28 Authors For 28 Days

The Brown Bookshelf Announces Spotlight Authors

(Severna Park, MD) The Brown Bookshelf, today, announced the twenty-eight authors to be spotlighted in the groups’ 28 Days Later initiative, a month-long celebration of vanguard and emerging children’s authors of color starting February first. In addition, the campaign will spotlight four illustrators on the rise. “Since our launch, it’s been sixty intense days of research, reading and relishing the truly talented works out there,” said Brown Bookshelf member, Paula Chase Hyman. “We’re excited to finally unveil some of children’s literatures best kept secrets and jewels.”

Librarians, writers, publishers and readers of children’s literature answered the groups’ November first call to present African American authors flying under the radar of librarians and teachers. Over one hundred names of Picture Book, Middle Grade and Young Adult authors were submitted at the Brown Bookshelf website. “We discovered quickly that the definition of under the radar varies,” said Brown Bookshelf member, Varian Johnson. “Some of the finalists may be recognized among readers, but virtually unknown by a majority of influencers. Or vice versa.”

The five members culled submitted names down to nine authors per literary category via research, speaking to booksellers and librarians and using circulation and library inventory data. The twenty-eight finalists include six vanguard authors – individuals who are the forefront of the genre – and two stand-out, self-published authors.

“The selection represents a nice variety of emerging and popular authors that will surely pique anyone’s interest,” said Karen Lemmons of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. “We need to support these authors by reading, discussing and promoting their works.”

A vibrant poster acknowledging the featured authors and illustrators is live on the Brown Bookshelf home page. It’s available for download.

The authors, their most current book and the day they will be featured are as follows:


Authors in bold are vanguard authors

Illustrator spotlights are in italics

Feb 1 Christopher Paul Curtis – Elijah of Buxton

Feb 2 Michelle Meadows – The Way The Storm Stops

Feb 3 Dana Davidson – Played

Feb 4 Rita Williams-Garcia – No Laughter Here

Feb 5 G. Neri – Chess Rumble & Sean Qualls – Phillis’s Big Test

Feb 6 Janice N. Harrington – The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County

Feb 7 Eleanora E. Tate – Celeste’s Harlem Renaissance

Feb 8 Patricia McKissack – The All-I’ll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll

Feb 9 M. Sindy Felin – Touching Snow

Feb 10 Jabari Asim – Daddy Goes To Work

Feb 11 Mildred D. Taylor – The Road To Memphis

Feb 12 Nina Crews – The Neighborhood Mother Goose & Leonard Jenkins – Sweet Land of Liberty

Feb 13 Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu – The Shadow Speaker

Feb 14 Allison Whittenberg – Sweet Thang

Feb 15 Walter Dean Myers – Game

Feb 16 Tonya Bolden – George Washington Carver

Feb 17 Troy Cle – The Marvelous Effect

Feb 18 Eloise Greenfield – The Friendly Four

Feb 19 Sundee T. Frazier – Brendan Buckley’s Universe and Everything In It & John Holyfield – Bessie Smith & the Night Riders

Feb 20 Carole Boston Weatherford – I, Matthew Henson: Polar Explorer

Feb 21 Karen English – Nikki & Deja

Feb 22 Coe Booth – Tyrell

Feb 23 Irene Smalls – My Pop Pop and Me

Feb 24 Stephanie Perry Moore – Prayed Up: Perry Skky Jr. #4

Feb 25 Kyra E. Hicks, Martha Ann’s Quilt for Queen Victoria

Feb 26 Celise Downs – Dance Jam Productions & Shane Evans- When Harriet Met Sojourner

Feb 27 Valerie Wilson Wesley – Willimena Rules!: 23 Ways to mess up Valentine’s Day

Feb 28 Sherri L. Smith – Sparrow