West Bloomfield Township Public Library
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Friends in Our World - African American Friends (Kids)

Enjoy these fiction books featuring African American characters.

Parker looks up : an extraordinary moment by Parker Curry

A visit to Washington, DC’s National Portrait Gallery forever alters Parker Curry’s young life when she views First Lady Michelle Obama’s portrait. When Parker Curry came face-to-face with Amy Sherald’s transcendent portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery, she didn’t just see the First Lady of the United States. She saw a queen—one with dynamic self-assurance, regality, beauty, and truth who captured this young girl’s imagination. When a nearby museum-goer snapped a photo of a mesmerized Parker, it became an internet sensation. Inspired by this visit, Parker, and her mother, Jessica Curry, tell the story of a young girl and her family, whose trip to a museum becomes an extraordinary moment, in a moving picture book. Parker Looks Up follows Parker, along with her baby sister and her mother, and her best friend Gia and Gia’s mother, as they walk the halls of a museum, seeing paintings of everyone and everything from George Washington Carver to Frida Kahlo, exotic flowers to graceful ballerinas. Then, Parker walks by Sherald’s portrait of Michelle Obama…and almost passes it. But she stops...and looks up! Parker saw the possibility and promise, the hopes and dreams of herself in this powerful painting of Michelle Obama. An everyday moment became an extraordinary one…that continues to resonate its power, inspiration, and indelible impact. Because, as Jessica Curry said, “anything is possible regardless of race, class, or gender.”

I believe I can by Grace Byers

Celebrates the limitless potential of children from every background by encouraging them to believe in themselves.

Ty's travels : zip, zoom! by Kelly Starling Lyons

Ty cannot wait to ride his new scooter, but when he has a hard time learning and wants to quit, a new friend encourages him to give it another try.

Just like me by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Presents a collection of poems about loving oneself the way one is, friendship, family life, exploring things, wearing a dress on a windy day, living in the city or the country, music, and other aspects of an African American girl's life.

I am Every Good Thing by Derrick D Barnes

Illustrations and easy-to-read text pay homage to the strength, character, and worth of a child.

Jabari jumps by Gaia Cornwall

After he passes his swimming test, little Jabari decides he's ready to try jumping off the diving board, but when the big moment arrives, Jabari needs to work up the courage to jump.

Jabari tries by Gaia Cornwall

Jabari is making a flying machine all by himself, but when it doesn't work the way he imagined, he learns about perserverance and problem-solving

I can build it! by Kelly Greenawalt

In rhyming text Princess Truly, super girl, uses her magic curls to build things, including a bike for her brother, who has outgrown his old one, and a super snack machine.

Ways to make sunshine by Renée Watson

The Hart family of Portland, Oregon, faces many setbacks after Ryan's father loses his job, but no matter what, Ryan tries to bring sunshine to her loved ones.

Before the ever after by Jacqueline Woodson

ZJ's friends Ollie, Darry and Daniel help him cope when his father, a beloved professional football player, suffers severe headaches and memory loss that spell the end of his career.

Bedtime bonnet by Nancy Amanda Redd

As family members braid, brush, twirl, roll, and tighten their hair before bedtime, putting on kerchiefs, wave caps, and other protective items, the little sister cannot find her bonnet.

All because you matter by Tami Charles

A lyrical, heart-lifting love letter to Black and Brown children everywhere reminds them how much they matter, that they have always mattered and they always will

Mia Mayhem vs. the super bully by Kara West

Mia is excited about her first superspeed training class, but a bully on her relay team leads her to lose her shadow and, worse, to snap at her friends.

Maya and the rising dark by Rena Barron

"A twelve-year-old girl discovers her father is the keeper of the gateway between our world and The Dark, and when he goes missing she'll need to unlock her own powers and fight a horde of spooky creatures set on starting a war"--

From the desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks

"Avid baker Zoe Washington receives a letter on her twelfth birthday from her biological father, who is in prison for a terrible crime"--

King and the dragonflies by Kacen Callender

"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"--

Big Papa and the time machine by Daniel Bernstrom

When a young boy doesn't want to go to school, his grandfather takes him back in time to show him the true meaning of being brave.

