Tag Archives: diversity

24 Young Adult Books Featuring Black Protagonists

24 Mar

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My goal was to get this list out during Black History Month, but in all honesty these are amazing books that can be read any time of the year. Like my chapter book list, this list includes historical fiction, realistic fiction and fantasy novels with characters that are black, biracial from around the world.

  1. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
  2. Fly Girl by
  3. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  4. The First Part Last by Angela Johnson
  5. Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan
  6. This Side of Home by Renée Watson
  7. Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
  8. Monster by Walter Dean Myers
  9. Copper Sun by Sharon Draper
  10. The Boy In the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds
  11. The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson
  12. Hot Girl by Dream Jordan
  13. If I Tell by Janet Gurtler
  14. Tyrell by Coe Booth
  15. After Tupac & Foster by Jacqueline Woodson
  16. Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
  17. How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon
  18. Fake ID by Lamar Giles
  19. Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes
  20. Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
  21. The Skin I’m In by Sharon G. Flake
  22. Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
  23. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
  24. The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Book Reviews: Tinyville Town

15 Mar

28818276.jpgI was given the first three board books and the first picture book in the series by Abrams Appleseed to review and these darling books are going to be very popular! The board book series focuses on community helpers – I’m a Librarian, I’m a Firefighter and I’m a Veterinarian. Each of which follows a day in the life of a community member of Tinyville Town. I also received Tinyville Town Gets to Work! which is about the whole town coming together to work on a project. In this first picture book, there is a traffic jam on the old bridge and the mayor decides that a larger bridge needs to be built because the town is growing. I love how the story introduces a number of familiar characters, but also new community members like the township planner and architect, a journalist and construction worker.

tvt_characters-1I think what I liked most about these books is that Brian Biggs, the author/illustrator truly makes the characters diverse in gender, race and even sexual orientation (depending on who the librarian’s partner is – all we see is a short hair cut in bed when the librarian wakes up and goes to sleep). I love that you can look at any page and see a truly diverse group of people and that throughout the series the characters overlap as the firefighter takes the firehouse dog to the veterinarian.  Some have compared this series to Richard Scarry’s world and Sesame Street’s small town feel, but I like that Brian Biggs uses actual people rather than anthropomorphic animals. I think these board books are going to great for kids and for preschool classrooms when discussing community helpers! Abrams also has a great teacher guide with vocabulary, questions about the stories and even a few activity pages for kids to use! The first few books were published last fall with a few more planned throughout this year and I know a bunch of little kids who will be getting this series for birthdays and holidays!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2/20/17

20 Feb

25203675I didn’t get to quite as many books this week, but I enjoyed the ones I did get to read!  Wish is a sweet story about family and friendship found in unexpected places (and a small spoiler alert – although there is a dog on the cover of the book, the dog does NOT die!) hour of the Bees is a story of magical realism that reminded me a little of The Lgihtning Queen with stories and folklore woven into the story.  Finally, The Star-Touched Queen was not what I was expecting at all, but in a good way. A fantasy story seeped in Indian folklore – I read the whole thing in one day, I couldn’t put it down!

This week, my plan is to read the other books I didn’t get to last week:

  1. The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
  2. The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork


Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

30 Non-Fiction Titles & Biographies for Black History Month

17 Feb

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I’m working on a few other Black History Month booklists, but I’m in need of some help with a few questions, so while I’m doing some research, I thought I’d at least get a chance to promote some non-fiction and biographies. Although thirty titles seems like so many, there are so many more options available out there, I could never fit them all in one blog post!

  1. Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown and illustrated by Frank Morrison

  2. Beatrice’s Goat by Page McBrier and illustrated by Lori Lohstoeter

  3. Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Ekua Holmes

  4. Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews and illustrated by Bryan Collier

  5. When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson by Pam Muñoz Ryan and illustrated by Brian Selznick

  6. The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch by Chris Barton and illustrated by Don Tate

  7. Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Jamey Christoph
  8. Jazz Age Josephine by Jonah Winter and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman

  9. Harlem’s Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills by Renée Watson and illustrated by Christian Robinson

  10. One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference by Katie Smith Milway and illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
  11. Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa by Jeanette Winter

  12. Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson and illustrated by Sean Qualls

  13. The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
  14. Rosa by Nikki Giovanni and illustrated by Bryan Collier
  15. Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine and illustrated by Kadir Nelson
  16. Jazz by by Walter Dean Myers and illustrated by Christopher Myers
  17. Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: The Underground Abductor by Nathan Hale

  18. Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U. S. Marshal by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
  19. Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh

  20. The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage by Selina Alko and illustrated by Sean Qualls

  21. A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jennifer Fisher Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet
  22. The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin

  23. Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March by Lynda Blackmon Lowery, Elspeth Leacock, Susan Buckley, and illustrated by P.J. Loughran

  24. Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Brian Pinkney
  25. Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Bryan Collier
  26. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
  27. Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate
  28. Courage Has Not Color: the True Story of the Triple Nickels, America’s First Black Paratroopers by Tanya Lee Stone
  29. We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson
  30. March Book One by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell

10 Picture Books About an Immigration Experience

16 Feb


There aren’t a lot of books, but there are some books that deal with immigration for kids of all ages – from picture books to young adult novels. I chose to focus on just a few picture books, trying to get a wide variety of immigration stories. And if you haven’t heard today is “Day Without Immigrants” as immigrants will strike across America today to show how much of the social and economic structure benefits from immigrants living and working here. And regardless of your opinion on the immigration issue, there are many people who immigrate to this country and other countries around world and that cannot be an easy thing to do. Take a moment to share these characters’ experiences in these stories.

  1. All the Way to America: The Story of a Big Italian Family and a Little Shovel by Dan Yaccarino
  2. My Name is Yoon by Helen Recorvits, illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska
  3. My Name is Bilal by Asma Mobin-Uddin, illustrated by Barbara Kiwak
  4. The Arrival by Shaun Tan
  5. My Name is Sangoel by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed, illustrated by Catherine Stock
  6. The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
  7. Here I Am by Patti Kim, illustrated by Sonia Sanchez
  8. Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale by Duncan Tonatiuh
  9. My Diary from Here to There by Amada Irma Pérez, illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez
  10. One Green Apple by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Ted Lewin
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