Tag Archives: Children & Young Adults

Essence Magazine’s Book Features for April 2015

Essence Magazine’s book features for April 2015, selected to catch some Spring Fever — featuring Attica Locke, Eric Jerome Dickey, Angela Flournoy, Tracey Baptiste, Tracy K. Smith:

Pleasantville (Jay Porter Series) by Attica Locke

Harper, April 21, 2015, Hardcover

In this sophisticated thriller, lawyer Jay Porter, hero of Attica Locke’s bestseller Black Water Rising, returns to fight one last case, only to become embroiled once again in a dangerous game of shadowy politics and a witness to how far those in power are willing to go to win.

Fifteen years after the events of Black Water Rising, Jay Porter is struggling to cope with catastrophic changes in his personal life and the disintegration of his environmental law practice. His victory against Cole Oil is still the crown jewel of his career, even if he hasn’t yet seen a dime thanks to appeals. But time has taken its toll. Tired and restless, hes ready to quit.

When a girl goes missing on Election Night, 1996, in the neighborhood of Pleasantville — a hamlet for upwardly mobile blacks on the north side of Houston — Jay, a single father, is deeply disturbed. He’s been representing Pleasantville in the wake of a chemical fire, and the case is dragging on, raising doubts about his ability.

The missing girl was a volunteer for one of the local mayoral candidates, and her disappearance complicates an already heated campaign. When the nephew of one of the candidates, a Pleasantville local, is arrested, Jay reluctantly finds himself serving as a defense attorney. With a man’s life and his own reputation on the line, Jay is about to try his first murder in a case that will also put an electoral process on trial, exposing the dark side of power and those determined to keep it.

One Night by Eric Jerome Dickey

Dutton, April 21, 2015, Hardcover

For one night, a couple checks in to an upscale hotel. The pair seem unlikely companions, from opposing strata of society, but their attraction is palpable to all who observe them — or overhear their cries of passion. In the course of twelve hours, con games, erotic interludes, jealousy, violence, and murder swirl around them. Will they part ways in bliss, in sorrow, or in death?

Filled with all the hallmarks of an Eric Jerome Dickey bestseller — erotic situations, edge-of-your-seat twists and turns, and fun, believable relationships — One Night will delight Dickey’s existing fans and lure countless new ones.

The Turner House by Angela Flournoy

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April 14, 2015, Hardcover

The Turners have lived on Yarrow Street for over fifty years. Their house has seen thirteen children grown and gone — and some returned; it has seen the arrival of grandchildren, the fall of Detroit’s East Side, and the loss of a father. The house still stands despite abandoned lots, an embattled city, and the inevitable shift outward to the suburbs. But now, as ailing matriarch Viola finds herself forced to leave her home and move in with her eldest son, the family discovers that the house is worth just a tenth of its mortgage. The Turner children are called home to decide its fate and to reckon with how each of their pasts haunts — and shapes — their family’s future.

The Turner House brings us a colorful, complicated brood full of love and pride, sacrifice and unlikely inheritances. It’s a striking examination of the price we pay for our dreams and futures, and the ways in which our families bring us home.

The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste

Algonquin Young Readers, April 28, 2015, Hardcover

The jumbies are coming!

Corinne La Mer isn’t afraid of anything. Not scorpions, not the boys who tease her, and certainly not jumbies. She knows that jumbies aren’t real; they’re just creatures parents make up to frighten their children. But on All Hallows’ Eve, Corinne chases an agouti all the way into the forbidden woods. Those shining yellow eyes that follow her to the edge of the trees, they couldn’t belong to a jumbie. Or could they?

Corinne begins to notice odd occurrences after that night. First she spots a beautiful stranger speaking to the town witch at the market. Then this same beauty, called Severine, turns up at Corinne’s house, cooking dinner for her father. Danger is in the air. Sure enough, bewitching Corinne’s father is the first step in Severine’s plan to claim the entire island for the jumbies. Corinne must call on her courage and her friends and ancient magic to stop Severine and to save her island home.

