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Caribbean American Heritage Month 2018

June is Caribbean American Heritage Month — which celebrates “the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States” — and this week (June 18-22) is the twentieth annual Caribbean American Legislative Week in Washington, DC. You can find lots of great information, book recommendations, and resources at this link from last year.

Don’t miss the November/December 2017 Horn Book Magazine article “Beyond the “Four Fs”: Caribbean Own Voices” by Summer Edward, founder and editor in chief of Caribbean children’s literature magazine Anansesem. Here’s Anansesem’s list of 2018 Own Voices releases — including Horn Book–reviewed Hurricane Child, The Flying GirlThe FieldThe Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary; the upcoming Auntie Luce’s Talking Paintings by Friend of The Horn Book Francie Latour (co-founder of Wee the People); new work by Meg Medina (read her Horn Book article “On Writing the American Familia”) and Ibi Zoboi (“A Fine Bookshelf”), whose YA novel American Street won the 2018 Américas Award; and 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Fiction and Poetry Award winner The Poet X. You can also read Roger’s “Talks with” interview with Jumbies series author Tracey Baptiste.

Follow these links for recommended titles, in collaboration with Summer Edward; and we thank Summer for her additional book suggestions (biographies and autobiographies of influential Caribbean figures) below:

Picture Books

Alicia Alonso: Prima Ballerina by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, illus. by Raúl Colón (Cavendish, 2011)

Olympic Hero: Lennox Kilgour’s Story by Joanne Kilgour Dowdy, illus. by Dillon Sedar (Caribbean Studies Press, 2014)

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle, illus. by Rafael López (Houghton, 2015)

Marcus Garvey by Suzanne Francis-Brown, illus. by Jean-Jacques Vayssières (Ian Randall, 2007)

The Storyteller’s Candle / La velita de los cuentos by Lucía González, illus. by Lulu Delacre (Children’s, 2008)

José Martí [Cuando los grandes eran pequeños] by Georgina Lazaro, illus. by María Sánchez (Lectorum, 2007)

Julia de Burgos [Cuando los grandes eran pequeños] by Georgina Lazaro, illus. by Poli Marichal (Lectorum, 2006)

The Boy from Nine Miles: The Early Life of Bob Marley by Cedella Marley and Gerald Hausman, illus. by Mariah Fox (Hampton, 2002)

A Man Called Garvey: The Life and Times of the Great Leader Marcus Garvey [Wisdom for Children] by Paloma Mohamed, illus. by Barrington Braithwaite (Majority Press, 2003)

Martí’s Song for Freedom / Martí y sus versos por la libertad by Emma Otheguy, translated by Adriana Domínguez, illustrated by Beatriz Vidal (Children’s/Lee & Low, 2017)

Clemente! by Willie Perdomo, illus. by Bryan Collier (Holt, 2010)

Conoce a José Martí / Get to Know José Martí [Personajes del Mundo Hispanico] by Antonio Orlando Rodríguez, illus. by Pablo de Bella (Santillana, 2015)

El rey de las octavas / The King of Octaves by Emma Romeu, illus. by Enrique S. Moreiro (Lectorum, 2007)

Turning Pages: My Life Story by Sonia Sotomayor, illus. by Lulu Delacre (Philomel, 2018)

Early Readers

Hoorah for Mary Seacole [Hopscotch Histories] by Trish Cooke, illus. by Anni Axworthy (Franklin Watts, 2008)

Middle Grade to Young Adult

Anacaona: Golden Flower [Royal Diaries] by Edwidge Danticat (Scholastic, 2005)

Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir by Margarita Engle, illus. by Edel Rodriguez (Atheneum, 2015)

The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba’s Greatest Abolitionist by Margarita Engle (Harcourt, 2013)

Lion Island: Cuba’s Warrior of Words by Margarita Engle (Atheneum, 2016)

The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano by Margarita Engle (Holt, 2006)

All for the Better: A Story of el Barrio [Stories of America] by Nicholasa Mohr, illus. by Rudy Gutierrez (Raintree, 1993)

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