Stop and Think Reading List and Resources

Thank you to everyone who attended Stop and Think: The Brown Bookshelf Examines Representation in Children Literature. Your support meant so much. Our mission is to center and celebrate Black children’s book creators. Here are resources from our NCTE  program:

Book evaluation questions:

  • In what ways does Black joy shine in the story and art?
  • Where is the story set? How does the setting expand the notion of Black community and identity?
  • Consider the characters. Are they varied? In what ways?
  • How does the book center new heroes?
  • How does the story celebrate family, belonging or legacy?
  • What details in the words and art show authenticity?
  • How does the Black creator bring authority and intimacy to the storytelling?

Stop and Think Reading List

Please note this is just a sampling of outstanding titles by Black children’s book creators. Visit the archives of our 28 Days Later campaign to read spotlights on Black authors and illustrators we’ve honored and learn more about their work.

Contemporary Fiction

Brown Baby Lullaby by Tameka Fryer Brown, illustrated by AG Ford, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux (Picture Book)

My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood by Tameka Fryer Brown, illustrated by Shane Evans, published by Viking Children’s Books (Picture Book)

Grandma’s Purse by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, published by Knopf BFYR (Picture Book)

Hey Black Child by Useni Eugene Perkins, illustrated by Bryan Collier, published by Little, Brown BFYR (Picture Book)

Going Down Home With Daddy by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Daniel Minter, published by Peachtree Publishing Co (Picture Book)

Mommy’s Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, illustrated by Ebony Glenn, published by Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster BFYR (Picture Book)

The Thing About Bees: A Love Letter by Shabazz Larkin, published by Readers to Eaters (Picture Book)

Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment by Parker Curry and Jessica Curry, illustrated by Brittany Jackson, published by Aladdin (Picture Book)

King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, published by Nancy Paulsen Books (Picture Book)

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James, published by Denene Millner Books/Agate Bolden (Picture Book)

My Mommy Medicine by Edwidge Danticat, illustrated by Shannon Wright, published by Roaring Brook Press (Picture Book)

Under the Same Sun by Sharon Robinson, illustrated by AG Ford, published by Disney Scholastic (Picture Book)

The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson, published by Arthur A. Levine Books (Middle Grade)

Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry, illustrated by Vashti Harrison, published by Kokila (Picture Book)

Max and the Tag-Along Moon by Floyd Cooper, published by Puffin Books (Picture Book)

The Ring Bearer by Floyd Cooper, published by Philomel Books (Picture Book)

Just Like A Mama by Alice Faye Duncan, illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow, published by Denene Millner Books/Simon & Schuster (Picture Book)

Jada Jones Series by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton/Nneka Myers, published by Penguin Workshop (Chapter Books)

The Magnificent Mya Tibbs Series by Crystal Allen, published by Balzer and Bray (Chapter Books)

Dyamonde Daniel Series by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, published by Penguin (Chapter Books)

Nikki & Deja Series by Karen English, illustrated by Laura Freeman, published by Clarion (Chapter Books)

Carver Chronicles Series by Karen English, illustrated by Laura Freeman, published by Clarion (Chapter Books)

Ruby and the Booker Boys Series by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton, published by Scholastic (Chapter Books)

Some Places More Than Others by Renée Watson, published by Bloomsbury (Middle Grade)

New Kid by Jerry Craft, published by HarperCollins (Graphic Novel)

Tight by Torrey Maldonado, published by Nancy Paulsen Books (Middle Grade)

The Laura Line by Crystal Allen, published by Balzer and Bray (Middle Grade)

Just South of Home by Karen Strong, published by Simon & Schuster (Middle Grade)

8th Grade Superzero by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, published by Scholastic (Upper Middle Grade)

So Done by Paula Chase, published by Greenwillow (Upper Middle Grade)

Dough Boys by Paula Chase, published by Greenwillow (Upper Middle Grade)

Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D Williams, published by Atheneum (Upper Middle Grade)

This Side of Home by Renée Watson, published by Bloomsbury (Young Adult)

My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi, published by Dutton (Middle Grade)

Love Like Sky by Leslie Youngblood, published by Disney Hyperion (Middle Grade)

Aya of Yop City Series, by Marguerite Abouet, published by Drawn & Quarterly (Graphic Novel)

Don’t Touch My Hair, by Sharee Miller, published by Little Brown Books (Picture Book)

The Field, Baptiste Paul, published by North South Books (Picture Book)

Hands Up! By Breanna McDaniel, illustrated by Shane Evans (Picture Book)

I Got Next, Daria Peoples-Riley, published by Greenwillow Books (Picture Book)

