I’ve invited non Black people who are in someway connected to youth literature to share a list of 5-10 books written or illustrated by Blacks that will appeal to children. I asked for anything from board books and graphic novels to biographies and adult crossover. The authors or illustrators could be living or dead, U.S. residents or not.
Today’s guest is Cynthia Leitich Smith. Cynthia Leitich Smith (Muscogee Creek) is a New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestselling children’s-YA author. She also is the author-curator of Heartdrum (a Native imprint of HarperChildren’s), a core member of the MFA faculty in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts and a member of the board of advisors of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Her recent titles include HEARTS UNBROKEN, and she anticipates the release of the anthology ANCESTOR APPROVED and THE BLUE STARS series, co-authored by Kekla Magoon and illustrated by Molly Murakami.
Oh! This was super hard, but if I don’t stop now the YA novel in front of me will never get read. Thank you for thinking of me! Here goes:
THE MAGNIFICIENT MYA TIBBS series by Crystal Allen.
THE JUMBIES series by Tracey Baptiste.
NEW KID by Jerry Craft.
TALKIN’ ABOUT BESSIE: THE STORY OF AVIATOR ELIZABETH COLEMAN by Nikki
Grimes, illustrated by E.B. Lewis.
MY LIFE AS A RHOMBUS by Varian Johnson.
X: A NOVEL by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon.
POET: THE REMARKABLE STORY OF GEORGE MOSES HORTON by Don Tate.
EVERY TIME A RAINBOW DIES by Rita Williams-Garcia.
THE OTHER SIDE by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis.
AMERICAN STREET by Ibi Zoboi.
You can find Cynthia online at: https://cynthialeitichsmith.com/