This list is in two sections, beginning with books for
children, ages 3-10. Click here for books for Young
Readers, ages 10 up
Children, ages 3 - 10
- Aardema, Verna.
Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain. Illus.
by Beatriz Vidal. New York: Pied Piper, 1981. This rhythmic read-aloud
tale tells how Ki-pat ingeniously brings rain to the arid Kapiti
What's So Funny, Ketu? Illus. by Mare Brown.
New York: Pied Piper, 1982. The joke is on Ketu when he receives
the power to read animals' minds.
Who's in Rabbit's House. Illus. by Leo and
Diane Dillon, New York: Pied Piper, 1977. This Masai tale is full
of surprises about who is in rabbit's house.
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears. Illus.
by Leo and Diane Dillon. New York: Pied Piper, 1975. This West
African tale explains why mosquitoes buzz in people's ears.
- Brown, Marcia.
- Shadow. New York: Aladdin, 1982. In this free-verse evocation
of the eerie, shifting images of Shadow, the beliefs and ghosts
of the past are brought to life wherever there is light, fire, and
- Bryan, Ashley.
- Sing to the Sun. [New York]: HarperTrophy, 1992. This collection
of poems and paintings celebrates the ups and downs of life .
- Caines, Jeannette.
Just Us Women. Illus. by Pat Cummings, New
York: HarperTrophy, 1982. A young girl and her favorite aunt share
the excitement of planning a very special car trip for just the
two of them.
- Carr, Jan.
Dark Day, Light Night. Illus. by James
Ransome. New York: Hyperion, 1995. Manda's Aunt Ruby helps her
deal with some angry feelings by making lists of all the things
that they like in the world.
- Chocolate, Deborah M. Newton.
lmani in the Belly. Illus. by Alex Boies.
N.p.: Troll Medallion, 1994. Imani's faith helps her save herself
and her children from the belly of the King of Beasts.
- Clifton, Lucille.
The Boy Who Didn't Believe in Spring. Illus.
by Brinton Turkle. New York: Puffin Unicorn, 1973. King Shabazz
and his best friend Tony Polito search all over the neighborhood
for this "spring" they keep hearing about.
- De Veaux, Alexis.
An Enchanted Hair Tale. Illus. by
Cheryl Hanna. New York: HarperTrophy, 1987. Sudan suffers when
people ridicule his strange-looking hair, but he comes to accept
and enjoy its enchantment,
- English, Karen.
Neeny Coming, Neeny Going. Illus. by Synthia
Saint James. N. p.: BridgeWater, 1996. Essie eagerly awaits the
visit of her cousin but discovers Neeny is no longer interested
in life on Essie's island.
- Everett, Gwen.
Lil Sis and Uncle Willie. Paintings by William
H. Johnson. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991.
This fictional story is based on the actual events in the life
of William H. Johnson.
- Farmer, Nancy.
Do You Know Me. Illus. by Shelley Jackson.
New York: Puffin, 1993. Although he is continually getting into
trouble, Tapiwa's uncle becomes her best friend when he comes
from Mozambique to live with her family in Harare, Zimbabwe.
- Flournoy, Valerie.
The Patchwork Quilt. Illus. by Jerry Pinkney.
New York: Dial, 1985. Using scraps cut from the family's old clothing,
Tanya helps her grandmother make a beautiful quilt that tells
the story of her family's life .
- Ford, Juwanda G.
A Kente Dress for Kenya. Illus. by Sylvia
Walker. New York: Scholastic, 1996. Kenya's class has been selected
to do a special show-and-tell program on Parents' Night and each
child is to bring in something from a favorite family activity
- Frasier, Debra.
On the Day You Were Born. San Diego: Harcourt
Brace, 1991. All of earth celebrates the birth of a newborn baby.
- Gerson, Mary Joan.
Why the Sky Is Far Away. Illus. by Carla
Golembe. Boston: Little, Brown, 1992. The sky was once so close
to the earth that people cut parts of it to eat, but their waste
and greed caused the sky to move far away.
- Greenfield, Eloise.
Africa Dream. Illus. by Carole Byard. New
York: HarperTrophy, 1977. A Black child's dreams are filled with
the images of the people and places of Africa.
Night on Neighborhood Street. Illus. by Jan
Spivey Gilchrist. New York: Dial, 1991. Greenfield's poems celebrate
life in a place that offers insight about a child's world of family,
friends, and neighbors during one night on Neighborhood Street.
Under the Sunday Tree. Paintings by Amos
Ferguson. [New York]: HarperTrophy, 1988. This collection of poems
and paintings evokes life in the Bahamas.