Ordinary Light: A memoir by Tracy K. Smith

Knopf, March 31, 2015, Hardcover

From the dazzlingly original Pulitzer Prize-winning poet: a quietly potent memoir that explores coming-of-age and the meaning of home against a complex backdrop of race, faith, and the unbreakable bond between a mother and daughter.

The youngest of five children, Tracy K. Smith was raised with limitless affection and a firm belief in God by a stay-at-home mother and an engineer father. But just as Tracy is about to leave home for college, her mother is diagnosed with cancer, a condition she accepts as part of God’s plan. Ordinary Light is the story of a young woman struggling to fashion her own understanding of belief, loss, history, and what it means to be black in America.

In lucid, clear prose, Smith interrogates her childhood in suburban California, her first collision with independence at Harvard, and her Alabama-born parents’ recollections of their own youth in the Civil Rights era. These dizzying juxtapositions — of her family’s past, her own comfortable present, and the promise of her future — will in due course compel Tracy to act on her passions for love and “ecstatic possibility,” and her desire to become a writer.

Shot through with exquisite lyricism, wry humor, and an acute awareness of the beauty of everyday life, Ordinary Light is a gorgeous kaleidoscope of self and family, one that skillfully combines a child’s and teenager’s perceptions with adult retrospection. Here is a universal story of being and becoming, a classic portrait of the ways we find and lose ourselves amid the places we call home.

I am Rosa Parks by Brad Meltzer



Hardcover
June 17, 2014
Dial
I am Rosa Parks (Ordinary People Change World)
by Brad Meltzer (Author), Christopher Eliopoulos (Illustrator)

“We can all be heroes” is the message entertainingly told in this picture-book biography series from #1 New York Times Bestselling author Brad Meltzer.

“Kids always search for heroes, so we might as well have a say in it,” Brad Meltzer realized, and so he envisioned this friendly, fun approach to biography -– for his own kids, and for yours. Each book tells the story of one of America’s icons in a vivacious, conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers, those who aren’t quite ready for the Who Was biography series. Each book focuses on a particular character trait that made that role model heroic. For example, Rosa Parks dared to stand up for herself and other African Americans by staying seated, and as a result she helped end public bus segregation and launch the country’s Civil Rights Movement.

This engaging series is the perfect way to bring American history to life for young children, providing them with the right role models, supplementing Common Core learning in the classroom, and best of all, inspiring them to strive and dream.

Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson



Hardcover
January 2, 2013
One day when Nelson Mandela was nine years old, his father died and he was sent from his village to a school far away from home, to another part of South Africa. In Johannesburg, the country’s capital, Mandela saw fellow Africans who were poor and powerless. He decided then that he would work to protect them. When the government began to keep people apart based on the color of their skin, Mandela spoke out against the law and vowed to fight hard in order to make his country a place that belonged to all South Africans.

Kadir Nelson tells the story of Mandela, a global icon, in poignant verse and glorious illustrations. It is the story of a young boy’s determination to change South Africa and of the struggles of a man who eventually became the president of his country by believing in equality for people of all colors. Readers will be inspired by Mandela’s triumph and his lifelong quest to create a more just world.

Paparazzi Princesses by Bria Williams & Reginae Carter



Hardcover
June 4, 2013
Money and designer clothes. Fame and red carpet events. Front row concert tickets and expensive parties.

That’s the good stuff . . . but being the daughter of a music mogul or a famous rapper isn’t easy. Step inside the lives of Kayla Jones and Promise Walker. As the daughters of two legends of rap music, trips, cash, designer labels and famous friends are just business as usual for Kayla and Promise. But so are the high expectations of super-successful parents, the drama of having two-faced friends, the not-always welcome glare of constant media attention and the hurt of nasty gossip. Add to that the ugly reality that some people would do anything to take their parents down — and Kayla and Promise face a daily struggle to figure out who to trust when everyone is blinded by their dad’s power. To make matters worse, sometimes, they’re not even sure of each other!

Article: Black Girls Hunger for Heroes, Too

What happens when two great black women fiction writers get together to talk about race in young adult literature? That’s exactly what happens in the conversation below, where Zetta Elliott, a black feminist writer of poetry, plays, essays, novels, and stories for children, and award-winning Haitian-American speculative fiction writer Ibi Aanu Zoboi decided to discuss current young adult sci-fi.

