National Caribbean American Heritage Month

June is National Caribbean American Heritage Month, which celebrates “the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States.” There are many ways to participate — see the calendar of events.

The May/June Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: The Pura Belpré Award at 25 offers many thoughtful and fascinating articles, including William García-Medina's "AfroLatin@ Children's Literature, Education, and the Black Diaspora" and Meg Medina's "What the Pura Belpré Award Means to Me." Local librarian and 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards judge Sujei Lugo was this issue's consulting editor; she also served as guest editor of online Caribbean children’s literature magazine Anansesem's May 2019 Special Issue: Puerto Rico

Don’t miss the November/December 2017 Horn Book Magazine article “Beyond the “Four Fs”: Caribbean Own Voices” by Summer Edward, Anansesem's founder and editor in chief emerita. Here's Anansesem's 2020 list of "#ownvoices books by Caribbean-based and Caribbean self-identified authors," including Elizabeth Acevedo's 2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Fiction honoree Clap When You Land (see her acceptance video here; read the acceptance speech; and read our five questions with the author here).

Ibi Zoboi, former winner of the Américas Award (for American Street), was the winner of the 2021 LA Times Book Prize and a National Book Award finalist for her YA verse novel Punching the Air. Read her pivotal article "A Fine Bookshelf." And don't miss Emma Otheguy's September/October 2020 Horn Book article "Children's Books and Contradictions." 

 

More 2020-2021 titles include:

Picture Books: 

Anita and the Dragons by Hannah Carmona; illus. by Anna Cunha (Lantana) 

Malaika’s Surprise by Nadia L. Hohn; illus. by  Irene Luxbacher (Groundwood) 

To Carnival!: A Celebration in St Lucia by Baptiste Paul; illus. by Jana Glatt (Barefoot) 

Intermediate/Middle School

The Year I Flew Away by Marie Arnold (Versify/Houghton) 

When Life Gives You Mangos by Kereen Getten (Delacorte)

YA

Where the Rhythm Takes You by Sarah Dass (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins) 

Your Heart, My Sky: Love in a Time of Hunger by Margarita Engle (Atheneum) 

Charming as a Verb by Ben Philippe (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins) 

 

Follow these links for more recommended titles, in collaboration with Summer Edward; and we thank Summer for her additional book suggestions (biographies and autobiographies of influential Caribbean figures; through 2019) here.

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