- Grifalconi, Ann.
Darkness and the Butterfly. Boston: Little,
Brown, 1987. Small Osa is fearless during the day, climbing trees
or exploring the African valley where she lives, but at night
she becomes afraid of the strange and terrifying things that might
lie in the dark.
- Haskins, Francine.
Things I Like about Grandma. Emeryville,
Calif.: Children's Book, 1992. A young African American girl tells
of her close relationship with her grandmother.
- Hoffman, Mary.
Amazing Grace. Illus. by Caroline Binch.
New York: Dial, 1991. Grace loves all stories but is disheartened
when told she cannot play the role of Peter Pan because she is
Boundless Grace. Illus. by Caroline Binch.
New York: Dial, 1995. Grace is invited for a visit with her father
and his new family in Africa.
- Howard, Elizabeth Fitzgerald.
Aunt Flossie's Hats (and Crab Cakes Later). Illus.
by James Ransome. New York: Clarion, 1991. Sarah and Susan share
tea, cookies, crab cakes, and stories about hats when they visit
their favorite relative, Aunt Flossie.
- Humphrey, Marge.
The River That Gave Gifts. San Francisco:
Children's Book, 1987. Yanava and her playmates decide they will
each give Neema, the beloved elder woman of the town who is losing
her sight, something special before the time comes when she will
not be able to see.
- Hunter, Bobbi Dooley.
The Legend of the African Baobab Tree. Trenton,
N. J.:Africa World, 1995. Tired of the complaints of a beautiful
tree growing on the African plains, the Great Spirit turns the
tree upside-down so that its branches look like roots growing
toward the sky.
- Igus, Toyomi.
When I Was Little. Illus. by Higgins Bond.
Orange, N. J.: Just Us, 1992. A grandfather tells his grandson
about how things have changed since the grandfather was little.
- Joseph, Lynn.
Coconut Kind of Day. Illus. by Sandra Speidel.
New York: Puffin, 1990. This collection of poems depicts the sights
and sounds of the Caribbean islands.
- Keats, Ezra Jack.
John Henry: An American Legend. New York:
Dragonfly, 1965. This legend describes the life of the steel-driving
man who was born and died with a hammer in his hand.
- Ketteman, Helen.
Not Yet, Yvette. Illus. by Irene Trivas.
Morton Grove, III.: Albert Whitman, 1992. Yvette waits impatiently
as she and her father prepare a surprise birthday party for her
- Kimmel, Eric A.
Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock. Illus.
by Janet Stevens. New York: Holiday House, 1988. Anansi the Spider
uses a strange, moss-covered rock in the forest to trick all the
other animals, until little Bush Deer decides Anansi needs to
learn a lesson.
- Kitamura, Satoshi.
Sheep in Wolves' Clothing. New York: Farrar,
Straus and Giroux, 1995. When three sheep have their fleecy coats
stolen from the beach while they are swimming, they suspect that
some wily wolves have pulled the wool over their eyes.
- Knappert, Jan.
Kings, Gods & Spirits from African Mythology.
Illus. by Francesca Pelizzoli. New York: Peter Bedrick,
1986. This collection includes tales of gods, ghosts, and spirits;
sagas about famous heroes; fables about magical animals; and stories
of powerful kingdoms of the past.
- Kroll, Virginia.
- Jaha and Jamil Went down the Hill. Illus. by Katherine
Roundtree, Watertown, Mass.: Charlesbridge, 1995. The verses in
this book are those that Mother Goose might have written, had she
Sweet Magnolia. Illus. by Laura Jacques.
Watertown, Mass.: Charlesbridge, 1995. Denise visits her grandmother,
a wildlife rehabilitator, in the Louisiana Bayou, and helps heal
and free an injured baby bird.
- Kurtz, Jane.
Pulling the Lion's Tail. Illus. by Floyd
Cooper. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995. Almaz's grandfather
finds a clever way to help Almaz get to know her father's new
- Lawrence, Jacob.
The Great Migration: An American Story. New
York: HarperTrophy, 1993. Lawrence's series of paintings chronicle
the journey of African Americans who, like the artist's family,
left the rural South in the early twentieth century to find a
better life in the industrial North.
- Lester, Julius.
John Henry. Illus. by Jerry Pinkney, New
York: Dial, 1994. This account retells the life of the legendary
African American hero who raced against a steam drill to cut through
- Liddell, Janice.
lmani and the Flying Africans. Illus. by
Linda Nickens. Trenton, N. J.: Africa World, 1994. On the trip
from Detroit to Savannah to see his grandparents and greatgrandmother
for the first time, an African American boy hears the story about
an amazing event witnessed by his great-great-grandmother when
she was enslaved.
