Books Honored by the National Book Foundation

National Book Award Medals

The mission of the National Book Foundation is to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of great writing in America. National Book Awards are given five categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature.

Here we highlight the winners of African descent. The first African-American writer to win a National Book Award was Ralph Ellison, in 1953, for Invisible Man.

Check Out AALBC’s Coverage of the National Book Awards:  20172016201520142013


16 Books Honored by the National Book Foundation in 2021

Winner - Fiction

Hell of a Book
by Jason Mott

    Publication Date: Aug 10, 2021
    List Price: $27.00
    Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
    Classification: Fiction
    ISBN13: 9780593330968
    Imprint: Dutton
    Publisher: Penguin Random House
    Parent Company: Bertelsmann

    Read a Description of Hell of a Book


    Book Description: 
    An astounding work of fiction from a New York Times bestselling author, always deeply honest, at times electrically funny, that goes to the heart of racism, police violence, and the hidden costs exacted upon Black Americans, and America as a whole

    In Hell of a Book, an African-American author sets out on a cross-country book tour to promote his bestselling novel. That storyline drives Jason Mott’s novel and is the scaffolding of something much larger and more urgent: since his novel also tells the story of Soot, a young Black boy living in a rural town in the recent past, and The Kid, a possibly imaginary child who appears to the author on his tour.

    Throughout, these characters’ stories build and build and as they converge, they astonish. For while this heartbreaking and magical book entertains and is at once about family, love of parents and children, art, and money, there always is the tragic story of a police shooting playing over and over on the news.

    Who has been killed? Who is The Kid? Will the author finish his book tour, and what kind of world will he leave behind? Unforgettably powerful, an electrifying high-wire act, ideal for book clubs, and the book Mott says he has been writing in his head for ten years, Hell of a Book in its final twists truly becomes its title.

    Winner - Nonfiction

    All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake
    by Tiya Miles

    Publication Date: Jun 08, 2021
    List Price: $28.00
    Format: Hardcover, 416 pages
    Classification: Nonfiction
    ISBN13: 9781984854995
    Imprint: Random House
    Publisher: Penguin Random House
    Parent Company: Bertelsmann

    Read a Description of All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake


    Book Description: 

    A renowned historian traces the life of a single object handed down through three generations of Black women to craft an extraordinary testament to people who are left out of the archives.

    In 1850s South Carolina, an enslaved woman named Rose faced a crisis, the imminent sale of her daughter Ashley. Thinking quickly, she packed a cotton bag with a few precious items as a token of love and to try to ensure Ashley’s survival. Soon after, the nine-year-old girl was separated from her mother and sold.

    Decades later, Ashley’s granddaughter Ruth embroidered this family history on the bag in spare yet haunting language— including Rose’s wish that “It be filled with my Love always.” Ruth’s sewn words, the reason we remember Ashley’s sack today, evoke a sweeping family story of loss and of love passed down through generations. Now, in this illuminating, deeply moving new book inspired by Rose’s gift to Ashley, historian Tiya Miles carefully unearths these women’s faint presence in archival records to follow the paths of their lives—and the lives of so many women like them—to write a singular and revelatory history of the experience of slavery, and the uncertain freedom afterward, in the United States.

    The search to uncover this history is part of the story itself. For where the historical record falls short of capturing Rose’s, Ashley’s, and Ruth’s full lives, Miles turns to objects and to art as equally important sources, assembling a chorus of women’s and families’ stories and critiquing the scant archives that for decades have overlooked so many. The contents of Ashley’s sack— a tattered dress, handfuls of pecans, a braid of hair, “my Love always”—are eloquent evidence of the lives these women lived. As she follows Ashley’s journey, Miles metaphorically unpacks the bag, deepening its emotional resonance and exploring the meanings and significance of everything it contained.

    All That She Carried is a poignant story of resilience and of love passed down through generations of women against steep odds. It honors the creativity and fierce resourcefulness of people who preserved family ties even when official systems refused to do so, and it serves as a visionary illustration of how to reconstruct and recount their stories today.


