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Black Voices Spotlight

Black Voices black text on orange background

 

A non-exhaustive list featuring books by contemporary Black authors, across all genres and ages.

Many are titles we hope you didn't miss because they were released during the pandemic.

Pick up a print copy of the Black Voices newsletter in-store.

Prefer to listen to some selections? Check out Libro.fm's BIPOC Audiobooks selection.

If the Boot Fits (Cowboys of California #2) Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9781496725417
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Dafina - October 27th, 2020

Preorder now! Rebekah is a Southern CA bookseller, as well as a multi-series romance author.


I Promise Cover Image
By LeBron James, Nina Mata (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062971067
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - August 11th, 2020

NBA champion and superstar LeBron James pens a slam-dunk picture book inspired by his foundation's I PROMISE program that motivates children everywhere to always #StriveForGreatness.

Just a kid from Akron, Ohio, who is dedicated to uplifting youth everywhere, LeBron James knows the key to a better future is to excel in school, do your best, and keep your family close.

I Promise is a lively and inspiring picture book that reminds us that tomorrow's success starts with the promises we make to ourselves and our community today.

Featuring James's upbeat, rhyming text and vibrant illustrations perfectly crafted for a diverse audience by New York Times bestselling artist Nina Mata, this book has the power to inspire all children and families to be their best.

Perfect for shared reading in and out of the classroom, I Promise is also a great gift for graduation, birthdays, and other occasions.

Plus check out the audiobook, read by LeBron James's mother and I Promise School supporter Gloria James!


The Voting Booth Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781368053297
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Disney-Hyperion - July 7th, 2020

A Maryelizabeth Pick!

From Stonewall Award-winning author Brandy Colbert comes an all-in-one-day love story perfect for fans of The Sun is Also A Star.

Romantic and triumphant, The Voting Booth is proof that you can't sit around waiting for the world to change -- but some things are just meant to be.


The Nickel Boys: A Novel Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780345804341
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - June 30th, 2020

“With every book, Colson Whitehead proves his ever-growing genius. He’s a master of the written word and truly one of the greatest living American novelists of our time. I didn’t think it was possible for him to write something better than Underground Railroad, but he most certainly has — The Nickel Boys grabbed me at page one. It’s a mystery and a thriller, a treatise on race and social injustice, and a literary masterpiece all rolled into one. Ellwood and Turner are characters that will stay with me forever. This should be mandatory reading in every classroom.”
— Michelle Malonzo, Changing Hands, Tempe, AZ


A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby: A Multi-Cultural Historical Regency Romance (Rogues and Remarkable Women #1) Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781420152234
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Zebra - June 30th, 2020

A ground-breaking, empowering, and sexy story from acclaimed author Vanessa Riley that fans of Beverly Jenkins, Evie Dunmore, and Alyssa Cole won't be able to put down. Join these Rogues & Remarkable Women as they fight for their status, their families...and true love.

When headstrong West Indian heiress Patience Jordan questioned her English husband's mysterious suicide, she lost everything: her newborn son, Lionel, her fortune--and her freedom. Falsely imprisoned, she risks her life to be near her child--until The Widow's Grace gets her hired as her own son's nanny. But working for his unsuspecting new guardian, Busick Strathmore, Duke of Repington, has perils of its own. Especially when Patience discovers his military strictness belies an ex-rake of unswerving honor--and unexpected passion . . .

 

A wounded military hero, Busick is determined to resolve his dead cousin's dangerous financial dealings for Lionel's sake. But his investigation is a minor skirmish compared to dealing with the forthright, courageous, and alluring Patience. Somehow, she's breaking his rules, and sweeping past his defenses. Soon, between formidable enemies and obstacles, they form a fragile trust--but will it be enough to save the future they long to dare together?


Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250257703
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - June 9th, 2020

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"With each page, she inspires and empowers us to create systems that reflect a world in which all voices are heard and all people believe and feel that they matter." —Kerry Washington

"This is a narrative that describes the urgency that compels me and millions more to push for a different American story than the one being told today. It's a story that is one part danger, one part action, and all true. It's a story about how and why we fight for our democracy and win." —Stacey Abrams


The Vanishing Half: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780525536291
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - June 2nd, 2020

“Brit Bennett’s second novel broke my heart. She doesn’t shy away from the sadness inherent in each character’s life, yet she left me feeling better for having met all of them. I read The Vanishing Half with a sense of hope, despite my dread that terrible things might befall the characters. Desiree and Stella’s story unfolds with a deft delicateness in a book that is astonishingly accomplished and sweeping, and yet so very intimate.”
— Jamie Thomas, Women & Children First, Chicago, IL


Ways to Make Sunshine (A Ryan Hart Novel #1) Cover Image
By Renée Watson, Nina Mata (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781547600564
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury Children's Books - April 28th, 2020

The exclusive, SIGNED edition of Renee Watson's WAYS TO MAKE SUNSHINE includes a letter from the author and it's only at independent bookstores. 

From Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Author Award winner Renée Watson comes the first book in a young middle grade series about Ryan Hart, a girl who is pure spirit, kindness, and sunshine.

 

Ryan Hart has a lot on her mind--school, self-image, and especially family. Her dad finally has a new job, but money is tight. That means some changes, like selling their second car and moving into a new (old) house. But Ryan is a girl who knows how to make sunshine out of setbacks. As her brother says when he raps about her, she's got the talent that matters most: it's a talent that can't be seen, she's nice, not mean!

 

Ryan is all about trying to see the best in people, to be a good daughter, a good sister, a good friend. But even if her life isn't everything she would wish for, when her big brother is infuriating, her parents don't quite understand, and the unexpected happens, she always finds a way forward, with grace and wit. And plenty of sunshine.

 

Acclaimed author Renée Watson writes her own version of Ramona Quimby, one starring a Black girl and her family, in this start to a charming new series.


More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780525561613
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - April 28th, 2020

WINNER OF THE 2020 NAACP IMAGE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORK — BIOGRAPHY/AUTOBIOGRAPHY

NOW OPTIONED FOR DEVELOPMENT AS A TV SERIES BY PARAMOUNT TELEVISION STUDIOS AND ANONYMOUS CONTENT

“The millennial Becoming . . . Inspiring and empowering.” —Entertainment Weekly
 
“An essential read for women in the workplace today.” —Refinery29

Part-manifesto, part-memoir, from the revolutionary editor who infused social consciousness into the pages of Teen Vogue, an exploration of what it means to come into your own—on your own terms


Navigate Your Stars Cover Image
By Jesmyn Ward, Gina Triplett (Illustrator)
$16.00
ISBN: 9781982131326
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - April 7th, 2020

A revelatory, uplifting, and gorgeously illustrated meditation on dedication, hard work, and the power of perseverance from the beloved, New York Times bestselling, and two-time National Book Award-winning Jesmyn Ward.

 

For Tulane University's 2018 commencement, Jesmyn Ward delivered a stirring speech about the value of hard work and the importance of respect for oneself and others. Speaking about the challenges she and her family overcame, Ward inspired everyone in the audience with her meditation on tenacity in the face of hardship. Ward's moving words will inspire readers as they prepare for the next chapter in their lives, whether, like Ward, they are the first in their families to graduate from college or are preceded by generations, or whether they are embarking on a different kind of journey later in life.

 

Beautifully illustrated in full color by Gina Triplett, this gorgeous and profound book will charm a generation of students--and their parents. Ward's inimitable voice shines through as she shares her experience as a Southern black woman and addresses the themes of grit, adversity, and the importance of family bonds. Navigate Your Stars is a perfect gift for anyone in need of inspiration from the author of Salvage the BonesMen We Reaped, and Sing, Unburied, Sing.


The City We Became: A Novel (The Great Cities Trilogy #1) Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316509848
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Orbit - March 24th, 2020

A Maryelizabeth Pick on Audio!

Three-time Hugo Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author N.K. Jemisin crafts her most incredible novel yet, a story of culture, identity, magic, and myths in contemporary New York City.
In Manhattan, a young grad student gets off the train and realizes he doesn't remember who he is, where he's from, or even his own name. But he can sense the beating heart of the city, see its history, and feel its power.
In the Bronx, a Lenape gallery director discovers strange graffiti scattered throughout the city, so beautiful and powerful it's as if the paint is literally calling to her.
In Brooklyn, a politician and mother finds she can hear the songs of her city, pulsing to the beat of her Louboutin heels.
And they're not the only ones.
Every great city has a soul. Some are ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York? She's got six.