- Mathis, Sharon Bell.
The Hundred Penny Box. Illus. by Leo and
Diane Dillon. New York: Puffin, 1975. Michael's love for his great-great
aunt, who lives with his family, leads him to intercede with his
mother, who wants to toss out all the aunt's old things.
- Mattox, Cheryl Warren.
Shake it to the One That You Love the Best. Illus.
by Varnette P, Honeywood and Brenda Joysmith. Nashville: JTG,
1989. This collection of traditional African American play songs
and lullabies includes lyrics and full piano score for each song
as well as a cassette tape.
- McDermott, Gerald.
Anansi the Spider. New York: Henry Holt,
1972. On a long, difficult journey Anansi is threatened by Fish
and Falcon, then saved from terrible fates by his sons-- but which
son should Anansi reward?
- Mendez, Phil.
The Black Snowman. Illus. by Carole Byard.
New Verk: Scholastic, 1989. Jacob and his brother wrap their snowman
in a scrap of cloth, which turns out to be kente, an African
storytelling shawl that has special, magical qualities--as the
two boys soon find out.
- Miller, William.
Frederick Douglass: The Last Day of Slavery.
Illus. by Cedric Lucas. New York: Lee & Low, 1995. This
is a true account from the life of the famous writer and activist
- Myers, Walter Dean.
How Mr. Monkey Saw the Whole World. Illus.
by Synthia Saint James. New York: Doubleday, 1996. Mr.
Buzzard avoids working for his food by tricking the other animals,
but Mr. Monkey finds a way to remedy the situation.
- Nikola-Lisa, W.
Bein' with You This Way. lllus. by Michael
Bryant. New York: Lee & Low, 1994. As the children play in
the park they discover that despite their physical differences-straight
hair/curly hair; brown eyes/blue eyes; light skin/dark skin--they
are all really the same.
- Oliver, Elizabeth Murphy.
Black Mother Goose Book. Illus. by Thomas
A. Sockett. Brooklyn, N. Y.: Dare, 1981. These are standard Mother
Goose rhymes with a Swahili glossary at the bottom of each page
for a few of the English words.
- Oyono, Eric.
Gollo and the Lion. Illus. by Laurent Corvaisier,
New York: Hyperion, 1994. In this folktale from Cameroon, Gollo
goes to an old soothsayer for help when Plogozom the lion devours
- Pomerantz, Charlotte.
The Chalk Doll. Illus. by Frane Lessac. New
York: J. B. Lippincott, 1989. Rosy's mother remembers the pleasures
of her childhood in Jamaica and the very special dolls she used
to play with.
- Porter, Connie.
Meet Addy: An American Girl. Illus. by Melodye
Rosalese. Middleton, Wisc.: Pleasant Company, 1993. Nine-year-old
Addy Walker escapes from a cruel life of slavery to freedom during
the Civil War.
- Ringgold, Faith.
Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky.
New York: Crown, 1992. With Harriet Tubman as her guide, Cassie
retraces the steps escaping slaves took on the Underground Railroad
in order to reunite with her younger brother.
Tar Beach. New York: Crown, 1991. A young
girl dreams of flying above her Harlem home, claiming all she
sees for herself and her family.
- Schertle, Alice.
Down the Road. Illus. by E. B. Lewis. New
York: Browndeer, 1995. Hetty is very careful with the eggs she
has bought on her very first trip to the store, but she runs into
trouble when she stops to pick apples.
- Schroeder, Alan.
Ragtime Tumpie. Illus. by Bernie Fuchs. Boston:
Little, Brown, 1989. Tumpie, a young Black girl who will later
become famous as the dancer Josephine Baker, longs to find the
opportunity to dance amid the poverty and vivacious street life
of St. Louis in the early 1900s.
- Seeger, Pete.
Abiyoyo. Illus. by Michael Hays. New York:
Aladdin, 1986. Banished from the town for making mischief, a little
boy and his father are welcomed back when they find a way to make
the dreaded giant Abiyoyo disappear.
- Sierra, Judy.
Wiley and the Hairy Man. Illus. by Brian
Pinkney, New York: Lodestar, 1996. With his mother's help, Wiley
outwits the conjuring Hairy Man who lives in the swamp near their
- Smalls, Irene.
Louise's Gift. Illus. by Colin Bootman. [Boston]:
Little, Brown, 1996. Louise is disappointed in Nana's gift and
prediction for her future, but later comes to understand just
how special she is.
- Thomas, Joyce Carol.
Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea. Illus. by
Floyd Cooper. [New York]: HarperCollins, 1993. This collection
of poems explores the theme of African American identity .
Gingerbread Days. Illus. by Floyd Cooper.
[New York]: HarperCollins-Joanna Cotler, 1995. Poems for each
month of the year celebrate the themes of family love, individuality,
and African American identity.
- Thompson, Julee Dickerson.
Dance of the Rain Gods. Trenton, N. J.: Africa
World, 1994. This African American folktale explains the magic
behind a rainstorm.
- Weatherford, Carole Boston.
Juneteenth Jamboree. Illus. by Yvonne Buchanan.
New York: Lee & Low, 1995. Cassandra and her family have moved
to her parents' hometown in Texas, but it doesn't feel like home
to Cassandra until she experiences Juneteenth, a Texas tradition
celebrating the end of slavery.
- Weiss, George David, and Bob Thiele.
What a Wonderful World. Illus. by Ashley
Bryan. New York: Atheneum, 1995. The beauty and harmony in the
world are expressed through the lyrics of Louis Armstrong.
- Williams, Sherley Anne.
Working Cotton. Illus. by Carole Byard. San
Diego: Harcourt, Brace, 1992. A young Black girl relates the daily
events of her family's migrant life in the cotton fields of central
- Yarbrough, Camille.
Cornrows. Illus. by Carole Byard. New York:
Coward-McCann, 1979. This story explains how the hairstyle of
cornrows, a symbol of Africa since ancient times, came today in
this country to symbolize the courage of outstanding African Americans.
- Young, Ruth.
- Golden Bear. Illus. by Rachet Isadora. New York: Puffin,
1992. A little boy and Golden Bear learn to play the violin, talk
to a ladybug, make mudpies, wish on stars, and dream together.
Young Readers, ages 10
- Aardema, Verna.
Misoso: Once upon a Time Tales from Africa. Illus.
by Reynold Ruffins. New York: Apple Soup, 1994. The twelve folktales
in this collection are from different parts of Africa.
- Anderson, David A.
The Origin of Life on Earth: An African Creation
Myth. Illus. by Kathleen Atkins Wilson. Mt. Airy, Md.: Sights,
1991. The story tells of a time when there were only two domains--the
sky above and the water below--and of the adventures of Obatala,
a deity who descends from the sky to create the world.
- Bolden, Tonya.
Rites of Passage: Stories about Growing Up by
Black Writers from around the World. New York: Hyperion Books
for Children, 1994. Seventeen stories recount the experiences
of young people of African descent around the world.
- Des Pres, Francois Turenne.
Children of Yayoute: Folk Tales of Haiti. New
York: Universe, 1994. This collection of Haitian folktales features
magical human and animal characters, from tricksters and buffoons
to dancing dolls and talking fish.
- Fairman, Tony.
Bury My Bones but Keep My Words: African Tales
for Retelling. Illus. by Meshack Asare. New York: Puffin Books,
1991. The thirteen traditional tales in this collection are from
various regions of Africa.
- Fourie, Corlia.
Ganekwane and the Green Dragon. Illus. by
Christian Arthur Kingue Epanya. Morton Grove, Ill.: Albert Whitman,
1992. These four stories from Africa feature brave little girls.
- Hamilton, Virginia.
Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy
Tales, and True Tales. Illus. by Leo and Diane Dillon. New
York: Blue Sky, 1995. The nineteen stories in this book focus
on the magical lore and wondrous imaginings of African American
Many Thousand Gone: African-Americans from Slavery
to Freedom. Illus. by Leo and Diane Dillon, New York: Alfred
A. Knopf, 1993. This book recounts the journey of Black slaves
to freedom via the Underground Railroad, an extended group of
people who helped fugitive slaves in many ways.
The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales.
Illus. by Leo and Diane Dillon. New York: Alfred A. Knopf,
1985. This retelling of African American folktales features animals,
fantasy, the supernatural, and desire for freedom, born of the
sorrow of the slaves but passed on in hope.
- Haskins, James.
The Headless Haunt and Other African-American
Ghost Stories. Illus. by Ben Otero. New York: HarperTrophy,
1994. The ghost stories and anecdotes in this collection are part
of the folklore of African Americans.
- Hooks, William H.
The Ballad of Belle Dorcas. Illus. by Brian
Pinkney. New York: Dragonfly Books, 1990. When she falls in love
with Joshua, a slave, free-born Belle Dorcas uses the magic of
a conjure woman to keep Joshua with her.
