The following is a list of African-American interest books for young readers; compiled from publisher responses to our October Call for Information, these titles are publishing between September 2019 and March 2020. For a list of African-American interest books for adults please click here.
I Am a Promise (Feb., $15.95) by Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce, illus. by Rachel Moss, celebrates the indomitable spirit of six-time Olympic medal winner, Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce of Jamaica. Ages up to-7.
Home Girl (Sept., paper $14.95) by Alex Wheatle follows dramatic twists and turns when Naomi, a 14-year-old white girl, is placed with a black foster care family. Ages 12-up.
Ruby Finds a Worry (Sept., $17.99) by Tom Percival. The creator of Perfectly Norman explores what to do when a worry won’t leave you alone. Ages 3-6.
A Voice Named Aretha (Jan., $17.99) by Katheryn Russell-Brown, illus. by Laura Freeman, looks at the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, and how she fought for respect throughout her life. Ages 4-8.
Some Places More Than Others (Sept., $12.99) by Renée Watson. A middle-grade novel about finding deep roots and exploring the past, the present, and the places that make us who we are. Ages 8-12.
The Great Shelby Holmes and the Haunted Hound (Sept., $16.99) by Elizabeth Eulberg continues this middle-grade twist on Sherlock Holmes as detective duo Shelby and Watson face their spookiest case yet: a haunting. Ages 8-12.
One Person, No Vote (YA Edition): How Not All Voters Are Treated Equally (Sept., $18.99) by Carol Anderson with Tonya Bolden. A young readers’ edition of the history of voter suppression in America. Ages 12-17.
Saving Savannah (Jan., $17.99) by Tonya Bolden. A teen girl becomes a woman on her own terms against the backdrop of widespread social change in the early 1900s. Ages 13–18.
Hike (Mar., $17.99) by Pete Oswald follows a father and child into the mountains as they witness the magic of the wilderness, overcome challenges, and play a small role in the survival of the forest. Ages 4-8.
Kaia and the Bees (Mar., $16.99) by Maribeth Boelts, illus. by Angela Dominguez,
team up for the story of a girl who tries to overcome her fear of bees to see how amazing they are. Ages 4-8.
Freedom Soup (Dec., $16.99) by Tami Charles, illus. by Jacqueline Alcántara. A family makes its traditional New Year’s soup—and shares the story of how Haitian independence came to be. Ages 5-9.
Cookie and Milk: A Scientifically Stunt-Tastic Sisterhood (Oct., $16.95) by Michele McAvoy, illus. by Jessica Gibson, shows readers that friendship is not what you have in common, but instead how you differ. Ages 4-10.
Follow Chester: A College Football Team Fights Racism and Makes History (Sept., $16.99) by Gloria Respress-Churchwell, illus. by Laura Freeman. A little-known civil rights hero and college football MVP gets a voice in this fictional account detailing Chester Pierce's game-changing play as he became the first black college football player to compete south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Ages 6-9.
Becoming Beatriz (Sept., $17.99) by Tami Charles. Beatriz dreams of a life spent dancing—until tragedy on the day of her quinceañera changes everything. Ages 12-up.
Three Cheers for Kid McGear (Sept., $17.99) by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illus. by AG Ford. For construction fans both big and small, playful rhyming text makes a tale of teamwork and the big potential in the littlest readers. Ages 3-6.
Get Up, Stand Up (Sept., $16.99) by Cedella Marley, illus. by John Jay Cabuay. The eldest child of reggae singer Bob Marley delivers a third picture book adaptation of one of his beloved songs. Ages 4-7.
Topside (Oct., paper $14.99) by J.N. Monk, iIlus. by Harry Bogosian delivers an outer-space fantasy about fixing your mistakes and the friends you meet along the way. Ages 12-18.
Big Papa and the Time Machine (Jan., $17.99) by Daniel Bernstrom, illus. by Shane W. Evans, follows a grandfather and grandson who travel through time in a beloved 1952 Ford. Ages 4-8.
Ready to Fly: How Sylvia Townsend Became the Bookmobile Ballerina (Jan., $18.99) by Lea Lyon and A. LaFaye, illus. by Jessica Gibson, recounts the true story of an African American girl who falls in love with ballet after seeing Swan Lake on TV. Ages 4-8.
