The MahoganyBooks Children’s Bestsellers list is more than just a look at the Top Five books purchased over the past month from both of our stores and website. It’s a list that takes into account the interests and concerns of African American readers/shoppers regardless of publisher, recency of publication, or book promotions geared at manufacturing sales.
Quite simply, our bestsellers list is a representation of the kinds of literary content that matters to them. #BlackBooksMatter
So without further ado, we present our…
November 2021 | MahoganyBooks Children’s Bestsellers
#1 – The 1619 Project: Born on the Water by Nikole Hannah-Jones
The 1619 Project’s lyrical picture book in verse chronicles the consequences of slavery and the history of Black resistance in the United States, thoughtfully rendered by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and Newbery honor-winning author Renée Watson.
A young student receives a family tree assignment in school, but she can only trace back three generations. Grandma gathers the whole family, and the student learns that 400 years ago, in 1619, their ancestors were stolen and brought to America by white slave traders.
But before that, they had a home, a land, a language. She learns how the people said to be born on the water survived.
And the people planted dreams and hope,
willed themselves to keep
And the people learned new words
With powerful verse and striking illustrations by Nikkolas Smith, Born on the Water provides a pathway for readers of all ages to reflect on the origins of American identity.
Nikole Hannah-Jones is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter covering racial injustice for The New York Times Magazine and creator of the landmark 1619 Project. In 2017, she received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, known as the Genius Grant, for her work on educational inequality. She has also won a Peabody Award, two George Polk Awards, three National Magazine Awards, and the 2018 John Chancellor distinguished journalism award from Columbia University. In 2016, Nikole co-founded the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, a training and mentorship organization geared towards increasing the numbers of investigative reporters of color.
#2 – The Me I Choose to Be by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley
In this “exquisite” (Shelf Awareness) “affirming” (Kirkus), and “empowering visual essay” (Publishers Weekly) the bestselling author of I Love My Hair! joins forces with the dynamic photography duo behind Glory to create a stunning celebration of the many things you can be!
What will you choose to be?
A free spirit?
A weaver of words?
A star dancing across the night sky?
A limitless galaxy?
The possibilities are endless in this uplifting ode to the power of potential. With lyrical text by bestselling author Natasha Anastasia Tarpley and images by Regis and Kahran Bethencourt–the team behind CreativeSoul Photography–each page of The Me I Choose To Be is an immersive call for self-love that highlights the inherent beauty of all Black and brown children.
Natasha Tarpley is the author of the bestselling picture book I Love My Hair!, as well as other acclaimed titles for children and adults. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and numerous other awards and she is the cofounder of Voonderbar! Media, a project seeking to expand the depictions of children of color in media. She lives with her family in Chicago, Illinois.
Regis and Kahran Bethencourt are the husband-and-wife duo and the imaginative forces behind CreativeSoul Photography. With more than ten years of working with hundreds of children, families, and brands, they specialize in child and lifestyle photography while incorporating authentic visual storytelling. They live in Atlanta, Georgia.
#3 – The ABC’s of Black History by Rio Cortez
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
B is for Beautiful, Brave, and Bright! And for a Book that takes a Bold journey through the alphabet of Black history and culture.
Letter by letter, The ABCs of Black History celebrates a story that spans continents and centuries, triumph and heartbreak, creativity and joy.
It’s a story of big ideas–P is for Power, S is for Science and Soul. Of significant moments–G is for Great Migration. Of iconic figures–H is for Zora Neale Hurston, X is for Malcom X.
It’s an ABC book like no other, and a story of hope and love.In addition to rhyming text, the book includes back matter with information on the events, places, and people mentioned in the poem, from Mae Jemison to W. E. B. Du Bois, Fannie Lou Hamer to Sam Cooke, and the Little Rock Nine to DJ Kool Herc.
A beautiful alphabet picture book that presents key names, moments, and places in Black history with text lyrically written by poet Rio Cortez. This is an opportunity for children to learn their ABCs to the sound of words beyond apple, boy, and cat, and an opportunity for young thinkers to prepare for big ideas. Target Age Group: 5 – 12
#4 – The Word Collector by Peter Reynolds
From the beloved bestselling creator of The Dot and our own Happy Dreamer comes an inspiring story about the transformative and profound power of words.
A New York Times Bestseller
Named an Outstanding Literary Work for Children by the NAACP
Some people collect stamps. Some people collect coins. Some people collect art. And Jerome? Jerome collected words . . .
In this extraordinary new tale from Peter H. Reynolds, Jerome discovers the magic of the words all around him — short and sweet words, two-syllable treats, and multisyllable words that sound like little songs. Words that connect, transform, and empower.
From the creator of The Dot, I Am Human, and Happy Dreamer comes a celebration of finding your own words — and the impact you can have when you share them with the world.
Target Age Group: 4 – 8
#5 – Santa in the City by Tiffany D. Jackson
A little girl’s belief in Santa is restored in this ode to the magic of Christmas. This is a holiday gift readers will treasure for years to come!
It’s two weeks before Christmas, and Deja is worried that Santa might not be able to visit her—after all, as a city kid, she doesn’t have a chimney for him to come down and none of the parking spots on her block could fit a sleigh, let alone eight reindeer! But with a little help from her family, community, and Santa himself, Deja discovers that the Christmas spirit is alive and well in her city.
With bold, colorful illustrations that capture the joy of the holidays, this picture book from award-winning author Tiffany D. Jackson and illustrator Reggie Brown is not to be missed.
Ages 4-8 years old
Tiffany D. Jackson is the author of the Coretta Scott King – John Steptoe Award winner Monday’s Not Coming, and numerous other YA novels. She lives in her hometown of Brooklyn, New York. This is her first picture book.Reggie Brown is an artist and illustrator with a background in corporate graphic design. He lives in San Diego, California. This is his first picture book.