11 Books Published by Anansi Press on AALBC — Book Cover Collage

Click for more detail about Malaika’s Surprise by Nadia L. Hohn Malaika’s Surprise

by Nadia L. Hohn
Groundwood Books (Mar 02, 2021)
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When Malaika finds out she is going to have a new baby brother or sister, she worries that her mother will forget about her. But a surprise arrives on Malaika’s birthday that gives her reason to celebrate her family’s love.

It’s summertime, and Malaika and Ad�le are enjoying playing carnival in their bright costumes, dancing and laughing in the sunshine. But when Mummy announces that they will soon have a new baby brother or sister, Malaika is unsure how to feel about another change in her family. Will Mummy forget about me?

Back at school, Malaika is excited to see her teacher and classmates, and makes friends with a new girl who has recently arrived from a faraway country, just like Malaika. Then on her birthday, a surprise arrives to remind Malaika of the importance of family, and the story ends with a celebration of her family’s love.

Malaika’s Surprise is filled with the same warmth and charm as the first two books in the series, with Nadia L. Hohn’s enchanting prose, written in a blend of standard English and Caribbean patois, and Irene Luxbacher’s colorful collage illustrations.


Click for more detail about Africville by Shauntay Grant Africville

by Shauntay Grant
Groundwood Books (Sep 01, 2018)
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When a young girl visits the site of Africville, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the stories she’s heard from her family come to mind. She imagines what the community was once like —the brightly painted houses nestled into the hillside, the field where boys played football, the pond where all the kids went rafting, the bountiful fishing, the huge bonfires. Coming out of her reverie, she visits the present-day park and the sundial where her great-grandmother’s name is carved in stone, and celebrates a summer day at the annual Africville Reunion/Festival.

Africville was a vibrant Black community for more than 150 years. But even though its residents paid municipal taxes, they lived without running water, sewers, paved roads and police, fire-truck and ambulance services. Over time, the city located a slaughterhouse, a hospital for infectious disease, and even the city garbage dump nearby. In the 1960s, city officials decided to demolish the community, moving people out in city dump trucks and relocating them in public housing.

Today, Africville has been replaced by a park, where former residents and their families gather each summer to remember their community.


Click for more detail about Malaika’s Winter Carnival by Nadia L. Hohn Malaika’s Winter Carnival

by Nadia L. Hohn
Groundwood Books (Sep 05, 2017)
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Malaika is happy to be reunited with Mummy, but it means moving to a different country, where everything is different. It’s cold in her new city, no one understands when she talks and Carnival is nothing like the celebration Malaika knows from home!

When Mummy marries Mr. Fr�d�ric, Malaika gets a new sister called Ad�le. Her new family is nice, but Malaika misses Grandma. She has to wear a puffy purple coat, learn a new language and get used to calling this new place home. Things come to a head when Mummy and Mr. Fr�d�ric take Malaika and Ad�le to a carnival. Malaika is dismayed that there are no colorful costumes and that it’s nothing like Carnival at home in the Caribbean! She is so angry that she kicks over Ad�le’s snow castle, but that doesn’t make her feel any better. It takes a video chat with Grandma to help Malaika see the good things about her new home and family.

Nadia L. Hohn’s prose, written in a blend of standard English and Caribbean patois, tells a warm story about the importance of family, especially when adjusting to a new home. Readers of the first Malaika book will want to find out what happens when she moves to Canada, and will enjoy seeing Malaika and her family once again depicted through Irene Luxbacher’s colorful collage illustrations.


Click for more detail about Greetings, Leroy by Itah Sadu Greetings, Leroy

by Itah Sadu
Groundwood Books (May 01, 2017)
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Moving can be scary, but by the end of his first day at his new school, Roy is happy to find a piece of his old home, Jamaica, in his new home.

The first day at a new school is nerve-wracking enough, never mind when it’s in a new country In this lively picture book from award-winning storyteller Itah Sadu, Roy realizes he may come to love his new home as much as he loves his old home.

