Black Children's Books & Authors

"Black children need to see their lives reflected in the books they read. If they don't, they won't feel welcome in the world of literature. The lives of African-Americans are rich and diverse, and the books our children read should reflect that."- Valerie Wilson Wesley

"If You're Bored, Read a Book." →



Today, I’ll be visiting elementary students and their parents at Rosa Parks Elementary in Portland, Oregon. I’ll read Harlem’s Little Blackbird to them and share a bit of my story. I’ll also talk about the importance of reading and how reading at a young age—on my own and with my…

— 3 days ago with 29 notes
Night, for Henry Dumas | by Aracelis Girmay →


Henry Dumas, 1934-1968,
did not die by a spaceship
or flying saucer or outer space at all
but was shot down, at 33,
by a New York City Transit policeman,
will be shot down, May 23rd,
coming home, in just 6 days,
by a New York City Transit policeman
in the subway station singing &…
— 3 days ago with 12 notes
Teaching About Police Brutality in the Classroom →



I wrote this article in 2008 and am saddened that it is something I will be teaching again this school year, with another name added to the list. Educators, I encourage you to address this in your classrooms—regardless if you teach children of color or not. Please refer to Creating Safe…

— 3 days ago with 26 notes
sorrow song | by lucille clifton →


for the eyes of the children,
the last to melt,
the last to vaporize,
for the lingering
eyes of the children, staring,
the eyes of the children of
of viet nam and johannesburg,
for the eyes of the children
of nagasaki,
for the eyes of the children
of middle passage,
for cherokee eyes, ethiopian eyes,
— 3 days ago with 22 notes
Teach About Mike Brown. But Don’t Stop There. →



This time last summer, I researched articles and collected poems about police brutality, racial profiling, and the murders of black men in the United States. The George Zimmerman verdict was fresh on my mind and I wanted to talk about it with my students once school was back in session. I…

— 3 days ago with 25 notes


This is what 580 books look like.

(Sorry you can’t really see all the books.)

(via teachingliteracy)

— 3 days ago with 875 notes

The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County

Meet one smart chicken chaser. She can catch any chicken on her grandmother’s farm except one – the elusive Miss Hen. In a hilarious battle of wits, the spirited narrator regales readers with her campaign to catch Miss Hen, but this chicken is “fast as a mosquito buzzing and quick as a fleabite.” Our chicken chaser has her mind set on winning, until she discovers that sometimes it’s just as satisfying not to catch chickens as it is to catch them.

The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County is a 2008 Bank Street - Best Children’s Book of the Year.

Janice N. Harrington…

writes poetry and children’s books. She grew up in Alabama and Nebraska, and both those settings, especially rural Alabama, figure largely in her writing. Her first book of poetry, Even the Hollow My Body Made Is Gone (2007), won the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize from BOA Editions and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Her second book of poetry, The Hands of Strangers: Poems from the Nursing Home, came out in 2011. She is also the winner of a 2007 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship for Poetry and a 2009 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award for emerging women writers. Her children’s books, The Chicken Chasing Queen of Lamar County (2007) and Going North (2004), both from Farrar, Straus and Giroux, have won many awards and citations, including a listing among TIME Magazine’s top 10 children’s books of 2007 and the Ezra Jack Keats Award from the New York Public Library in 2005. Harrington’s poetry appears regularly in American literary magazines. She has worked as a public librarian and as a professional storyteller, telling stories at festivals around the country, including the National Storytelling Festival. She now teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Illinois.

— 3 days ago with 46 notes
#black authors  #janice n. harrington  #children's books 

One Hot Summer Day

"An effervescent city child dances through a hot summer day until a thunderstorm brings welcome relief. Executed in collages made from color photographs, imaginatively redefined in unexpected juxtaposition….A wonderful concept book, grounded in ordinary events yet touched with magic that will strike a familiar chord with preschool audiences while enlarging their perceptions. An auspicious debut!"—Horn Book. 

I’ll Catch the Moon

The gifted author-photographer of One Hot Summer Day uses her photo-collage images to take her readers on a dream-like journey of discovery. The moon floats outside a young girl’s window, shiny as a new quarter. And she imagines building a ladder to outer space, going up and up until she can hold it in her hands.

Nina Crews… 

takes photographs and makes collages to create her distinctive picture books. Her stories draw inspiration from the children and neighborhoods of Brooklyn - her home for over 25 years. She is the daughter of children’s book author and illustrators Donald Crews and Ann Jonas. Her first book was One Hot Summer Day, published in 1995. Other books include The Neighborhood Mother Goose, 2004, which was selected as an ALA Notable Book for 2004, Kirkus and School Library Journals Best Books of 2004, and The New York Public Library’s 100 Books for Reading and Sharing.

— 3 days ago with 21 notes
#black authors  #nina crews  #children's books  #photography  #collage 

“There are so many kids in foster care or living with relatives who are not their moms or dads. There are all kinds of families in the world and I wanted to write a book about this. What makes a family isn’t about who you live with but how much they love you.”Jacqueline Woodson

Our Gracie Aunt

Johsnon and his sister, Beebee, seem to be all alone in the world. Their mama has gone away many times before, but something tells them that this time she won’t be coming back. Then a social worker comes and takes them to meet their Aunt Gracie. Beebee barely remembers her, and Mama never even told Johnson about her. They wonder where she’s been all this time—and why she would want to take care of them. Warily, though, the children begin to trust Aunt Gracie. And in the process, they come to a better understanding of what it means to be a family.

Jacqueline Woodson’s awards include 3 Newbery Honors, a Coretta Scott King Award and 3 Coretta Scott King Honors, 2 National Book Awards, a Margaret A. Edwards Award and an ALAN Award — both for Lifetime Achievement in YA Literature. She is the author of more than 2 dozen books for children and young adults and lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

— 3 days ago with 35 notes
#black authors  #jacqueline woodson  #children's books  #foster care  #family 

Why War Is Never a Good Idea

Alice Walker

Though War is Old

It has not

Become wise.

Poet and activist Alice Walker personifies the power and wanton devastation of war in this evocative poem.

Stefano Vitale’s compelling paintings illustrate this unflinching look at war’s destructive nature and unforeseen consequences.

— 3 days ago with 20 notes
#black authors  #alice walker  #children's books  #war  #poetry