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 2017 and March 2018. For a list of African-American interest books for adults, please visit African-American Interest Adult Titles, 2017-2018.
Alfie (Oct., $17.95) by Thyra Heder follows the friendship between a girl and her pet turtle, told from both points of view. Ages 4-8.
Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut (Oct., $17.95) by Derrick Barnes, illus. by Gordon C. James, salutes how black boys see themselves when they approve of themselves in the mirror. Ages 3-8.
What Is Hip-Hop? (Sept., $15.95) by Eric Morse, illus. by Anny Yi, highlights hip-hop’s cultural hegemony via a collection of rhyming biographies. Ages 3-7.
Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad (Dec., $16.99) by Ann Petry portrays the heroic woman who guided more than 300 slaves to freedom and who is expected to be the face of the new $20 bill. Ages 8-12.
Muddy (Sept, $17.99) by Michael Mahin, illus. by Evan Turk. A picture book celebration of Muddy Waters, the blues musician whose fierce and electric sound laid the groundwork for what would become rock and roll. Ages 4-8.
I Am Enough (Mar., $18.99) by Grace Byers, illus. by Keturah A. Bobo. The Empire actor and activist offers an ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another. Ages: 4-8.
Reign of Outlaws (Oct., $16.99) by Kekla Magoon. Robyn Hoodlum’s story concludes in this high-adventure retelling of the classic Robin Hood tale. Ages 8-12.
Be a King (Jan., $17.99) by Carole Boston Weatherford, illus. by James E. Ransome, recounts key moments of Dr. King’s life alongside a modern class as the students learn about him. Ages 4-8.
Champion: The Story of Muhammad Ali (Jan., $17.99) by Jim Haskins, illus. by Eric Velasquez. A picture book biography of the most famous boxer of all time. Ages 6-10.
BLUE RIVER PRESS
All About Madam C. J. Walker (Dec., paper $5.99) by A’Lelia Bundles, illus. by Elizabeth Wells introduces the first self-made female millionaire and one of the most successful African American business owners ever through her line of hair care products. Ages 9-13.
42 Is Not Just a Number (Sept., $15.99) by Doreen Rappaport chronicles the extraordinary life of Jackie Robinson and how his achievements won over—and changed—a segregated nation. Ages 8-12.
Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library (Sept., $16.99) by Carole Boston Weatherford, illus. by Eric Velasquez. A profile of the Afro–Puerto Rican law clerk whose life’s passion was to collect books, letters, music, and art from Africa and the African diaspora and bring to light the achievements of people of African descent through the ages. Ages 9-12.
Martin Luther King: Peaceful Warrior (Dec., $16.99) by Ed Clayton, illus. by Donald Bermudez, updates the original 1964 edition with a new foreword by the author’s widow, plus updated text and new illustrations. Ages 8 -12.
Olivia’s Potty Adventures (Jan., $14.95) by Terrace M. Clarke, illus. by Seitu Hayden, follows the imagination of 2 ½-year-old Olivia as she navigates mastering using the potty. Ages 1-3.
Nina: Jazz Legend and Civil Rights Activist Nina Simone (Dec., $16.99) by Alice Brière-Haquet, illus. by Bruno Liance, recounts the jazz singer’s youth, the trials she faced as a black woman, and the stand she took during the civil rights movement. Ages 4-8.
Like Vanessa (Mar., $16.99) by Tami Charles. Thirteen-year-old Vanessa Martin tries to be like Vanessa Williams, the first black Miss America, by reluctantly entering her own beauty pageant. Ages 10-up.
Libba: The Magnificent Musical Life of Elizabeth Cotton (Jan., $17.99) by Laura Veirs, illus. by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, tells the story of the daring Elizabeth Cotten—one of the most celebrated American folk musicians. Ages 5-8.
Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! It’s Shoe Time! (Nov., $9.99) by Bryan Collier and Mo Willems turns the closet on its heel and redefines what it means to be a pair. Ages 6-8.
Black Panther: The Young Prince (Jan., $16.99) by Ronald L. Smith follows 12-year-old T’Challa from his home of Wakanda, an isolated, technologically advanced African nation, to attend middle school in the heart of Chicago—while hiding his true identity as the prince of a powerful nation. Ages 8-12.
