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Books for African American boys


My son is 7 and starting to read chapter books.  He is black and most of the books he gets from the library in his school are about white kids. He likes them but comments on the fact that the kids are white.  I know he would love some books in which a black boy is the main character, we had them for when he was younger but for some reason don’t have them now.

Does anyone have suggestions?  The book should not be about being black, or about being adopted, just about some adventure, or a boy with his dog, or something about school, etc.

Thanks for any suggestions you may have!

Replies

Oh, I love books—-especially chidren’s books.  But you’re right—-there aren’t many out there (at least that I’ve found!)

One that comes to mind immediately:
C. P. Curtis—-Bud, Not Buddy (wonderful book about an orphaned African-American boy looking for his father; great read aloud, also great audiobook edition)

Teammates (Peter Golenbock) about Jackie Robinson and confronting racism in baseball

Admittedly, I haven’t read the following but they look good and are by Newberry Honor winning & Coretta Scott King winning authors Patricia & Fredrick McKissack.  They have a “stepping stone” series featuring Miami Jackson.  Looks just right for beginning chapter readers.  I’m also going to search their other books—-they look good, too.

Another series featuring an African-American boy:  Ann Cameron’s “Julian” series.  (can’t comment on how good it is—-my son is younger—-haven’t read yet)  Ann Cameron has also written about “Huey”. 

It sure is fun looking!  Good luck!

Posted by MargBar11 on Feb 16, 2011 at 12:34am

Whoops!  Couldn’t resist—-

The “Ziggy” series by Sharon M. Draper.

Posted by MargBar11 on Feb 16, 2011 at 12:36am

We loved Bud, Not Buddy in our family and, even more, by the same author “The Watsons Go to Birmingham.”  All the books by Mildred Taylor “Roll of THunder Hear My Cry.”  These may be a few years down the road for you.

Here’s a list of childrens books that feature diverse races that was compiled for AF by librarians:  There are some good reads here, organized by age.
http://www.adoptivefamilies.com/articles.php?aid=898

Love this topic…Look forward to hearing from other AFC members with book suggestions

Posted by SusanC on Feb 16, 2011 at 3:13am

Hi!  This is a good link to some wonderful books:

http://www.slcpl.lib.ut.us/good_reads.jsp?parent_id=346&page_id=348

It’s great that you are looking for books for your child!  Encouraging children to lose themselves in books is one of the best things a parent can do!

Kathryn

Posted by VintageMom on Feb 16, 2011 at 3:43am

The Mildred Taylor books mentioned above were some of my absolute favorites growing up…it’s funny, I was thinking about picking them up again the other day! smile

Jessie

Posted by ColoradoGardenGirl on Feb 18, 2011 at 7:11pm

Thanks so much for these suggestions!  I wrote them all down and we will head for the library this week!

Els

Posted by EJH on Feb 20, 2011 at 9:39pm

Though not awarding winning, if you want to get your son to read try Captain Underpants by Dave Pilkey.  It is a series and my 8 yo son cannot get enough!  It is all potty humor and boogers (actually pretty funny and clever stuff) about 2 best friends (one white and one black) 4th grade boys.  Enjoy the silly humor together!

Posted by denvercl on Feb 25, 2011 at 10:58pm

Ezra Jack Keats has written a variety of books some of which have an African American boy as the main character.  A Letter to Amy, Googles, Petop, Peter’s Chair, Keats Neighbourhood and a Whistle for Willie.  Also, if you go on Amazon.com, search for kids books, then limit to African American you will get quite a list as well.

Posted by Karen011 on Feb 26, 2011 at 3:19am

When your son is a little older I would recommend Small Steps by Louis Sacher-it’s kind of a sequel to Holes. And have others covered all of Christopher Paul Curtis’ titles? There are at least three. Again, when your son is older he might like Walter Dean Myers’ titles.  Both Louis Sacher and Walter Dean Myers’ are young adult books, so about 6th grade and up. You might also look at the “My America” series (various authors) which are historical fiction.

Posted by Kay Marner on Feb 27, 2011 at 6:39pm

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