion (Feb., $18.99) by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illus. by Gordon C. James shares the true tale of a cowboy's epic rodeo ride with a western flair. Ages 8-12.
Struttin’ with Some Barbecue: Lil Harden Armstrong Becomes the First Lady of Jazz (Dec., $18.99) by Patricia Hruby Powell, illus. by Rachel Himes, uses scat-inspired verse to celebrate how Lil Harden Armstrong overcame race and gender barriers to become the first lady of the Chicago jazz scene. Ages 9-12.
Pizza Party: The Carver Chronicles, Book Six (Dec., $15.99) by Karen English, illus. by Laura Freeman. Third-grader Richard and his friends are just four days away from setting a record for excellent behavior and earning a classroom pizza party when disaster strikes: their beloved teacher is out sick, and the strictest, meanest substitute has taken her place. Ages 6-9.
The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away (Feb., $16.99) by Ronald L. Smith. Twelve-year-old Simon thinks he was abducted by aliens. But is it real, or just his over-active imagination? Ages 10-12.
CROWN BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS
We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices (Sept., $18.99) edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson. Fifty of the foremost diverse children’s authors and illustrators offer answers to the question “In this divisive world, what shall we tell our children?” in a full-color collection published in partnership with Just Us Books. Ages 8-12.
Enough! 20 Protesters Who Changed America (Sept., $17.99) by Emily Easton, iIllus. by Ziyue Chen, introduces young readers to America's most influential protesters–from Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King Jr. to contemporary groundbreakers like transgender teen Jazz Jennings. Ages 5-8.
Odd One Out (Oct., $17.99 hardcover) by Nic Stone explores old friendships, new crushes, and the path to self-discovery. Ages 14-up.
Starstruck: The Cosmic Journey of Neil Degrasse Tyson (Oct., $17.99) by Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer, illus. by Frank Morrison. A picture-book biography of the groundbreaking American astrophysicist whose work has inspired a generation of young scientists and astronomers to reach for the stars. Ages 4-8.
Max and the Midknights (Jan., $13.99) by Lincoln Peirce follows the medieval (mis)adventures of Max, a 10-year-old apprentice troubadour who dreams of becoming a knight. Ages 8-12.
Jake the Fake Goes For Laughs (Mar., $16.99) by Craig Robinson and Adam Mansbach, illus. by Keith Knight. The second book in this series about a class clown faking his way to comedy. Ages 8-12.
Just Mercy (Sept., $18.99) by Bryan A. Stevenson offers a YA adaptation of the bestseller which delves into his personal challenges and efforts as a lawyer and social advocate, especially on behalf of America’s most rejected and marginalized people. Ages 12-up.
The Belles, Book 2: The Everlasting Rose (Mar., $17.99) by Dhonielle Clayton. The high-stakes YA fantasy sequel to The Belles. Ages 12-up.
Love Like Sky (Nov., $16.99) by Leslie C. Youngblood. Eleven-year-old G-baby must bring her "blended up" family together when her little sister faces a dangerous illness. Ages 8-12.
DK Life Stories: Katherine Johnson (Jan., $5.99) follows Katherine's journey from growing up in West Virginia, to becoming a teacher, to breaking barriers at NASA and receiving the 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom. Ages 8-12.
DK Life Stories: Martin Luther King Jr. (Jan., $5.99) explores King’s life from his early family life and experiences in education, to his other enormous contributions to the Civil Rights Movement, to his untimely death and the worldwide mourning and riots that followed. Ages 8-12.
The Nightlife of Jacuzzi Gaskett (Jan., $18.95) by Brontez Purnell, illus. by Elise R. Peterson, enters the precocious mind of 11-year-old Jacuzzi, who takes care of his 11-month-old baby brother when their mom goes out for a date with her boyfriend. Ages 5-12.
My Little Golden Book About Martin Luther King, Jr. (Dec., $4.99) by Bonnie Bader, illus. by Sue Cornelison, captures the essence of Martin Luther King, Jr. for the littlest readers. Ages 2-5.
My Little Golden Book About Jackie Robinson (Dec., $4.99) by Frank John Berrios III, iIlus. by Betsy Bauer, captures the essence of Jackie Robinson for the littlest readers. Ages 2-5.
Resist (Sept., $16.99) by Veronica Chambers, illus. by Paul Ryding, profiles prominent figures who resisted tyranny, fought the odds, and opposed the dominant forces of their time to bend the arc of history toward truth and justice. Ages 8-12.