The Belles (Feb., $17.99) by Dhonielle Clayton. When the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using her powers in unintended ways, Camellia faces an impossible decision. Ages 14-up.
FARRAR, STRAUS AND GIROUX
The 57 Bus (Oct., $17.99) by Dashka Slater. On the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act leaves Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment in a case that garnered international attention. Ages 12-18.
Betty Before X (Jan., $16.99) by Ilyasah Shabazz with Renee Watson. The daughter of Betty Shabazz imagines four poignant years in her mother’s childhood. Ages 10-14.
The Big Bed (Feb., $16.99) by Bunmi Laditan; illus. by Tom Knight, offers a twist on the classic parental struggle of not letting kids sleep in their bed. Ages 4-6.
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS
What's the Difference? (Sept., $17.99) by Doyin Richards. The parenting expert tackles diversity and acceptance and distills it for the youngest readers. Ages 3-5.
Strange Fruit, Volume II: More Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History (Feb., paper $19.95) by Joel Christian Gill collects 11 more illustrated stories chronicling an uncelebrated African-American hero or event. Ages 12-up.
Streetcar to Justice: How Elizabeth Jennings Won the Right to Ride in New York (Jan., $19.99) by Amy Hill Hearth uncovers the story of Elizabeth Jennings, a young African-American woman who in 1854 won a major victory against a New York City streetcar company, a first step in the process of desegregating public transportation in Manhattan. Ages 8-12.
This Is It (Feb., $17.99) by Daria Peoples-Riley. When a young dancer is nervous about her upcoming auditions, her shadow springs to life and leads her on a joyous exploration of their city—then confidence in her skills, her body, and her ability to shine. Ages: 4-8.
The Nutcracker in Harlem (Sept., $17.99) by T.E. McMorrow, illus. by James Ransome, offers a jazz-inspired reinvention of The Nutcracker, set in New York City during the height of the Harlem Renaissance, in which a girl finds her voice as a musician thanks to her adventures with a magical toy. Ages 4-8.
The United States v. Jackie Robinson (Jan., $17.99) by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, illus. by R. Gregory Christie, recalls Jackie Robinson’s courtmartial trial—an important, lesser-known moment in his lifetime of fighting prejudice with strength and grace. Ages 4-8.
Mae Among the Stars (Oct., $17.99) by Roda Ahmed, illus. by Stasia Burrington, offers a read-aloud story inspired by the life of Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to travel in space. Ages: 4-8.
Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race (Jan., $17.99) by Margot Lee Shetterly, illus. by Laura Freeman, bring to picture book readers the true story of four black women who helped NASA launch men into space. Ages 4-8.
Just Like Jackie (Jan., $16.99) by Lindsey Stoddard. Grandpa is the only family Robbie has, and his memory has been getting bad—but if she tells anyone how forgetful he’s been getting lately, they’d take her away from him. Ages 8-12.
Martin Luther King Jr.: A Peaceful Leader (Jan., $16.99) by Sarah Albee, illus. by Chin Ko, introduces early readers to the life of civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ages 4-8.
My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Jan., paper $6.99) by Martin Luther King III, illus. by AG Ford, provides insight into one of history’s most fascinating families and into a special bond between father and son. Ages 4-8.
Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World (Jan., $18.99) by Susan Hood, illus. by Sophie Blackall, introduces 14 revolutionary young women—each paired with a noteworthy female artist—to the next generation of activists, trail-blazers, and rabble-rousers. Ages 4-8.
Before She Was Harriet (Nov., $17.95) by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illus. by James E. Ransome, celebrates, in poetry and watercolor paintings, the accomplishments of Harriet Tubman. Ages 4-7.
Children of Blood and Bone (Mar., $18.99) by Tomi Adeyemi conjures a world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy where one girl has the chance to bring magic back and strike against the oppressive monarchy. Ages 14-up.
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT
Tru & Nelle: A Christmas Tale (Oct., $16.99) by G. Neri imagines young best friends Truman Capote and Nelle Harper Lee as Truman struggles with whether to move from New York City back to the life he had in Alabama. Ages 10-12.
A Sky Full of Stars (Jan., $16.99) by Linda Williams Jackson sequels Midnight Without a Moon, following 13-year-old Rose’s struggle with her decision to stay in Mississippi after the murder of Emmett Till. Ages 10-12.
