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Lift Every Voice: Dreams Never Realized

My mom and dad truly laid the foundation for my writing life by reading to me and my siblings every night — giving me a heart for stories. And there were many moments that followed that inspired my literary journey. Here is one. In February of 1991, my father showed me some poems he had […]

Spring 2019 Publishers’ Preview: Five Questions for Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Spring 2019 Publishers’ Previews, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by The once-renowned African American bronco-buster George Fletcher rides […]

On Vaunda Micheaux Nelson’s “Mind the Gaps: Books for ALL Young Readers” (from 2015)

In her article from the March/April 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine, author Vaunda Micheaux Nelson looks back at her bookish childhood and how it informs her work as a youth services librarian in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. African Americans are just three percent of that city’s population — “so even fewer black teenagers […]

Review of Don’t Call Me Grandma

Don’t Call Me Grandma by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson; 
illus. by Elizabeth Zunon Primary   Carolrhoda   32 pp. 2/16   978-1-4677-4208-5   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-4677-9559-3   $19.99 Ninety-six-year-old great-grandmother, Nell, doesn’t answer to “Grandma.” She doesn’t do hugs and kisses. She growls her disapproval at her great-granddaughter, who narrates this book. But belying Nell’s starchy exterior is the […]

Review of The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore

The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem’s 
Greatest Bookstore by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson; illus. by R. Gregory Christie Primary, Intermediate   Carolrhoda   32 pp. 11/15   978-0-7613-3943-4   $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4677-4618-2   $17.99 If the central character of Nelson’s Boston Globe–Horn Book Award-winning No Crystal Stair (rev. 3/12) was the author’s great-uncle, Lewis Michaux, this picture book adaptation […]

Vaunda Micheaux Nelson on The Book Itch

In our November/December issue, our editors asked Vaunda Micheaux Nelson about revisiting the source material of her BGHB Award–winning No Crystal Stair in new picture book The Book Itch. Read the full review of The Book Itch here. Horn Book Editors: What compelled you to revisit the material from No Crystal Stair to create your […]

Mind the Gaps: Books for ALL Young Readers

When Roger invited me to deliver the keynote for today’s program, I was a bit intimidated. He told me that the idea for the “Mind the Gaps” theme was inspired by Christopher Myers’s essay “Young Dreamers,” published in The Horn Book last November. Christopher’s essay grew from the ongoing question: where are the people of […]

No Crystal Stair

No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson; illustrated by R. Gregory Christie Documents, photos, fictionalized and true accounts of historical figures and events are woven together in this portrait of Nelson’s larger-than-life great uncle Lewis Michaux. What to you make of the […]

No Crystal Stair: Author Vaunda Micheaux Nelson’s 2012 BGHB Fiction Award Speech

“Knowledge is power! You need it every hour! Read a book!” With words like these, how could I have resisted falling under the spell of Lewis Michaux? I am thrilled that his story has been embraced by so many others. The man who said, “If you don’t know and you ain’t got no dough, then […]

Five questions for Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

To tell the complex story of her great-uncle, bookseller Lewis Michaux, 2010 Coretta Scott King Author Award–winner (for Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal) Vaunda Micheaux Nelson employs an amalgamation of historical research, family stories, and her own imagination. No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and […]