Extraordinary Magic

Crews, Nina. Extraordinary Magic. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2024.

What words would you choose to tell the story of your life?
How could you turn those words into poems about your life?
Nina Crews, author of over a dozen children’s books, uses poems and pictures to tell the story of Virginia Hamilton, author of over forty books and winner of multiple awards including the Newbery Medal in 1975. Most young readers today – at least in Canada – will not be familiar with Hamilton’s folktales and realistic novels about life for African Americans. This picture book is an excellent introduction to an author who excelled at writing complex stories that did not flinch from life’s ugliness while still celebrating its beauty. Recommended for readers up to 15 years of age.

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Go Forth and Tell

McDaniel, Breanna J. Go Forth and Tell. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2024.
This gorgeous picture book – illustrated by April Harrison – tells the story of Augusta Baker, a little girl who loved listening to her grandmother’s stories and who grew up to become a teacher who loved telling her own stories, as well as the first African American librarian to be head of children’s services in the New York Public Library system. Highly recommended for readers of any age who like telling stories and creating works of art.

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“Children of all ages want to hear stories. Select well, prepare well, and then go forth and just tell.” – Augusta Braxton Baker