    Finalist - Fiction

    The Prophets
    by Robert Jones, Jr.

    Publication Date: Jan 05, 2021
    List Price: $27.00
    Format: Hardcover, 400 pages
    Classification: Fiction
    ISBN13: 9780593085684
    Imprint: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
    Publisher: Penguin Random House
    Parent Company: Bertelsmann

    Read a Description of The Prophets


    Book Description: 

    • #1 Indie Next Pick
    • The New York Times Book Review’s Books to Watch for in January
    • The Washington Post’s 10 Books to Read in January
    • TIME’s 10 New Books You Should Read in January
    • O, the Oprah Magazine’s 32 LGBTQ Books That Will Change the Literary Landscape in 2021
    • Good Morning America’s Best Books to Read this January
    • CNN’s Best Books of January
    • Harper’s Bazaar’s Winter’s Best New Releases
    • BuzzFeed’s Most Anticipated Historical Fiction of 2021
    • PopSugar’s Best Books of January
    • Lit Hub’s Most Anticipated Books of 2021
    • Electric Literature’s Most Anticipated Debuts of 2021
    • The Millions’ Most Anticipated Books of 2021
    • Debutiful’s Best Debuts of January
    • Lambda Literary’s Most Anticipated LGBTQ Books of January
    • LGBTQ Read’s Most Anticipated LGBTQIAP Fiction of 2021 Picks
    • Kirkus Reviews’ Most Anticipated Books of the Fall

    Instant New York Times Bestseller
    May this book cast its spell on all of us, restore to us some memory of our most warrior and softest selves. —The New York Times Book Review
    “A new kind of epic…A grand achievement…While The Prophets’ dreamy realism recalls the work of Toni Morrison…its penetrating focus on social dynamics stands out more singularly.” —Entertainment Weekly

    A singular and stunning debut novel about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, the refuge they find in each other, and a betrayal that threatens their existence.

    Isaiah was Samuel’s and Samuel was Isaiah’s. That was the way it was since the beginning, and the way it was to be until the end. In the barn they tended to the animals, but also to each other, transforming the hollowed-out shed into a place of human refuge, a source of intimacy and hope in a world ruled by vicious masters. But when an older man—a fellow slave—seeks to gain favor by preaching the master’s gospel on the plantation, the enslaved begin to turn on their own. Isaiah and Samuel’s love, which was once so simple, is seen as sinful and a clear danger to the plantation’s harmony.

    With a lyricism reminiscent of Toni Morrison, Robert Jones, Jr., fiercely summons the voices of slaver and enslaved alike, from Isaiah and Samuel to the calculating slave master to the long line of women that surround them, women who have carried the soul of the plantation on their shoulders. As tensions build and the weight of centuries—of ancestors and future generations to come—culminates in a climactic reckoning, The Prophets masterfully reveals the pain and suffering of inheritance, but is also shot through with hope, beauty, and truth, portraying the enormous, heroic power of love.




    Finalist - Nonfiction

    A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance
    by Hanif Abdurraqib

      Publication Date: Mar 30, 2021
      List Price: $27.00
      Format: Hardcover, 272 pages
      Classification: Nonfiction
      ISBN13: 9781984801197
      Imprint: Random House
      Publisher: Penguin Random House
      Parent Company: Bertelsmann

      Read a Description of A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance


      Book Description: 

      A stirring meditation on Black performance in America from the New York Times bestselling author of Go Ahead in the Rain

      “Whether heralding unsung entertainers or reexamining legends, Hanif Abdurraqib weaves together gorgeous essays that reveal the resilience, heartbreak, and joy within Black performance. I read this book breathlessly.”—Brit Bennett, author of The Vanishing Half

      At the March on Washington in 1963, Josephine Baker was fifty-seven years old, well beyond her most prolific days. But in her speech she was in a mood to consider her life, her legacy, her departure from the country she was now triumphantly returning to. “I was a devil in other countries, and I was a little devil in America, too,” she told the crowd. Inspired by these few words, Hanif Abdurraqib has written a profound and lasting reflection on how Black performance is inextricably woven into the fabric of American culture. Each moment in every performance he examines—whether it’s the twenty-seven seconds in “Gimme Shelter” in which Merry Clayton wails the words “rape, murder,” a schoolyard fistfight, a dance marathon, or the instant in a game of spades right after the cards are dealt—has layers of resonance in Black and white cultures, the politics of American empire, and Abdurraqib’s own personal history of love, grief, and performance.

