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Celebrating Black History 2019

February is Black History Month. The following nonfiction titles present informative, inspirational, and moving stories about notable African American people and events, to be shared with readers all year long. See also our Five Questions interview with Claire Hartfield, winner of the 2019 Coretta Scott King Author Award for A Few Red Drops: The Chicago […]

Five questions for Claire Hartfield

With painstaking historical detail, Claire Hartfield’s nonfiction book  A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 (Clarion, 12–16 years) recounts the week of violence in 1919 Chicago that left thirty-eight people dead and 537 wounded (two-thirds of the casualties were black; one-third, white) and the underlying causes leading to the conflict. Hartfield is […]

Reflections on Black Children’s Literature: A Historical Perspective

The ideas expressed below were originally written in response to an opinion piece written by publisher Denene Millner, which ran in The New York Times on March 10, 2018. Though most of the write-up below speaks to this particular opinion article, it has been slightly modified to address some of the expressed viewpoints in her […]

Review of Martin Rising: Requiem for a King

Martin Rising: Requiem for a King by Andrea Davis Pinkney; 
illus. by Brian Pinkney Intermediate, Middle School    Scholastic    128 pp. 1/18    978-0-545-70253-9    $19.99 A creative poetic celebration of the contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. that also, as a song for the dead, includes a meticulous explanation of how and why he died. Henny Penny […]

#HBBlackHistoryMonth18

Our commemoration of Black History Month continues with the following new picture books for older readers that recognize African American, Afro Caribbean, and South African trailblazers and pioneers. (And huge congratulations to all of this year’s Coretta Scott King Award winners!) Throughout February The Horn Book is highlighting articles, speeches, and reviews from our archive […]

Review of The United States v. Jackie Robinson

The United States v. Jackie Robinson by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen; illus. by R. Gregory Christie Primary    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    40 pp. 1/18    978-0-06-228784-7    $17.99 “Long before anyone had heard of Rosa Parks, a guy named Jack refused to move to the back of the bus.” So begins the story of baseball star Jackie Robinson…before he was […]

Frederick Douglass booklist

Need to refresh your knowledge of great abolitionist Frederick Douglass? Want to introduce his life and accomplishments to a young reader? Looking for books about Douglass to round out your Black History Month or social justice reading recommendations? The following children’s and teen books, all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and Guide at the […]

Review of Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer 
Ann Cole Lowe

Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer 
Ann Cole Lowe by Deborah Blumenthal; 
illus. by Laura Freeman Primary    Little Bee    40 pp. 1/17    978-1-4998-0239-9    $17.99    g While the fashion world continues to recognize her work, many do not know the name Ann Cole Lowe. Blumenthal and Freeman have teamed up to place the spotlight […]

Review of You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen

You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen by Carole Boston Weatherford; 
illus. by Jeffery Boston Weatherford Intermediate, Middle School    Atheneum    82 pp. 5/16    978-1-4814-4938-0    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-4940-3    $10.99 Thirty-two poems written in the second person bring to life the experiences of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. Pilots, bombardiers, instructors, maintenance workers, and navigators […]

Freedom Summer and Black History

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Freedom Summer, a touchstone in the civil rights movement. The following nonfiction books highlight important turning points in African American history. And for more on Freedom Summer, read Kathleen T. Horning’s Five Questions interview with Don Mitchell (author of the new The Freedom Summer Murders, Scholastic, 14–17 years) […]