Fresh Princess: Style Rules! (Mar., $18.99) by Denene Milner, illus. by Gladys Jose, follows Destiny the Fresh Princess in her second adventure, based on The Fresh Prince created by Will Smith. Now that Destiny settled into her new neighborhood, she is on her way to the next big thing: a new school. Ages 4-8.
HARPERCOLLINS/BALZER + BRAY
Althea Gibson: The Story of Tennis’ Fleet-of-Foot Girl (Jan., $17.99) by Megan Reid, illus. by Laura Freeman, chronicles this trailblazing athlete’s journey and the talent, force of spirit, and energy that made it possible for her to break barriers and ascend to the top of the tennis world. Ages 4-8.
I Believe I Can (Mar., $18.99) by Grace Byers, illus. by Keturah A. Bobo, offers an affirmation for boys and girls of every background to love and believe in themselves. Ages 4-8.
Deathless Divide (Feb., $18.99) by Justina Ireland. In this sequel to Dread Nation, Jane McKeene is caught between mysteries and lies, the undead, and her own inner demons, on a dark path of blood and violence that threatens to consume her. Ages 14-up.
From the Desk of Zoe Washington (Jan., $16.99) by Janae Marks. A courageous girl questions assumptions, searches for the truth, and does what she believes is right, even in the face of great opposition. Ages 8-12.
My Baby Loves Christmas (Sept., $7.99) by Jabari Asim, illus. by Tara Nicole Whitaker celebrates all of the things that baby discovers about Christmas. Ages up to -4.
Kingdom of Souls (Sept., $18.99) by Rena Barron. A girl with no gifts must bargain for the power to fight her own mother’s dark schemes—even if the price is her life. Ages 13-up.
Not So Pure and Simple (Jan., $18.99) by Lamar Giles spotlights the consequences of societal pressure, confronts toxic masculinity, and explores the complexity of what it means to be a “real man.” Ages 13-up.
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT
The Crossover Graphic Novel (Sept., $22.99; paper $12.99) by Kwame Alexander, illus. by Dawud Anyabwile. The verse novel of family and basketball is brought to vivid new life as a graphic novel. Ages 10-12.
The Fierce 44: Black Americans Who Shook Up the World (Dec., $17.99) by the staff of The Undefeated, illus. by Robert Ball. Meet 44 of America’s most impressive heroes in this collective biography of African American figures, written by the team at ESPN’s TheUndefeated.com. Ages 10-12.
Nya’s Long Walk: A Step at a Time (Sept., $17.99) by Linda Sue Park, illus. by Brian Pinkney. In this picture book companion to the bestseller A Long Walk to Water, a South Sudanese girl goes on a journey that requires determination, persistence, and compassion. Ages 4-7.
Gloom Town (Feb., $16.99) by Ronald Smith. After 12-year-old Rory takes a job at a spooky old mansion in his gloomy seaside town, he learns that his new boss is trying to steal the townspeople’s shadows. Ages 10-12.
Dictionary for a Better World: Poems, Quotes, and Anecdotes from A to Z (Feb., $29.99) by Charles Waters and Irene Latham, illus. by Mehrdokht Amini, uses a dictionary format with each entry a word related to creating a better world, and for each word, there is a poem, a quote from an inspiring person, a personal anecdote from the authors, and a “try it” prompt for an activity. Ages 8-12.
A Girl Like Me (Feb., $19.99) by Angela Johnson, illus. by Nina Crews, combines poetry and photocollage illustrations to celebrate girls of color and empower young readers to embrace their individuality, reject societal limitations, and follow their dreams. Ages 5-10.
The Revolution of Birdie Randolph (Sept., $17.99) by Brandy Colbert explores first love and family secrets. Ages 12-up.
The Proudest Blue (Oct., $17.99) by Ibtihaj Muhammad & SK Ali, illus. by Hatem Aly. Faizah’s first day of school is going to be special: it's the start of a brand new year and, best of all, it's her older sister Asiya's first day of hijab–a hijab of beautiful blue fabric. Ages 4-8.
Saturday (Oct., $18.99) by Oge Mora joins a mother and daughter on an up-and-down journey that reminds them of what's best about Saturdays: precious time together. Ages 4-8.
Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History (Nov., $17.99) by Vashti Harrison colorfully showcases men including aviator John Robinson, comic book author Dwayne McDuffie, photographer Gordon Parks, writer James Baldwin, and musician Prince. Ages 8-12.
