In celebration of Black History Month, I'd like to lift up new poetry books for young readers due to be or already published in 2021 and written by Black poets including Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman. Covers were not yet available for all these titles, but I can't wait to get my hands on all these books. Some of these titles were projected for 2021, but may be pushed back to next year. Stay tuned! Meanwhile, it's exciting to see nearly 20 titles by Black poets in this year's crop-- novels in verse, anthologies, poem biographies, and poem picture books. And it's exciting to see established names like John Agard, Zetta Elliott, Nikki Grimes and Marilyn Nelson alongside newer names like Safia Elhillo and Amber McBride. Kudos to Carole Boston Weatherford who has multiple books in verse coming in 2021-- as she often does. Works by Black poets continue to represent a substantial portion of new poetry books published for young readers every year-- and often get recognized for their outstanding quality with Coretta Scott King Awards and Honors. I'm predicting now that one or more of the books listed below will be on that CSK list next January! Add them to your list to buy, read, and share now.1. Agard, John. 2021. Coyote’s Soundbite: A Poem for the Planet. Ill. by Piet Grobler. Oxford: Lantana.
2. Barnes, Derrick. 2021. [Bio of Muhammad Ali] Ill. by Gordon James. Boston: HMH/Versify.
3. Browne, Mahogany L. 2021. Chlorine Sky. New York: Crown.
4. Charles, Tami. 2021. Muted. New York: Scholastic.
5. Elhillo, Safia. 2021. Home is Not a Country. New York: PRH/Make Me a World.
6. Elliott, Zetta and Miller-Lachmann, Lyn. 2021. Moonwalking. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
7. Giovanni, Nikki. 2021. A Library. Ill. by Erin Robinson. Boston: HMH/Versify.
8. Gorman, Amanda. 2021. Change Sings: A Children's Anthem. Ill. by Loren Long. New York: Penguin Random House.
9. Gorman, Amanda. 2021. The Hill We Climb. Ill. by Loren Long. New York: Penguin Random House.
10. Grimes, Nikki. 2021. Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance. Ill. by Ekua Holmes and 17 other artists. New York: Bloomsbury.
11. McBride, Amber. 2021. Me (Moth). New York: Feiwel & Friends.
12. Nelson, Marilyn and Lawson, Tammi. 2021. Augusta Savage: The Shape of a Sculptor's Life. New York: Macmillan/Ottaviano.
13. Shepard, Ray Anthony. 2021. Runaway: The Daring Escape of Ona Judge. Ill. by Keith Mallett. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
14. Tallie, Mariahadessa Ekere. 2021. Karma's Footsteps. Flipped Eye Publishing.
15. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2021. Dreams for a Daughter. Ill. by Brian Pinkney. New York: Atheneum.
16. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2021. Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi. Ill. by Chris Hsu. New York: Little Bee Books.
17. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2021. The Faith of Elijah Cummings: Champion of Truth, Justice & Equality. Ill. by Laura Freeman. New York: Random House Studio.
18. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2021. Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre. Ill. By Floyd Cooper. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner/Carolrhoda.