As a reader, you know there are more books in a lifetime than you’ll ever be able to read, much less the ones written lifetimes before you. There’s nothing like going through a list of book recs to reinforce that feeling. It’s not necessarily a bad feeling, just a feeling filled with want…like some people get when they go to a shoe sale…or something.
I recently experienced that feeling flicking through this list of 100+ African American children’s books posted at the AALBC.
Growing up I wasn’t exposed to a lot of black children’s books so there isn’t a lot on this list – outside of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor; and Ludell and Willie by Brenda Wilkinson – that I’ve read, or even – with the exception of Little Lion goes to School by Kellie Magnus, Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, Crossover by Kwame Alexander – heard of.
So, for you and me both, there’s a lot there to discover. Yes, me – a veteran of the Cushion Club reading club for kids, an aunt who’s spent many a night hearing “read it again, Auntie Joanne”, a person who not only writes children’s and teen/young adult fiction but still reads it from time to time, for pleasure (the last one was Mio’s Kingdom by Astrid Lindstren which I blogged about and a current read is Gone to Drift by Diana McCaulay).
As for the AALBC list, just from the covers and subjects, my attention has been snagged by Great Migration by Jacob Lawrence, Talking with Artists, Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold, A Weed is a Flower by Aliki, Just us Women by Jeannette Caines and Pat Cummings, The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson, The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes, and Voice of Freedom Fannie Lou Hamer by Carole Boston Weatherford.
p.s./trivia somebody needs to point out Cornrows by Camille Yarborough and Carole Byard to which ever beauty editor decided Kim Kardashian’s “box braids” were a new thing. FYI, where I come from we used to call the upward/outward cornrows, rope, and the downward/turned under ones, congo. Point is, don’t call it a come back it’s been here for years.