Black Brother, Black Brother (Mar., $16.99) by Jewell Parker Rhodes. A coming-of-age story about two brothers–one who presents as white, the other as black–and the complex ways in which they are forced to navigate the world, all while training for a fencing competition. Ages 8-12.
The Only Black Girls in Town (Mar., $16.99) by Brandi Colbert follows the only two black girls in town who discover a collection of hidden journals and painful secrets involving the violence of racism. Ages 8-12.
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You (Mar., $18.99) by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi examines the history of racist ideas in America and offers young readers the tools they need to combat these ideas.
MACMILLAN/FARRAR, STRAUS & GIROUX
Brown Baby Lullaby (Jan., $16.99) by Tameka Fryer Brown, illus. by AG Ford, includes Spanish words while depicting two brown-skinned parents lovingly caring for their brown baby. Ages 2-6.
MACMILLAN/FEIWEL AND FRIENDS
Girls Like Us (Oct., $18.99) by Randi Pink. Four teenage girls: four different stories, all dealing with unplanned pregnancies. Ages 14-up.
I Am Perfectly Designed (Nov., $18.99) by Karamo Brown and Jason “Rachel” Brown, illus. by Anoosha Syed, follow a boy and his father as they take a joyful walk through the city, discovering all the ways in which they are perfectly designed for each other. Ages 4-8.
Light It Up (Oct., $18.99) by Kekla Magoon. After a police officer shoots and killsed an unarmed 13-year-old girl, the community is thrown into upheaval, leading to unrest, a growing movement to protest the senseless taking of black lives, and the arrival of white supremacist counterdemonstrators. Ages 14-up.
Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Dec., $18.99) by Tomi Adeyemi. Zélie must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as it tears itself apart, in this sequel to the bestselling Children of Blood and Bone. Ages 14-up.
Black Girl Unlimited (Jan., $17.99) by Echo Brown. New portals open when Echo transfers to the rich school on the West Side, leaving her brothers, her friends, and a piece of herself behind on the East Side. Ages 14-up.
A Dream So Dark (Sept., $18.99) by LL McKinney. Still reeling from her recent battle (and grounded until she graduates high school), Alice must cross the Veil to rescue her friends and stop the Black Knight once and for all. Ages 13-up.
Black Is a Rainbow Color (Jan., $17.99) by Angela Joy, illus. by Ekua Holmes, explores how black is not only a color, but also evokes a deeper sentiment about the incredible people who helped change the world and a community that continues to grow and thrive. Ages 4-8.
Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice (Mar., $18.99) by Mahogany L. Browne et al., illus. by Theodore Taylor III, collects poems by women that reflect the joy and passion in the fight for social justice. Ages 8-12.
Badass Black Girl: Quotes, Questions, and Affirmations for Teens (Jan., paper $16.95) by M.J. Fievre challenges girls to reflect on their role in the world and to overcome handed-down stereotypes intended to keep black girls in their place. Ages 12-16.
War Girls (Oct., $18.99) by Tochi Onyebuchi. In the year 2172, when climate change and nuclear disasters have rendered much of earth unlivable, two sisters in a war-torn Nigeria dream of peace and hope—and they’re willing to fight an entire war to achieve it. Ages 12-up.
Obviously (Sept., $17.99) by Akilah Hughes recounts her journey from the small Kentucky town where she was born—and eventually became a spelling bee champ and 15-year-old high school graduate—to New York City, where she took careful steps to fulfill her dream of becoming a writer and performer. Ages 14-up.
What Lane? (Apr. $16.99) by Torrey Maldonado. A mixed kid who feels like he’s part of two different worlds swerves in and out of every lane on a journey to discover that life is about choosing the lanes you want to be in. Ages 13-up.
IS A TITLE MISSING HERE? hardvo. Ages 10-up.
A Phoenix First Must Burn: Sixteen Stories of Black Girl Magic, Resistance, and Hope (Mar., $18.99) by Patrice Caldwell features heroines—witches and scientists, sisters and lovers, priestesses and rebels—from folktales retold to futuristic societies. Ages 12-up.
All the Days Past, All the Days to Come (Jan., $19.99) by Mildred D. Taylor completes her sweeping saga about the Logan family of Mississippi, which is also the story of the civil rights movement in America of the 20th century. Ages 14-up.
