The following is a list of African-American interest books for young readers; compiled from publisher responses to our October PW Call for Information; these titles are publishing between September 2015 and March 2016. For a list of African-American interest books for adults, please visit this link.
Night on Fire (Sept., $16.99) by Ronald Kidd. When Alabama teen Billie Sims learns that the Freedom Riders, a group of peace activists protesting segregation on interstate buses, will be traveling through her town, she thinks change is finally coming. Ages 9-13.
Little Shaq (Oct., paper $9.99) by Shaquille O’Neal, illus. by Theodore Taylor III. A family-friendly early chapter book series to inspire kids to love reading, play fair, and have fun. Ages 5-7.
Women Who Broke the Rules: Coretta Scott King (Dec., $16.99, paper $6.99) by Kathleen Krull, illus. by Laura Freeman. A biography of Coretta Scott King, with full-color illustrations, blends history and humor. Ages 7-9.
The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial (Jan., $17.99) by Susan E. Goodman, illus. by E.B. Lewis, looks at the story of four-year-old Sarah Roberts, the first African-American girl to try to integrate a white school, and how her experience in 1847 set greater change in motion. Ages 5-7.
Boyds Mills Press
Freedom’s Price (Oct., $17.95) by Michaela MacColl and Rosemary Nichols fictionalizes the life of what Dred Scott’s daughter might have been like as the family waited for their case to be decided by the court. Ages 9-12.
Jump Back, Paul: The Life and Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar (Sept., $16.99) by Sally Derby, illus. by Sean Qualls, introduces Paul Laurence Dunbar’s life and poetry, illuminating the phases of his life and serving as examples of dialect, imagery, and tone. Ages 9-12.
Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph (Mar., $18.99) by Roxane Orgill, illus. by Francis Vallejo, uses playful verse to describe what happens when you invite as many jazz musicians as you can to pose for a photo in 1950s Harlem. Ages 8-12.
Game Changer: John McLendon and the Secret Game (Oct., $17.99) by John Coy, illus. by Randy DuBurke. In 1944, during a time of widespread segregation and rampant racism, Coach McLendon orchestrated a secret game between the best players from a white college and his team from the North Carolina College of Negroes – an illegal gathering that changed the sport of basketball forever. Ages 7–11.
The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore (Nov., $17.99) by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illus. by R. Gregory Christie, recalls how Lewis Michaux Sr. and his bookstore fostered new ideas and helped people stand up for what they believed in. Ages 7-10.
Don’t Call Me Grandma (Feb., $19.99) by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illus. by Elizabeth Zunon. A girl finds a way to express her affection for her prickly, independent great-grandmother. Ages 5-9.
See No Color (Nov., $18.99) by Shannon Gibney. Sixteen-year-old Alex has to come to terms with her adoption, her race, and the dreams she thought would always guide her. Ages 12-18.
Kenya’s Art (Jan., $16.95) by Linda Trice, illus. by Hazel Mitchell. Kenya’s visit to the museum’s recycling exhibit inspires her to teach her class easy ways to recycle, reuse, and make art. Ages 4-8.
The Quickest Kid in Clarksville (Feb., $16.99) by Pat Zietlow Miller, illus. by Frank Morrison. A girl growing up in the 1960s in the segregated town of Clarksville, Tenn., her dreams, determination, and the power of friendship. Ages 5-8.
Game On (Sept., paper $9.95) by Calvin Slater. The hustling teens from The Wire meet the love-struck teens from Amir Abrams and Ni-Ni Simone's novels in the third book in the urban YA Coleman High series. Ages 14-18.
On the Ball (Sept, $17.99) by Brian Pinkney. After a disastrous day on the field, in ballplayer Owen’s effort to get his ball back, he discovers that he has more skills than he realizes. Ages 2-5.
Disney/Jump at the Sun
Frederick’s Journey: The Life of Frederick Douglass (Nov., $17.99) by Doreen Rappaport, illus. by London Ladd, uses Douglass’s words to depict his journey from boy to man, from slavery to freedom. Ages 6-8.
Feiwel and Friends
Mixed Me! (Oct., $16.99) by Taye Diggs, illus. by Shane Evans. This picture book follows a day in the life of a mixed-race child. Ages 4-8.
The Magnificent Mya Tibbs: Spirit Week Showdown (Jan., $16.99) by Crystal Allen. Mya must figure out how to be brave to conquer elementary school. Ages 8-12
This Kid Can Fly: It’s About Ability (NOT Disability) (Feb., $16.99) by Aaron Philip. The young man who created a Tumblr blog, Aaronverse, to bring awareness to disability rights issues shares his story. Ages 8-12
Mousetropolis (Sept., $16.95) by R. Gregory Christie reimagines the Aesop fable when City Mouse and his cousin, Country Mouse, exchange visits and quickly learn that each prefers the familiarity of his own dwelling. Ages 4–8.
