Speaking Volumes :: Amplify Black Voices

These books are written (and, when applicable, illustrated) by black creators. They tell the stories of the beauty of every-day life and focus on joy rather than struggle.

Picture Books

He's Got the Whole World In His Hands by Nelson, Kadir

"What began as a spiritual has developed into one of America's best-known songs... Through sublime landscapes and warm images of a boy and his family, Kadir has created a dazzling, intimate interpretation, one that rejoices in the connectedness of people and nature.Inspired by the song's simple message, Kadir sought to capture the joy of living in and engaging with the world. Most importantly, he wished to portray the world as a child might see it--vast and beautiful." -- Goodreads

Parker Looks Up by Curry, Parker

"A visit to Washington, DC’s National Portrait Gallery forever alters Parker Curry’s young life when she views First Lady Michelle Obama’s portrait." --Goodreads

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Barnes, Derrick

"This rhythmic, read-aloud title is a celebration of the way boys feel when they leave the barber's chair." --Goodreads

Picture Book Covers



Harbor Me by Woodson, Jacqueline (Book)   (eBook)   (eAudiobook)

"When [six friends] are together, they can express the feelings and fears they have to hide from the rest of the world. And together, they can grow braver and more ready for the rest of their lives." --Goodreads

Ghetto Cowboy by Neri, Greg (Book)   (eBook)

"Written in natural speech, this story of a young boy finding his way with the help of Philedelphia's black cowboys is fiction, but inspired by the incredible true history of inner-city horseman of Philedelphia and Brooklyn." --Miss Cassi

The Stars Beneath Our Feet by Moore, David Barclay (Book)   (eBook)   (eAudiobook)

"The Stars Beneath Our Feet" provides a realistic lens on the Black American experience and infuses it with heart, soul, and imagination. Moore plays with language, culture, stereotypes, and reality to create an engaging book that will resonate with youth in urban communities everywhere searching for positive survival techniques." -- Coretta Scott King Award Description

J FIC Book Covers



Ghost by Reynolds, Jason (Book)   (eBook)   (eAudiobook)

"Ghost, a naturally talented runner and troublemaker, is recruited for an elite middle school track team. He must stay on track, literally and figuratively, to reach his full potential" -- Atheneum Books for Young Readers

The Sun is Also a Star by Yoon, Nicola (Book)   (eBook)   (eAudiobook)

"Two teens--Daniel, the son of Korean shopkeepers, and Natasha, whose family is here illegally from Jamaica--cross paths in New York City on an eventful day in their lives--Daniel is on his way to an interview with a Yale alum, Natasha is meeting with a lawyer to try and prevent her family's deportation to Jamaica--and fall in love." --Delacorte Press

The Crossover by Alexander, Kwame (Book)   (eBook)   (eAudiobook)

"Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health." -- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Teen and YA Book Covers


Adult Fiction & Non-Fiction

Between the World and Me by Coates, Ta-Nehisi

Between The World And Me helps us all fight prejudice and prepares young black men in the US for growing up by revealing Ta-Nehisi Coates's reality of life as a black man dealing with racism in America.

An Invisible Thread: The true story of an 11-year-old panhandler, a busy sales executive and an unlikely meeting with destiny by Schroff, Laura

He asked for spare change; she kept walking. But something made her turn around and go back. They met nearly every week for years, and built an unexpected, life-changing friendship that has today spanned almost three decades.

Becoming by Obama, Michelle

Becoming is the autobiographical memoirs of former United States First Lady Michelle Obama published in 2018.[1] Described by the author as a deeply personal experience,[2] the book talks about her roots and how she found her voice, as well as her time in the White House, her public health campaign, and her role as a mother.

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Mathis, Ayana

In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented. Hattie gives birth to nine more children whom she raises with grit and mettle and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave. She vows to prepare them for the calamitous difficulty they are sure to face in their later lives, to meet a world that will not love them, a world that will not be kind. Captured here in twelve narrative threads, their lives tell the story of a mother's monumental courage and the journey of a nation.

Small Great Things: a novel by Picoult, Jodi

"Small Great Things" tells the story of an African American labor and delivery nurse and the racism surrounding her care of a white supremacist couple's newborn son.

The Turner House by Flournoy, Angela

The Turners have lived on Yarrow Street for over fifty years. Their house has seen thirteen children grown and gone--and some returned; it has seen the arrival of grandchildren, the fall of Detroit's East Side, and the loss of a father. The house still stands despite abandoned lots, an embattled city, and the inevitable shift outward to the suburbs. But now, as ailing matriarch Viola finds herself forced to leave her home and move in with her eldest son, the family discovers that the house is worth just a tenth of its mortgage. The Turner children are called home to decide its fate and to reckon with how each of their pasts haunts--and shapes--their family's future. Already praised by Ayana Mathis as "utterly moving" and "un-putdownable," The Turner House brings us a colorful, complicated brood full of love and pride, sacrifice and unlikely inheritances. It's a striking examination of the price we pay for our dreams and futures, and the ways in which our families bring us home.

June 17, 2020 Speaking Volumes


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