G.P. PUTNAM’S SONS
A River of Royal Blood (Oct., $18.99) by Amanda Joy. Sixteen-year-old Eva is a princess, born with a dark and terrible magick of blood and marrow, that hasn't been seen for generations in her vibrant but fractured country. Ages 12-up.
I Look Up To…Oprah Winfrey and I Look Up To…Misty Copeland (Nov., each $7.99) by Anna Membrino, illus. by Fatti Burke, launch a series of inspirational board books that introduce powerful feminist role models. Ages up to 3.
The Dragon Thief (Oct., $16.99) by Zetta Elliott, illus. by Geneva B. Young Jaxon needs all the help he can get to find his best friend’s sister, outsmart a trickster named Blue, and return a baby dragon to its true home. Ages 8-12.
Brave. Black. First: 50+ African American Women Who Changed the World (Jan., $18.99) by Cheryl Willis Hudson, illus. by Erin K. Robinson, honors more than 50 African American women whose unique skills and contributions paved the way for the next generation. Ages 8-12.
Clean Getaway (Jan., $16.99) by Nic Stone offers a road-trip story through American race relations past and present, where an 11-year-old boy is about to discover that the world hasn’t always been a welcoming place for kids like him. Ages 8-12.
Reach for the Skai (Oct., $19.99) by Skai Jackson shares lessons on life and her rise to stardom in a memoir about self-acceptance, girl empowerment, and the classy clapback. Ages 10-14.
Jackpot (Oct., $17.99) by Nic Stone follows a romance that examines class, privilege, and how a stroke of good luck can change an entire life. Ages 14-up.
Who Put This Song On? (Sept., $18.99) by Morgan Parker. Loosely based on the author’s own teenage life and diaries, this novel features a girl brave enough to live life on her own terms. Ages 14-up.
When You Were Everything (Mar., $17.99) by Ashley Woodfolk blends past and present into an emotional story about the beauty of self-forgiveness, the promise of new beginnings, and the courage it takes to remain open to love. Ages 14-up.
Happy Hair (Oct., $16.99) by Mechal Renee Roe celebrates black girls and their beautiful hair. Ages 3-7.
Cool Cuts (Feb., $16.99) by Mechal Renee Roe celebrates black boys and their cool hair. Ages 3-7.
Double Bass Blues (Oct., $17.99) by Andrea J. Loney, illus. by Rudy Gutierrez, celebrates family, community, and the unifying power of music. Ages 4- 8.
Just Like Me (Jan., $17.99) by Vanessa Brantley-Newton offers an ode to the girl with scrapes on her knees and flowers in her hair, and every girl in between. Ages 4-8.
Sauerkraut (Sept., $16.99) by Kelly Jones, illus. by Paul Davey, spins a goofy ghost tale that celebrates creative problem-solving, family ties, and makers of every variety. Ages 8-12.
Full Disclosure (Oct., $18.99) by Camryn Garrett follows an HIV-positive teenager, who falls in love and learns to live her truth. Ages 14-up.
The Long Ride (Sept., $16.99) by Marina Budhos follows three seventh-grade, mixed-race girls in 1970s New York City, who are bussed from their neighborhood in Queens to integrate a new school in South Jamaica. Ages 10-up.
RANDOM HOUSE/MAKE ME A WORLD
Mama Mable’s All-Gal Big Band Jazz Extravaganza! (Oct., $17.99) by Annie Sieg takes young readers on a trip to the music halls of the 1940s, when groups of young female musicians broke racial and gender barriers–and forever changed the face of jazz. Ages 4-8.
Pet (Sept., $17.99) by Akwaeke Emezi asks difficult questions about what choices you can make when society around you is in denial. Ages 12-up.
RANDOM HOUSE/SCHWARTZ & WADE
Hey, Baby! A Baby’s Day in Doodles (Feb., $8.99) by Andrea Pippins follows a baby throughout the day, from napping to snacking to playing, and everything in between. Ages up to-3.
The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read (Jan., $17.99) by Rita Lorraine Hubbard, illus. by Oge Mora, shares the true story of a woman whose long life spanned from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, and who—with perseverance and dedication—proved that you’re never too old to learn. Ages 4-8.
Thurgood (Sept., $17.99) by Jonah Winter, illus. by Bryan Collier, offers a picture-book biography of Thurgood Marshall, the first black justice on the Supreme Court and a giant of the civil rights movement. Ages 5-9.
