A Computer Called Katherine by Suzanne Slade

Katherine knew it was wrong that African Americans didn’t have the same rights as others–as wrong as 5+5=12. She knew it was wrong that people thought women could only be teachers or nurses–as wrong as 10-5=3. And she proved everyone wrong by zooming ahead of her classmates, starting college at fifteen, and eventually joining NASA, where her calculations helped pioneer America’s first manned flight into space, its first manned orbit of Earth, and the world’s first trip to the moon!

Parker Looks Up
by Jessica Curry and Parker Curry

When Parker Curry came face-to-face with Amy Sherald’s transcendent portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery, she didn’t just see the First Lady of the United States. She saw a queen—one with dynamic self-assurance, regality, beauty, and truth who captured this young girl’s imagination. When a nearby museum-goer snapped a photo of a mesmerized Parker, it became an internet sensation. Inspired by this visit, Parker, and her mother, Jessica Curry, tell the story of a young girl and her family, whose trip to a museum becomes an extraordinary moment, in a moving picture book. Parker Looks Up follows Parker, along with her baby sister and her mother, and her best friend Gia and Gia’s mother, as they walk the halls of a museum, seeing paintings of everyone and everything from George Washington Carver to Frida Kahlo, exotic flowers to graceful ballerinas. Then, Parker walks by Sherald’s portrait of Michelle Obama…and almost passes it. But she stops…and looks up! Parker saw the possibility and promise, the hopes and dreams of herself in this powerful painting of Michelle Obama. An everyday moment became an extraordinary one…that continues to resonate its power, inspiration, and indelible impact. Because, as Jessica Curry said, “anything is possible regardless of race, class, or gender.

The 5 o’clock Band by Troy Andrews

After letting his band down by missing rehearsal, a boy called Shorty has some serious questions about what it means to be a leader. He hits the streets of New Orleans to find some answers and to soak up some inspiration. Along the way, he’ll meet people who have their own special wisdom to share about being an artist, a leader, and a friend.

The Hula Hooping Queen by Thelma Lynne Godin

Kameeka is confident that today she will finally beat her rival, Jamara, and become the Hula-Hoopin Queen of 139th Street. But then Mama reminds her that today is their neighbor Miz Adeline’s birthday, and Kameeka has a ton of chores to do to get ready for the party they are hosting. Kameeka is disappointed to be stuck at home and can only think about the hoopin competition. Distracted, Kameeka accidentally ruins Miz Adeline’s birthday cake, and has to confess to her that there won’t be a cake for her special day. But then Miz Adeline s confesses something too: she’s also got the hula-hoopin itch! Her fingers start snappin . Her hips start swingin . Soon everyone’s hips are swinging as the party spills out onto the street. The whole neighborhood got the hula-hoopin itch! With vibrant illustrations by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, The Hula-Hoopin Queen is a charming celebration of family and community ties. Set in Harlem, this intergenerational story shows the importance of staying young at heart.

 

Mary Had a Little Glam by Tammi Sauer

This little Mary has STYLE! In this fun take on Mother Goose, fashion-forward Mary helps some of childhood’s most beloved characters go glam. From the kid who lives in a shoe (and dons some fab footwear, too) to Jack, who breaks his crown but gets a great new one, Mary’s school friends look fantastic in their finery. But are they now too well dressed for recess? Not to worry—Mary always shows her flair for what to wear!

My Camel wants to be an Unicorn
by Julia Insetto

Have you ever had a friend who was mopey and blue? Did you try everything to cheer them up and yet they were still down? Did you ever think to ask, “How can I help?” 

Come along on this fun and silly adventure and find out just why My Camel Wants To Be a Unicorn. 

You might be surprised. Great story to introduce the concept of empathy — don’t make assumptions about others, ask and observe. 

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters
by John Steptoe

Inspired by a traditional African folktale, this is the story of Mufaro, who is proud of his two beautiful daughters. Nyasha is kind and considerate, but everyone—except Mufaro—knows that Manyara is selfish and bad-tempered.

When the Great King decides to take a wife and invites the most worthy and beautiful daughters in the land to appear before him, Mufaro brings both of his daughters—but only one can be queen. Who will the king choose ?

Jabuti the tortoise: A Trickster Tale from the Amazon
by Gerald McDermott

Of all the animals in the rainforest, Jabutí was the favorite. His shell was smooth and shiny, and the songs he played on his flute were sweet.

But his music was a reminder, too, of the mischievous pranks Jabutí sometimes played. His song reminded Tapir of being tricked, Jaguar of being fooled, and time and again it reminded Vulture that he had no song at all. When a concert takes place in heaven, Vulture offers to fly Jabutí there . . . all the while plotting a trick of his own.

Grandma Lena’s Big Ol’Turnip
by Denia Hester

Grandma Lena believes that something worth doing is worth doing right. So she takes good care of the turnips she plants in her garden. One turnip grows to an enormous size―Baby Pearl thinks it’s a big potato! It is big enough to feed half the town. And it’s so big that Grandma can’t pull it out of the ground! Even when Grandpa, Uncle Izzy, Aunt Netty, and the dog help Grandma yank and tug, the big ol’ turnip doesn’t budge. Still, this African-American family, including Baby Pearl, knows how to pull together.

“Hair Love” by Matthew A. Cherry

Hair Love, celebrates the relationship between a father and daughter while also celebrating Black hair. Zuri’s mom has been away, and she wants an extra special hairstyle to welcome her home. With daddy’s help and after a few tries, this daddy daughter duo work to make the special occasion special indeed. 

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