Some reading suggestions for this month, as the country attempts to heal.
This has been quite a month. As the tide turns, and America (and Americans) begin to face the past, teachers and parents are looking for reading recommendations to help understand how racism has affected Blacks in this country. Lists of Black books are popping up all over the internet.
I believe, as writers who create stories for children, we have a significant responsibility to those who read our books and fall in love with our characters. Below, I’ve listed some of my favorite books (both non-fiction and fiction) that I think are important reading for everyone. I’ve mentioned many of these in previous posts but wanted to consolidate them here.
You’ll notice, not all of these books feature Black protagonists facing down racism. I think it’s important that readers also see Black characters just being people. It’s one important way that books can help us see that we’re not so different from one another after all.
THE BEAUTITUDES – FROM SLAVERY TO CIVIL RIGHTS
written by Carole Boston Weatherford
illustrated by Tim Ladwig
THIS IS IT
written and illustrated by Daria Peoples-Riley
WE SHALL OVERCOME: THE STORY OF A SONG
written by Debbie Levy
illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
WE ARE THE SHIP: THE STORY OF NEGRO LEAGUE BASEBALL
written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson
written and illustrated by Oge Mora
Middle Grade Books
MARCH, BOOK 1,2,&3
by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
by Nikki Grimes
THE PARKER INHERITANCE
by Varian Johnson
by Jerry Craft
CLAYTON BYRD GOES UNDERGROUND
by Rita Williams-Garcia
One last thought: I fell in love with both magic and books at an early age, mainly because of their ability to transport me to worlds I never thought possible. These are trying times, but I truly believe that what readers read and, therefore, what writers write, will make a difference in the weeks, months, and years ahead.
Happy writing and have a magical month.
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome new bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with Clear Fork/Spork editor/art director, former agent and former kidlit professor Mira Reisberg PhD who is also the Director of the Children's Book Academy.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays will feature the fabulous debut author/illustrator Maggie Brown.
And 5th Mondays will feature a surprise reprise from over nine years of archives.