March Forward, Girl (Jan., $16.99) by Melba Beals. The Little Rock Nine student shares her childhood memoir of growing up while facing adversity in the Jim Crow South. Ages 10-up.
The Doctor with an Eye for Eyes: The Story of Dr. Patricia Bath (Sept., $17.99) by Julia Finley Mosca, illus. by Daniel Rieley, follows a girl coming of age during the civil rights movement IT’S LOWER CASE, ABOVE, who discovers a game-changing treatment for blindness. Ages 5-10.
Zoey and Sassafras: Caterflies and Ice (Nov., $16.99, paper $5.99) by Asia Citro, ills. by Marion Lindsay. An unexpected snowstorm causes trouble for the magical creatures of the forest. Ages 5-9.
LEE & LOW
I Am Alfonso Jones (Oct., paper $9.95) by Tony Medina, illus. by Stacey Robinson and John Jennings. The first graphic novel for young readers to focus on police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement. Ages 12-up.
Midnight Teacher (Feb., $18.95) by Janet Halfmann, illus. by London Ladd, shares the little-known story of Lilly Ann Granderson, an African-American teacher who risked her life to teach others during slavery. Ages 7-11.
Africa Calling, Nighttime Falling (Mar., $9.95) by Danny Adlerman, illus. by Kim Adlerman, celebrates the beauty and ecological diversity of the animals of Africa. Ages 4-8.
Auma’s Long Run (Sept., $17.99) by Eucabeth Odhiambo follows a resilient young track star who confronts a devastating health crisis in her small Kenyan village. Ages 8-12.
Trailblazer: The Story of Ballerina Raven Wilkinson (Jan., $17.99) by Leda Schubert, illus. by Theodore Taylor III, offers the little-known story of Raven Wilkinson, the first African-American woman to dance for a major classical ballet company. Ages 6-9.
Hey Black Child (Nov., $17.99) by Useni Eugene Perkins, illus. by Bryan Collier. A l poem celebrating black children and seeking to inspire all young people to dream big and achieve their goals. Ages 5-8.
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History (Dec., $16.99) by Vashti Harrison celebrates 40 inspirational African-American women who shaped history. Ages 8-12.
Tyler Johnson Was Here (Mar., $17.99) by Jay Coles. The Hate U Give meets All American Boys in this novel commenting on current race relations in America.
I Am Harriet Tubman (Jan., $14.99) by Brad Meltzer; illus. by Chris Eliopoulos, focuses on the traits that made our heroes great. Ages 5-8.
The Middle Passage (Jan., $29.99) by Tom Feelings. This reissue focuses attention on the torturous journey that brought slaves from Africa to the Americas, allowing readers to bear witness to the sufferings of an entire people. Ages 12-up.
Voices from the Underground Railroad (Jan., $18.99) by Kay Winters, illus. by Larry Day. The story of two young runaway slaves on the Underground Railroad, told in their voices and those who helped and hindered them. Ages 7-9.
Between the Lines (Feb., $17.99) by Nikki Grimes. As Darrian and his classmates get to know one another through poetry in class, they bond over the shared experiences and truth that emerge from their writing, despite their private struggles and outward differences. Ages 12-up.
Rising Above: Inspiring Women in Sports (Feb., $17.99) by Gregory Zuckerman, Elijah Zuckerman, and Gabriel Zuckerman deliver real-life stories of female superstar athletes Serena and Venus Williams, Simone Biles, Carli Lloyd, and more. Ages 8-12.
The Adventures of Wrong Man and Power Girl! (Mar., $17.99) by C. Alexander London, illus. by Frank Morrison, shows that fathers can be superheroes—as long as they have their daughters by their side to do the real rescuing. Ages 3-7.
Beasts Made of Night (Oct., $17.99) by Tochi Onyebuchi follows the adventures of Taj, the most talented of the aki, young sin-eaters indentured by the mages to slay the sin-beasts. Ages 12-up.
Getting Away with Murder (Jan., $10.99) by Chris Crowe revises and updates the Jane Addams Award-winning examination of the Emmett Till murder case, a catalyst of the Civil Rights Movement. Ages 12-up.
