Heads Up is a reposting of AACBWI’s announcement of book releases that may peak the interest of young African American readers. As a Brown Bookshelf partner, The African American Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators society is dedicated to spreading the word about these and other books that are of special interest to multi-cultural audiences.
From Board Books to Young Adult fiction, Heads Up serves as a guide of what to look for in stores or what to ask for at the library.
In keeping with the “theme” of historical books leading to Black History Month, this week’s releases are all biographical.
Piano Starts Here: The Young Art Tatum by Robert A. Parker (Schwartz & Wade) – Ages 4-8
Regardless of whether they’ve heard of jazz or Art Tatum, young readers will appreciate how Parker uses simple, lyrical storytelling and colorful and energetic ink-and-wash illustrations to show the world as young Art Tatum might have seen it.
Tatum came from modest beginnings and was nearly blind, but his passion for the piano and his acute memory for any sound that he heard drove him to become a virtuoso who was revered by both classical and jazz pianists alike.
Jonah Winter and illustrated by Francois Roca (Schwartz & Wade) – Ages 4-8: Champion of the World by
In the history of legendary boxers, there wasand . . . and then, “the heavens opened up, and there appeared a great man descending on a cloud, jump-roping into the Kingdom of Boxing . And he was called .”
Clay let everyone know that he was the greatest boxer in the world. He converted to the, refused to be drafted into a war in which he didn’t believe, and boxed his way back to the top after being stripped of his title. The man that came to be known as was heard in a voice no one will ever forget.
Mandela: The Rebel Who Led His Nation to Freedom by Ann Kramer ( Children’s Books) – Ages 9-12
comes to life in this portrait of a diplomatic man whose commitment to freedom gained him both the and Time’s Man of the Year honor. The son of a Thembu chief in , Mandela began his life-long campaign against white colonial rule while a college student.
Kramer’s eloquent, yet approachable text describes the leader’s dedication to nonviolence, his role in theand his arrest in 1962 for sabotage and conspiracy. During his 27 years in prison, Mandela continued his fight for a democratic and free society, and ultimately was released and elected president of .