Looking for Bongo (Feb., $16.95) by Eric Velasquez. When a boy’s abuela accuses him of being careless with his beloved Bongo, he devises a trap and catches the toy thief red-handed. Ages 3–6.
Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis Armstrong (Mar., $16.95) by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illus. by James E. Ransome. A tribute to Louis Armstrong from his New Orleans childhood surrounded by music to becoming a professional musician in Chicago. Ages 6–10.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Backyard Camp-Out and Block Party Surprises (Sept., each $12.99; paper $3.99) by Jerdine Nolen, illus. by Michelle Henninger, are part of an easy reader series featuring a diverse neighborhood of characters. Ages 6-9.
Hoodoo (Sept., $16.99) by Ronald L. Smith evokes the swamps, red soil, and sweltering heat of small-town Alabama in the 1930s. Ages 10-12.
Don’t Feed The Geckos (Dec., $14.99) by Karen English, illus. by Laura Freeman. The third title in an early chapter book series featuring African-American and Latino boys. Ages 6-9.
Lee & Low
Ira's Shakespeare Dream (Sept., $18.95) by Glenda Armand, illus. by Floyd Cooper celebrates the life of Ira Aldridge, who became one of the most celebrated Shakespearean actors throughout Europe. Ages 8-10.
Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness (Mar., $19.95) by Donna Janell Bowman, illus. by Daniel Minter follows one man and one horse who showed the world the power of kindness. Ages 7 to 12.
Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas (Mar., $17.95) by Gwendolyn Hooks, illus. by Colin Bootman, recalls the man who overcame racism and resistance from his colleagues to usher in a new era of medicine: children’s heart surgery. Ages 7 to 12.
First Man: Reimagining Matthew Henson (Oct., $14.99) by Simon Schwartz. A graphic novel weaving biography and fiction together to explore the life of Arctic adventurer Matthew Henson. Ages: 13-18.
The Emancipation of Grandpa Sandy Wills (Sept., $18.63) by Cheryl Wills. The television journalist inspires readers to trace their family roots through the tale of her enslaved ancestor who fought for his freedom as a soldier during the Civil War. Ages 8-14.
Freedom in Congo Square (Jan., $17.99) by Carole Boston Weatherford, illus. by R. Gregory Christie. A nonfiction story about the history of Congo Square in New Orleans, and the unjust system of slavery in 19th-century Louisiana. Ages 4-8.
President of the Whole Sixth Grade (Nov., $17) by Sherri Winston. Just when Brianna when begins to lose hope, she comes to realize that surprises can turn out even better than the best-laid plans. Ages 8-12.
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star (Mar., $7.99) by Jerry Pinkney offers a take on the classic lullaby, where the loving arms of nature embrace us despite darkness or uncertainty. Ages 3-5.
Bottle Cap Boys Dancing on Royal Street (Oct., $16.95) by Rita Williams-Garcia introduces two brothers who keep the unique New Orleans tradition of “bottle cap” dancing alive. Ages 7-9.
Alabaster Shadows (Dec., paper $12.99) by Matt Gardner, illus. by Rashad Doucet. Carter Normandy and his rag-tag group of friends discover a secret world of monsters in their seemingly perfect community. Ages 8-12
Stringers (Mar., paper $19.99) by Marc Guggenheim, illus. by Justin Greenwood. Paul and Nick are the guys who shoot the news – but when they film something they weren't supposed to see, they suddenly find themselves on the run. Ages 16-up.
Oscar Lives Next Door (Sept., $16.95) by Bonnie Farmer, illus. by Marie Lafrance. A fictional glimpse into the youth of jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, imagining a next-door neighbor named Millie who gets into mischief with him, but also encourages his earliest notes on the piano. Ages 4-8.
Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton (Sept., $16.95) by Don Tate. North Carolina slave George Moses Horton taught himself to read and became the first African-American to be published in the South, protesting slavery in the form of verse. Ages 6-10.
Voyagers: Infinity Riders (Book 4) (Mar., $12.99) by Kekla Magoon. The action is on the page and on your device with this multiplatform middle-grade series. Ages 8-12.
Everything, Everything (Sept., $18.99) by Nicola Yoon. When a new family moves in next door, a girl who is literally allergic to the outside world and has never left her house, begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she's ever known. Ages 12-up.