      Abdurraqib writes prose brimming with jubilation and pain, infused with the lyricism and rhythm of the musicians he loves. With care and generosity, he explains the poignancy of performances big and small, each one feeling intensely familiar and vital, both timeless and desperately urgent. Filled with sharp insight, humor, and heart, A Little Devil in America exalts the Black performance that unfolds in specific moments in time and space—from midcentury Paris to the moon, and back down again to a cramped living room in Columbus, Ohio.


      Finalist - Poetry

      What Noise Against the Cane
      by Desiree C. Bailey

        Publication Date: Apr 13, 2021
        List Price: $20.00
        Format: Paperback, 96 pages
        Classification: Poetry
        ISBN13: 9780300256536
        Imprint: Yale University Press
        Publisher: Yale University Press
        Parent Company: Yale University

        Read a Description of What Noise Against the Cane


        Book Description: 

        Finalist for the 2021 National Book Award for Poetry, this Yale Series of Younger Poets volume (#115) is a lyrical and polyvocal exploration of what it means to fight for yourself

        “Bailey invites us to see what twenty-first-century life is like for a young woman of the Black diaspora in the long wake of a history of slavery, brutality, and struggling for freedoms bodily and psychological.” —Carl Phillips, from the Foreword

        “Desiree C. Bailey sings true in her debut. Wherever this voice goes a Caribbean sun travels with it transfiguring what a maroon might overhear—a call awaiting response.”—Yusef Komunyakaa

        The 115th volume of the Yale Series of Younger Poets, What Noise Against the Cane is a lyric quest for belonging and freedom, weaving political resistance, Caribbean folklore, immigration, and the realities of Black life in America. Desiree C. Bailey begins by reworking the epic in an oceanic narrative of bondage and liberation in the midst of the Haitian Revolution. The poems move into the contemporary Black diaspora, probing the mythologies of home, belief, nation, and womanhood. Series judge Carl Phillips observes that Bailey’s “poems argue for hope and faith equally… . These are powerful poems, indeed, and they make a persuasive argument for the transformative powers of steady defiance.”


        Finalist - Poetry

        Sho
        by Douglas Kearney

        Publication Date: Apr 06, 2021
        List Price: $18.00
        Format: Paperback, 104 pages
        Classification: Poetry
        ISBN13: 9781950268153
        Imprint: Wave Books
        Publisher: Wave Books
        Parent Company: Wave Books

        Read a Description of Sho


        Book Description: 

        Eschewing series and performative typography, Douglas Kearney’s Sho aims to hit crooked licks with straight-seeming sticks. Navigating the complex penetrability of language, these poems are sonic in their espousal of Black vernacular traditions, while examining histories, pop culture, myth, and folklore. Both dazzling and devastating, Sho is a genius work of literary precision, wordplay, farce, and critical irony. In his “stove-like imagination,” Kearney has concocted poems that destabilize the spectacle, leaving looky-loos with an important uncertainty about the intersection between violence and entertainment.


        Finalist - Young People’s Literature

        Me (Moth)
        by Amber McBride

        Publication Date: Aug 17, 2021
        List Price: $18.99
        Format: Hardcover, 256 pages
        Classification: Fiction
        Target Age Group: Young Adult
        ISBN13: 9781250780362
        Imprint: Feiwel & Friends
        Publisher: Macmillan Publishers
        Parent Company: Holtzbrinck Publishing Group

        Read a Description of Me (Moth)


        Book Description: 

        A debut YA novel-in-verse by Amber McBride, Me (Moth) is about a teen girl who is grieving the deaths of her family, and a teen boy who crosses her path.

