Celebrate African-American History Month with Award-Winning Children's Books from Chronicle Books

February is African-American History Month

Meet an unsung singer, a trash-collecting hero, a girl inspired by an Olympic champion, and a young couple who changed history in books for young readers that celebrate and honor the achievements of African Americans.

 

Libba: The Magnificent Musical Life of Elizabeth Cotten

By Laura Veirs  - Illustrated by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh

Ages 5 to 8

This lyrical, loving picture book from popular singer-songwriter Laura Veirs and debut illustrator Tatyana Fazlalizadeh tells the story of the determined, gifted, daring Elizabeth Cotten—one of the most celebrated American folk musicians of all time. Elizabeth Cotten was only a little girl when she picked up a guitar for the first time. It wasn't hers (it was her big brother's), and it wasn't strung right for her (she was left-handed). But she flipped that guitar upside down and backwards and taught herself how to play it anyway. By age eleven, she'd written "Freight Train," one of the most famous folk songs of the twentieth century. And by the end of her life, people everywhere—from the sunny beaches of California to the rolling hills of England—knew her music.

"The message of never giving up on a dream, no matter the circumstances, will resonate deeply with readers." --School Library Journal, starred review

Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans

By Phil Bildner -  Illustrated by John Parra

Ages 5 to 8

This lyrical, loving picture book from popular singer-songwriter Laura Veirs and debut illustrator Tatyana Fazlalizadeh tells the story of the determined, gifted, daring Elizabeth Cotten—one of the most celebrated American folk musicians of all time. Elizabeth Cotten was only a little girl when she picked up a guitar for the first time. It wasn't hers (it was her big brother's), and it wasn't strung right for her (she was left-handed). But she flipped that guitar upside down and backwards and taught herself how to play it anyway. By age eleven, she'd written "Freight Train," one of the most famous folk songs of the twentieth century. And by the end of her life, people everywhere—from the sunny beaches of California to the rolling hills of England—knew her music.

⭐"Trumpets the power of one person's efforts in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds to inspire an entire community." --Shelf Awareness, starred review

The Quickest Kid in Clarksville

By Pat Zietlow Miller -  Illustrated by Frank Morrison

Ages 5 to 8

It's the day before the big parade. Alta can only think about one thing: Wilma Rudolph, three-time Olympic gold medalist. She'll be riding on a float tomorrow. See, Alta is the quickest kid in Clarksville, Tennessee, just like Wilma once was. It doesn't matter that Alta's shoes have holes because Wilma came from hard times, too. But what happens when a new girl with shiny new shoes comes along and challenges Alta to a race? Will she still be the quickest kid? The Quickest Kid in Clarksville is a timeless story of dreams, determination, and the power of friendship.

"Gentle tribute to the legend of the pathbreaking African-American sprinter Wilma Rudolph." --The New York Times

Loving vs. Virginia : A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case

By Patricia Hruby Powell -  Illustrated by Shadra Strickland

Ages 12 and up

From acclaimed author Patricia Hruby Powell comes the story of a landmark civil rights case, told in spare and gorgeous verse. In 1955, in Caroline County, Virginia, amidst segregation and prejudice, injustice and cruelty, two teenagers fell in love. Their life together broke the law, but their determination would change it. Richard and Mildred Loving were at the heart of a Supreme Court case that legalized marriage between races, and a story of the devoted couple who faced discrimination, fought it, and won.

"Tells a quiet yet powerful story." --The Chicago Tribune

And coming in May 2019,

We Are the Change: Words of Inspiration from Civil Rights Leaders

Introduction by Harry Belafonte

Ages 8 to 12

Sixteen award-winning children's book artists illustrate the civil rights quotations that inspire them in this stirring and beautiful book. Featuring an introduction by Harry Belafonte, words from Eleanor Roosevelt, Maya Angelou, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. among others, this inspirational collection sets a powerful example for generations of young leaders to come. It includes illustrations by Selina Alko, Alina Chau, Lisa Congdon, Emily Hughes, Molly Idle, Juana Medina, Innosanto Nagara, Christopher Silas Neal, John Parra, Brian Pinkney, Greg Pizzoli, Sean Qualls, Dan Santat, Shadra Strickland, Melissa Sweet, and Raúl the Third.

Lara Starr Chronicle Books
About Chronicle Books Children's Books

ABOUT CHRONICLE BOOKS CHILDREN'S BOOKS

Chronicle Books, one of the most admired and respected publishing companies in the U.S., was founded in 1967 and over the years has developed a reputation for award-winning, innovative books.  Recognized as one as the fifty best small companies to work for in the U.S. (and the only independent publisher to receive this award), the company continues to challenge conventional publishing wisdom, setting trends in both subject and format, maintaining a list that includes much admired illustrated books and gift products in design, art, architecture, photography, food, lifestyle, pop culture, and acclaimed children’s titles.  Chronicle Books' objective is to create and distribute exceptional publishing that is instantly recognizable for its spirit and creativity. Our collaborations spark the passions of adults and children worldwide, encouraging them to explore, connect, and see things differently. For more information about Chronicle Books visit www.chroniclebooks.com

Chronicle Books Children's Books
Lara Starr, Senior Publicist