Written as an email to a friend back home, this picture book tells the story of Roy, whose family has just moved to North America from Jamaica. His new home is different from his old home — even the sun feels cold His nerves ease, though, as welcome reminders of home follow him through his day. His neighbor gives him a button as a gift for his first day of school. The principal tells him about the soccer team and his new class makes him feel welcome. Everything is looking up until Roy goes to show his classmates his new button and he can’t find it He rushes back to the principal’s office where they look up and down and all around for the button. Thanks to his powers of observation, Roy finds it in an unexpected place and is able to show it to his new friends. The friendly people he meets, and their shared love of Bob Marley, make for a good start at his new school.

Sadu captures the voice of a young boy in a new country in this story about finding a new home while still staying proud of where you’re from. Harlem-based artist Alix Delinois shows the joy of making new friends with his vibrant, layered paintings.


Click for more detail about Aluta by Adwoa Badoe Aluta

by Adwoa Badoe
Groundwood Books (Sep 13, 2016)
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For eighteen-year-old Charlotte, university life is better than she’d ever dreamed — a sophisticated and generous roommate, the camaraderie of dorm living, parties, clubs and boyfriends. Most of all, Charlotte is exposed to new ideas, and in 1981 Ghana, this may be the most exciting and most dangerous — adventure of all.

At first Charlotte basks in her wonderful new freedom, especially being out of the watchful eye of her controlling and opinionated father. She suddenly finds herself with no shortage of male attention, including her charismatic political science professor, fellow student activist Banahene, and Asare, a wealthy oil broker who invites Charlotte to travel with him and showers her with expensive gifts, including a coveted passport.
But Ghana is fraught with a history of conflict. And in the middle of her freshman year, the government is overthrown, and three judges are abducted and murdered. As political forces try to mobilize students to advance their own agendas, Charlotte is drawn into the world of student politics. She’s good at it, she’s impassioned, and she’s in love with Banahene. “The struggle continues! Aluta! Aluta continua!” she shouts, rallying the crowd with the slogan of the oppressed. But her love of the spotlight puts her in the public eye. And when Asare entrusts her with a mysterious package of documents, she suddenly realizes she may be in real danger.

But it’s too late. As she is on her way to a meeting, Charlotte is picked up by national security, and her worst nightmares come true. And in the end, she must make a difficult and complicated decision about whether to leave her education, and her beloved Ghana, behind.

A heartfelt story told with uncompromising honesty, about what happens when youthful idealism meets the harsh realities of power.
A heartfelt story told with uncompromising honesty, about what happens when youthful idealism meets the harsh realities of power.


Click for more detail about The Stone Thrower by Jael Richardson The Stone Thrower

by Jael Richardson
Groundwood Books (May 10, 2016)
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African-American football player Chuck Ealey grew up in a segregated neighborhood of Portsmouth, Ohio. Against all odds, he became an incredible quarterback. But despite his unbeaten record in high school and university, he would never play professional football in the United States.

Chuck Ealey grew up poor in a racially segregated community, but his mother assured him that he wouldn’t stay in Portsmouth forever. Education was the way out, and a football scholarship was the way to pay for that education. So despite the racist taunts he faced at all the games he played in high school, Chuck maintained a remarkable level of dedication and determination. And when discrimination followed him to university and beyond, Chuck Ealey remained undefeated.

This inspirational story is told by Chuck Ealey’s daughter, author and educator Jael Richardson, with striking and powerful illustrations by award-winning illustrator Matt James.


Click for more detail about Malaika’s Costume by Nadia L. Hohn Malaika’s Costume

by Nadia L. Hohn
Groundwood Books (Mar 15, 2016)
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It’s Carnival time. The first Carnival since Malaika’s mother moved away to find a good job and provide for Malaika and her grandmother. Her mother promised she would send money for a costume, but when the money doesn’t arrive, will Malaika still be able to dance in the parade?

