The MahoganyBooks Children’s Bestsellers list is more than just a look at the Top Five books purchased over the past month from our store 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…
March 2021 | MahoganyBooks Children’s Bestsellers
#1 – The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person by Frederick Joseph
Writing from the perspective of a friend, Frederick Joseph offers candid reflections on his own experiences with racism and conversations with prominent artists and activists about theirs–creating an essential read for white people who are committed anti-racists and those newly come to the cause of racial justice.
“We don’t see color.” “I didn’t know Black people liked Star Wars!” “What hood are you from?” For Frederick Joseph, life as a transfer student in a largely white high school was full of wince-worthy moments that he often simply let go. As he grew older, however, he saw these as missed opportunities not only to stand up for himself, but to spread awareness to those white people who didn’t see the negative impact they were having.
Speaking directly to the reader, The Black Friend calls up race-related anecdotes from the author’s past, weaving in his thoughts on why they were hurtful and how he might handle things differently now. Each chapter features the voice of at least one artist or activist, including Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give; April Reign, creator of #OscarsSoWhite; Jemele Hill, sports journalist and podcast host; and eleven others. Touching on everything from cultural appropriation to power dynamics, “reverse racism” to white privilege, microaggressions to the tragic results of overt racism, this book serves as conversation starter, tool kit, and invaluable window into the life of a former “token Black kid” who now presents himself as the friend many readers need. Backmatter includes an encyclopedia of racism, providing details on relevant historical events, terminology, and more.
#2 – Ambitious Girl by Meena Harris
“A girl is inspired by an ambitious woman to ponder the word and claim it for herself as well”
Anyone who’s ever been underestimated or overshadowed will find inspiration in this empowering new picture book from Meena Harris, New York Times-bestselling author of Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea.
When a young girl sees a strong woman on TV labeled as “too assertive” and “too ambitious,” it sends her on a journey of discovery through past, present, and future about the challenges faced by women and girls and the ways in which they can reframe, redefine, and reclaim words meant to knock them down. As Ambitious Girl says: No “too that” or “too this” will stop what’s inside us from flowering.
Author Meena Harris was born into a family of ambitious women whose legacy continues to inspire her. Meena herself is a lawyer and entrepreneur, as well as a #1 New York Times-bestselling author. In 2017 she founded Phenomenal, a female-powered organization that brings awareness to social causes. She currently resides in San Francisco with her partner and two daughters.
#3 – The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta
Stonewall Book Award Winner!
A fierce coming-of-age verse novel about identity and the power of drag, from acclaimed poet and performer Dean Atta. Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Jason Reynolds, and Kacen Callender.
Michael is a mixed-race gay teen growing up in London. All his life, he’s navigated what it means to be Greek-Cypriot and Jamaican–but never quite feeling Greek or Black enough.
As he gets older, Michael’s coming out is only the start of learning who he is and where he fits in. When he discovers the Drag Society, he finally finds where he belongs–and the Black Flamingo is born.
Told with raw honesty, insight, and lyricism, this debut explores the layers of identity that make us who we are–and allow us to shine.
In this uplifting coming-of-age novel told in accessible verse, Atta chronicles the growth and glory of Michael Angeli, a mixed-race kid from London, as he navigates his cultural identity as Cypriot and Jamaican as well as his emerging sexuality. (Publishers Weekly, An Anti-Racist Children’s and YA Reading List)
#4 – Every Little Thing by Cedella Marley
“Will strike a chord with worrywarts and loving children everywhere.” — School Library Journal
An uplifting board book that brings Bob Marley’s popular song to life for a new generation: Families will relate to this universal story of a boy who won’t let anything get him down as long as he has the help of three special little birds. This joyful book will bring a smile to faces of all ages–because every little thing’s gonna be all right!
Includes all the lyrics of the original song “Three Little Birds” by beloved Jamaican reggae artist Bob Marley.
Written by Cedella Marley, Bob Marley’s daughter, who is dedicated to keeping her father’s music and message of love alive.
#5 – Dream Big, Little One by Vashti Harrison
This beautifully illustrated board book edition of instant bestseller Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History showcases women who changed the world and is the perfect goodnight book to inspire big dreams.
Featuring 18 trailblazing black women in American history, Dream Big, Little One is the irresistible board book adaptation of Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History.
Among these women, you’ll find heroes, role models, and everyday women who did extraordinary things – bold women whose actions and beliefs contributed to making the world better for generations of girls and women to come. Whether they were putting pen to paper, soaring through the air or speaking up for the rights of others, the women profiled in these pages were all taking a stand against a world that didn’t always accept them.
The leaders in this book may be little, but they all did something big and amazing, inspiring generations to come.
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