Black Girls Hunger for Heroes, Too: A Black Feminist Conversation on Fantasy Fiction for Teens
For the interview post by Zetta Elliott on December 17, 2013 – 3:19pm, click here.


Black feminists have a range of opinions (just ask one about Beyonce), and so it’s always invigorating to share ideas on the topics that matter most to me. Bitch Magazine‘s blog recently published a conversation I had with writer Ibi Zoboi about race and representation in The Hunger Games and YA speculative fiction. Our 45-minute talk amounted to over 5000 words and we had to reduce that to under 2000 words for the blog. We’ve decided to post the rest of our discussion here, and the full podcast will be available on the Bitch Magazine website in 2014.

Black Girls Hunger for Heroes, 2
Zetta Elliott
December 18, 2013
For the interview post by Zetta Elliott, click here.

The Magic Poof by Stephen Hodges, illustrated by T. Kyle Gentry

Kindle


Paperback
Seven year old Ange-Marie has always felt different. Who wouldn’t when your best friend is literally attached to you? The Poof is a great ball of curly hair that sits directly on top of Ange-Marie’s head. His magical and playful nature always seems to produce mischief and adventure. In book one of The Magic Poof series, Ange-Marie must decide what to wear for school picture day. But The Poof also wants to look good for picture day! How does Ange-Marie look her best and keep her enchanted and hairy friend a secret? In the end, both The Poof and Ange-Marie find that compromise is the key in any friendship.

P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia



Rita Williams-Garcia‘s much-anticipated middle-grade novel P.S. Be Eleven is the sequel to her New York Times bestseller One Crazy Summer, a Newbery Honor Book and winner of the Coretta Scott King Award.

Eleven-year-old Brooklyn girl Delphine feels overwhelmed with worries and responsibilities. She’s just started sixth grade and is self-conscious about being the tallest girl in the class, and nervous about her first school dance. She’s supposed to be watching her sisters, but Fern and Vonetta are hard to control. Her uncle Darnell is home from Vietnam and seems different. And her pa has a girlfriend. At least Delphine can write to her mother in Oakland, California, for advice. But why does her mother tell her to “be eleven” when Delphine is now twelve?

The historical novel, set in the 1960s, features vivid characters, insight into family relationships, and a strong sense of place.

P.S. Be Eleven
Rita Williams-Garcia
Amistad
May 21, 2013
Hardcover

The Kid With The Cubed Fro


The all age comic book series starring a super genius kid with a blockish hairdo returns in The Kid With The Cubed Fro #2

“The first issue was just an introduction to the Kid With The Cubed Fro and some of the other characters. But it’s the second issue where the story kicks loose and goes high octane crazy fun.” Says series creator Martin Jackson.

The Kid With the Cubed Fro’s first day of school continues as the alien O’Zha Mutana Razbin returns to seek revenge on the Kid but facing an evil alien warlord isn’t bad enough President Barack Obama needs the kids help because Osama Bin Laden has returned (or at least his brain has) aided with a shape shifting war machine.

For more information on The Kid With the Cubed Fro and other comics from Graffiti On The Sun check out their website http://graffiti-on-the-sun.blogspot.com.

The Kid With the Cubed Fro’s first day of school continues as the alien O’Zha Mutana Razbin returns to seek revenge on the Kid but facing an evil alien warlord isn’t bad enough President Barack Obama needs the kids help because Osama Bin Laden has returned (or at least his brain has) aided with a shape shifting war machine.

The Kid With The Cubed Fro issue 2
Martin Jackson
March 13, 2012
Kindle Edition


Who knew a soft spoken, smart (very very smart) kid would find himself in the middle of so many wild crazy insane adventures.

The Kid With the Cubed Fro follows the adventures of a super genius kid who not only has to deal with the normal hardships of going to school but also due to his high intellect often comes in situations where he most save the world from a number of threats with only his smarts and somethings the help of a few friends to solve.

