Books Selected for Oprah’s Book Club

The Kirkus Prize Seal

Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 launched in June of 2012 and is a joint venture between, Oprah Winfrey, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, and O: The Oprah Magazine. The club is a re-launch of the original Book Club which ran from 1996 until 2011. Here are all the authors, of African descent, who have been selected Oprah’s Book Clubs since 1996.


5 Books Selected for Oprah’s Book Club in 1997

December’s Selection

The Treasure Hunt: A Little Bill Book for Beginning Readers, Level 3
by Bill Cosby

    Publication Date:
    List Price: $3.99
    Format: Paperback, 40 pages
    Classification: Fiction
    Target Age Group: Picture Book
    ISBN13: 9780590956185
    Imprint: Cartwheel Books
    Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
    Parent Company: Scholastic Inc.
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    Read a Description of The Treasure Hunt: A Little Bill Book for Beginning Readers, Level 3


    Book Description: 
    In this easy-to-read chapter book by comedian and storyteller Bill Cosby, Little Bill learns that everyone in his family has a special treasure to offer

    It’s raining outside and Little Bill is bored. He walks around his house, trying to find something to do. Dad wants to show Little Bill his old plastic jazz records. Mom is cleaning off her antique silver platter. His brother Bobby is sorting through his baseball card collection. Everyone has something special but not Little Bill!

    It takes a visit from Great-Grandma Alice to show Little Bill that he has a special treasure of his own — he is a very funny storyteller!


    December’s Selection

    The Best Way to Play: A Little Bill Book for Beginning Readers, Level 3
    by Bill Cosby

    Publication Date:
    List Price: $3.99
    Format: Paperback, 40 pages
    Classification: Fiction
    Target Age Group: Picture Book
    ISBN13: 9780590956178
    Imprint: Cartwheel Books
    Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
    Parent Company: Scholastic Inc.
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    Read a Description of The Best Way to Play: A Little Bill Book for Beginning Readers, Level 3


    Book Description: 
    This easy-to-read story about friendship by comedian and storyteller Bill Cosby is now a Scholastic Reader!

    Little Bill and his friends LOVE the TV show Space Explorers. And so when the new Space Explorers video game comes out, they each want a copy.

    But when Little Bill asks his parents to buy him the game, they say no. So Little Bill and his friends go to their friend Andrew’s house to play the game.

    What they discover, though, is that the video game isn’t nearly as much fun nor as challenging as what their imaginations can dream up!

    September’s Selection

    The Meanest Thing to Say
    by Bill Cosby, Illustrated by Varnette P. Honeywood

      Publication Date:
      List Price: $3.99
      Format: Paperback, 40 pages
      Classification: Fiction
      Target Age Group: Picture Book
      ISBN13: 9780590956161
      Imprint: Cartwheel Books
      Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
      Parent Company: Scholastic Inc.
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      Read a Description of The Meanest Thing to Say


      Book Description: 

      “The Little Bill series by Bill Cosby; endless hours of reading and supportive material for raising well adjusted children. One thing that stood out for me as a parent, was the prefaces by Dr. Alvin F. Poussaint at the beginning of the books. It gave you the scientific perspective about the lessons that the children were going to be taught with the particular book. It was a very comprehensive series.”—Rosheena Beek, author Mommy Says!

      This easy-to-read story about peer pressure by comedian and storyteller Bill Cosby is now a Scholastic Reader!

      Michael Reilly has introduced a new game to Little Bill and his friends. You get twelve chances to say something mean to another kid—and whoever comes up with the biggest insult is the winner.

      Insults start flying: “Jose hops with the frogs in science lab!” “Andrew eats frogs for dinner!” “Little Bill shoots baskets like a girl!”

      Little Bill tries to think of really mean things to say in retaliation. But dad teaches him a strategy that enables Little Bill to save face while remaining the nice kid that he really is!




      September’s Selection

      A Lesson Before Dying
      by Ernest Gaines

      Publication Date:
      List Price: $13.95
      Format: Paperback, 256 pages
      Classification: Fiction
      ISBN13: 9780375702709
      Imprint: Vintage Books
      Publisher: Penguin Random House
      Parent Company: Bertelsmann
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      Read a Description of A Lesson Before Dying


      Book Description: 
      A Lesson Before Dying, is set in a small Cajun community in the late 1940s. Jefferson, a young black man, is an unwitting party to a liquor store shoot out in which three men are killed; the only survivor, he is convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Grant Wiggins, who left his hometown for the university, has returned to the plantation school to teach. As he struggles with his decision whether to stay or escape to another state, his aunt and Jefferson’s godmother persuade him to visit Jefferson in his cell and impart his learning and his pride to Jefferson before his death. In the end, the two men forge a bond as they both come to understand the simple heroism of resisting—and defying—the expected.

      Ernest J. Gaines brings to this novel the same rich sense of place, the same deep understanding of the human psyche, and the same compassion for a people and their struggle that have informed his previous, highly praised works of fiction.

      May’s Selection

      The Heart of a Woman
      by Maya Angelou

      Publication Date:
      List Price: $16.00
      Format: Paperback, 352 pages
      Classification: Fiction
      ISBN13: 9780812980325
      Imprint: Random House Trade Paperbacks
      Publisher: Penguin Random House
      Parent Company: Bertelsmann
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      Read a Description of The Heart of a Woman


      Book Description: 
      In The Heart of a Woman, Maya Angelou leaves California with her son, Guy, to move to New York. There she enters the society and world of black artists and writers, reads her work at the Harlem Writers Guild, and begins to take part in the struggle of black Americans for their rightful place in the world. In the meantime, her personal life takes an unexpected turn. She leaves the bail bondsman she was intending to marry after falling in love with a South African freedom fighter, travels with him to London and Cairo, where she discovers new opportunities.

      The Heart of a Woman is filled with unforgettable vignettes of such renowned people as Billie Holiday and Malcom X, but perhaps most importantly chronicles the joys and the burdens of a black mother in America and how the son she has cherished so intensely and worked for so devotedly finally grows to be a man.


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