African American Authors
Ms. Booth uses her experience as a social worker to create realistic characters with a lot of drama in their lives.
Alice Childress was born in Charleston, but she grew up in Harlem. Her book A Hero Ain’t Nothing But a Sandwich was one of the first teen novels to portray drug abuse.
Johnson writes beautiful, short books that squeeze a lot of meaning out of a few words.
Christopher Paul Curtis
Try this Newbery award winner’s Bucking the Sarge for a funny look at a young man who must outsmart his mean, mean mama.
For a satisfying romance, try Davidson’s Jason & Kyra or if you like a little more drama, don’t miss Played.
When Woodson was a kid, she wrote a poem about Martin Luther King that was so good everybody thought she’d copied it. Nowadays nobody doubts her abilities to capture real kids with real lives in a unique way.
Lori Aurelia Williams
Williams says she grew up poor, in a neighborhood where “it was still customary for children to be seen and not heard.” She hopes that her writing can reveal the stories that these kids never got to tell.
This author says her books are about “people who can laugh at themselves in spite of everything.” Try Like Sisters on the Homefront for the story of a New York City teen mom who gets stuck down South.
Rosa Guy (rhymes with key) was one of the first people to write teen books about African Americans. Many of her characters are West Indian or Haitian.
Sharon G. Flake
Warning: these books are filled with drama! But Sharon G. Flake’s characters can handle it. These girls are fighters. Don’t count them out.
Sharon Mills Draper
Everybody knows that Forged by Fire, Tears of a Tiger and Darkness Before Dawn are great books. But did you know that Draper was also named National Teacher of the Year in 1997?
Try this Newbery award winning author for tales of mystery and magic in the lives of everyday folks.
Walter Dean Myers
This beloved and award-winning author dropped out of school at the age of 15. However, he never quit reading and writing. Now he is one of the most prolific authors for kids and teens.
This project-girl-genius grew up to be a lawyer who lives in Paris. Lucky for us, she finds time to write lively books about class, race and making it on your own.
Last Update: December 16, 2008