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7 Children's Books by African American Authors

Updated: May 1, 2020

by Anne Berkley

African American Children’s books written by African American authors are a wonderful addition to any household. Join us weekly for new features and mentions as we prepare for International Children’s Book Day on April 2nd. Authors both far and wide will be gathered on our list of exceptional reads for your little one. A combination of reading materials for both boys and girls, we’re looking to expand your little one’s reading library this Spring. Support, like and share your favorite titles, contact your favorite authors and most importantly, leave a review!

1. HBCU Proud by Yvette Manns

The book "HBCU Proud" written by Yvette Manns follows a young boy as he goes on a college tour at his aunt's alma mater "Legacy University." During his tour, he learns first hand on why HBCU's were created, its rich history, how the areas have changed in the present day and he also witnesses first hand how excited his aunt gets when she runs into a fellow alum. The book is a picture book on a 3rd-grade reading level.

2. The Day I Became a Hero by Lisa K. Stephenson

Cozy up to this enticing adventure starring Lillian Hunter, an ordinary girl with astounding abilities: she has super powers!

It’s the first day back to school for this fourth grader and Lillian couldn’t be happier enjoying the cool weather, playing and spending time with her friends. There are even new friends for her to make, including a new teacher who can’t wait to meet Lillian, having heard of how studious she is. But where there are friends, there are foes and when a curious Harley—a close friend to Lillian—finds himself in a whirlwind of trouble, a valiant Lillian races to his aid. But outnumbered and alone, Lillian and Harley fear for their safety causing Lillian to feel a strange, tingling feeling in the center of her palms. Just as she deflects, attempting to ward off their bullies she springs into action, the elements from her palms saving them just in the nick of time. Learning to control her powers, fighting off bullies and helping others in her neighborhood, Lillian is unstoppable and is just what her peers need.

3. Olivia Jackson and the Great Cupcake Caper by Daralynn Walker

Young girls of color can now see characters who look like them in the new book series, Madison Miles & Friends. This exciting book series focuses on self-identity, character, faith, and fun that young black girls experience. Each book consists of 100 pages and 10 chapters of colorful illustrations for those transitioning from character books to chapter books.

Olivia Jackson and the Great Cupcake Caper explores the life of a girl who seems to have it all but is experiencing stress as she tries to maintain her studies, friendships, and her first big cupcake order.

4. Madison Miles and the Big, Big Move by Daralynn Walker

Madison Miles and the Big, Big Move features a 12-year- old’s struggling with the adjustment dealing with bullying and more after a big move from Georgia to Michigan.

5. Respectful Lil’ Mac by Clarence McFerren II

Every summer, Lil’ Mac can hardly wait to visit his family out in the country. Summers in Fayette County, Tennessee, move at a different pace than life in Lil’ Mac’s urban city home, and every year Lil’ Mac makes the most of it. This year, he faces quite a trial when his cousin Perry challenges him to a race, but he soon finds out he has much more to learn than how to run fast. Join Lil’ Mac and find out how he discovers respect is an important character trait no matter who you’re with.

6. Resilient Lil’ Mac by Clarence McFerren II

As a superb academic student and star football athlete, Lil’ Mac is very familiar with being in the spotlight. On the field and in the classroom, everyone always counts on Lil’ Mac to be prepared for the unexpected. When the day of the city championship football game finally arrives, Lil’ Mac faces the unimaginable. Will Mrs. Johnson and his classmates ever let him live this down?

7. Responsible Lil’ Mac by Clarence McFerren II

Being an only child can be hard sometimes, especially for Lil’ Mac who just knows he’d make a great big brother. Lil’ Mac would love a playmate to share wonderful experiences with, but when he hears there’s a baby on the way, he’s in for a surprise!

Having a little sister is exhausting! Lil’ Mac does his best to help, and he knows Mama is exhausted because of the many duties newborn Ebony brings with her. Will Lil’ Mac understand that a new baby is not always fun and games?


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