Absolutely Alfie and the First Week Friends (Sept., $14.99) by Sally Warner, illus. by Shearry Malone. Alfie is starting second grade with her new pal Hanni, but when Alfie’s best friend Lulu comes back in town, Alfie wonders if all three of them can be friends. Ages 6-8.
Absolutely Alfie and the Furry Purry Secret (Sept., $14.99) by Sally Warner, illus. by Shearry Malone. After sneaking a kitten home, seven-year-old Alfie finds that keeping a kitten a secret is lot harder than she thought. Ages 6-8.
Absolutely Alfie and the Worst Best Sleepover (Mar., $14.99) by Sally Warner, illus. by Shearry Malone. When Alfie’s former best friend, Lulu, announces that she’s hosting the best sleepover ever, and that she’s only allowed to invite six girls; Alfie desperately wants to go but is not sure she’ll be one of the lucky few. Ages 6-8.
Akata Warrior (Oct., $18.99) by Nnedi Okorafor follows the adventures of Sunny Nwazue, an American-born Nigerian girl inducted into the secret Leopard Society, as she begins to develop her magical powers and struggles to unlock the secrets in her strange Nsibidi book. Ages 12-up.
Jada Jones #1: Rock Star (Sept., paper $5.99) by Kelly Starling Lyons, illus. by Vanessa Brantley Newton. When Jada’s teacher announces a class project on rocks and minerals, Jada finally feels like she’s in her element. Ages 6-8.
Jada Jones #2: Class Act (Sept., paper $5.99) by Kelly Starling Lyons, illus. by Vanessa Brantley Newton. As a candidate for class representative, Jada is ready to give the campaign her all—until rumors start to fly about her secret fear of public speaking. Ages 6-8.
Who Was Coretta Scott King? (Dec., paper $5.99) by Gail Herman and Who HQ, illus. by Gregory Copeland, portrays Coretta Scott King, a civil rights leader in her own right, playing a prominent role in the African-American struggle for racial equality in the 1960s. Ages 8-12.
Who Was Booker T. Washington? (Feb., paper $5.99) by James Buckley, Jr., illus. by Jake Murray. Learn how a slave became one of the leading influential-African American intellectuals of the late 19th century. Ages 8-12.
Nyxia (Sept., $17.99) by Scott Reintgen launches a three-book series that will take a group of broken teens to the far reaches of the universe and force them to decide what they’re willing to risk for a lifetime of fortune. Ages 12-up.
The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine (Sept., $24.99) by Mark Twain and Philip C. Stead, illus. by Erin Stead, brings to life a never-before-published, previously unfinished story. Ages 8-12.
The Stars Beneath Our Feet (Sept., $16.99) by David Barclay Moore. A boy tries to steer a safe path through the projects in Harlem in the wake of his brother’s death. Ages 14-up.
Wee Sister Strange (Sept., $17.99) by Holly Grant, illus. by K.G. Campbell, spins an original bedtime fairy tale perfect for reading aloud. Ages 4-8.
Dear Martin (Oct., $17.99) by Nic Stone examines current affairs through the lens of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s teachings. Ages 14-up.
That Is My Dream! (Oct., $17.99) by Langston Hughes, illus. by Daniel Miyares, turns “Dream Variation,” one of Langston Hughes’s most celebrated poems, about the dream of a world free of discrimination and racial prejudice, into a picture book.
Dream March: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the March on Washington (Dec., $4.99) by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illus. by Sally Wern Comport introduces children to the civil rights movement , Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the historic March on Washington. Ages: 5–8.
Grandma’s Purse (Jan., $17.99) by Vanessa Brantley-Newton. Spend the day with Mimi and her granddaughter in this picture book about the magic found in Mimi's favorite accessory. Ages 3-5.
Hilo Book #4: Waking The Monsters (Jan., $13.99) by Judd Winick. The fourth in this graphic novel series contains more monsters, more action, and more fun. Ages 8–12.
I Walk with Vanessa (Feb., $17.99) by Kerascoët. Inspired by real events and told only in pictures, this is an picture book about one girl who inspires a community to stand up to bullying. Ages 4-8.
The Beauty That Remains (Mar., $17.99) by Ashley Woodfolk tells, from three diverse points of view, a story of life and love after loss. Ages 14-up.