In the first issue The Kid With The Cubed Fro is the new kid at school. Not only does he have to deal with bullies but he stumbles onto a dark secret about the school lunch food…and if you thought that “food” was nasty the secret makes them even nastier.

The Kid With The Cubed Fro issue 1
Martin Jackson
Graffiti On The Sun
June 28, 2011
Kindle Edition

News: NBA all-star Amar’e Stoudemire to pen middle-grade series ‘STAT’

Children’s book publisher Scholastic announced Thursday it will release a series of middle-grade chapter books written by the NBA all-star. Titled after the 29-year-old player’s nickname, “STAT: Standing Tall and Talented,” the series is based on Stoudemire’s young life growing up with his older brother, landscaper dad and a mom who was in and out of jail.

For more, see Los Angeles Times.

Best Selling Paperback Sale! Buy Two, Get your Third FREE at Barnes & Noble!

Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson

The story of America and African Americans is a story of hope and inspiration and unwavering courage. But it is also the story of injustice; of a country divided by law, education, and wealth; of a people whose struggles and achievements helped define their country.

Kadir Nelson, one of this generation’s most accomplished, award-winning artists, has created an epic yet intimate introduction to the history of America and African Americans, from colonial days through the civil rights movement. Written in the voice of an “Everywoman,” an unnamed narrator whose forebears came to this country on slave ships and who lived to cast her vote for the first African American president, Heart and Soul touches on some of the great transformative events and small victories of that history. This inspiring book demonstrates that in gaining their freedom and equal rights, African Americans helped our country achieve its promise of liberty and justice — the true heart and soul of our nation.

Best Selling Paperback Sale! Buy Two, Get your Third FREE at Barnes & Noble!

Planet of Success by Shirley Woods

Planet of Success

A children’s book based on building character and not judging people on their appearances but by their actions and deeds….

Summertime Productions
Available August 26, 2010 in Kindle Edition

The Playground is Dirty

A page-turning novel based on true events, that identifies today’s teenagers in a love triangle between best friends that begins to unravel by deceit, sexual promiscuity and a brush with death by the choices they make.

Summertime Productions
March 18, 2013
Kindle Edition

Eight Days by Edwidge Danticat

From National Book Award nominee Edwidge Danticat comes a timely, brilliantly crafted story of hope and imagination–a powerful tribute to Haiti and children around the world!

Hope comes alive in this heartfelt and deeply resonating story.

While Junior is trapped for 8 days beneath his collapsed house after an earthquake, he uses his imagination for comfort. Drawing on beautiful, everyday-life memories, Junior paints a sparkling picture of Haiti for each of those days–flying kites with his best friend or racing his sister around St. Marc’s Square–helping him through the tragedy until he is finally rescued.

Love and hope dance across each page–granting us a way to talk about resilience as a family, a classroom, or a friend.

Eight Days
Edwidge Danticat (Author), Alix Delinois (Illustrator)

Orchard Books
Available September 1, 2010 in Hardcover

Awake by Wendy Raven McNair

AWAKE is book 2 of a YA fantasy trilogy told from the perspective of an African American teen girl, Adisa Summers. Adisa and Micah’s saga continues as the teen couple race against time to save Micah. However conflict interferes with their efforts as well as other forces in the super world. When Adisa tries to secretly meet the parents who abandoned her, an explosive confrontation with Micah drives the couple apart and threatens to destroy them both. Adisa must conquer her fears and take a stand now that she’s finally Awake.

Wendy Raven McNair
Available September 20, 2010 in Paperback

Sugar Plum Ballerinas: Terrible Terrel by Whoopi Goldberg

Terrel is always in charge, whether she’s making lists for grocery shopping (her favorite hobby, AFTER ballet), keeping her brothers in line, or organizing father-daughter time in with her dad. Lately, though, her dad’s been acting a little strange–wearing new clothes and way too much aftershave. Things get even weirder when he surprises Terrel with his new girlfriend during a night out at the ballet – a night that was supposed to be father-daughter time. What’s more, his “date” brought her niece along. A niece who turns out to be Terrel’s ballerina nemesis, Tiara Girl! With some Sugar Plum help, Terrel takes charge of breaking up her father’s new relationship.