Gator, Gator, Gator! (Oct., $17.99) by Daniel Bernstrom, illus. by Frann Preston-Gannon, follows up One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree with this story of a fearless girl who goes in search of a giant gator. Ages 4-8.
The Field Guide to the North American Teenager (Jan. $18.99) by Ben Philippe. A cynical black French Canadian teen moves to Austin, Tex., and experiences the clichés and joys of the American high school experience–including falling in love. Ages 13-up.
New Kid (Feb., paper $12.99) by Jerry Craft. A timely graphic novel about starting over at a new school where diversity is low and the struggle to fit in is real. Ages 8-12.
A Good Kind of Trouble (Mar., $16.99) by Lisa Moore Ramée looks at friendship, family, and standing up for what’s right. Ages 8-12.
HARPERCOLLINS/BALZER + BRAY
Naomis Too (Sept., $16.99) by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich. A sequel to Two Naomis—a social justice-themed ode to blended and unconventional families—in which Naomi Marie and Naomi Edith discover new challenges in their lives, and in being sisters, while attending a new magnet school. Ages 8-12.
Pride (Sept. $17.99) by Ibi Zoboi reimagines Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, starring all characters of color and balancing cultural identity, class, and gentrification against the heady magic of first love. Ages 13-up.
The Magnificent Mya Tibbs: Mya in the Middle (Oct., $16.99) by Crystal Allen. The third book in the series about Mya, a nine-year-old, cowgirl-loving fourth grader. Ages 8-12.
This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story (Oct., $17.99) by Kheryn Callender follows Nathan Bird, who has sworn off happy endings but is sorely tested when his former best friend, Ollie, moves back to town. Ages 14-up.
Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America (Jan., $17.99) edited by Ibi Zoboi gathers stories from bestselling black authors writing for teens, about what it’s like to be young and black in America. Ages 13-up.
On the Come Up (Feb., $18.99) by Angie Thomas follows 16-year-old Bri, who wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time but finds herself at the center of a controversy when her first song goes viral. Ages 14-up.
Opposite of Always (Mar., $17.99) by Justin A. Reynolds looks at the choices we make, the people we choose, and the moments that make a life worth reliving. Ages 14-up.
This Is What It Feels Like (Nov. $17.99) by Rebecca Barrow explores friendship, music, and ferocious love that asks what will you fight for, if not yourself. Ages 13-up.
Buried Lives: The Enslaved People of George Washington's Mount Vernon (Dec., $24.99) by Carla Killough McClafferty looks at the complex relationships between George Washington and the enslaved people of Mount Vernon, and the history still being uncovered there. Ages 10-up.
KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS
Nevertheless, We Persisted (Sept., $18.99), foreword by Amy Klobuchar, gathers essays from actors, activists, athletes, politicians, musicians, writers, and teens, each writing about a time in their youth when they were held back because of their race, gender, or sexual identity–but persisted. Ages 12-up.
No Small Potatoes: Junius G. Groves and His Kingdom In Kansas (Oct., $17.99) by Tonya Bolden, illus. by Don Tate, explains how one of history’s most successful potato farmers began life as a slave and worked until he was named the “Potato King of the World.” Ages 4-8.
No One Here Is Lonely (Jan., $17.99) by Sarah Everett. As a grieving teen falls deeper into her “relationship” with a service that creates a digital companion, her reality begins to give way to a digital world. Ages 12-up.
Button and Bundle (Feb., $17.93) by Gretchen McLellan, illus. by Gillian Flint. Two best friends learn the true meaning of friendship when they must move away from each other, by using fun, imaginative play to create a world they'll share no matter how far apart they are. Ages 4-8.
LEE & LOW
Grand Theft Horse (Sept., $19.95) by G. Neri, illus. by Corban Wilkin, is the powerful story in graphic novel format of the author’s cousin Gail Ruffu, who stole a racehorse in order to save it, and ended up fighting the whole racing industry for the humane treatment of animals. Ages 12-up.
Hammer for Freedom (Sept., $17.95) by Rita Lorraine Hubbard, illus. by John Holyfield, introduces William "Bill" Lewis, a hardworking blacksmith who slowly saved his money and bought the freedom of each and every member of his enslaved family. Ages 7-11.