        Moth has lost her family in an accident. Though she lives with her aunt, she feels alone and uprooted.

        Until she meets Sani, a boy who is also searching for his roots. If he knows more about where he comes from, maybe he’ll be able to understand his ongoing depression. And if Moth can help him feel grounded, then perhaps she too will discover the history she carries in her bones.

        Moth and Sani take a road trip that has them chasing ghosts and searching for ancestors. The way each moves forward is surprising, powerful, and unforgettable.

        Here is an exquisite and uplifting novel about identity, first love, and the ways that our memories and our roots steer us through the universe.

        Me (Moth) holds you like a gentle haint, pulling you in and out of song, and dance, and dreams until you are not sure where reality ends and memory begins. Amber McBride in her young adult debut has written a marvelous novel in verse full of ancestor wisdom and love that traverses crossroads that we must navigate to live.”—Joanne V. Gabbin, Director, Furious Flower Poetry Center


        Finalist - Young People’s Literature

        Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People
        by Kekla Magoon

        Publication Date: Nov 23, 2021
        List Price: $24.99
        Format: Hardcover, 400 pages
        Classification: Nonfiction
        Target Age Group: Young Adult
        ISBN13: 9781536214185
        Imprint: Candlewick Press
        Publisher: Walker Books
        Parent Company: Walker Books

        Read a Description of Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People


        Book Description: 

        With passion and precision, Kekla Magoon relays an essential account of the Black Panthers—as militant revolutionaries and as human rights advocates working to defend and protect their community.

        In this comprehensive, inspiring, and all-too-relevant history of the Black Panther Party, Kekla Magoon introduces readers to the Panthers’ community activism, grounded in the concept of self-defense, which taught Black Americans how to protect and support themselves in a country that treated them like second-class citizens. For too long the Panthers’ story has been a footnote to the civil rights movement rather than what it was: a revolutionary socialist movement that drew thousands of members—mostly women—and became the target of one of the most sustained repression efforts ever made by the U.S. government against its own citizens.

        Revolution in Our Time puts the Panthers in the proper context of Black American history, from the first arrival of enslaved people to the Black Lives Matter movement of today. Kekla Magoon’s eye-opening work invites a new generation of readers grappling with injustices in the United States to learn from the Panthers’ history and courage, inspiring them to take their own place in the ongoing fight for justice.

        Kekla Magoon is a national treasure, and Revolution in Our Time passionately and meticulously details a critical truth that is both feared and necessary in the classroom.
        Rita Williams-Garcia, award-winning author of A Sitting in St. James


        Longlist - Fiction

        The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois
        by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

        Publication Date: Aug 24, 2021
        List Price: $28.99
        Format: Hardcover, 816 pages
        Classification: Fiction
        ISBN13: 9780062942937
        Imprint: Harper
        Publisher: HarperCollins
        Parent Company: News Corporation

        Read a Description of The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois


        Book Description: 

        I was so enraptured by the story of this modern Black family, and how author Honorée Fanonne Jeffers wove the larger fabric of historical trauma through the family’s silence through generations…”—Oprah Winfrey, Announcing The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois as the Next Oprah’s Book Club Selection

        The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois, the ambitious and uncompromising debut novel from National Book Award-nominated poet Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, takes readers into the intimate lives of Black and Indigenous women who have fought racism and sexism to weave their experiences into America’s larger tapestry. Fashioning a microcosm of our fraught national history, Jeffers crafts a complex narrative of forced accommodation, courageous resistance, and resilience, as she deftly chronicles the journey of one American family through centuries—from the white appropriation of native lands to the African slave trade, from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement and beyond. Jeffers frames her wholly original narrative with “Sorrow Songs”—a term borrowed from W.E.B. Dubois: ancestral memories that unfold as beautifully-rendered, almost mythic tales.

