Must Read in 2019
The #MustReadin2019 reading challenged is hosted by There’s a Book for That. This is my 2nd year participating. I started out with 17 titles this year and then added 4 more. To date, I have read 6 out of 21. Completed books are marked in my PicCollage below with a yellow circle. You’ll find the associated reviews in this update. Learn more about the 4 books I added on here.
A Song for Gwendolyn Brooks
by Alice Faye Duncan
This tribute follows the poet’s life from her youth when the first ember of a dream to write was sparked, and it highlights her growth as she learns to “labor for the love of words” – drafting, revising, and rewriting. All the while her parents encouraged her and made room for Gwendolyn’s gift to be fanned into a flame. Studying the work of other writers, honing her craft, and writing poems about life in Chicago. Read my full review here.
The Roots of Wrap
by Carole Boston Weatherford
The Roots of Rap, 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip-Hop is an incredible work of art with a value that far exceeds its humble price tag. Each page is a brilliant expression of the creativity and passion that is rap music and hip-hop culture. Paying tribute to poetry, street rhymes and phat beats; storytelling in its many artistic forms. From breakdancing and boom boxes, to deejays and block parties; brothers with funky-fresh rhymes and queens rocking the mic. This is an ode to hip-hop that is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in the picture book format. Read my full review here.
by Michelle Meadows
Brave Ballerina: The Story of Janet Collins is a lyrical tribute that both informs and inspires. Providing the reader with an introduction to the first African American prima ballerina in the Metropolitan Opera House. It will Inspire them to excel beyond any barriers to reach heights never once thought possible. The illustrations are warm but those lines! I love Ebony Glenn’s lines. They are graceful and on point, capturing the beauty of each balletic motion, and will surely tickle the fancy of every ballerina’s heart. Read my full review here.
by Tami Charles
It is inspiring to learn about a woman who challenged the norm and pursued something she was really good at in spite of the obstacles she faced; defying the prevailing mores of the time, and becoming the first African American woman stagecoach driver (in 1895)! She was hired at the age of 60 in the town of Cascades, Montana, to do a job that was previously thought to have been one that only a man could do. She proved herself to be faster than most, tough when the stagecoach needed protecting, and smart. She was as a trailblazer who paved the way for other women who would become stagecoach drivers and deliver mail across the United States. Read my full review here.
by Jerry Craft
Jordan Banks is the new kid at one of the best private schools in the state that offers a wealth of academic and extra-curricular opportunities and experiences for its students and while its prestige is praiseworthy, it is woefully lacking in diversity. Jordan is one of a small number of students of color at the school but just like every other twelve-year-old middle school student has to navigate making new friends, avoiding awkward crushes, getting good grades, and making time to do what he loves most-drawing cartoons. His art is embedded throughout the text and gives the reader an inside look at Jordan’s thoughts on well, just about everything. His drawings are informative, oftentimes laugh-out-loud hilarious, and honest. This book is sure to be a hit and I cannot wait for its release in early 2019. Read my full review here.
The Dragon Thief
by Zetta Elliott
I will share my review soon.
by Anika Aldamuy Denise
Planting Stories follows “la vida y el legado of Pura Belpré, the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City.” She traveled from San Juan, Puerto Rico to New York (in 1921) for her sister’s wedding but soon called the city home as it was “alive with hope and possibility.” Carrying the stories Abuela would tell of home in her heart, she shared them and planted each one like seeds in fertile ground. She was a storyteller who became a published author and puppeteer. Read my full review here.
I really liked Planting Stories and adored Roots of Rap. Need to purchase that one for sure. Fearless Mary sounds fascinating–I need to get that one too! So many excellent nonfiction PBs these days. Your whole #mustread list is fantastic. I’m also really hoping to get to Elizabeth Acevedo’s new book this year, as I loved Poet X.
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I’ve been thrilled with the number of nonfiction picture books too!
Looks like you have made great progress and have lots of fantastic reads ahead. I would love to get my hands on a copy of Planting Stories – looks so great!
I was unaware of Gwendolyn Brooks so thanks for the information about her. My library doesn’t have this one, but I did put a reserve on one of her books of poetry. I agree with others here that there certainly are some remarkable NF picture books available these days. I’ve discovered that really good picture book biographies can help me get a rowdy group of grade sevens calm, under control, and fascinated.
I’m looking forward to Fearless Mary and The Roots of Rap.
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We’ve used them (nonfiction picture books) in my school as an introduction into new units of study. Whether it be a genre study, a social studies unit, etc.