Library Shelves
Image: Greg Reese

During their Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, Washington, the American Library Association announced the winners of their top prizes for 2019, and we were delighted to see the number of creators who are part of the African Diaspora. In honor of Black History Month, we are sharing the all the books with black writers and illustrators that won the 2019 ALA Awards!

A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 by Claire Hartfield

A Few Red Drops Book Cover

A Few Red Drops won the Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award, which recognizes an African American author for outstanding children and young adult books, and tells how rising tensions and conflicting interests exploded into the 1919 Chicago Race Riot.

The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark, about Creeper who wants aboard the smuggler airship “Midnight Robber” and off the streets of New Orleans, is one of the 10 winners of the Alex Award, given to the best adult books that appeal to teens.

The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and  What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil is another winner of the Alex Award where Wamariya shares her journey from escaping the Rwandan massacre to seeking asylum with her sister in the United States.

How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin

How Long 'Til Black Future Month Book Cover

The final Alex Award-winning book from a black author is a collection of stories where Jemison infuses magic and fantasy into the mundane of modern society and includes the Hugo award-nominated “The City Born Great.”

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon, the winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, is a collection of essays and personal stories that reflect on the state of American society and Laymon’s experiences with abuse.

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson, about the disappearance of Claudia’s best friend Monday Charles, is the winner of the  Coretta Scott King – John Steptoe New Talent (Author) Award that honors new talent and offers visibility to excellence that might otherwise go unacknowledged.

Intercepted by Alexa Martin

Intercepted Book Cover

This Romance representative on the Reading List about Marlee who is dating Gavin Pope, the hot new quarterback and a previous fling, but the team’s wives are not happy with her return and determined to take her down.

The Stuff of Stars by Marion Dane Bauer (Author) and Ekua Holmes (Illustrator) won the Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award and blends art and science with Bauers poetic words and Holmes’s beautiful illustrations.

Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora, winner of the Coretta Scott King – John Steptoe New Talent (Illustrator) Award, is about all the neighbors arriving for Omu’s homemade stew.

Your Turn

So…how are you celebrating Black History Month? Have you read any books that won at the 2019 ALA Awards? Let us know in the comments! |RL

P.S. Want more Reel Lit? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, Reel Literature Digest:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.