“What We’re Reading” is a column about readers and the books they love, in their own words. This month, we asked two librarians and two booksellers to share their recommendations for a book to read during Black History Month and beyond.
Lorielle J. Hollaway, Owner and Book Pusher at Cultured Books
Book: “The ABC’s of Black History” by Rio Cortez, Illustrated by Lauren Semmer
“It’s a beautiful book that introduces readers to Black history in the U.S. and around the world. Every letter represents a piece of history, and in the back of the book there’s added information.”
Cailey Klasson, Youth Services Librarian at Gulfport Public Library
Book: “Thank You, Omu!” by Oge Mora
“It’s a favorite of mine to read during storytime because it celebrates community, gratitude and inclusivity. Its beautiful illustrations made it a Caldecott Honor book and it won the Coretta Scott King Book Award.”
Sheri Stanley, Circulation Manager at Gulfport Public Library
Book: “Binti” by Dr. Nnedi Okorafor
“Okorafor is one of the best new voices in Science Fiction/African futurism. The book is the tale of a young African woman who runs away from home to study at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. On the way, her student transport is attacked, and she must do her best to arrive safely, remaining true to herself and to her people’s customs. She’ll return to her family (in subsequent book “Binti: Home”) a changed person: literally.
“Dr. Okorafor writes about young women navigating worlds that may be hostile or dangerous, undergoing changes that are dramatic and painful, but whose strength and perseverance make them a beacon of hope in an uncertain place.”
Amanda Hurley, Children’s Book Buyer for Tombolo Books
Book: “The Prophets” by Robert Jones, Jr.
“It’s a rich and intensely layered love story of two enslaved men on a plantation in the Deep South. The language is stunning, and the story itself is both hopeful and heartbreaking – love, betrayal and the burdens and beauty of inheritance.”
For more Black History Month selections, visit culturedbooks.com, tombolobooks.com. For a Gulfport Public Library “staff recommends” Black History Month reading list, find the Gulfport Public Library on Facebook or visit mygulfport.us/gpl/black-history-month-staff-recommendations.