        The novel centers on Ailey Pearl Garfield as she pushes against the expectations of her African American middle-class upbringing. On the path to fulfilling her family’s wish for her to become a doctor, Ailey attends an historically Black college in Georgia, not far from the rural homestead where her ancestors were once enslaved. Ailey straddles the present and the past as she reconnects with this side of her heritage, whose traditions clash with those of her imperious, light-skinned paternal grandmother, to whom skin tone is paramount. As Ailey struggles to learn who she is and what she wants, she must reckon with the complicated racial history that has shaped her family, uncovering buried truths about her ancestors—both invigorating and difficult.

        In creating this world, Jeffers has drawn on stories from her own family. Remembering childhood summers spent in Georgia with her grandmother, she recalls, “I wasn’t a child who played well with others. I preferred to sit still in corners and eavesdrop on elder relatives. I first learned of slavery and lynching, and the difficult history of this country not from books, but from eavesdropping on old, Black folks. After I became a creative writing major, I kept returning to the ancestral land of my mother and grandmother, and I began writing about a southern, Black family that had survived the horrors of historical racism and white supremacy.”


        Longlist - Nonfiction

        How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America
        by Clint Smith

        Publication Date: Jun 01, 2021
        List Price: $29.00
        Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
        Classification: Nonfiction
        ISBN13: 9780316492935
        Imprint: Little, Brown and Company
        Publisher: Hachette Book Group
        Parent Company: Hachette Livre

        Read a Description of How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America


        Book Description: 

        "We need this book." Ibram X. Kendi, #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to be an Anti-Racist

        The Atlantic staff writer and poet Clint Smith’s revealing, contemporary portrait of America as a slave owning nation

        Beginning in his hometown of New Orleans, Clint Smith leads the reader on an unforgettable tour of monuments and landmarks—those that are honest about the past and those that are not—that offer an intergenerational story of how slavery has been central in shaping our nation’s collective history, and ourselves.

        It is the story of the Monticello Plantation in Virginia, the estate where Thomas Jefferson wrote letters espousing the urgent need for liberty while enslaving more than four hundred people. It is the story of the Whitney Plantation, one of the only former plantations devoted to preserving the experience of the enslaved people whose lives and work sustained it. It is the story of Angola, a former plantation-turned-maximum-security prison in Louisiana that is filled with Black men who work across the 18,000-acre land for virtually no pay. And it is the story of Blandford Cemetery, the final resting place of tens of thousands of Confederate soldiers.

        A deeply researched and transporting exploration of the legacy of slavery and its imprint on centuries of American history, How the Word Is Passed illustrates how some of our country’s most essential stories are hidden in plain view—whether in places we might drive by on our way to work, holidays such as Juneteenth, or entire neighborhoods like downtown Manhattan, where the brutal history of the trade in enslaved men, women, and children has been deeply imprinted.

        Informed by scholarship and brought to life by the story of people living today, Smith’s debut work of nonfiction is a landmark of reflection and insight that offers a new understanding of the hopeful role that memory and history can play in making sense of our country and how it has come to be.


        Longlist - Nonfiction

        The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together
        by Heather McGhee

        Publication Date: Feb 16, 2021
        List Price: $28.00
        Format: Hardcover, 448 pages
        Classification: Nonfiction
        ISBN13: 9780525509561
        Imprint: One World
        Publisher: Penguin Random House
        Parent Company: Bertelsmann

        Read a Description of The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together


        Book Description: 

        Heather McGhee’s specialty is the American economy—and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. From the financial crisis to rising student debt to collapsing public infrastructure, she found a common root problem: racism. But not just in the most obvious indignities for people of color. Racism has costs for white people, too. It is the common denominator of our most vexing public problems, the core dysfunction of our democracy and constitutive of the spiritual and moral crises that grip us all. But how did this happen? And is there a way out?

        McGhee embarks on a deeply personal journey across the country from Maine to Mississippi to California, tallying what we lose when we buy into the zero-sum paradigm—the idea that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others. Along the way, she meets white people who confide in her about losing their homes, their dreams, and their shot at better jobs to the toxic mix of American racism and greed. This is the story of how public goods in this country—from parks and pools to functioning schools—have become private luxuries; of how unions collapsed, wages stagnated, and inequality increased; and of how this country, unique among the world’s advanced economies, has thwarted universal healthcare.

