Thank You, Omu!

It’s been five years since the Sweep disappeared. Orphaned and alone, Nan Sparrow had no other choice but to work for a ruthless chimney sweep named Wilkie Crudd. She spends her days sweeping out chimneys. The job is dangerous and thankless, but with her wits and will, Nan has managed to beat the deadly odds time and time again. When Nan gets stuck in a chimney fire, she fears the end has come. Instead, she wakes to find herself unharmed in an abandoned attic. And she is not alone. Huddled in the corner is a mysterious creature—a golem—made from soot and ash. Sweep is the story of a girl and her monster. Together, these two outcasts carve out a new life—saving each other in the process. Lyrically told by one of today’s most powerful storytellers, Sweep is a heartrending adventure about the everlasting gifts of friendship and wonder.

Trombone Shorty

Hailing from the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews got his nickname by wielding a trombone twice as long as he was high. A prodigy, he was leading his own band by age six.

Each Kindness

When Ms. Albert teaches a lesson on kindness, Chloe realizes that she and her friends have been wrong in making fun of new student Maya’s shabby clothes and refusing to play with her.

This book has been included in WOW’s Kids Taking Action Booklist. For our current list, visit our Boolist page under Resources in the green navigation bar.

One Crazy Summer

In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume 5, Issue 1

Bronx Masquerade

When Wesley Boone writes a poem for his high school English class, some of his classmates clamor to read their poems aloud too. Soon they’re having weekly poetry sessions and, one by one, the eighteen students are opening up and taking on the risky challenge of self-revelation. There’s Lupe Alvarin, desperate to have a baby so she will feel loved. Raynard Patterson, hiding a secret behind his silence. Porscha Johnson, needing an outlet for her anger after her mother OD’s. Through the poetry they share and narratives in which they reveal their most intimate thoughts about themselves and one another, their words and lives show what lies beneath the skin, behind the eyes, beyond the masquerade.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

In Mississippi during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Logans are one of the few Black families who own their own land. Nine-year-old Cassie Logan doesn’t understand why her parents attach so much importance to this, any more than she understands the Night Riders–white men who terrorize her people.

The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales Of The Supernatural: (Newbery Honor Book, Coretta Scott King Author Award, Ala Notable Children’s Book) (Coretta Scott King Author Award Winner)

A collection of ghost stories with African American themes, designed to be told during the Dark Thirty–the half hour before sunset–when ghosts seem all too believable. With an extraordinary gift for suspense, McKissack brings us ten original spine-tingling tales inspired by African-American history and the mystery of that eerie half-hour before nightfall–the dark thirty. “The atmosphere of each selection is skillfully developed and sustained to the very end. Pinkney’s stark scratchboard illustrations evoke an eerie mood, which heightens the suspense of each tale. This is a stellar collection for both public and school libraries looking for absorbing books to hook young readers. Storytellers will also find it a goldmine.”

Almost To Freedom

Tells the story of a young girl’s dramatic escape from slavery via the Underground Railroad, from the perspective of her beloved rag doll.

(Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book)

Freedom River

Describes an incident in the life of John Parker, a formerly enslaved person who became a successful businessman in Ripley, Ohio, and who repeatedly risked his life to help other slaves escape to freedom.

Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Books

Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan

A young boy unites with thousands of other orphaned boys to walk to safety in a refugee camp in another country, after war destroys their villages in southern Sudan. Based on true events.

Awards:
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Books