I am brown / by Ashok Banker

"I am brown. I am beautiful. I am perfect. I designed this computer. I ran this race. I won this prize. I wrote this book. A joyful celebration of the skin you're in--of being brown, of being amazing, of being you" --

Clean getaway by Nic Stone

An 11-year-old boy confronts the realities of race relations, past and present, and the mysterious agenda of his unconventional grandmother during an unplanned spring break road trip through the once-segregated American South

The true definition of Neva Beane by Christine Kendall

Twelve-year-old Neva and her older brother Clayton have been left with their grandparents for the summer, and she is having a difficult time dealing with change: the changes to her body, changes with her relationships with her brother who is becoming involved with social activism and their multicultural community (and with Michelle, the sexy girl across the street), and with her best friend, Jamila, whose father is from Ghana--Neva is growing up and she is not sure that the dictionary has the right wordsto describe everything she is experiencing.

Princess Truly in I am Truly by Kelly Greenawalt

"Princess Truly's rhyming adventures are a celebration of individuality, girl power, diversity, and dreaming big!"--

Tristan Strong punches a hole in the sky by Kwame Mbalia

Seventh-grader Tristan Strong feels anything but strong ever since he failed to save his best friend when they were in a bus accident together. All he has left of Eddie is the journal his friend wrote stories in. Tristan is dreading the month he's going to spend on his grandparents' farm. But on his first night there, a sticky creature shows up and steals Eddie's notebook. Tristan chases after it, and a tug-of-war ensues between them underneath a Bottle Tree. In a last attempt to get it away from the creature, Tristan punches the tree, accidentally ripping open a chasm into the MidPass, a volatile place with a burning sea, haunted bone ships, and iron monsters. Tristan finds himself in the middle of a battle that has left black American folk heroes John Henry and Brer Rabbit exhausted. In order to get back home, Tristan and these new allies will need to entice the god Anansi, the Weaver, to come out of hiding. Can Tristan save this world before he loses more of the things he loves?

EllRay Jakes is not a chicken by Sally Warner

Eight-year-old EllRay's father has promised a family trip to Disneyland if EllRay can stay out of trouble for a week, but not defending himself against Jared, the class bully, proves to be a real challenge

The only black girls in town by Brandy Colbert

In a predominately white California beach town, the only two black seventh-graders, Alberta and Edie, find hidden journals that uncover family secrets and speak to race relations in the past.

Black is a rainbow color by Angela Joy

"A child reflects on the meaning of being Black in this anthem about a people, a culture, a history, and a legacy that lives on"--

Ghost boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

"After seventh-grader Jerome is shot by a white police officer, he observes the aftermath of his death and meets the ghosts of other fallen black boys including historical figure Emmett Till"--

Isaiah Dunn is my hero by Kelly J Baptist

"Isaiah is now the big man of the house. But it's a lot harder than his dad made it look. His little sister, Charlie, asks too many questions, and Mama's gone totally silent. Good thing Isaiah can count on his best friend, Sneaky, who always has a scheme for getting around the rules. Plus, his classmate Angel has a few good ideas of her own--once she stops hassling Isaiah. And when things get really tough, there's Daddy's journal, filled with stories about the amazing Isaiah Dunn, a superhero who gets his powers from beans and rice. Isaiah wishes his dad's tales were real. He could use those powers right about now!"--

Superhero for president by Gina Bellisario

Ellie Ultra, third-grade superhero, is running for class president, and her opposition is her nemesis, Dex Diggs, who has got his hands on a wish machine--so when Ellie gets a glimpse of what would happen if Dex wins, she knows this is a fight for the soul and future of Winkopolis Elementary School.

Thank you, Omu! by Oge Mora

When the aroma of Omu's homemade stew fills the air, her neighbors arrive, one by one, for a taste until all is gone except for her generous spirit

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Aspiring to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school's track team, gifted runner Ghost finds his goal challenged by a tragic past with a violent father

My life as an ice cream sandwich by Ibi Aanu Zoboi

In the summer of 1984, twelve-year-old Ebony-Grace of Huntsville, Alabama, visits her father in Harlem, where her fascination with outer space and science fiction interfere with her finding acceptance

Jayla jumps in by Joy Jones

After learning that her mother was a Double Dutch champion, eleven-year-old Jayla forms a team hoping to stand out in her big, quirky family, and finds her life changed in ways she never imagined.

Brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse. Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child's soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson's eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

Summer in the city : a Mango Delight story by Fracaswell Hyman

Mango is invited to star in Yo, Romeo! in New York City, but must struggle to balance the opportunity of a lifetime with homesickness, insecurity, and staying close to her best friend long-distance.

Cool cuts by Mechal Renee Roe

"An illustrated, joyful celebration of African-American boys' hairstyles"--

Genesis begins again by Alicia Williams

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.

What lane? by Torrey Maldonado

Biracial sixth-grader Stephen questions the limitations society puts on him after he notices the way strangers treat him when he hangs out with his white friends and learns about the Black Lives Matter movement.

Dragons in a bag by Zetta Elliott

In Brooklyn, nine-year-old Jax joins Ma, a curmudgeonly witch who lives in his building, on a quest to deliver three baby dragons to a magical world, and along the way discovers his true calling.

Courage by B Binns

When his brother Lamont is released from prison early, T'Shawn puts all his emotions into diving practice, but as crime increases in the neighborhood, people begin to suspect Lamont, and T'Shawn must learn to trust his brother.

For black girls like me by Mariama Lockington

Eleven-year-old Makeda dreams of meeting her African American mother, while coping with serious problems in her white adopted family, a cross-country move, and being homeschooled.

The season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon

Caleb Franklin and his younger brother, Bobby Gene, spend an extraordinary summer their new, older neighbor, Styx Malone, a foster boy from the city.

Astro girl by Ken Wilson-Max

After Astrid tells her father that she wants to be an astronaut, he tells her of all the things that astronauts have to do.

Love like sky by Leslie C Youngblood

Eleven-year-old Georgie is still adjusting to leaving Atlanta for a small town, having a stepfather, and being unable to get close to her stepsister when her six-year-old sister, Peaches, suddenly becomes very ill.

Some places more than others by Renée Watson

Amara visits her father's family in Harlem for her twelfth birthday, hoping to better understand her family and herself, but New York City is not what she expected.

Sulwe by Lupita Nyong'o

Sulwe has skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything. In this stunning debut picture book, actress Lupita Nyong’o creates a whimsical and heartwarming story to inspire children to see their own unique beauty

Last stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña

A young boy rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things.

Saturdays are for Stella by Candy Wellins

George loves spending Saturdays with his grandmother, Stella. One day, Stella is gone and George is ready to cancel Saturdays--until a new addition to the family arrives and George finds a way to honor the memories of his beloved grandmother

Tallulah the Tooth Fairy CEO by Tamara Pizzoli

Tallulah the Tooth Fairy, a black businesswoman who runs one of the most successful tooth collecting organizations in the world, finds herself unexpectedly stumped when six-year-old Ballard Burchell leaves a note instead of his tooth under his pillow.

Me & Mama by Cozbi A Cabrera

For a little girl on a rainy day, the best place to be is with Mama.

Happy right now by Julie Berry

Describe how it feels to be happy and what can cause it.

How to test a friendship by Theanne Griffith

With the help of a fun, odd scientist, third graders Violet, Pablo, and Deepak embark on an adventure in the Maker Maze, a magical laboratory full of robots, an antigravity chamber, 3D printers, and more

When grandma gives you a lemon tree by Jamie L Deenihan

After disappointingly receiving a lemon tree from her grandma on her birthday, a young girl doesn't know what to do with it other than care for it and wait, but her patience eventually pays off.

The missing fox by Katherine Cox

Amateur private investigator Katie Fry looks for clues to find her brother's favorite stuffed animal.

Ada Twist, scientist by Andrea Beaty

Ada Twist is a very curious girl who shows perseverance by asking questions and performing experiments to find things out and understand the world.

A new kind of wild by Zara Gonzalez Hoang

"When Ren moves to Ava's city, he feels lost without the green and magic of his home, but not everything in the city is what meets the eye and Ren discovers that nothing makes you feel at home quite like a friend"--

Boxitects by Kim Smith

Meg goes to Maker School to hone her talent for building with boxes, but when Simone, another boxitect, arrives they become so competitive they nearly fail in the annual Maker Match
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