Generations Book Club: Let’s Celebrate Food, Family, and Culture

I live in Austin, Texas; my family is spread out all over the country. Due to Covid-19, it’s been two long years since we’ve been able to gather. I miss family reunion barbecues and soul food Sundays. I miss family Kwanzaa celebrations observed during the week following Christmas. And I miss the feasts my mother-in-law prepared on New Years Day which always included black-eyed peas and rice—a dish that symbolized luck. Lovingly prepared food was the center or our family celebrations. 

Generations Book Club kicks off 2022 with books that celebrate food, family and African American traditions. 



Board Book:
Brown Sugar Babies
by Charles R. Smith

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (May 12, 2020)

“Toddlers will pore over these images again and again. No candy is sweeter than these scrumptious babies in all of their delicious colors.”–Kirkus Reviews




Picture Books:
Soul Food Sunday
, written by Winsome Bingham, illustrated by C.G. Esperanza,

published by Barefoot Books (June 1, 2021)

“This nourishing story will gratify soul food aficionados, as well as anyone who’s experienced how bonds strengthen through food and traditions.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Esperanza’s vibrant illustrations are awash in saturated colors, photo-realistic facial expressions, and pronounced outlines, and they positively radiate this family’s joy and love for one another. . .Food-related words and onomatopoeia are called out in large, colorful fonts, adding to the reading fun.” ―Booklist


Family Reunion, written by Chad & Dad Richardson, illustrated by Ashleigh Corrin,

Published by Barefoot Books, (June 1, 2021)

“A welcome book about the beauty of family, togetherness, and trying new things.”—Kirkus, starred review






Middle Grade:
Ways to Make Sunshine, by  Renée Watson,

Published by Bloomsbury Childrens (April 27, 2021)

“Intermittently funny, frustrating, and touching. . . . Allows Black readers to see themselves and all readers to find a character they can love. Move over Ramona Quimby, Portland has another neighbor you have to meet!” Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Adroitly captures the uncertainty of growing up amid change through the eyes of an irrepressible black girl.” Publishers Weekly, starred review


Young Adult:
With the Fire on High,
by Elizabeth Acevedo,

Published by Quill Tree Books (May 7, 22019)

“Acevedo expertly develops Emoni’s close female relationships, which are often conveyed through the sharing of food and recipes, and which shape and buoy Emoni’s sense of her own direction and strength. With evocative, rhythmic prose and realistically rendered relationships and tensions, Acevedo’s unvarnished depiction of young adulthood is at once universal and intensely specific.”Publishers Weekly, starred review



Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora, by Bryant Terry,

Published by 4 Color Books

“This exuberant work cooked up by James Beard Award–winning chef Terry is way more than a notable collection of recipes. Stuffed with essays, poetry, and artwork from a cast of brilliant creatives with their finger on the pulse of Black culture and the culinary world, it sweeps readers from West Africa to Jamaica to New York with sumptuous stories that feed the soul.”Publishers Weekly “Best Books of 2021—Lifestyle”

One thought on “Generations Book Club: Let’s Celebrate Food, Family, and Culture

  1. This was a really neat list. Funny I stumbled upon it because I am preparing to write a post about you and your books on my website! I read a stack of your books aloud to my kids today and we officially have a new favorite. After reading about Eugen Sandow my 5 year took her shirt off and started exercising!

    Wonderful list here and thanks for sharing that bit of bio about yourself. I’m from TX and miss it dearly


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