Black Boy Joy: 17 Stories Celebrating Black Boyhood

Delacorte. Aug. 2021. 320p. ed. by Mbalia, Kwame, ed. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780593379936.
Gr 3-7–It can be challenging to find resonant books for middle grade Black boys that reflect the diversity of their experiences. A solution is right here with this excellent anthology. This exuberant collection runs the gamut, featuring prose and verse with illustrations from 17 Black male and nonbinary creators. Contributors include authors across a variety of youth literature genres, such as Jason Reynolds, Tochi Onyebuchi, Dean Atta, and Julian Winters. The stories themselves are short enough to appeal to reluctant readers and address all kinds of topics, from losing a close relative to saving the galaxy to getting injured doing a sport and the first day of school. Relationships and connection are the throughlines that render these seemingly disparate stories a cohesive whole. No matter if readers are into music, art, sports, church, or fantastical adventure, there is something in this book that they will connect with.
VERDICT This book is a must-have in every collection for its variety of topics and its celebration of Black boyhood in all its forms.

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