February 07, 2024

Kids Books for Black History Month and Lunar New Year

Carol Roberts, head of Young People’s Services at Troy Public Library, recommends three books by Black authors for Black History Month, plus one on Chinese cuisine and history. “A History of Me” (Adrea Theodore, ill. Erin Robinson, 2022, for ages 5-8) explores the author’s experience of being the only person of color in school as slavery is discussed. The young-adult novel “Opposite of Always” (Justin A. Reynolds, 2019) presents the story of a boy falling for a girl who dies of sickle cell anemia, and his Groundhogs-Day-like replaying of the day they met. “Ellie Engle Saves Herself” (Leah Johnson, 2023), the story of a 12-year-old queer Black girl who feels unexceptional until she develops the superpower to bring dead things to life, deals with the difficulties of surviving middle school. Just in time for Lunar New Year, the fourth book, “Chinese Menu: The History, Myths, and Legends Behind Your Favorite Foods” (Grace Lin, 2023) tells the origin stories for various popular Chinese dishes, with one recipe for the author’s mother’s scallion pancakes. It’s billed for ages ~8-12, but sounds like a yummy book for all readers. For more details, visit www.thetroylibrary.org. Produced by Brea Barthel for Hudson Mohawk Magazine.

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