#readblack: What Would You Include If Someone Asked for a Quick List of Recent Titles Starring Black Kids?
Last week I attended one of Library Journal / School Library Journal’s “Equity in Action” webinar courses. Lots of good information was included (and I’m not just saying that because their name’s above the banner here) with a variety of different speakers touching on everything from the state of the publishing industry to how you create an equity assessment on a collection to, amongst other things, booklists. A lot of time was taken to emphasize that not all booklists are created equal. If you just Google for a list on a topic, for example, you might find books that are hugely problematic listed alongside other titles that are perfectly decent.
This all ties in nicely to a request I received from a group in my town. Recently an after school program in Evanston told me that they had $325 to spend on books and that they really wanted titles for kids with black protagonists. What would I recommend?
What considerations go into creating booklists? Well, first and foremost you want the list to be filled with books that are currently in-print. You might love a title to pieces but it will do the people making the request very little good if they can’t get their hands on a title. Next, you have to consider why the list is being considered. Is it a teacher asking for a class with a specific topic in mind? A list needed for a display in a bookstore? If, as in this case, it’s an after school program then you’ll want to have a wide array of titles that are fun to read. Funny books are welcome too. Finally, do you want to go with classics or titles that are brand new? In the case of today’s list, I opted to include books out in the last two years, with a couple exceptions thrown in here and there.
Here’s the list I handed over. Note that most of the ISBNs are for paperback editions, because if you only have $325 to spend you’ll want books that don’t cost as much money. And, of course, early chapter books were the most difficult to think up.
The Big Bed by Bunmi Laditan (9780374301231 )
Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick D. Barnes (9781572842243)
Don’t Touch My Hair by Sharee Miller (9780316562584 )
The Field by Baptiste Paul (9780735843127 )
Grandma’s Purse by Vanessa Brantley-Newton (9781524714314 )
Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwell (9780763678388 )
Julian Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love (9780763690458 )
My Hair Is a Garden by Cozbi Cabrera (9780807509234 )
The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba Clarke (9781536200317 )
The Ringer Bearer by Floyd Cooper (9780399167409 )
Where’s Rodney? by Carmen Bogan (9781930238732 )
Easy Readers (5-7 Year Olds)
Don’t Throw It to Mo by David Adler (9780670016310 )
Get a Hit, Mo by David Adler (9780448480107 )
Kick It, Mo! by David Adler (9780425289815 )
King and Kayla :The Case of the Missing Dog Treats by Dori Hillestad Butler, ill. Nancy Meyers (9781682630150 )
King and Kayla: The Case of the Mysterious Mouse by Dori Hillestad Butler, ill. Nancy Meyers (9781682630174 )
King and Kayla: , The Case of the Secret Code by Dori Hillestad Butler, ill. Nancy Meyers (9781561458783 )
Pass the Ball, Mo! by David Adler (9780425289785 )
Early Chapter Books (6-9 Year Olds)
All the Anna Hibiscus books by Atinuke
The Dyamonde Daniel series by Nikki Grimes
The New Kid by Karen English (9781328703996 ) and all the other books in the Carver Chronicles series!
The Nikki & Deja series by Karen English
The Zoey and Sassafras series by Asia Citro
Novels (9-12 Year Olds)
Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott (9781524770457 )
Ghost by Jason Reynolds (9781481450164 )
The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson (9780545525534 )
Jake the Fake Keeps It Real by Craig Robertson (9780553523515 )
The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste (9781616205928)
Like Vanessa by Tami Charles (9781580897778 )
Mango Delight by Fracaswell Hyman (9781454929628 )
Miles Morales: Spider-Man by Jason Reynolds (9781484787489 )
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (9780060760908 )
The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson (9780545946179 )
Patina by Jason Reynolds (9781481450195 )
Rebound by Kwame Alexander (9780544868137 )
The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon (9781524715953 )
Comics and Graphic Novels:
Monster Mayhem by Christopher Eliopoulos (9780735231245 )
Sanity & Tallulah by Molly Brooks (9781368008440 )
Sci-Fu by Yehudi Mercado (9781544413327)
What would you include if someone asked you to make a list of your own?
Filed under: Booklists
About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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