Deacon King Kong: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780735216723
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - March 3rd, 2020

From the author of the National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird and the bestselling modern classic The Color of Water, comes one of the most celebrated novels of the year.

In September 1969, a fumbling, cranky old church deacon known as Sportcoat shuffles into the courtyard of the Cause Houses housing project in south Brooklyn, pulls a .38 from his pocket, and, in front of everybody, shoots the project's drug dealer at point-blank range.

 

The reasons for this desperate burst of violence and the consequences that spring from it lie at the heart of Deacon King Kong, James McBride's funny, moving novel and his first since his National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird. In Deacon King Kong, McBride brings to vivid life the people affected by the shooting: the victim, the African-American and Latinx residents who witnessed it, the white neighbors, the local cops assigned to investigate, the members of the Five Ends Baptist Church where Sportcoat was deacon, the neighborhood's Italian mobsters, and Sportcoat himself.

 

As the story deepens, it becomes clear that the lives of the characters--caught in the tumultuous swirl of 1960s New York--overlap in unexpected ways. When the truth does emerge, McBride shows us that not all secrets are meant to be hidden, that the best way to grow is to face change without fear, and that the seeds of love lie in hope and compassion.

 

Bringing to these pages both his masterly storytelling skills and his abiding faith in humanity, James McBride has written a novel every bit as involving as The Good Lord Bird and as emotionally honest as The Color of Water. Told with insight and wit, Deacon King Kong demonstrates that love and faith live in all of us.


Black Is a Rainbow Color Cover Image
By Angela Joy, Ekua Holmes (Illustrator)
Not Available
ISBN: 9781626726314
Availability: Backordered
Published: Roaring Brook Press - January 14th, 2020

A Lauren Pick!

A child reflects on the meaning of being Black in this moving and powerful anthem about a people, a culture, a history, and a legacy that lives on.

Red is a rainbow color.
Green sits next to blue.
Yellow, orange, violet, indigo,
They are rainbow colors, too, but

 

My color is black . . .
And there's no BLACK in rainbows.

 

From the wheels of a bicycle to the robe on Thurgood Marshall's back, Black surrounds our lives. It is a color to simply describe some of our favorite things, but it also evokes a deeper sentiment about the incredible people who helped change the world and a community that continues to grow and thrive.

 

Stunningly illustrated by Caldecott Honoree and Coretta Scott King Award winner Ekua Holmes, Black Is a Rainbow Color is a sweeping celebration told through debut author Angela Joy's rhythmically captivating and unforgettable words.


Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orisha #2) Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250170996
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - December 3rd, 2019

After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could've imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.

Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari's right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy's wrath.

With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.

Children of Virtue and Vengeance is the stunning sequel to Tomi Adeyemi's New York Times-bestselling debut Children of Blood and Bone, the first book in the Legacy of Orïsha trilogy.


How to Be an Antiracist Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780525509288
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: One World - August 13th, 2019

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review Time - NPR - The Washington Post Shelf Awareness - Library Journal Publishers Weekly Kirkus Reviews

 

Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism--and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas--from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities--that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

 

Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.


Ghost Summer: Stories Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781607014539
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Prime Books - September 1st, 2015

Nominated for an NAACP Image Award
Named one of The LA Times Best Books of 2015
"In these extraordinary tales, American Book Award-winner Due (My Soul to Take) uses a clear-eyed view of history to explain (but never excuse) the present." - Publishers Weekly (Starred)
Whether weaving family life and history into dark fiction or writing speculative Afrofuturism, American Book Award winner and Essence bestselling author Tananarive Due's work is both riveting and enlightening.
In her debut collection of short fiction, Due takes us to Gracetown, a small Florida town that has both literal and figurative ghost; into future scenarios that seem all too real; and provides empathetic portraits of those whose lives are touched by Otherness.