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 2012 and March 2013. For a list of African-American interest books for adults, please visit African-American Interest Adult Titles, 2012-2013.

Abrams Books for Young Readers

Discovering Black America: From the Age of Exploration to the Twenty-First Century (Jan., $29.95) by Linda Tarrant-Reid covers more than 400 years of African-American history set against a background of American and global events.

Emancipation Proclamation: Lincoln and the Dawn of Liberty (Jan., $24.95) by Tonya Bolden uses excerpts from historical sources, archival images, and new research to look at the events that led to the Emancipation Proclamation.

Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Off Course: An A Circuit Novel (Nov., paper $9.99) by Georgina Bloomberg and Catherine Hapka. The third book in the series finds equestrians Zara, Tommi, and Kate dealing with the pressure of training for the biggest horse show of the season, plus the drama of gossip and boys.

One Tough Chick (Jan., $15.99) by Leslie Margolis. The fourth book in the Annabelle Unleashed series follows Annabelle as she judges the school talent show and is torn between her friends and her boyfriend.

Play, Louis, Play! The True Story of a Boy and His Horn (Jan., paper $5.99 paper) by Muriel Harris Weinstein. A biography of Louis Armstrong.

Candlewick Press

Come August, Come Freedom: The Bellows, the Gallows, and the Black General Gabriel (Sept., $16.99) by Gigi Amateau. An 1800 insurrection planned by a literate slave known as “Prosser’s Gabriel” inspires this historical novel that follows one extraordinary man’s life.

Courage Has No Color, The True Story of the Triple Nickles: America’s First Black Paratroopers (Jan., $24.99) by Tanya Lee Stone examines the role of African-Americans in the military through the history of the Triple Nickles, who fought in a little-known attack on the American West by the Japanese.

Chronicle Books

Every Little Thing (Sept., $16.99) by Cedella Marley, illus. by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, adapts this Bob Marley song in a picture book written by his daughter.

Clarion Books

Christmas Tugboat: How the Rockefeller Christmas Tree Came to New York City (Oct., $17.99) by George Matteson, illus. by James Ransome, recounts how one of the iconic Christmas trees at New York City’s Rockefeller Center was delivered by tugboat.

Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane’s Musical Journey (Oct., $17.99) by Gary Golio, illus. by Rudy Gutierrez. A picture book biography for older readers about groundbreaking jazz musician John Coltrane.

Disney/Jump at the Sun

Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America (Oct., $19.99) by Andrea Pinkney, illus. by Brian Pinkney, presents the stories of 10 men from different eras in American history, from slavery to the modern day.

Light in the Darkness: A Story About How Slaves Learned in Secret (Jan., $16.99) by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illus. by James E. Ransome. The story of a girl named Rosa, who, like other slaves, has to risk her life in order to learn how to read.

Egmont USA

The Goofballs: Superhero Silliness (Oct., $13.99, paper $4.99) and The Mysterious Talent Show Mystery (Feb., $13.99, $4.99 paper) by Tony Abbott, illus. by Colleen Madden, follow proud Goofballs Jeff, Mara, Brian, and Kelly, as they solve mysteries by using funny disguises and nutty inventions.

H.O.R.S.E: A Game of Basketball and Imagination (Oct., $18.99) by Christopher Myers celebrates the sport of basketball, the art of trash-talking, and the idea that what’s possible is bounded only by what you can dream.

The Code Busters Club: The Haunted Lighthouse (Nov., $15.99) by Penny Warner. Cody, Quinn, Luke, and M.E. may all have different talents, but they share one thing in common: they love playing around with codes.

Grosset and Dunlap

What Was the March on Washington? (Feb., $15.99) by Kathleen Krull and Tim Tomkinson. An account of the March on Washington, Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech”, and its impact on the 1960s civil rights movement.

Harcourt Children’s Books

Lullaby (For a Black Mother) (Mar., $16.99) by Langston Hughes, illus. by Sean Qualls. In picture-book form for the first time, this beloved poem by Langston Hughes celebrates poetry and the love between mother and baby.

HarperCollins Children's Books

Believe: The Victorious Story of Eric Legrand (Young Readers' Edition) (Sept., $16.99) by Eric LeGrand describes how the Rutgers defensive tackle rebuilt his life, continued his college education, and pursued a career in sports broadcasting after a tragic accident.

In the Land of Milk and Honey (Sept., $16.99) by Joyce Carol Thomas, illus. by Floyd Cooper, shares the author’s true story of her move as a girl from Oklahoma to California in 1948.

Nelson Mandela (Jan., $17.99) by Kadir Nelson recounts how Nelson Mandela vowed to fight hard in order to make his country a place that belonged to all South Africans.

Holiday House

Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad (Feb., $18.95) by David A. Adler recalls the heroic life of a remarkable woman who was a humanitarian, Union spy, and Underground Railroad conductor.

Leapfrog Press

(dist. by Consortium)

Travels with Louis (Sept., paper $9.95) by Mick Carlon. The story of Louis Armstrong and 12-year-old Fred, who learns about jazz – and life – from the great musician himself.

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

The Diviners (Sept., $19.99) by Libba Bray. When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie has a mysterious power that could help catch the killer – if he doesn't catch her first.

Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington (Dec., $16.99) by Jabari Asim, illus. by Bryan Collier reveals the relatively unknown story of Booker T. Washington's childhood in slavery and his dream to read and write.

Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books

Each Kindness (Oct., $16.99) by Jacqueline Woodson, illus. by E.B. Lewis. When Maya moves away, Chloe is saddened by the lost opportunity for friendship and regrets not showing Maya a little kindness.


True Legend (Sept., $17.99) by Mike Lupica. A high school basketball star grapples with the spoils and challenges of celebrity.


Hope’s Gift (Dec., $16.99) by Kelly Starling Lyons, illus. by Don Tate. A slave girl lives with her family on a plantation after her father has escaped to fight for the Union during the Civil War.

Tea Cakes for Tosh (Dec., $16.99) by Kelly Starling Lyons, illus. by E.B. Lewis. A boy helps his grandmother remember an important family story about his ancestor Ida, a cook in the big house of a plantation.

Ellen's Broom (Jan., $16.99) by Kelly Starling Lyons, illus. by Daniel Minter. A girl learns a new meaning of freedom during the time of Reconstruction.

Orleans (Mar., $17.99) by Sherri L. Smith. In this futuristic tale, a teenage girl goes on a dangerous journey through the dilapidated and hostile world of Orleans.


Buddy (Sept., $16.99) by M.H. Herlong. A boy searches for his dog in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood (Mar., $16.99) by Tameka Fryer Brown, illus. by Shane Evans. An African-American boy experiences moods through colors and imagination.

Random House Books for Young Readers

Harlem’s Little Blackbird (Oct., $17.99) by Renee Watson, illus. by Christian Robinson, celebrates singer Florence Mills, daughter of former slaves, whose dancing and singing catapulted her to the stages of Broadway in the 1920s.

Random House/Delacorte

Discovering Wes Moore (Sept., $15.99) by Wes Moore explores the challenges of growing up and the responsibility for the choices we make.


Jump into the Sky (Sept., $16.99) by Shelley Pearsall tours 1945 America, inspired by real-life secret missions of the first African-American paratroopers.

Random House/Schwartz & Wade

I Have a Dream (Oct., $18.99) by Martin Luther King, Jr., illus. by Kadir Nelson. An illustrated version of the famous speech; this edition includes an audio CD of the speech.

You Never Heard of Willie Mays?! (Jan., $17.99) by Jonah Winter, illus. by Terry Widener. A picture book biography about the man many consider to be the greatest all-around baseball player of all time, complete with sidebars containing stats.

S&S Books for Young Readers

A Certain October (Sept., $16.99) by Angela Johnson explores the ramifications of unexpected death in this coming-of-age story.

Lottie Paris and the Best Place (Mar., $16.99) by Angela Johnson, illus. by Scott M. Fischer finds Lottie in her new favorite place–the library–where she meets a brand new friend.


Fire in the Streets (Sept., $15.99) by Kekla Magoon follows 14-year-old Maxie through the Chicago summer of 1968 as she yearns to join the Black Panther Party.

Stars and Sparks on Stage (Sept., $4.99) by Sharon M. Draper, illus. by Vanessa Brantley Newton. Three boys are sure they’re going to win the upcoming school talent show – but they didn’t count on a little girl with a big voice who needs the money much more than the boys do.

Dork Diaries 5: Tales from a Not-So-Smart Miss Know-It-All (Oct., $13.99) by Rachel Renée Russell. Nikki joins the school newspaper staff—and ends up as an advice columnist.


Who Built the Stable? A Nativity Poem (Oct., $16.99) by Ashley Bryan celebrates Christmas, the kindness of children, and the new hope born with each new baby.

Panic (Mar., $17.99) by Sharon M. Draper explores how quickly we can lose power, and how we can take it back.

S&S/Simon Spotlight

Justin and the Bully (Dec., $15.99) by Tony Dungy and Lauren Dungy, illus. by Vanessa Brantley Newton. Justin is thrilled to be on a soccer team, but he doesn’t want to be teased.

The Missing Cupcake Mystery (Jan., $15.99) by Sharon M. Draper, illus. by Vanessa Brantley Newton, highlights the importance of always telling the truth.

S&S/ Paula Wiseman Books

End Zone (Sept., $15.99) by Tiki Barber and Ronde Barber delivers a story of teamwork and triumph.

Sterling Children’s Books

Poetry for Young People: African American Poetry (Jan., $14.95) edited by Arnold Rampersad and Marcellus Blount, illus. by Karen Barbour, shines a light on the power and beauty of African-American verse.

What Was Your Dream, Dr. King? And Other Questions About... Martin Luther King Jr. (Jan., $5.95) by Mary Kay Carson, illus. by Jim Madsen, answers questions about the civil rights hero.

Urban Spirit! Publishing

My First Bible for Children of Color (Nov., $9.99) by Patrice Banks-Lee introduces children to the stories of the Bible.

Children of Color Holy Bible (Feb., $19.99) King James Version contains full-color illustrations of Bible characters who are people of color.

Jesus and Me Classic Bible Story Series: Jonah and the Big Fish, The Birth of Jesus, and Jesus Walks on Water (Feb., paper $6.99) by Regina Brundidge, illus. by Jeff West, goes inside the classic Bible stories.

Walker Books for Young Readers

The Price of Freedom: How One Town Stood Up to Slavery (Jan., $16.99) by Judith Bloom Fradin and Dennis Brindell Fradin, illus. by Eric Velasquez. An Ohio town’s efforts to protect runaway slave John Price.

A Song for Bijou (Feb., $16.99) by Josh Farrar. A tale of first crushes, told from the dual perspectives of a Haitian girl and a Brooklyn boy.