Stolen Justice (Jan., $18.99) by Lawrence Goldstone examines the post-Reconstruction era struggle for and suppression of African American voting rights in the United States. Ages 13-up.
Take the Mic: Fictional Stories of Everyday Resistance (Oct., $17.99) by Bethany Morrow. A young adult anthology featuring fictional stories of everyday resistance. Ages 8-12.
Shadowshaper Legacy (Shadowshaper Cypher #3) (Jan., $18.99) by Daniel José Older concludes his series in a finale of searing rebellion, the power of fate, and untold magic. Ages 13-up.
Little Heroes of Color (Dec., $10.99) by David Heredia introduces preschoolers to 50 men and women of color who have changed the world. Ages 2-4.
Child of the Dream (Sept., $16.99) by Sharon Robinson. A memoir by the daughter of a prolific figure, set during one of the most important years of the civil rights movement. Ages 8-12.
Project Middle School (Oct., $14.99) by Alyssa Milano and Debbie Riguad, illus. by Eric S. Keyes, presents the first book in a new middle-grade series that follows a young activist in the making. Ages 8-12.
King of the Dragonflies (Feb., $17.99) by Kacen Callender. In a small but turbulent Louisiana town, one boy’s grief takes him beyond the bayous of his backyard to learn that there is no right way to be yourself. Ages 8-12.
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Sulwe (Oct., $17.99) by Lupita Nyong’o, illus. by Vashti Harrison, creates a whimsical story about colorism, self-esteem, and learning that true beauty comes from within. Ages 4-8.
Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment (Oct., $17.99) by Parker Curry and Jessica Curry, illus. by Brittany Jackson. A visit to Washington, D.C.’s National Portrait Gallery alters Parker Curry’s young life when she views First Lady Michelle Obama’s portrait. Ages 4-8.
By and By: Charles Albert Tindley, the Father of Gospel Music (Jan., $17.99) by Carole Boston Weatherford, illus. by Bryan Collier, introduces the gospel composer and preacher best known for the hymn “We’ll Understand It Better By and By.” Ages 4-8.
I’m Gonna Push Through! (Feb., $17.99) by Jasmyn Wright, illus. by Shannon Wright, celebrates resilience in the face of adversity and invites young readers to announce their own power and to recognize and reaffirm that of others, regardless of setbacks. Ages 4-8.
Infinite Hope: A Black Artist's Journey from World War II to Peace (Oct., $21.99) by Ashley Bryan. An illustrated memoir of a soldier serving in the segregated Army during World War II, and how love and the pursuit of art sustained him. Ages 10-up.
Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks (Oct., $17.99) by Jason Reynolds. Ten tales—one per block—about what happens after the dismissal bell rings, woven into a humorous look at the detours we face on the walk home, and in life. Ages 10-14.
Just Like A Mama (Jan., $17.99) by Alice Faye Duncan, illus. by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow, celebrates the heart connection between adopted children and the forever families who welcome them with kindness, care, and unconditional love. Ages 4-8.
Slay (Sept., $18.99) by Brittney Morris follows a fierce teen game developer as she battles a real-life troll intent on ruining the Black Panther–inspired video game she created and the safe community it represents for black gamers. Ages 12-up.
Counting the Stars: The Story of Katherine Johnson, NASA Mathematician (Oct., $17.99) by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illus. by Raúl Colón, recalls the remarkable mathematician Katherine Johnson, one of the NASA “human computers” whose work was critical to the first U.S. space launch. Ages 4-8.
The Power of Her Pen: The Story of Groundbreaking Journalist Ethel L. Payne (Jan., $17.99) by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illus. by John Parra recounts the story of Ethel Payne, an African American journalist known as the First Lady of the black press. Ages 4-8.
Freedom Bird: A Tale of Hope and Courage (Jan., $17.99) by Jerdine Nolen, illus. by James E. Ransome. In the tradition of American black folktales, an enslaved brother and sister are inspired by a majestic and mysterious bird to escape to freedom. Ages 5-9.
The Good Luck Girls (Oct., $17.99) by Charlotte Nicole Davis. A fantasy adventure of five girls pursued by vicious and powerful forces, whose only hope lies in a bedtime story passed from one to another. Ages 13-up.
The Noisy Classroom (Mar., $16.99) by Angela Shanté, illus. by Alison Hawkins, aims to soothe childhood anxiety associated with school and change by following an African American girl entering third grade. Ages 6-8.