As we step into Black History Month, we at Read to Them wanted to take the time to highlight books in our catalog that are written by black authors. Each of the titles below demonstrates incredible heart, showing characters in a wide-range of settings and scenarios. Above all else, there is black joy, and both black boy and black girl magic that can be appreciated by all beyond the month of February.
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Josh and Jordan are identical twins who absolutely live and breathe basketball. Sure, there’s loads of good-natured taunting between them, but the moment they step foot on the court? It’s game time. But when middle school crushes, fierce competitiveness, and the consequences of neglected health combine, Josh’s pain, confusion, and anger collide in a dazzling series of poems that only Kwame Alexander could deliver.
J.D. and the Great Barber Battle by J. Dillard
It all starts when J.D.’s mom gives him a pretty awful haircut. J.D., trying to avoid further embarrassment, cuts his own hair and is surprised by the awesome results. When his classmates see his new look, J.D. soon develops a hair-cutting business of his own. With this growing business comes a boost in his confidence and his money jar! But when a local barber finds out that J.D. is stealing his clients, J.D.’s bedroom barber shop is threatened… until J.D. challenges his opponent to an unforgettable barber battle.
Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott
When Jaxon is dropped off with an elderly woman everyone calls Ma, he never expected for her to be a witch. The ball really gets rolling when Jaxon discovers that Ma is hiding three baby dragons in her Brooklyn apartment! Now, Jaxon must help Ma deliver these dragons into a magical realm where they can thrive and survive. But with magic comes many quirky friends and many problems – like an accidental trip back to the Mesozoic era!
From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks
Zoe Washington has dreams of being a pastry chef and (eventually) auditioning for Kids Bake Off Challenge. She’s also navigating a rough patch with her longtime best friend, Trevor. However, everything Zoe knows about her roots changes when she receives a birthday letter from her father, Marcus, who is writing her from prison. The Marcus she corresponds with is kind, thoughtful, caring… and he may just be innocent. Join Zoe as she endeavors to learn the truth – and create some tasty sweets, too.
Simon B. Rhymin’ by Dwayne Reed
Meet Simon Barnes – known by most as the Notorious D.O.G… well, Simon’s rap career is a work in progress. He’s only in the fifth grade, and he’s afraid to use his voice. But when Simon’s new teacher assigns an oral presentation on something that affects their community, Simon sets out to prove that one voice can create huge, positive changes.
Ghost by Jason Reynolds
Ghost (aka Castle Cranshaw) is a professional at running. Everything changes when he spontaneously challenges an elite sprinter to a race… and wins! The track coach sees real promise in Ghost, but Ghost is harboring a lot of anger over his past, something that’s getting harder and harder to outrun.
Ways to Make Sunshine by Renée Watson
Ryan Hart is trying to grow into the name her parents gave her: Ryan, after all, means “king.” She’s the type of girl who wants to do right by everyone, but she’s got a lot on her plate – she’s just moved to a new house and her father’s working a new job that makes Ryan worry. On top of all that? The fourth-grade talent show is coming up, and things are bound to go awry…