Disappointed and upset at her grandmother’s hand-me-down costume, Malaika leaves the house, running into Ms. Chin, the tailor, who offers Malaika a bag of scrap fabric. With her grandmother’s help, Malaika creates a patchwork rainbow peacock costume, and dances proudly in the parade.

A heartwarming story about family, community and the celebration of Carnival, Nadia Hohn’s warm and colloquial language and Irene Luxbacher’s vibrant collage-style illustrations make this a strikingly original picture book.


Click for more detail about I See the Promised Land: A Life of Martin Luther King Jr. by Arthur R. Flowers I See the Promised Land: A Life of Martin Luther King Jr.

by Arthur R. Flowers
Groundwood Books (Jan 01, 2013)
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This stunning graphic novel biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. describes the apartheid South of his time, which in many ways was not very different from the early days of slavery. Included are descriptions of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the formation of civil rights groups, mass movements against segregation, such as the Albany Movement and the Children’s Crusade in Birmingham, and the influence on King of Gandhi, with his nonviolent approach to resistance. Flowers’ text smoothly incorporates excerpts from many of King’s most moving speeches and concludes with a brief look at his legacy. Flowers tells a masterful story in musical prose, while Manu Chitrakar carries the tale into the vivid idiom of Patua art, turning King’s historic journey into a truly universal legacy.


Click for more detail about Between Sisters by Adwoa Badoe Between Sisters

by Adwoa Badoe
Groundwood Books (Aug 24, 2010)
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The future looks bleak indeed for 16-year-old Gloria. Living in a poor area of Accra, she dreams of becoming a dressmaker, but after failing 13 out of 15 subjects on her final exams it seems unlikely to happen. Then a distant relative, Christine, offers to move Gloria to Kumasi to look after her son. In exchange, Christine will pay for Gloria to go to dressmaking school. In Kumasi everything seems possible, and life is grander than anything Gloria has ever experienced. But Kumasi is also full of temptations, like the popular boutique where the owner takes a fancy to Gloria and encourages her to buy clothes on credit. There’s also the smooth-talking Dr. Kusi, who gives Gloria rides in his red Passat and invites her to bring food to his apartment. Eventually betrayed by those around her, Gloria must reconcile her future, her family, and her desires.


Click for more detail about Nana’s Cold Days by Adwoa Badoe Nana’s Cold Days

by Adwoa Badoe
Groundwood Books (Dec 01, 2009)
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Many people find winter a trial. But for those who come from countries that are warm all year long, the cold can be extra-challenging. Ken and Rama have looked forward to their nana’s visit for months. But when she arrives from Africa in the middle of winter, she buries herself in blankets. "Brrr," she says. "It’s too cold for living things." No matter what anybody says, Nana won’t budge. When she comes down with croup, things look dire. But is there a solution at hand? Adwoa Badoe’s colorful narrative and Bushra Junaid’s innovative collage art make this charming story one young readers will revisit often.


Click for more detail about The Pot of Wisdom: Ananse stories by Adwoa Badoe The Pot of Wisdom: Ananse stories

by Adwoa Badoe
Groundwood Books (Feb 01, 2008)
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Drawing on the rich vein of traditional African stories featuring the spider Ananse, Ghanaian author Adwoa Badoe and Malian illustrator Baba Wagué Diakité bring young readers a marvelously witty and entertaining collection of ten tales about this legendary spider swindler. The tales deal with important issues that everyone faces — justice, money, marriage, vanity, self-respect, and more — but couch the heavy lessons in lively folktales. Ananse sometimes succeeds; other times he makes a fool of himself and is ashamed — but never for long. Many elements of these stories can be found in other trickster tales, including those of African origin like the Uncle Remus stories and those of aboriginal American groups like the Native American coyote tales and the jaguar tales of Central and South America.