The Story of Civil Rights Hero John Lewis (Jan., $8.95) by Jim Haskins and Kathleen Benson, illus. by Aaron Boyd. Part of the Story line of chapter-book biographies, focuses on John Lewis, a leader in the civil rights movement of the 1960s and a revered Congressman today. Ages 8-12.
Pies from Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott (Nov., $17.99) by Dee Romito, illus. by Laura Freeman, introduces Georgia Gilmore, a hidden figure of history who played a critical role in the Civil Rights Movement by using her passion for baking to help the Montgomery Bus Boycott achieve its goal. Ages 6-9.
Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip-Hop (Jan., $18.99) by Carole Boston Weatherford, illus. by Frank Morrison, explores the roots of rap in this rhyming picture book. Ages 4-8.
Mighty Meg and the Magical Ring (Jan., paper $6.99) by Sammy Griffin, illus. by Micah Player, launches the Mighty Meg series with Meg receiving a ring for her eighth birthday and waking up with superpowers. Ages 6-8.
Dream Big, Little One (Oct., $8.99) by Vashti Harrison. A board book edition of Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History. Ages 0-3.
How High the Moon (Oct., $16.99) by Karyn Parsons follows one girl's journey to reconnect with her mother and learn the truth about her father in the tumultuous times of the Jim Crow South. Ages 8-12.
Don’t Touch My Hair! (Nov., $17.99) by Sharee Miller teaches the importance of asking for permission first as a girl attempts to escape the curious hands that want to touch her hair. Ages 4-8.
MATTER OF AFRICA AMERICA TIME
The Adventures of Papa Lemon's Little Wanderers: Bullying–A Choice with Consequences (Oct., paper $5.99) by Lehman Riley. Five racially diverse friends quickly discover the evolution of bullying when Papa Lemon suggests a trip back to 1953. Ages 9-11.
I Am Farmer: Growing an Environmental Movement in Cameroon (Feb., $19.99) by Miranda Paul and Baptiste Paul, illus. by Elizabeth Zunon. The true story of how environmentalist farmer Tantoh Nforba is transforming the landscape by bringing clean water and bountiful gardens to his home country of the central African nation of Cameroon. Ages 7-11.
The Vast Wonder of the World: Biologist Ernest Everett Just (Nov., $19.99) by Mélina Mangal, illus. by Luisa Uribe presents the life and accomplishments of this long overlooked African American scientific pioneer whose keen observations of sea creatures revealed new insights about the origins of life. Ages 6-10.
Carter Reads the Newspaper (Feb., $17.95) by Deborah Hopkinson, illus. by Don Tate, highlights the life of Carter G. Woodson, from being the son of two formerly enslaved parents to becoming the father of Black History Month and transforming the way people think about history. Age: 6-10.
QUARTO/LINCOLN CHILDREN'S BOOKS
Little People, Big Dreams: Muhammad Ali (Feb., $14.99) by Isabel Sanchez Vegara, illus. by Brosmind, looks at the life of Muhammad Ali through quirky illustrations and extra facts including a biographical timeline with historical photos. Ages 5-8.
QUARTO/WIDE EYED EDITIONS
Step Into Your Power: 21 Lessons On How To Live Your Best Life (Mar., $22.99) by Jamia Wilson, illus. by Andrea Pippins, coaches young women on growing up in the modern world, and making big dreams into big realities. Ages 9-12.
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS
Dragons in a Bag (Oct., $16.99) by Zetta Elliott, illus. by Geneva B. When Jaxon is sent to spend the day in Brooklyn with a mean old lady his mother calls Ma, he finds out she’s not his grandmother, but a witch who needs his help delivering baby dragons to a magical world where they’ll be safe. Ages 8-12.
I Look Up To… Michelle Obama (Oct., $7.99) by Anna Membrino, illus. by Fatti Burke. Designed to share and read aloud, distills Michelle Obama’s qualities into illustrated baby-sized bites; each spread highlights an important trait and features a quote from Michelle. Ages up to 3.
I Look Up To… Serena Williams (Jan., $7.99) by Anna Membrino, illus. by Fatti Burke. Designed to share and read aloud, distills Serena Williams’s qualities into illustrated baby-sized bites; each spread highlights an important trait and features a quote from Serena. Ages up to 3.
RANDOM HOUSE/WENDY LAMB
The Season of Styx Malone (Oct., $16.99) by Kekla Magoon. Young brothers Caleb and Bobby meet their new neighbor Styx Malone, but soon find themselves in over their heads after learning that Styx has secrets so big they could ruin everything. Ages 8–12.
