25 Bestselling Children’s Books for Full Year - 2021

AALBC’s Bestselling Book SealOur bestsellers list has been published continuously since 1998 and is the most visible list focused on Black Books in existence. More ▶

Fiction: Voices of the Harlem Renaissance: Originally Published as The New Negro an Interpretation edited by Alain Locke and featuring a new introduction by AALBC’s Troy Johnson was the #1 fiction book for 2021. Voices, which was originally published almost 100 years ago, benefited from strong sales because it is an excellent treatment of The New Negro an Interpretation and we have focused on providing sales and distribution through independent channels.

Nonfiction: Sales of So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo surged immediately after the cruel murder of George Floyd. Readers, of all backgrounds, were anxious to understand the nature of racism how they could do something about it. More importantly, readers wanted to buy So You Want to Talk About Race, and similar title’s, from independent Black-owned booksellers. Sales have remained strong for these books more than a year later.

Children’s Books: Children’s books has been the top-selling category of books the past two years, which is really remarkable given the strength of nonfiction book sales (a close second). Born on the Water: The 1619 Project written by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renée Watson, and wonderfully illustrated by Nikkolas Smith, enjoyed a tremendous amount of support from virtually the entire bookselling community.

Poetry: Vice: New and Selected Poems by Ai Ogawa won a National Book Award in 1999, the year it was first published. Given the strength of the sales of Amanda Gorman’s Call Us What We Carry, the 22-year-old Vice topping all other poetry book sales is impressive.

View a printer-friendly version and a collage of the book covers. Also, check out links to more great books. Enjoy

#1

Book cover of Born on the Water: The 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renée Watson

Born on the Water

by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renée Watson

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#2

Book cover of Bunheads by Misty Copeland

Bunheads

by Misty Copeland

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#3

Book cover of Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

Hidden Figures

by Margot Lee Shetterly

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#5

Book cover of Cool Cuts by Mechal Renee Roe

Cool Cuts

by Mechal Renee Roe

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#6

Book cover of A Girl Like Me by Angela Johnson

A Girl Like Me

by Angela Johnson

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#7

Book cover of Jump at the Sun by Alicia D. Williams

Jump at the Sun

by Alicia D. Williams

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#8

Book cover of I Am Loved by Nikki Giovanni

I Am Loved

by Nikki Giovanni

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#9

Book cover of Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre by Carole Boston Weatherford

Unspeakable

by Carole Boston Weatherford

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#11

Book cover of What Color Is My World?: The Lost History Of African-American Inventors by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld

What Color Is My World?

by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld

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#13

Book cover of Your Name Is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow

Your Name Is a Song

by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow

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#14

Book cover of I Promise by Lebron James

I Promise

by Lebron James

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#17

Book cover of Different and the Same by Adijah & Atiya Brabham

Different and the Same

by Adijah & Atiya Brabham

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#19

Book cover of Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon by Kelly Starling Lyons

Dream Builder

by Kelly Starling Lyons

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#21

Book cover of Baby Says by John Steptoe

Baby Says

by John Steptoe

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More About our Bestsellers List


You will learn about books selling well, in the Black community, that may never show up on lists published by corporate entities. Spread the word about our list; don’t let one or two lists, which we don’t control, determine which books are important.

We collect our bestselling titles from all our sales channels. The majority of our sales come from this website and our in-person events. We also include sales generated through our affiliate relationships, including Bookshop.org, Libro.fm (audiobooks), Black History 365 Education, and Amazon.com*.

We aggregate all formats of a book sold (print, ebook, and audio) into one format, usually the most popular print format

*For a few years, we actively boycotted Amazon but have discontinued this practice, as many of our authors have made their books exclusively available from Amazon. While we discourage giving Amazon the exclusive right to sell a book, we do not want this to be a reason to exclude an author from our site. Amazon also has an effective monopoly on eBooks and out-of-print books, which we highlight on this site.


The Most Critically Acclaimed Books

Bestselling Books By Year May be Found Here

Our All-Time Bestselling Books May be Found Here