Freedom's Fruit. Illus. by James Ransome,
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996. Mama Marina, an enslaved woman
and conjurer in the Old South, casts a spell on her owner's grapes
as part of her plan to win freedom for her daughter Sheba and
the man Sheba loves.
- Hopson, Darlene Powell, and Derek S. Hopson.
Juba This & Juba That. New York: Fireside,
1995. This collection includes one hundred African American games
- Johnson-Feelings, Dianne.
The Best of The Brownies' Book. New York:
Oxford University Press, 1996. This anthology includes selections
from the twenty-four issues of The Brownies' Book published
by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
in the 1920s.
- Katz, William Loren.
Black Women of the Old West. New York: Atheneum,
1995. This book traces the lives of African Americans on the American
frontier through old records, newspaper clippings, pioneer reminiscences,
and dozens of rare frontier photographs.
- Lester, Julius.
The Knee-Highman and Other Tales. Illus.
by Ralph Pinto. New York: Pied Piper, 1972. This collection of
six stories--some funny, some sad, and some didactic--comes from
- Lester, Julius.
The Last Tales of Uncle Remus. Illus. by
Jerry Pinkney. New York: Dial, 1994. This retelling features the
final adventures and misadventures of Brer Rabbit and his friends
- Lyons, Mary E.
Painting Dreams: Minnie Evans, Visionary Artist.
Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1996. This is the story of Minnie Evans,
from her childhood to her eventual success as an artist who pursued
her vision despite the restrictions placed on her as an African
Raw Head, Bloody Bones: African-American Tales
of the Supernatural. New York: Aladdin, 1991. This collection
features fifteen Black and African American tales of the supernatural
from various states and several Caribbean countries and includes
commentary on Black folklore in the New World.
Starting Home: The Story of Horace Pippin, Painter.
New York: Charles Scribner's, 1993. This is an account of the
life and work of the African American folk artist Horace Pippin.
Stitching Stars: The Story Quilts of Harriet
Powers. New York: Charles Scribner's, 1993. This illustrated
biography of Harriet Powers tells the story of an African American
quilter who made quilts of her favorite Bible stories and folktales.
- McKissack, Patricia C.
The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural.
Illus. by Brian Pinkney. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992.
This is a collection of ghost stories with African American themes
that are designed to be told during the "dark-thirty"--the
half hour before sunset--when ghosts seem all too believable.
- McKissack, Patricia C., and Fredrick L. McKissack.
Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the
Quarters. Illus. by John Thompson, New York: Scholastic, 1994.
This account describes the customs, recipes, poems, and songs
used to celebrate Christmas in the big plantation houses and in
the slave quarters just before the Civil War.
- Osofsky, Audrey.
Free to Dream -- The Making of a Poet: Langston
Hughes. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1996. This is
a biography of the Harlem Renaissance poet whose works gave voice
to the joy and pain of the African American experience in America.
- Parks, Van Dyke.
Jump Again! The Adventures of Brer Rabbit and
His Family by Joel Chandler Harris. Illus. by Barry Moser.
San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1987. In this collection
of five tales, Brer Rabbit meets Tar-Baby, Brer Weasel, and Miss
Meadows, and he outwits Brer Fox.
Jump on Over! The Adventures of Brer Rabbit and
His Family by Joel Chandler Harris. Illus. by Barry Moser.
San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1989. In this collection
of five tales, Brer Rabbit outwits Brer Fox, Brer Bear, and Brer
Wolf to ensure his family's survival during a drought.
- Ringgold, Faith, Linda Freeman, and Nancy Roucher.
- Talking to Faith Ringgold. New York: Crown, 1996. This
interactive biography of African American artist and children's
book author Faith Ringgold details her experiences and perspectives
and the inspiration for her art.
- Schlissel, Lillian.
Black Frontiers: A History of African American
Heroes in the Old West. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995.
This account focuses on the experiences of African Americans as
mountain men, soldiers, homesteaders, and scouts on the frontiers
of the American West.
- White, Carolyn.
The Tree House Children. Illus. by Christiane
Kromer. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994. A determined hungry
witch tries to capture the fisherman's children for her dinner.
- Wisniewski, David.
Sundiata: Lion King of Mali. New York: Clarion
Books, 1992. Sundiata overcomes physical handicaps, social disgrace,
and strong opposition to rule Mali in the thirteenth century.
- Young, Richard and Judy Dockrey Young.
African-American Folktales for Young Readers.
Little Rock: August House, 1993. This collection from the African
American oral tradition, presents stories as they have been told
by professional Black storytellers from Rhode Island to Oklahoma.
Prepared by The Office of Education, Anacostia Museum
in cooperation with Public Inquiry Services,