Sugar Plum Ballerinas: Terrible Terrel
Whoopi Goldberg (Author)
Maryn Roos (Illustrator)

Hyperion Book CH
Available October 5, 2010 in Paperback

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters by Barack Obama

In this tender, beautiful letter to his daughters, President Barack Obama has written a moving tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation. From the artistry of Georgia O’Keeffe, to the courage of Jackie Robinson, to the patriotism of George Washington, President Obama sees the traits of these heroes within his own children, and within all of America’s children.

Breathtaking, evocative illustrations by award-winning artist Loren Long at once capture the personalities and achievements of these great Americans and the innocence and promise of childhood.

This beautiful book celebrates the characteristics that unite all Americans, from our nation’s founders to generations to come. It is about the potential within each of us to pursue our dreams and forge our own paths. It is a treasure to cherish with your family forever.

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters by Barack Obama
Illustrated by Loren Long

Knopf Books for Young Readers
Available November 16, 2010 in Hardcover

Kendra by Coe Booth

Kendra’s mom, Renee, had her when she was only 14 years old. Renee and her mom made a deal — Renee could get an education, and Kendra would live with her grandmother. But now Renee’s out of grad school and Kendra’s in high school … and getting into some trouble herself. Kendra’s grandmother lays down the law: It’s time for Renee to take care of her daughter. Kendra wants this badly — even though Renee keeps disappointing her. Being a mother isn’t easy, but being a daughter can be just as hard. Now it’s up to Kendra and Renee to make it work.

Push
Available May 1, 2010 in Mass Market Paperback

Mirror, Beware! by Dream Summore

Antoinette Rodgers, known by everyone as Toni, is a stunning, vibrant, young girl that loves the Lord with aspirations of playing in the WNBA. Toni is torn between what she knows to be true and her dream of being a basketball star when she meets a famous, rap artist. Toni becomes addicted to this new way of life causing her to turn away from God and into a downward spiral of destructive behavior. Will Toni be able to find her way back to God, discover true love, and fulfill her dream? Or, is it too late for Tonis dreams to become reality?

See why this book is so inspirational, so real, and has such an impact where people want other spin-off stories or Sagas. You can get on GStreetChronicles.com (Inspirational Side); www.DreamSummore.webs.com (while personalized autographed copies lasts) and www.Dream4More.us. YA Inspirational Drama. Adults 80 and under are reading it now.

G Street Chronicles
Available June 30, 2010 in Paperback

Real Street Kidz: Chasing Action by Quentin Holmes



The Real Street Kidz are Chasing Action!

Join Q, Lucky, Los, and Chase — a diverse group of preteens who must pull together in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles–in this unique coming of age story. When rumors fly around Long Beach that Chase, a rising skateboarder, cheated to defeat his former best friend in the Annual Long Beach Skateboard Competition, Chase becomes very determined to get a rematch to prove everyone wrong. But Chase and his new crew must rely on the plans of Q, the new kid, to get an all new skate park at the local neighborhood center for the rematch despite many unforeseen obstacles.

Will the Real Street Kidz trust Q’s plans? Will they form a tight bond or will their differences tear them apart? Will Chase get his rematch? Join Q and the crew to find out!

Dog Ear Publishing, LLC
Available May 3, 2010 in Paperback

Black Jack: The Ballad of Jack Johnson

Black Jack: The Ballad of Jack Johnson
Charles R. Smith Jr. (Author), Shane W. Evans (Illustrator)

Roaring Brook Press
Available 06/22/10 in Hardcover

Born as Arthur John Johnson in the southern state of Texas, Jack Johnson was one of the most renowned boxers of the 20th century. Through hard work and persistence he climbed the ranks, taking a swing and a jab and eventually busting the color barrier. As the first black man to win the Heavyweight Championship, there was more than a title on the line. Published to commemorate the 100th anniversary of this history-making bout (July 4, 1910), this is an extraordinary marriage of poetry, fabulous collage artwork, and a splendid achievement in its own right.