Book Recs: 20 Picture Books by Black Authors

The uproar in response to police brutality against Black people has strengthened the Black Lives Matter movement and has forced everyone to (again) recognize and admit how ingrained systematic racism is in our society and the many areas that lack diversity.

An area where this discussion is also happening is book publishing, which is known for its lack of diversity among authors, the types of books published, and even among the professionals who work in this sector — editors, designers, publicists, agents, etc. Recently, the hashtag #PublishingPaidMe popped up on Twitter to discuss the disparity between how much authors of color are paid in contrast to White authors, who more often receive large advances for their books. In this New York Times article, renown author Jesmyn Ward talks about fighting for a higher advance despite winning several awards for her books.

We all need to work harder to stop and prevent racism in our society. To help, many people have turned to books to learn more, which has caused books about racism and Black experiences to now flood the best-seller lists. To encourage more people to read and engage with content by Black creators, media outlets, social media, bloggers, and booktubers are all recommending books by and about Black people and Black experiences.

While I am grateful to see these recommendation lists, they often solely contain adult books. I want to contribute a list of recommendations, but instead of adult books, I’ve decided to feature children’s picture books. Racism affects all facets of society. To combat it, we must also encourage more diverse children’s literature, including picture books.

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Book Recs: Dragons!

Here’s another prompt for #WyrdandWonder, a month-long celebration of all things fantasy. Click here to see the other prompts.

ten books featuring dragons

The prompt is actually “top ten dragons,” but I haven’t read that many fantasy books to do a decent post listing my top ten dragons. Instead, in this post I’ll list five books I’ve read that feature dragons I like and five books I’d like to read that feature dragons.

Five books about dragons I like

In Search of Lost Dragons by Elian Black’mor (illus.) and Carine-M (illus.)

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Book Recs: Amazing Magical Systems

I’m so mad at myself. It’s already mid-May and I’ve yet to do one of these #WyrdandWonder prompts… until now. Initially, my plan was to post every day but that quickly got pushed aside as life got busy. But finally I’m able to post a prompt. Today I’ll feature

my top 10 magical systems

But it’ll be seven instead because I couldn’t think of any more to include.

By the way, #WyrdandWonder is a month-long celebration of all things fantasy. Click here to see the other prompts.

bending
Avatar: The Last Airbender by Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino (illus.)

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Book Recs: Atmospheric Reads

Well, this is a bit out of character. Here I am with a book recommendation post that’s not based on a meme or book tag. I’d like to congratulate myself for stepping out of my comfort zone, but this is all because I haven’t seen a meme or book tag that focuses on only atmospheric stories.

I’ve been working on this post for weeks because I keep overthinking it. I feel weird recommending books sometimes because I start thinking that I haven’t read enough and I don’t know much, but I’ve gotten over myself for the moment and will share in this post a few books I’ve read that I’d describe as atmospheric.

The term “atmospheric” sometimes baffles me. I’ve only ever seen it applied to stories that are dark and gloomy and eerie, which makes me wonder if it’s only such books that can be described as atmospheric. But I’m sure that’s not right. I call a story atmospheric if it convinces me of a particular feeling… Okay, that probably didn’t make much sense, but I now realize that this is hard to explain. For me, an atmospheric novel is one that convinces me of a particular “feeling” about the setting, which doesn’t necessarily has to be dark and eerie.

So, here are a few novels that have a strong sense of atmosphere:

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