2009 Illustrated Books with African American Characters

In honor of MLK Weekend, I secured permission to reprint an excellent list of books compiled by Laura Scott of Farmington Community Library through the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) list-serv. Please feel free to add more suggestions in the comments section. Thanks, Laura and ALSC!

Illustrated Books with African American Characters Published in 2009

Bryan, Ashley. Ashley Bryan: Words to My Life’s Song. Atheneum. 

Greenfield, Eloise. Illus. George Ford. Paul Robeson. Lee and Low.

Nelson, Vaunda Micheaux. Illus. R. Gregory Christie. Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bess Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshall. CarolRhoda.

Shange, Ntozak. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson.  Coretta Scott. Katherine Tegen Books.

Hoose, Phillip M. Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice. Melanie Kroupa Books.

Pinkney, Andrea Davis. Illus. Brian Pinkney. Sojourner Truth’s Step-Stomp-Stride.  Hyperion. 

Rockwell, Anne. Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. Open The door To Liberty! A Biography of Toussaint L'Ouverture.  Houghton Mifflin.

Shelton, Paula Young. Child of the Civil Rights Movement. Schwartz and Wade.


Cook, Michelle. Illus. Bryan Collier. Our Children Can Soar: a Celebration of Rosa, Barack and the Pioneers of Change.

Hughes, Langston. Illustrated by E.B. Lewis. The Negro Speaks of Rivers. Hyperion.

Hughes, Langston.Photographs by Charles R. Smith Jr. My People. Atheneum.

Isadora, Rachel and Grimm Bros. Hansel and Gretel. Putnam.

Moore, Clement. Illus. Rachel Isadora. The Night Before Christmas. Putnam.

Myers, Walter Dean. Illustrated by Christopher Myers.  Looking Like Me. Egmont.

Obama, Barack. illustrated by Kadir Nelson. Change Has Come: An Artist Celebrates Our American Spirit. Simon and Schuster.

Nelson, Marilyn. Illus. Jerry Pinkney. Sweethearts of Rhythm: The Story of The Greatest All-Girl Swing Band in The World. Dial.

Picture Books

Blue, Rose and Corinne J. Naden 
Illus. by Don Tate. Ron’s Big Mission. Dutton.

Cherie, Tonya. Illus. Cozbi A. Cabrera Most Loved in All the World. Houghton Mifflin. (December 2008).

Demas, Corinne. Illus. by Noah. Z. Jones. Always in Trouble. Scholastic.

Evans, Shane. Olu’s Dream. Katherine Tegen Books.

Grimes, Nikki. Illus. by R. Gregory Christie. Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel. Putnam.

Malaspina, Ann. Illus.Colin Bootman. Finding Lincoln. Albert Whitman.

Morrison, Toni and Slade. Illus. by Joe Cepeda. Peeny Butter Fudge. Simon and Schuster.

Nelson, Vaunda Micheaux. Illus. Sean Qualls. Who Will I Be, Lord? Random House.

Paul, Chris. Illus. Frank Morrison. Long Shot: Never too Small to Dream Big. Simon and Schuster.

Slate, Joseph. Illustrated E.B. Lewis. I Want to Be Free. Putnam.

Turner-Denstaedt, Melanie. Illus. Frank Morrison. The Hat That Wore Clara B.  FSG.

Suggested Web sites:

ALSC-L suggestions compiled by Laura Scott, Farmington Community Library, December 2009 


millymarie said…
Great lists thanks for sharing. I'm happy to have *I think* read a few, but would like to read more especially over the holiday.
vanessa said…
What a great list! I will be bookmarking this. I just found your blog via the comment challenge, but actually have visited before when I was doing a search for picture books that deal with the issue of poverty. I really like your blog--I'll be back soon.
MotherReader said…
Thanks for sharing this list. I'll be looking for these books at my library.
Schmoil said…
Great list - thanks for posting! But I couldn't help but think... that's it?! *27* of these picture books published the ENTIRE YEAR!? Stunning.
cynjay said…
My picture book When It's Six O'clock in San Francisco has several African American, Asian, Native Austrialian and Pakistani characters and was illustrated by Steptoe Award winner Randy DuBurke. Out in July 2009. Thanks!
nathaliemvondo said…
Mitali, a thousand thanks for that list!