Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is from a few weeks ago, September 7th. And, although it’s a question that specifically asks about picture books, I decided to go above and beyond.
Books for My Younger Self [Picture Books Little Me Would Have Loved]
All the books featured in this post were written by Black authors (except one) and feature Black female protagonists.
- Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry, Vashti Harrison
- I Am Enough by Grace Byers, Keturah A. Bobo
- Brown Sugar Babe by Charlotte Watkins Sherman, Akem (Illustrator)
Oh. My. Gosh. This is a book I so wish I had when I was young. When I was growing up there were NO books like this. As a matter of fact, I don’t ever recall reading a picture book that had a black female protagonist that discussed her dark skin. So it warms my heart to see this and to instill that there is nothing wrong with being a dark-skinned girl.
- Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman, Caroline Binch (Illustrator)
I loved this story because she proves, in spite of what others say, that a black girl can play Peter Pan and do it amazingly.
- Patina by Jason Reynolds
As a former runner, sprinter to be exact, I really enjoyed this story. Some of it rang true to me – like the taunts from kids at my fancy-schmancy school. But overall it’s a good story about learning to trust others.
- Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams
I haven’t read this one yet, but I’m sure it’s going to be amazing. It hit my radar because a fellow booktuber read and reviewed it. Even though Middle Grade, it seems to be a hard hitting book about colorism and internalized racism. The main character Genesis is a 13-year-old girl who is filled with self-loathing because she is dark-skinned. People, including her family, call her charcoal and eggplant because she is so dark. And, Genesis must find a way to love herself.
- Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz, Renee Watson
Admittedly, I don’t know a lot about Betty Shabazz, the wife of Malcom X. And, I think this is a really comprehensive overview of the life and activism of Betty Shabazz.
- War Girls by Tochi Onyebuci
Nigerian sisters who kick ass in wartime. War Girls is rooted in the Nigeria/Biafra Civil War. Sisters Onyii and Ify dream of peace in their war-torn country and are willing to fight for their freedom and for peace. And, let’s just take a moment to give this cover some love.
- The Skin I’m In by Sharon G. Flake
This is the story of a young dark-skinned girl who is taunted by her classmates because she is darker. The premise is about loving yourself – love the skin you’re in.
- Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson
This is the story of young black girl, Jade, from a not so great neighborhood who goes to an all white high school. Piecing Me Together explores race, privilege, identity and friendships.
- The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Juanauda Petrus
The Stars and the Blackness Between is a story of two teenage girls finding love and happiness. Audre is from Trinidad and is sent to live in America when it’s discovered she’s been in a secret relationship with another girl. Mabel is trying to figure out some complicated feelings that she has towards her ex-boyfriend and best friend Jada.
When I was in high school I didn’t see books with teenage girls in female/female romantic relationships. And, the reality is that those relationships didn’t really exist in public either. I’m sure had this book been out it certainly would have been banned in my high school library. As a Cis Het Female who has friends within the LGBTQIA+ community, I’m thrilled to see more books like these being published and finding their way into the hands of our young people who identify as queer.
Have you read any of these? Do you have any books with numbers in the title?
And, don’t forget to check out my Booktube channel.