Multcolib Books 2 U Picks: African American Main Characters (Grades 3-5)

Anna Hibiscus
Anna Hibiscus By Atinuke (Book - 2010 ) j ATINUKE 2010 Available in some locations

Annotation: A wonderful depiction of life in Nigeria, Anna Hibiscus tells the story of a multi-generational, middle-class household in modern day Nigeria. The book is simple, yet profound, exploring concepts of hair, poverty, and multi-racial households with depth and wisdom.

Jackson Jones and the Curse of the Outlaw Rose
Jackson Jones and the Curse of the Outlaw Rose By Quattlebaum, Mary (Book - 2006 ) j QUATTLEBA Available in some locations

Annotation:More than anything in the world Jackson wants a basketball for his birthday. Instead he receives gardening supplies -- the worst gift ever. Perfect for boys who do not love sports... and for those who do.

Trivia Queen, 3rd-grade Supreme
Trivia Queen, 3rd-grade Supreme By Barnes, Derrick D. (Book - 2008 ) jE Reader BARNES 2008 Available in some locations

Annotation:Ruby is very smart, but so are her three brothers. They are smart and they are older than she. What hope does Ruby have of winning the trivia contest?

EllRay Jakes Is Not A Chicken
EllRay Jakes Is Not A Chicken By Warner, Sally (Book - 2011 ) j WARNER 2011 Available in some locations

Annotation:There is a war going on at Ellray's school. The teachers don’t have a clue. Jared’s supreme goal is to make Ellray cry in front of the class and Ellray’s supreme goal is to make sure that never happens. One thing Ellray knows for sure is that he can’t tell anyone – not the other kids, not the adults, not even his own mom and dad --about the secret war.

Nikki & Deja
Nikki & Deja By English, Karen (Book - 2007 ) j ENGLISH Available in some locations

Annotation:Nikki and Deja are best friends. When a mean new girl shows up in their classroom, Nikki and Deja are determined not to let her in to their club.

Akimbo and the Elephants
Akimbo and the Elephants By McCall Smith, Alexander (Book - 2005 ) j MCCALLSMI Available in some locations

Annotation:A smart kid growing up on a game reserve in Eastern Africa discovers a plot to poach elephants. By Alexander McCall Smith, author of the No. # 1 Ladies Detective Agency, The Akimbo series is like a third-fourth grade version of that extremely popular detective series. Love the artwork!

All Mixed Up!
All Mixed Up! By Wayans, Kim (Book - 2008 ) j WAYANS 2008 Available in some locations

Annotation:This book is about a multi-racial girl. At first, I thought the book might demonize people of one racial category, but it does correct this problem in the end. I like the art work and the fact that the entire cast of characters is multi-racial.

Monster and Me (Graphic Sparks Graphic Novels)
Monster and Me (Graphic Sparks Graphic Novels) By Marsh, Robert (Book )

Annotation:Sadly, this one's not available at MCL, but it is on Amazon. A black girl protagonist wants to take her monster to school. Graphic novel!

The Parting
The Parting By Bannister (Book - 2011 ) jgn BANNISTER 2011 Available in some locations

Annotation:The Elsewhere Chronicles is a science fiction graphic novel with a Black girl main character. Alternate worlds, evil lurking behind every corner, and long quests -- the stuff of every science fiction fan.

Gregor the Overlander
Gregor the Overlander By Collins, Suzanne (Book - 2004 ) j COLLINS 2004 Available in some locations

Annotation:Suzanne Collins, of Hunger Games fame, creates a Wiz-like alternate world where the main-character's appearance fulfills a long-held prophecy. Sci Fi with a Black main character!

The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963
The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 By Curtis, Christopher Paul (Book - 1995 ) j CURTIS All copies in use Availability details

Annotation:Historical fiction about a zany Black family that takes a trip to the South in 1963. Christopher Paul Curtis is hilarious. See Mr. Chickee's Funny Money if you like the Watsons.

Keena Ford and the Field Trip Mix-up
Keena Ford and the Field Trip Mix-up By Thomson, Melissa (Book - 2009 ) jE Reader THOMSON 2009 Available in some locations

Annotation:If you like Junie B. Jones, you'll love Keena Ford. Practicing out of school freedom, Keena accidentally snips off one of her braids and goes on a school field trip wearing an American flag head scarf.

The Million Dollar Shot
The Million Dollar Shot By Gutman, Dan (Book - 1997 ) j GUTMAN Available in some locations

Annotation:This book has a White main character and an African-American girl best friend. Even though it is about basketball, it is just full of subtle, but complex issues.

Gloria's Way
Gloria's Way By Cameron, Ann (Book - 2000 ) jE Reader CAMERON Available in some locations

Annotation:Gloria argues with a parrot after a valentine she created for her mother lands in the parrot's cage.

The Stories Julian Tells
The Stories Julian Tells By Cameron, Ann (Book - 2006 ) jE Reader CAMERON 2006 Available in some locations

Annotation: Julian's father decides to make the lightest, fluffiest, most delicious lemon pudding ever. Then he tells his sons not to touch the pudding and makes the mistake of taking a short nap.

The Broken Bike Boy and the Queen of 33rd Street
The Broken Bike Boy and the Queen of 33rd Street By Flake, Sharon (Book - 2007 ) j FLAKE Available in some locations

Annotation:Queen is very smart and very pretty, but she treats everyone else as if they are her servants. Even her teacher is frustrated. Then Queen's class gets a new boy and he turns everything Queen knows upside down.

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Books for grade-schoolers with African-American protagonists or main characters.

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