MahoganyBooks Children’s Bestsellers | September 2021

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…

September 2021 | MahoganyBooks Children’s Bestsellers


#1 – 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. 

Vashti Harrison, is the #1 New York Times bestselling author-illustrator of Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History and Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World. She is an artist and filmmaker with a passion for storytelling. She earned her BA in studio art and media studies from the University of Virginia and her MFA in Film/Video from CalArts, where she snuck into animation and illustration classes to learn from Disney and DreamWorks legends. There, she rekindled a love for drawing and painting. Now she uses her love of both film and illustration to craft beautiful stories for children.


#2 – Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o

New York Times bestseller!

Featured in its own episode in the Netflix original show Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices!

Recipient of a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award

Recipient of an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Children’s Literary WorkFrom Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o comes a powerful, moving picture book about colorism, self-esteem, and learning that true beauty comes from within.

Sulwe has skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything.In this stunning debut picture book, actress Lupita Nyong’o creates a whimsical and heartwarming story to inspire children to see their own unique beauty.

Ages 4-8

“A welcome celebration of Black girls, an important lesson for all kids (and grownups), and a necessary message for any child who has been made to feel unworthy of love on account of their looks.”

— “Booklist”


#3 – Black Boy Joy: 17 Stories Celebrating Black Boyhood by Kwame Mbalia

Celebrate the joys of Black boyhood with stories from seventeen bestselling, critically acclaimed Black authors–including Jason Reynolds (the Track series), Jerry Craft (New Kid), and Kwame Mbalia (the Tristan Strong series)!

Pick up Black Boy Joy for a heavy dose of happiness. —Booklist, starred review

Black boy joy is…

Picking out a fresh first-day-of-school outfit.
Saving the universe in an epic intergalactic race.
Finding your voice–and your rhymes–during tough times.
Flying on your skateboard like nobody’s watching.

And more! From seventeen acclaimed Black male and non-binary authors comes a vibrant collection of stories, comics, and poems about the power of joy and the wonders of Black boyhood.

Target Age Group: 09 – 12

About the Author:

Kwame Mbalia is a husband, father, New York Times bestselling author, and former pharmaceutical metrologist, in that order. His debut middle-grade novel, TRISTAN STRONG PUNCHES A HOLE IN THE SKY, and the sequel, TRISTAN STRONG DESTROYS THE WORLD (October 6, 2020), are published by Rick Riordan Presents/Disney-Hyperion. A Howard University graduate and a Midwesterner now in North Carolina, he survives on dad jokes and Cheez-Its.


#4 – Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

Gossip Girl meets Get Out in Ace of Spades, a YA contemporary thriller by debut author Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé about two students, Devon & Chiamaka, and their struggles against an anonymous bully.

When two Niveus Private Academy students, Devon Richards and Chiamaka Adebayo, are selected to be part of the elite school’s senior class prefects, it looks like their year is off to an amazing start. After all, not only does it look great on college applications, but it officially puts each of them in the running for valedictorian, too.

Shortly after the announcement is made, though, someone who goes by Aces begins using anonymous text messages to reveal secrets about the two of them that turn their lives upside down and threaten every aspect of their carefully planned futures.

As Aces shows no sign of stopping, what seemed like a sick prank quickly turns into a dangerous game, with all the cards stacked against them. Can Devon and Chiamaka stop Aces before things become incredibly deadly?

With heart-pounding suspense and relevant social commentary comes a high-octane thriller from debut author Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé.

Target Age Group: 14 – 18

All you need to know is . . . I’m here to divide and conquer. Like all great tyrants do.

— Aces


#5 – I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes

An upbeat, empowering, important picture book from the team that created the award-winning Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut

I am
a nonstop ball of energy.
Powerful and full of light.
I am a go-getter. A difference maker. A leader.

The confident Black narrator of this book is proud of everything that makes him who he is. He’s got big plans, and no doubt he’ll see them through–as he’s creative, adventurous, smart, funny, and a good friend. Sometimes he falls, but he always gets back up. And other times he’s afraid, because he’s so often misunderstood and called what he is not. So slow down and really look and listen, when somebody tells you–and shows you–who they are. There are superheroes in our midst!

Target Age Group: 4 – 7

Derrick Barnes wrote the New York Times bestseller The King of Kindergarten, as well as the critically acclaimed picture book Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut (illustrated by Gordon James), which received a Newbery Honor, a Coretta Scott King Author Honor, the 2018 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award, and the 2018 Kirkus Prize for Young Readers. He also wrote the bestselling chapter book series Ruby and the Booker Boys. He owns the copy-writing company Say Word Creative Communications and created the popular blog Raising the Mighty, where he chronicles the experience of bringing up four beautiful Black boys in America. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife and their four sons.

About MahoganyBooks 212 Articles
MahoganyBooks is an online bookstore that believes in social entrepreneurship. We take a leadership role in the African American community promoting reading, writing, and cultural awareness as tools to improve communities as well as enrich the lives of motivated individuals.

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