February celebrates Black History Month. Typically we rejoice by reading classic books such as Letters from the Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr.
This year, Park City Library is highlighting a list of books by or about people of African descent that have won literary awards. These are our Black authors making history now. Which book will you be picking up or adding to your TBR (To Be Read) pile?
NAACP’s Winner for Biography/Autobiography
In this part-manifesto, part-memoir, the revolutionary editor who infused social consciousness into the pages of Teen Vogue explores what it means to come into your own — on your own terms.
Children’s Africana Book Awards Winner for Best Book for New Adults
Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show, shares his remarkable story of growing up in South Africa, with a black South African mother and a white European father at a time when it was against the law for a mixed-race child like him to exist.
Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Winner for Non-fiction
Chronicles the author’s extraordinary achievements as an activist during and after spending 40 years in solitary confinement for a crime he did not commit, describing how he has committed his post-exoneration life to prison reform.
American Library Association’s Black Caucus’ Winner for Fiction
When her new husband is arrested and imprisoned for a crime she knows he did not commit, a rising artist takes comfort in a longtime friendship, only to encounter unexpected challenges in resuming her life when her husband’s sentence is suddenly overturned.
National Book Award Winner for Non-Fiction
A revisionary portrait of the iconic civil rights leader draws on hundreds of hours of interviews with surviving family members, intelligence officers, and political leaders to offer new insights into Malcolm X’s Depression-era youth, religious conversion, and 1965 assassination.
Pulitzer Prize Winner for Fiction
Follows the harrowing experiences of two African-American teens at an abusive reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.
American Book Award Winner for Fiction
Resolving to commit to marriage and parenthood unlike the father who abandoned him, Apollo Kagwa, who suffers from bizarre dreams, is shocked when his wife commits an act of astounding violence before disappearing, compelling Apollo’s odyssey through a world he barely understands.
The Kirkus Prize Winner for Fiction
A young black artist falls into an affair with a man in an open marriage before gradually befriending his wife and adopted daughter against a backdrop of dynamic racial politics.
Cater G. Woodson Award Winner for Secondary Level
A gripping, measured account of a day at the beach in summer 1919 that precipitated a full-blown race riot in Chicago, tracing the events and forces that made the explosion inevitable.
Children’s Africana Book Awards for Best Books for Older Readers
Coming of age in a land where her magi mother was killed by the zealous king’s guards along with other former wielders of magic, Zelie embarks on a journey alongside her brother and a fugitive princess to restore her people’s magical abilities.
Coretta Scott King Winner of Author Award & John Newbery Medal Winner
Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Gene Luen Yang, New Kid is a timely, honest graphic novel about starting over at a new school where diversity is low and the struggle to fit in is real, from award-winning author-illustrator Jerry Craft.
Coretta Scott King Winner of Award for New Talent
Thirteen-year-old Genesis tries again and again to lighten her black skin, thinking it is the root of her family’s troubles, before discovering reasons to love herself as is.
National Award Winner for Young People’s Literature
In a small but turbulent Louisiana town, one boy’s grief takes him beyond the bayous of his backyard, to learn that there is no right way to be yourself.
NAACP’s Winner for Children
When five-year-old Sulwe’s classmates make fun of her dark skin, she tries lightening herself to no avail, but her encounter with a shooting star helps her understand there is beauty in every shade.
Cater G. Woodson Award Winner for Elementary Level
Presents the life and accomplishments of the African American scientist, whose keen observations of sea creatures revealed new insights about egg cells and the origins of life.
Coretta Scott King Winner of Illustrator Award
Originally performed for ESPN’s The Undefeated, this poem is a love letter to black life in the United States. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world’s greatest heroes.
The Ezra Jack Keats Award Winner for Illustrator
Seven-year-old Layla divulges many things that make her happy, especially her family and their community garden.
The Kirkus Prize for Young Reader’s Literature
The confident Black narrator of this book is proud of everything that makes him who he is. He’s got big plans, and no doubt he’ll see them through–as he’s creative, adventurous, smart, funny, and a good friend. Sometimes he falls, but he always gets back up. And other times he’s afraid, because he’s so often misunderstood and called what he is not. So slow down and really look and listen, when somebody tells you–and shows you–who they are. There are superheroes in our midst!
This blog post was created by librarians from Park City Library with help of information found in NoveList – a database which is free with your library card. NoveList is a comprehensive reading recommendation resource.