This Way Home (Nov., $17.99) by Wes Moore and Shawn Goodman looks at reclamation, discovering what really matters and taking a stand for it. Age 14-up.
Sewing Stories: Harriet Powers’ Journey from Slave to Artist (Oct., $17.99) by Barbara Herkert, illus. by Vanessa Newton, introduces artist and quiltmaker Harriet Powers, who was born into slavery and whose pictorial quilts now hang in museums across the country. Ages 4-8.
Random House/Schwartz & Wade
I Love My Hair: A Coloring Book of Braids, Coils, and Doodle Dos (Nov., $15.99) by Andrea Pippins offers a coloring book about all things hair. Ages 3-up.
Rhythm Ride: A Roadtrip Through the Motown Sound (Sept., $22.99) by Andrea Davis Pinkney captures the celebration, controversy, and ultimate success that encapsulated this pivotal era in our country’s musical history. Ages 10-14.
Untwine (Sept., $16.99) by Edwidge Danticat examines the bonds of friendship, romance, family, loss, and the strength we must discover in ourselves when all seems hopeless. Ages 12-up.
A Birthday Cake for George Washington (Jan., $17.99) by Ramin Ganeshram, illus. by Vanessa Brantley Newton. President George Washington loves cake, and depends on his head chef Hercules, who is a slave, to make it for him—until one year when they are out of sugar. Ages 7–10.
The Hero Two Doors Down: Based on the True Story of Friendship Between a Boy and a Baseball Legend (Jan., $16.99) by Sharon Robinson. A Jewish boy in Brooklyn becomes neighbors and friends with his hero, Jackie Robinson. Ages 8–12.
Ruby Lee and Me (Jan., $16.99) by Shannon Hitchcock. When a segregated North Carolina town gets its first black teacher, two girls—one black, one white—come face-to-face with how prejudice affects their friendship. Ages 8–12.
Emma and Julia Love Ballet (Feb., $17.99) by Barbara McClintock aims to charm every child with ballet dreams. Ages 4–8.
Same But Different: Teen Life on the Autism Express (Feb., $17.99) by Holly Robinson Peete, Ryan Elizabeth Peete, and RJ Peete offers a narrative about the challenges and triumphs of being a teen who has autism. Ages 12–up.
My Name Is Not Friday (Jan., $18.99) by Jon Walter. Samuel and his mischievous younger brother Joshua are free black boys living in an orphanage during the end of the Civil War—until Samuel takes the blame for Joshua's latest prank, is taken from the orphanage, and is sold into slavery. Ages 12–up.
Cleo Edison Oliver, Playground Millionaire (Jan., $6.99) by Sundee T. Frazier. When a mean classmate makes fun of Cleo for being adopted, everything comes crashing down. Ages 8–12.
To Catch a Cheat: A Jackson Greene Novel (Jan., $16.99) by Varian Johnson. When a video frames Jackson and his friends for a crime they didn't commit, Gang Greene battles the blackmailers in this sequel to The Great Greene Heist. Ages 8–12.
Two Friends: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass (Jan., $17.99) by Dean Robbins, illus. by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko, teaches about the fight for women’s and African-Americans’ rights. Ages 4–8.
Dork Diaries # 10: Tales from a Not-So-Perfect Pet Sitter (Oct., $13.99) by Rachel Renée Russell. Nikki and her friends team up on an important mission in the 10th book in the Dork Diaries series. Ages 9-13.
Sail Away (Sept., $17.99) by Langston Hughes, illus. by Ashley Bryan, celebrates mermaids, wildernesses of waves, and the creatures of the deep through poems by Langston Hughes and cut-paper collage illustrations. Ages 4-8.
All American Boys (Sept., $17.99) by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely join forces for a novel inspired by recent controversial events and the national firestorm over police brutality. Ages 12-up.
They Had a Dream: The Struggles of Four of the Most Influential Leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, from Frederick Douglass to Marcus Garvey to Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X (Jan., $16.99) by Jules Archer brings to life some of the major leaders from slavery through the sixties. Ages 12-up.
Little White Lies (Feb., $18.99) by Brianna Baker and F. Bowman Hastie. When 17-year-old African-American blogger Coretta White's tumblr, Little White Lies, goes viral, she crumbles under the celebrity—so she enlists a 41-year-old white man as her ghost writer. Ages 12-up.
CJ's New Basketball (Dec., $12.95) by Ivy Valentine Pate, illus. by Chris Padovano, uses mischievous antics to teach the days of the week, basketball fundamentals and accountability. Ages 3-8.