Children book authors, industry professionals, and avid readers contributed their favorite children’s books to this list. We know children and young readers will enjoy most, if not all, of these books, as they have already brought joy to countless children.
“Who Will Write a Story for the Children of Eric Garner?” by Zetta Elliott
This question came to mind last February when I was invited to prepare a ten-minute talk for the PBS program Blackademics TV. Today, as I rage over the non-indictment of yet another murderous white police officer, I might ask, “Who will write a story for the sister of Tamir Rice?”
Elliott’s poetry has been published in several anthologies, and her plays have been staged in New York, Chicago, and Cleveland. Her essays have appeared in The Huffington Post, School Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly. She is the author of twenty books for young readers, including the award-winning picture book Bird. Elliott is an advocate for greater diversity and equity in publishing.
All of these titles are compiled in the book Sacred Fire: The QBR 100 Essential Black Books, which was published by QBR: The Black Book Review magazine in 1999. The editors of QBR tapped a panel of leading scholars, historians, authors, and booksellers to reach a consensus on works having the most significant impact across the decades—the books that matter most. The resulting list of 100 books is an impressive collection of poetry, short fiction, novels, drama, autobiography, and history.
15 Years ago, we completed the voting for our own list of Our Favorite 100 African American Novels of the 20th Century. A total of 3,861 votes were cast. This list was created as a direct result of our outrage at the lack of our presence of Black writers on the Modern Library’s Best Books of the Century list.
Aaron Bady, who compiled this list, is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Texas, teaching African literature. Aaron’s list should serve as a great introduction to contemporary African writers. Some of the writers, like Nigerian writer Chris Abani, have already earned a great deal of acclaim in the United States, while others remain relatively obscure here. In any event, I’m confident you’ll discover a book you will really enjoy.
To find the best in soon to bet released books, check out our list. You find a curated list of books that will be published in the next few months. Diane McKinney-Whetstone, Eric Jerome Dickey, Elizabeth Nunez, Helen Oyeyemi, and Kwame Alexander are just a few of the brilliant writers with books coming out soon.
If you are looking for a new book, that you can read today, use our list of books published in the last two months. As with our soon to be released list of books, this is a handpicked list of books, across genres, which have been recommended by industry professionals, book clubs, booksellers and avid readers.
This list should have the majority of major book festivals and fairs coming up the rest of this year in the United States and Caribbean. The list includes The Kingston Book Festival, which is one of the largest book festivals in the English speaking Caribbean. It comprises 30 events over 8 days with a combined audience of more than 6,000. I’ve been invited to attend this year, and I hope to see some of you there.
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Pictured from left to right are Candice Henderson, Kathiria Robinson, Yvonne Bailey and Raynetta Bailey. They are holding up the book Cinder: Book One of the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.
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Some may consider today the final day of Black History Month, but I’ve decided to celebrate Black History Month all year long! Look out for the daily Black History Month updates on our discussion forums and social media, as we celebrate “366 Days of Black History.”
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