Celebrating Black Creators: Chapter and Middle Grade Books

Celebrating Black Creators


Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky (A Tristan Strong Novel, Book 1) Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9781368042413
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Rick Riordan Presents - September 22nd, 2020

Winner of a Coretta Scott King Author Honor


Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents Kwame Mbalia's epic fantasy, a middle grade American Gods set in a richly-imagined world populated with African American folk heroes and West African gods.


The Crossover (The Crossover Series) Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780544935204
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - March 5th, 2019

New York Times bestseller ∙ Newbery Medal Winner ∙Coretta Scott King Honor Award ∙2015 YALSA 2015 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults∙ 2015 YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers ∙Publishers Weekly Best Book ∙ School Library Journal Best Book∙ Kirkus Best Book

"A beautifully measured novel of life and line."The New York Times Book Review

"With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . . The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. ’Cuz tonight I’m delivering," raps twelve-year-old Josh Bell. Thanks to their dad, he and his twin brother, Jordan, are kings on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood—he's got mad beats, too, which help him find his rhythm when it’s all on the line.


As their winning season unfolds, things begin to change. When Jordan meets a girl, the twins’ bond unravels.Told in dynamic verse, this fast and furious middle grade novel that started it all absolutely bounces with rhythm and bursts with heart. 


Sadiq and the Desert Star Cover Image
By Siman Nuurali, Anjan Sarkar (Illustrator)
$6.95
ISBN: 9781515845652
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Picture Window Books - August 1st, 2019

When Sadiq's father leaves on a business trip, he worries he'll miss his baba too much. But Baba has a story for Sadiq: the story of the Desert Star. Learning about Baba's passion for the stars sparks Sadiq's interest in outer space. But can Sadiq find others who are willing to help him start the space club of his dreams?


Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel (A Dyamonde Daniel Book #1) Cover Image
By Nikki Grimes, R. Gregory Christie (Illustrator)
$6.99
ISBN: 9780142415559
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Puffin Books - March 4th, 2010

"Dyamonde, a third grader, has "wild-crazy hair," is "skinnier than half a toothpick" and is more than equal to the challenge of entering the crowded field of confident grade school heroines."—New York Times

Dyamonde Daniel may be new in town, but that doesn't stop her from making a place for herself in a jiffy. With her can-do attitude and awesome brain power she takes the whole neighborhood by storm. The only thing puzzling her is the other new kid in her class. He's grouchy - but Dyamonde's determined to get to the bottom of his attitude and make a friend.


Ways to Make Sunshine Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781547605798
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Bloomsbury UK - April 21st, 2020


From Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Author Award winner Renée Watson comes the first book in a young middle grade series about Ryan Hart, a girl who is pure spirit, kindness, and sunshine.

Ryan Hart has a lot on her mind--school, self-image, and especially family. Her dad finally has a new job, but money is tight. That means some changes, like selling their second car and moving into a new (old) house. But Ryan is a girl who knows how to make sunshine out of setbacks. As her brother says when he raps about her, she's got the talent that matters most: it's a talent that can't be seen, she's nice, not mean!

Ryan is all about trying to see the best in people, to be a good daughter, a good sister, a good friend. But even if her life isn't everything she would wish for, when her big brother is infuriating, her parents don't quite understand, and the unexpected happens, she always finds a way forward, with grace and wit. And plenty of sunshine.

Acclaimed author Renée Watson writes her own version of Ramona Quimby, one starring a Black girl and her family, in this start to a charming new series.


Ghost (Track #1) Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781481450164
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books - August 29th, 2017

Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is slowing him down in this first electrifying novel of a brand-new series from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award–winning author Jason Reynolds.

Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves.

Running. That’s all Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons—it all started with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems—and running away from them—until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who sees something in Ghost: crazy natural talent. If Ghost can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed, or will his past finally catch up to him?

This is book number 1 in the Track series.


The Jumbies Cover Image
$7.95
ISBN: 9781616205928
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Algonquin Young Readers - April 26th, 2016

Corinne La Mer claims she isn’t afraid of anything. Not scorpions, not the boys who tease her, and certainly not jumbies. They’re just tricksters made up by parents to frighten their children. Then one night Corinne chases an agouti all the way into the forbidden forest, and shining yellow eyes follow her to the edge of the trees. They couldn’t belong to a jumbie. Or could they?

When Corinne spots a beautiful stranger at the market the very next day, she knows something extraordinary is about to happen. When this same beauty, called Severine, turns up at Corinne’s house, danger is in the air. Severine plans to claim the entire island for the jumbies. Corinne must call on her courage and her friends and learn to use ancient magic she didn’t know she possessed to stop Severine and to save her island home.


Clayton Byrd Goes Underground Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780062215932
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Quill Tree Books - May 8th, 2018

From beloved Newbery Honor winner and three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner Rita Williams-Garcia comes a powerful and heartfelt novel about loss, family, and love that will appeal to fans of Jason Reynolds and Kwame Alexander.

Clayton feels most alive when he’s with his grandfather, Cool Papa Byrd, and the band of Bluesmen—he can’t wait to join them, just as soon as he has a blues song of his own. But then the unthinkable happens. Cool Papa Byrd dies, and Clayton’s mother forbids Clayton from playing the blues. And Clayton knows that’s no way to live.

Armed with his grandfather’s brown porkpie hat and his harmonica, he runs away from home in search of the Bluesmen, hoping he can join them on the road. But on the journey that takes him through the New York City subways and to Washington Square Park, Clayton learns some things that surprise him.