RANDOM HOUSE/SCHWARTZ & WADE
Hip-Hop Lollipop (Oct., $17.99) by Susan Montanari, illus. by Brian Pinkney, offers a playful bedtime read-aloud that follows a girl as she dances her way to bedtime, brushing her teeth to the beat and shimmying into PJs. Ages 3-7.
What Is Given from the Heart (Jan., $17.99) by Patricia C. McKissack, illus. by April Harrison. The final picture book from the three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner and Newbery Honor author offers an uplifting celebration of the joy of giving. Ages 4-8.
American Girl: Real Stories from My Time: The March on Washington (Dec., paper $5.99) by Bonnie Bader, illus. by Kelley McMorris, introduces the inspiring people and acts of courage that led to this historic march, and American Girl Melody shares her own experiences growing up during the Civil rRghts Movement and dealing with discrimination. Ages 7-10.
Unpunished Murder: Massacre at Colfax and the Quest for Justice (Sept., $17.99) by Lawrence Goldstone explores US v. Cruikshank, the 1870s court case which set in motion a process that helped create a society in which black Americans were oppressed and denied basic human rights–legally, according to the courts. Ages 12-up.
Dark Sky Rising: Reconstruction and the Dawn of Jim Crow (Jan., $19.99) by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Tonya Bolden draws on real-life accounts to introduce young readers to America during and after Reconstruction, one of history’s most pivotal and misunderstood chapters. Ages 9-12.
Spin (Jan., $17.99) by Lamar Giles. When rising star Paris Secord (aka DJ ParSec) is found dead on her turntables, both her shunned pre-fame best friend and her chief groupie must join forces to dig into Paris’s past in their crusade for justice. Ages 12-up.
SCHOLASTIC / ARTHUR A. LEVINE
Dactyl Hill Squad (Sept., $16.99) by Daniel José Older follows the adventures of Magdalys Roca and her friends from the Colored Orphan Asylum in 1863 Brooklyn. Ages 8-12.
Dork Diaries 13: Tales from a Not-So-Happy Birthday (Oct., $13.99) by Rachel Renée Russell. Will Nikki Maxwell’s 13th birthday be a blast or a bust? Ages 9-13.
Never Caught: the Story of Ona Judge (Jan., $18.95) by Erica Armstrong Dunbar and Kathleen Van Cleve delivers an eye-opening narrative of Ona Judge, George and Martha Washington’s runaway slave, who risked everything for a better life. Ages 9-13.
Mia Mayhem Is a Superhero! (Dec., paper $16.99) by Kara West, illus. by Leeza Hernandez introduces Mia Macarooney, an ordinary eight-year-old who finds out she has an extraordinary super-secret in this first chapter book in the new Mia Mayhem series. Ages 5-9.
A Place for Wolves (Mar., $17.99) by Kosoko Jackson follows two boys, in love, and fighting to survive in a war-torn country. Ages 14-up.
Illegal (Sept., $19.99, paper $14.99) by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin, illus. by Giovanni Rigano. A graphic novel that paints a picture of a child refugee’s struggle in a world crisscrossed by hostile borders. Ages 10-14.
Lorraine (Oct., $17.99) by Ketch Secor, illus. by Higgins Bond, celebrates the bond that a girl shares with her grandfather through their mutual love of music. Ages 4-8.
Thinker: My Puppy Poet and Me (Mar., $15.99) by Eloise Greenfield, illus. by Ehsan Abdollahi, follows seven-year-old Jace as his puppy poet, Thinker, puts everything they do into verse, from going to the park to playing ball. Ages 4-8.
A Song for Gwendolyn Brooks (Jan., $16.95) by Alice Faye Duncan, illus. by Xia Gordon, celebrates the life of the first black author to win the Pulitzer Prize, featuring a handful of Brooks's own poems interspersed with original verse about the woman and her writing. Ages 5-up.
Fearless Mary: The True Adventures of Mary Fields, American Stagecoach Driver (Jan., $16.99) by Tami Charles, illus. by Claire Almon, introduces the trailblazing African-American Wild West heroine who helped settle the American West. Ages 5-7.
Follow Me Down to Nicodemus Town: Based on the History of the African American Pioneer Settlement (Jan., $16.99) by A. LaFaye, illus. by Nicole Tadgell, follows a fictional girl and her parents as they set out to stake a claim and become homesteading pioneers in the Midwest. Ages 5-7.