Black Voices to Celebrate Black History Month
Can anyone actually believe it is February already!? 2021 has just begun and the weeks seem to be flying by! While we think it’s important to lift up voices of Black creators year-round, Black History Month is a special time of year to really focus our attention on these powerful narratives. So why not make it a point this month to read a book written by a Black author! Here are just a few of our favorites:
Big expectations! A cute boy!! Chicago (one of my favorite places)!!! FAMILY SECRETS!!!!!! Honestly, what more could we ask for?
Dove “Birdie” Randolph works hard to be the perfect daughter and follow the path her parents have laid out for her: she quit playing her beloved soccer, she keeps her nose buried in textbooks, and she’s on track to finish high school at the top of her class. But then Birdie falls hard for Booker, a sweet boy with a troubled past…whom she knows her parents will never approve of.
When her estranged aunt Carlene returns to Chicago and moves into their apartment above the family’s hair salon, Birdie notices the tension building at home. Carlene is sweet, friendly, and open-minded-she’s also spent decades in and out of treatment facilities for substance abuse. As Birdie becomes closer to both Booker and Carlene, she yearns to spread her wings. But when long-buried secrets rise to the surface, everything she’s known to be true is turned upside down.
This moving story is one that is all too common for Black Americans. Grab your tissue box and prepare for to cry while shouting for justice. If you enjoyed The Hate U Give, this book is for you.
When Marvin Johnson’s twin, Tyler, goes to a party, Marvin decides to tag along to keep an eye on his brother. But what starts as harmless fun turns into a shooting, followed by a police raid.
The next day, Tyler has gone missing, and it’s up to Marvin to find him. But when Tyler is found dead, a video leaked online tells an even more chilling story: Tyler has been shot and killed by a police officer. Terrified as his mother unravels and mourning a brother who is now a hashtag, Marvin must learn what justice and freedom really mean.
Look, I know reading heavy history books is not fun, but Stamped is not your traditional history book. But, are you eager to become the antiracist you know you can be? Jason Reynolds does a fantastic job breaking down complicated concepts into something we can all understand. And if you’ve got younger siblings, Stamped (For Kids) is coming this spring!
This is NOT a history book.
This is a book about the here and now.
A book to help us better understand why we are where we are.
A book about race.
The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future. It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers. It also proves that while racist ideas have always been easy to fabricate and distribute, they can also be discredited.
Through a gripping, fast-paced, and energizing narrative written by beloved award-winner Jason Reynolds, this book shines a light on the many insidious forms of racist ideas—and on ways readers can identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their daily lives.
This is a story for all of us space-loving, star-gazing, beach-going, hopeless romantics. And check out the stunning new paperback cover!
Eighteen-year-old Devon longs for two things.
And the boy she fell in love with last summer.
When Ashton breaks Devon’s heart at the end of the most romantic and magical summer ever, she thinks her heart will never heal again. But over the course of following year, Devon finds herself slowly putting the broken pieces back together.
Now it’s senior year, and she’s determined to enjoy every moment of it, as she prepares for a future studying galaxies. That is, until Ashton shows up on the first day of school.
Can she forgive and open her heart to him again? Or are they doomed to repeat history?
Say Her Name
by Zetta Elliott
Illustrated by Loveis Wise
Cover design or artwork by Loveis Wise
After Amanda Gorman’s *stunning* appearance at the inauguration, poetry is definitely having a moment. So if you’re someone who is just starting to dip your toes into the vast sea of poetry, Say Her Name is a great place to start.
Inspired by the #SayHerName campaign launched by the African American Policy Forum, these poems pay tribute to victims of police brutality as well as the activists insisting that Black Lives Matter. Elliott engages poets from the past two centuries to create a chorus of voices celebrating the creativity, resilience, and courage of Black women and girls.
This collection features forty-nine powerful poems, four of which are tribute poems inspired by the works of Lucille Clifton, Audre Lorde, Nikki Giovanni, and Phillis Wheatley.
This provocative collection will move every reader to reflect, respond-and act.
A pandemic?! We know what that’s like! But life in a cult? Maybe not so much… Hold on tight—this is one wild ride.
Agnes knows she loves her home of Red Creek—its quiet, sunny mornings, its dusty roads, and its God. There, she cares tirelessly for her younger siblings and follows the town’s strict laws. What she doesn’t know is that Red Creek is a cult, controlled by a madman who calls himself a prophet.
Then Agnes meets Danny, an Outsider boy, and begins to question what is and isn’t a sin. Her younger brother, Ezekiel, will die without the insulin she barters for once a month, even though medicine is considered outlawed. Is she a sinner for saving him? Is her sister, Beth, a sinner for dreaming of the world beyond Red Creek?
As the Prophet grows more dangerous, Agnes realizes she must escape with Ezekiel and leave everyone else, including Beth, behind. But it isn’t safe Outside, either: A viral pandemic is burning through the population at a terrifying rate. As Agnes ventures forth, a mysterious connection grows between her and the Virus. But in a world where faith, miracles, and cruelty have long been indistinguishable, will Agnes be able to choose between saving her family and saving the world?
The Skin I'm In (20th Anniversary Edition)
by Sharon Flake
Foreword by Jason Reynolds
This book is for anyone who has ever been made to feel less-than because of the way they look. Be prepared for all the feels, because we’re all beautiful—no matter what others say—we just need to realize it for ourselves.
Maleeka suffers every day from the taunts of the other kids in her class. If they’re not getting at her about her homemade clothes or her good grades, it’s about her dark, black skin.
When a new teacher, whose face is blotched with a startling white patch, starts at their school, Maleeka can see there is bound to be trouble for her too. But the new teacher’s attitude surprises Maleeka. Miss Saunders loves the skin she’s in. Can Maleeka learn to do the same?