Some Places More Than Others Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781681191102
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Bloomsbury Children's Books - September 8th, 2020


From Newbery Honor- and Coretta Scott King Author Award-winning, New York Times bestselling author Renée Watson comes a heartwarming and inspiring middle-grade novel about finding deep roots and exploring the past, the present, and the places that make us who we are.

All Amara wants for her birthday is to visit her father's family in New York City--Harlem, to be exact. She can't wait to finally meet her Grandpa Earl and cousins in person, and to stay in the brownstone where her father grew up. Maybe this will help her understand her family--and herself--in new way.

But New York City is not exactly what Amara thought it would be. It's crowded, with confusing subways, suffocating sidewalks, and her father is too busy with work to spend time with her and too angry to spend time with Grandpa Earl. As she explores, asks questions, and learns more and more about Harlem and about her father and his family history, she realizes how, in some ways more than others, she connects with him, her home, and her family.


Bud, Not Buddy Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780440413288
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Yearling - January 8th, 2002

The Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award-winning classic about a boy who decides to hit the road to find his father—from Christopher Paul Curtis, author of The Watsons Go To Birmingham—1963, a Newbery and Coretta Scott King Honoree.
 
It’s 1936, in Flint, Michigan. Times may be hard, and ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but Bud’s got a few things going for him:

1. He has his own suitcase full of special things.
2. He’s the author of Bud Caldwell’s Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself.
3. His momma never told him who his father was, but she left a clue: flyers advertising Herman E. Calloway and his famous band, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression!!!!!!
 
Bud’s got an idea that those flyers will lead him to his father. Once he decides to hit the road to find this mystery man, nothing can stop him—not hunger, not fear, not vampires, not even Herman E. Calloway himself.


The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780440414124
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Yearling - September 8th, 1997

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of this Newbery and Coretta Scott King Honoree about a hilarious family on a road-trip at one of the most important times in America's history. This special edition makes a perfect gift and includes bonus content!

Enter the hilarious world of ten-year-old Kenny and his family, the Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan. There's Momma, Dad, little sister Joetta, and brother Byron, who's thirteen and an "official juvenile delinquent."

When Byron gets to be too much trouble, they head South to Birmingham to visit Grandma, the one person who can shape him up. And they'll be in Birmingham during one of the darkest moments in America's history.


Dragons in a Bag Cover Image
By Zetta Elliott, Geneva B (Illustrator)
$6.99
ISBN: 9781524770488
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Yearling - August 13th, 2019

The dragon's out of the bag in this diverse, young urban fantasy from an award-winning author--with two starred reviews!

When Jaxon is sent to spend the day with a mean old lady his mother calls Ma, he finds out she's not his grandmother--but she is a witch! She needs his help delivering baby dragons to a magical world where they'll be safe. There are two rules when it comes to the dragons: don't let them out of the bag and don't feed them anything sweet. Before he knows it, Jax and his friends Vikram and Kavita have broken both rules! Will Jax get the baby dragons delivered safe and sound? Or will they be lost in Brooklyn forever?


Bayou Magic Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780316224857
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - May 3rd, 2016

If only Maddy sees the mermaid, can it be real?
 
It's Maddy's turn to have a bayou summer. At first she misses life back home in the city, but soon she grows to love everything about her new surroundings -- the glimmering fireflies, the glorious landscape, and something else, deep within the water, that only Maddy sees. Could it be a mermaid? As her grandmother shares wisdom about sayings and signs, Maddy realizes she may be only the sibling to carry on her family's magical legacy. And when a disastrous oil leak threatens the bayou, she knows she may also be the only one who can help. Does she have what it takes to be a hero?
 
A coming-of-age tale rich with folk magic, set in the wake of the Gulf oil spill, Bayou Magic celebrates hope, friendship, and family, and captures the wonder of life in the Deep South.


Hidden Figures Young Readers' Edition Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780062662378
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: HarperCollins - November 29th, 2016

This edition of Margot Lee Shetterly’s acclaimed book is perfect for young readers. It is the powerful story of four African-American female mathematicians at NASA who helped achieve some of the greatest moments in our space program. Now a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner. This middle grade book is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 6, especially during homeschooling. It’s a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom.

Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.

This book brings to life the stories of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, who lived through the Civil Rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the movement for gender equality, and whose work forever changed the face of NASA and the country.


The Red Pencil Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780316247825
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - November 3rd, 2015

The powerful story of one girl's triumphant journey, inspired by true tales of life in Sudan -- now in paperback.
 
Life in Amira's peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when Janjaweed attackers arrive, unleashing unspeakable horrors. After losing nearly everything, Amira needs to find the strength to make the long journey on foot to safety at a refugee camp. She begins to lose hope, until the gift of a simple red pencil opens her mind -- and all kinds of possibilities.


From the Desk of Zoe Washington Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062875853
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - January 14th, 2020

#1 Kids Indie Next List * A Junior Library Guild Selection * Four Starred Reviews

From debut author Janae Marks comes a captivating story full of heart, as one courageous girl questions assumptions, searches for the truth, and does what she believes is right—even in the face of great opposition. 

Zoe Washington isn’t sure what to write. What does a girl say to the father she’s never met, hadn’t heard from until his letter arrived on her twelfth birthday, and who’s been in prison for a terrible crime?

A crime he says he never committed.

Could Marcus really be innocent? Zoe is determined to uncover the truth. Even if it means hiding his letters and her investigation from the rest of her family. Everyone else thinks Zoe’s worrying about doing a good job at her bakery internship and proving to her parents that she’s worthy of auditioning for Food Network’s Kids Bake Challenge.

But with bakery confections on one part of her mind, and Marcus’s conviction weighing heavily on the other, this is one recipe Zoe doesn’t know how to balance. The only thing she knows to be true: Everyone lies.