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.”

In this June's Notes from the Horn Book we shared a booklist of recent fiction and nonfiction picture books starring Caribbean people or those of Caribbean descent. And read Roger's January/February 2022 Publishers' Preview interview with Lisa Stringfellow about her Caribbean-set novel A Comb of Wishes.

The May/June 2021 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: The Pura Belpré Award at 25 offered 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 that 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 "books by Caribbean-based and Caribbean self-identified authors," including Elizabeth Acevedo's 2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Fiction and Poetry 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 (find this year's winners here), was the winner of the 2021 LA Times Book Prize, a BGHB Fiction and Poetry honoree, 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 author Emma Otheguy's September/October 2020 Horn Book article "Children's Books and Contradictions.


More 2020-2022 titles (reviews available in the Guide/Reviews Database) include:

Picture Books: 

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

A Song of Frutas by Margarita Engle; illus. by Sara Palacios (Atheneum)

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

Anteaters, Bats & Boas: The Amazon Rainforest from the Forest Floor to the Treetops by Roxie Munro (Holiday)

Charlotte and the Nutcracker: The True Story of a Girl Who Made Ballet History by Charlotte Nebres and Sarah Warren; illus. by Alea Marley (Random)

Climb On! by Baptiste Paul; illus. by Jacqueline Alcántara (NorthSouth)

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

Alicia Alonso Dances On by Rose Viña; illus. by Gloria Félix (Whitman)

Intermediate/Middle School:

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

Speak Up, Speak Out!: The Extraordinary Life of Fighting Shirley Chisholm by Tonya Bolden (National)

Isla to Island by Alexis Castellanos (Atheneum)

Cuba in My Pocket by Adrianna Cuevas (Farrar)

Rima's Rebellion: Courage in a Time of Tyranny by Margarita Engle (Atheneum)

When Life Gives You Mangos by Kereen Getten (Delacorte)

Black Boy Joy edited by Kwame Mbalia (Delacorte)

Sofía Acosta Makes a Scene by Emma Otheguy (Random)


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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