Black books: Dr. Michelle Martin


As part of my blog series this month, I’ve also invited scholars of children’s literature to share African American literature selections used in their courses. Today, Dr. Michelle Martin is providing her list.

Dr. Michelle H. Martin is the Beverly Cleary Endowed Professor for Children and Youth Services in the Information School at the University of Washington, where she teaches graduate courses in children’s and young adult literature and youth services. Michelle is a renowned author, essayist, lecturer, book critic, community literacy activist, and champion of diversity in children’s literature. She has published Brown Gold: Milestones of African-American Children’s Picture Books, 1845-2002 and Sexual Pedagogies: Sex Education in Britain, Australia, and America, 1879-2000 (co-edited with Claudia Nelson). In addition to her teaching and writing, she is the founder and co-director of Camp Read-a-Rama ( with Dr. Rachelle D. Washington, a day camp for children ages 4-11 that uses children’s books as the springboard for all other camp activities. 

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    Here’s Michelle!



These came directly from my fall syllabus in “Cultural History of Children’s and YA Literature,” which I taught as an all-black cast this time . . . and had a ball!

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  • Reynolds, Jason. Long Way Down. Atheneum, 2017.  (He’s giving a lecture on campus on Halloween)

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And I’m going to teach Pet by Akwaeke Emezi (Faber and Faber, 2019) in my spring YA class.

Connect with Michelle on Twitter  @martinmiABC.