        But in unlikely places of worship and work, McGhee finds proof of what she calls the Solidarity Dividend: gains that come when people come together across race, to accomplish what we simply can’t do on our own.

        The Sum of Us is a brilliant analysis of how we arrived here: divided and self-destructing, materially rich but spiritually starved and vastly unequal. McGhee marshals economic and sociological research to paint an irrefutable story of racism’s costs, but at the heart of the book are the humble stories of people yearning to be part of a better America, including white supremacy’s collateral victims: white people themselves. With startling empathy, this heartfelt message from a Black woman to a multiracial America leaves us with a new vision for a future in which we finally realize that life can be more than a zero-sum game.




        Longlist - Nonfiction

        The Ground Breaking: An American City and Its Search for Justice
        by Scott Ellsworth

          Publication Date: May 18, 2021
          List Price: $28.00
          Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
          Classification: Nonfiction
          ISBN13: 9780593182987
          Imprint: Dutton
          Publisher: Penguin Random House
          Parent Company: Bertelsmann

          Read a Description of The Ground Breaking: An American City and Its Search for Justice


          Book Description: 
          And then they were gone.

          More than one-thousand homes and businesses. Restaurants and movie theaters, churches and doctors’ offices, a hospital, a public library, a post office. Looted, burned, and bombed from the air.

          Over the course of less than twenty-four hours in the spring of 1921, Tulsa’s infamous "Black Wall Street" was wiped off the map—and erased from the history books. Official records disappeared, researchers were threatened, and the worst single incident of racial violence in American history lay buried for more than fifty years. But there were some secrets that would not die.

          A riveting and essential new book, The Ground Breaking not only tells the long-suppressed story of the notorious Tulsa Race Massacre. It also unearths the lost history of how the massacre was covered up, and of the courageous individuals who fought to keep the story alive. Most importantly, it recounts the ongoing archaeological and true crime saga of the search for the unmarked graves of the victims of the massacre, and of the fight to win restitution for the survivors and their families.

          Both a forgotten chronicle from the nation’s past, and a story ripped from today’s headlines, The Ground Breaking is a page-turning reflection on how we, as Americans, must wrestle with the parts of our history that have been buried for far too long.

          Longlist - Nonfiction

          The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship
          by Deborah Willis

            Publication Date: Jan 26, 2021
            List Price: $39.00
            Format: Hardcover, 256 pages
            Classification: Nonfiction
            ISBN13: 9781479809004
            Imprint: NYU Press
            Publisher: NYU Press
            Parent Company: New York University

            Read a Description of The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship


            Book Description: 

            A stunning collection of stoic portraits and intimate ephemera from the lives of Black Civil War soldiers

            Though both the Union and Confederate armies excluded African American men from their initial calls to arms, many of the men who eventually served were black. Simultaneously, photography culture blossomed—marking the Civil War as the first conflict to be extensively documented through photographs. In The Black Civil War Soldier, Deb Willis explores the crucial role of photography in (re)telling and shaping African American narratives of the Civil War, pulling from a dynamic visual archive that has largely gone unacknowledged.

            With over seventy images, The Black Civil War Soldier contains a huge breadth of primary and archival materials, many of which are rarely reproduced. The photographs are supplemented with handwritten captions, letters, and other personal materials; Willis not only dives into the lives of black Union soldiers, but also includes stories of other African Americans involved with the struggle—from left-behind family members to female spies. Willis thus compiles a captivating memoir of photographs and words and examines them together to address themes of love and longing; responsibility and fear; commitment and patriotism; and—most predominantly—African American resilience.

            The Black Civil War Soldier offers a kaleidoscopic yet intimate portrait of the African American experience, from the beginning of the Civil War to 1900. Through her multimedia analysis, Willis acutely pinpoints the importance of African American communities in the development and prosecution of the war. The book shows how photography helped construct a national vision of blackness, war, and bondage, while unearthing the hidden histories of these black Civil War soldiers. In combating the erasure of this often overlooked history, Willis asks how these images might offer a more nuanced memory of African-American participation in the Civil War, and in doing so, points to individual and collective struggles for citizenship and remembrance.