This Is It, Daria Peoples-Riley, Greenwillow Books (Picture Book)

Puppy Truck, by Brian Pinkney, published by Antheneum Books (Picture Book)

Saturday, by Oge Mora, published by Little Brown (Picture Book)

Where’s Rodney, by Carmen Bogan, illustrated by Floyd Cooper, published by Yosemite Conservancy (Picture Book)

 

Historical Fiction

The Bell Rang written and illustrated by James Ransome, published by Atheneum (Picture Book)

The Gaither Sisters Trilogy by Rita Williams Garcia, published by Amistad (Middle Grade)

How High the Moon by Karyn Parsons, published by Little, Brown BFYR (Middle Grade)

Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome, published by Holiday House (Middle Grade)

Inventing Victoria by Tonya Bolden, published by Bloomsbury (Young Adult)

Sing a Song: How Lift Every Voice & Sing Inspired Generations by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Keith Mallett, published by Nancy Paulsen Books (Picture Book)

Memphis, Martin and the Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968 by Alice Faye Duncan, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, published by Calkins Creek (Picture Book)

 

Fantasy/Speculative Fiction

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia, published by Disney Hyperion (Middle Grade)

The Jumbies Series by Tracey Baptiste, published by Algonquin (Middle Grade)

The Last-Last Day of Summer by Lamar Giles, published by Versify (Middle Grade)

Octopus Stew by Eric Velasquez, published by Holiday House (Picture Book)

Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott, illustrated by Geneva B., published by Random House (Middle Grade)

The Dragon Thief by Zetta Elliott, illustrated by Geneva B., published by Random House (Middle Grade)

 

Non-Fiction/Biography

The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, published by Versify (Picture Book)

Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas by Gwendolyn Hooks, illustrated by Colin Bootman, published by Lee & Low Books (Picture Book)

Someday Is Now: Clara Luper and the 1958 Oklahoma City Sit-ins by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, illustrated by Jade Johnson, published by Quarto Kids (Picture Book)

No Small Potatoes: Junius G. Groves and His Kingdom in Kansas by Tonya Bolden, illustrated by Don Tate, published by Knopf BFYR (Picture Book)

It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw by Don Tate, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, published by Lee & Low Books (Picture Book)

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, published by Hyperion (Picture Book)

The Roots of Rap, by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Frank Morrison, published by Little Bee Books (Picture Book)

Fearless Mary: Mary Fields, American Stagecoach Driver by Tami Charles, illustrated by Claire Almon, published by Albert Whitman & Company (Picture Book)

The Women Who Caught the Babies by Eloise Greenfield, illustrated by Daniel Minter, Alazar Press (Picture Book)

Brave Ballerina: The Story of Janet Collins by Michelle Meadows, illustrated by Ebony Glenn, published by Henry Holt & Company (Picture Book)

A Ride to Remember: A Civil Rights Story by Sharon Langley and Amy Nathan, illustrated by Floyd Cooper, published by Abrams (Picture Book)

 

Resources referenced in our presentation:

8 thoughts on “Stop and Think Reading List and Resources

  1. I love this. Thank you so much for sharing these titles that are under Various genres. It puts a smile on my face knowing that books about black people and culture is being shared.

    1. I enjoy seeing the black community in unity and celebrate the countless things about being black. All of the listed book evaluations are great, but several that stood out to me are, “How does the Black creator bring authority and intimacy to the storytelling?”; “How does the story celebrate family, belonging or legacy?”; “What details in the words and art show authenticity?” The book titles embody every evaluation written above. The book “My Mommy Medicine” by Edwidge Danticat provoked sentimental thoughts for me without even reading the book, and I can only imagine how greater my emotions would be after simply reading the title of “Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom” by Carole Boston Weatherford. Awesome listing, and thank you for sharing.

  2. I enjoy seeing the black community in unity and celebrate the countless things about being black. All of the listed book evaluations are great, but several that stood out to me are, “How does the Black creator bring authority and intimacy to the storytelling?”; “How does the story celebrate family, belonging or legacy?”; “What details in the words and art show authenticity?” The book titles embody every evaluation written above. The book “My Mommy Medicine” by Edwidge Danticat provoked sentimental thoughts for me without even reading the book, and I can only imagine how greater my emotions would be after simply reading the title of “Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom” by Carole Boston Weatherford. Awesome listing, and thank you for sharing.

  3. Thanks for the information it was very informative. As I just recently volunteer for a elementary book fair I seen that they did have a lot of books with different diverse race on the cover. This is great because I don’t remember much books with mix races on the front..

  4. Great list of books shared. It is important to share this list of books by black authors with black characters. As an inspiring teacher, these are the books I will include in my classroom library.

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