Frenemies in the Family (Mar., $17.99) by Kathleen Krull, illus. by Maple Lam, takes a humorous look at famous brothers and sisters whose important bonds have shaped their accomplishments… (mostly) for the better. Ages 8-12.
Chasing King’s Killer: The Hunt for Martin Luther King Jr.’s Assassin (Jan., $19.99) by James L. Swanson hones in on James Earl Ray, a bizarre, racist, prison escapee who tragically ends King’s life. Ages 12-up.
The Journey of Little Charlie (Jan., $16.99) by Christopher Paul Curtis brings his trademark humor and heart to the story of a boy struggling to do right in the face of history’s cruelest evils. Ages 9-12.
Marley Dias Gets It Done and So Can You (Jan., $14.99) by Marley Dias. The girl who started the #1000blackgirlbooks campaign shows kids how to galvanize their strengths to make positive changes in their communities, and delivers hands-on strategies for becoming a lifelong reader. Ages 10-up.
Martin Rising: Requiem for a King (Jan., $19.99) by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illus. by Brian Pinkney, uses metaphor, spirituality, and multilayers of meaning to describe the final months of Martin Luther King’s life and his assassination. Ages 9-12.
All About Mia (Sept., $17.99) by Lisa Williamson. Mia starts to realize that her attempts to make life All About Mia might just be about to destroy the things she loves most. Ages 12-up.
Shadowhouse Fall (The Shadowshaper Cypher #2) (Sept., $18.99) by Daniel José Older. The sequel to Shadowshaper follows Sierra and her friends in their new lives as shadowshapers, making art and creating change with the spirits of Brooklyn. Ages 12-up.
Sparrow (Oct., $18.99) by Sarah Moon. A sensitive, gifted African-American girl describes with mordant humor what it feels like to spend every day wishing so hard that you could fly away from it all. Ages 12-up.
The Parker Inheritance (Mar., $16.99) by Varian Johnson. Can Candice and Brandon solve the puzzle in the mysterious old letter, find the fortune, and fulfill the letter’s promise before the answers slip into the past yet again? Ages 8-12.
Princess Truly in My Magical, Sparkling Curls (Jan., $16.99) by Kelly Greenawalt, illus. by Amariah Rauscher. The second Princess Truly adventure, where she once again proves that she can do anything she sets her mind to and reminds girls everywhere to reach for the stars, believe in themselves, and dream big. Ages 3-5.
Word Collector (Jan., $17.99) by Peter H. Reynolds. Jerome discovers the magic of the words all around him. Ages 4-8.
Simon & Schuster
In Your Hands (Sept., $17.99) by Carole Boston Weatherford, illus. by Brian Pinkney.
In this picture book, a black mother expresses the many hopes and dreams she has for her child. Ages 4-8.
Long Way Down (Oct., $17.99) by Jason Reynolds takes place in 60 potent seconds—the time it takes a teenager to decide whether or not he’s going to murder the guy who killed his brother. Ages 12-up.
A Night Out with Mama (Oct., $17.99) by Quvenzhane Wallis, illus. by Vanessa Brantley-Newton. A talented girl has a very special night ahead of her––but most special of all, it will be a night out with her mama. Ages 4-8.
I Am Loved (Jan., $17.99) by Nikki Giovanni, illus. by Ashley Bryan, illustrates a dozen poems that celebrate the feeling of being loved. Ages 4-8.
Shai & Emmie Star in Dancy Pants! (Jan., $15.99) by Quvenzhane Wallis, illus. by Sharee Miller. The second story in a new series about best friends Shai and Emmie, two third graders destined for superstardom. Ages 6-10.
TIME INC. BOOKS
Heroes of Black History (Dec., $19.99, paper $9.99) by the editors of TIME for Kids presents the stories of four great American lives in one volume: Harriet Tubman, Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, and Barack Obama, illustrated with photos and artwork. Ages 8-up.
Mosquitoes Don’t Bite Me! (Nov., $16.95) by Pendred Noyce introduces young readers to such dilemmas as health disparities, subtle racism, and who owns biological information. Ages 9-12.
When God Made Light (Feb., $11.99) by Matthew Paul Turner, illus. by David Catrow delivers a message of a light in each child. Ages 3-7.