            Longlist - Translated Literature

            Waiting for the Waters to Rise
            by Maryse Conde

              Publication Date: Aug 05, 2021
              List Price: $16.99
              Format: Paperback, 368 pages
              Classification: Fiction
              ISBN13: 9781642860733
              Imprint: World Editions
              Publisher: World Editions
              Parent Company: World Editions

              Read a Description of Waiting for the Waters to Rise


              Book Description: 

              Richard Philcox (Translator)

              Babakar is a doctor living alone, with only the memories of his childhood in Mali. In his dreams, he receives visits from his blue-eyed mother and his ex-lover Azelia, both now gone, as are the hopes and aspirations he’s carried with him since his arrival in Guadeloupe. Until, one day, the child Ana’s comes into his life, forcing him to abandon his solitude. Ana s’s Haitian mother died in childbirth, leaving her daughter destitute—now Babakar is all she has, and he wants to offer this little girl a future. Together they fly to Haiti, a beautiful, mysterious island plagued by violence, government corruption, and rebellion. Once there, Babakar and his two friends, the Haitian Movar and the Palestinian Fouad, three different identities looking for a more compassionate world, begin a desperate search for Ana s’s family.


              Longlist - Young People’s Literature

              Home Is Not a Country
              by Safia Elhillo

              Publication Date: Mar 02, 2021
              List Price: $17.99
              Format: Hardcover, 224 pages
              Classification: Fiction
              Target Age Group: Young Adult
              ISBN13: 9780593177051
              Imprint: Make Me a World
              Publisher: Penguin Random House
              Parent Company: Bertelsmann

              Read a Description of Home Is Not a Country


              Book Description: 

              “Nothing short of magic.” —Elizabeth Acevedo, New York Times bestselling author of The Poet X

              From the acclaimed poet featured on Forbes Africa’s “30 Under 30” list, this powerful novel-in-verse captures one girl, caught between cultures, on an unexpected journey to face the ephemeral girl she might have been. Woven through with moments of lyrical beauty, this is a tender meditation on family, belonging, and home.

              my mother meant to name me for her favorite flower
              its sweetness garlands made for pretty girls
              i imagine her yasmeen bright & alive
              & i ache to have been born her instead

              Nima wishes she were someone else. She doesn’t feel understood by her mother, who grew up in a different land. She doesn’t feel accepted in her suburban town; yet somehow, she isn’t different enough to belong elsewhere. Her best friend, Haitham, is the only person with whom she can truly be herself. Until she can’t, and suddenly her only refuge is gone.

              As the ground is pulled out from under her, Nima must grapple with the phantom of a life not chosen—the name her parents meant to give her at birth—Yasmeen. But that other name, that other girl, might be more real than Nima knows. And the life Nima wishes were someone else’s… is one she will need to fight for with a fierceness she never knew she possessed.




              Longlist - Young People’s Literature

              Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre
              by Carole Boston Weatherford, Illustrated by Floyd Cooper

              Publication Date: Feb 02, 2021
              List Price: $17.99
              Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
              Classification: Nonfiction
              Target Age Group: Picture Book
              ISBN13: 9781541581203
              Imprint: Carolrhoda Books
              Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
              Parent Company: Lerner Publishing Group

              Read a Description of Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre


              Book Description: 

              “Celebrated author Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrator Floyd Cooper provide a powerful look at the 1921 Tulsa race massacre, one of the worst incidents of racial violence in our nation’s history.”

              Sample image from Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre

              Celebrated author Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrator Floyd Cooper provide a powerful look at the Tulsa Race Massacre, one of the worst incidents of racial violence in our nation’s history. The book traces the history of African Americans in Tulsa’s Greenwood district and chronicles the devastation that occurred in 1921 when a white mob attacked the Black community.

              News of what happened was largely suppressed, and no official investigation occurred for seventy-five years. This picture book sensitively introduces young readers to this tragedy and concludes with a call for a better future.