For The Boys

The numbers are startling.

Of the 5,000 children’s books published every year, no more than 5 percent are written by or about blacks, Asians, Latinos or Native Americans, reports Catalyst Chicago.  Last year, the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison catalogued 172 picture books, novels and nonfiction books published that were about Africans or African-Americans.  Of those, 83 were written or illustrated by blacks.

Given those figures, I had to feature three books about black boys.

For You Are A Kenyan Child By Kelly Cunnane — A Kenyan child roams his village and forgets he has chores to do.

Fly By Christopher Myers — A look at the unlikely friendship between a boy and a homeless man.

Be Boy Buzz By bell hooks — Explores what it means to be a boy.

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  • I just found your blog. I am white but was born and raised in East Africa. We just recently adopted two Ethiopian brothers. I found “For You are a Kenyan Child.” at the library. Both me and my oldest son LOVE it. He loves hearing me try out my swahili and I hear him saying the words all around the house. This just brings joy to my heart as it is my Ethiopian son, speaking Swahili and enjoying an African book. Good stuff. I had never realized how few good multicultural books there were until I adopted two black sons. WOW. I have started writing a few books already… nothing published… but I think I might switch gears and write for my boys. I love that my eyes are being opened more and more as I see the world through the brown eyes of my boys.

  • For You Are a Kenyan Child is one of my favorites!

  • Those are sad statistics. Have you thought about writing children’s book? I can imagine you would be great. Feel free to come visit my little boy for inspiration!

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