Wonderful time at the American Library Association Annual Conference, celebrating 50 years of the Coretta Scott King Awards! Many thanks to all who joined us to talk THE HERO NEXT DOOR, the middle grade anthology from We Need Diverse Books, out July 30th, and for The Brown Bookshelf’s “Looking Back, Moving Forward,” celebrating the classic and contemporary work of Black children’s book creators, scholars, and librarians. I look forward to hanging with educators again this fall, at ILA and NCTE!
Looking forward to big fun in my birthplace at The Bronx Book Festival on June 8th!
I’M READING: QUEENIE, by Candice Carty-Williams, BLACK AND BRITISH: A FORGOTTEN HISTORY, by David Olusoga.
Many thanks to StarTrek.com for including ABOVE AND BEYOND in “Your Tiny Starfleet Officers Will Love These Books”!
I’M READING: The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games, by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas; We Got This, by Cornelius Minor; Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal.
I’m so honoured to have had the opportunity to work on THE HERO NEXT DOOR, WNDB’s middle grade anthology, which received a STARRED REVIEW from Kirkus! “The collection offers a vivid and vibrant assemblage of authors, experiences, and constructions of heroism….A stellar collection that, in celebrating heroes, helps readers find the universal in the specific.” Many thanks and congratulations to the wonderful contributors: William Alexander, Joseph Bruchac, Lamar Giles, Mike Jung, Hena Khan, Juana Medina, Ellen Oh, R. J. Palacio, Linda Sue Park and Anna Dobbin, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Ronald L. Smith, Rita Williams-Garcia, and short-story contest winner Suma Subramaniam! Pre-order today!
I’m humbled and thrilled by the news that SOMEDAY IS NOW was included on this PENN GSE list of The Best Books of 2018 for Young Readers! Ebony Elizabeth Thomas and her team do incredible work— be sure to check out Humanizing Stories (@HealingFictions) on Twitter and Dr. Thomas’ upcoming book, The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games.
SOMEDAY IS NOW was named a 2018 Notable Social Studies Trade Book! Thank you so much to all who read and shared.
ABOVE AND BEYOND: NASA’S JOURNEY TO TOMORROW was included in this Book Riot list of 25 of the Best Children’s Books About Space!
I am thrilled to be joining an incredible roster of children’s book people at the 27th Annual African American Children’s Book Fair on February 2 in Philadelphia, PA. Come on out and celebrate with us!
NAOMIS TOO WAS AWARDED A NERDIE!!! WOOOOOOOOT! So much gratitude for that wonderful team of committed educators and readers. And the Naomis are in phenomenal company!
OUT NOW! My nonfiction debuts -- SOMEDAY IS NOW: Clara Luper and the 1958 Oklahoma City Sit-Ins, a picture book biography with starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal. What an honor it is to share a little bit of this incredible story. And ABOVE AND BEYOND: NASA'S JOURNEY TO TOMORROW, celebrating NASA'S 60 years of exploration and research.
Honoured to speak with the Oklahoman about Clara Luper and her remarkable students!
I'm reading: HOW TO LOVE A JAMAICAN; A MANUAL FOR CLEANING WOMEN; PHYSICS OF THE IMPOSSIBLE; MONDAY'S NOT COMING
In the U.S.? Great info on civic participation from Celeste P.
#FamiliesBelongTogether Lunchtime for Change
I'm reading: LICCLE BIT; WELL, THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY; HEADS OF THE COLORED PEOPLE; DRAWING WORDS AND WRITING PICTURES
Find me on Instagram: @olugbemisolarhudayperkovich
This September! Thrilled to announce ABOVE AND BEYOND: NASA'S JOURNEY TO TOMORROW! Can't wait to share all of the hidden histories and cool facts (robot bees! space origami!) with readers!
NAOMIS TOO will be out in the world this September! Want to see the COVER?!!!
I'm reading: FEELING FREE; BLACK INK; JADA JONES, CLASS ACT; and PADDINGTON RACES AHEAD.
So excited to be editing THE HERO NEXT DOOR, the Fall 2019 middle grade anthology from We Need Diverse Books! Contributors include William Alexander, Joseph Bruchac, Lamar Giles, Mike Jung, Hena Khan, Ellen Oh, R. J. Palacio, Linda Sue Park and Anna Dobbin, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Ronald L. Smith, Rita Williams-Garcia, and an illustrated story by Juana Medina. Read on to find out the winner of the HERO NEXT DOOR Short Story contest!
With the release of Ava DuVernay's film adaptation of A WRINKLE IN TIME and BECOMING MADELEINE by Charlotte Voiklis Jones and Léna Roy, I reflected on how Madeleine L'Engle and her work had a big and beautiful impact on my life.
I'm Reading: SING, UNBURIED, SING, THE SEVENTH WISH; re-reading favourites TILL WE HAVE FACES and BURR
Thanks so much to David Valdes Greenwood for including 8th GRADE SUPERZERO on this list!
I'm Reading: ORPHAN ISLAND, YORK, WE LOVE YOU, CHARLIE FREEMAN, RISE OF THE JUMBIES, and THE SERPENT'S SECRET: KIRANMALA AND THE KINGDOM BEYOND.
Many thanks to Sa'iyda Shabazz for including TWO NAOMIS on this great Scary Mommy list, along with faves like THE JUMBIES, THE GAUNTLET, THE OTHER SIDE, WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON, and more!
I'm Reading: The Gauntlet, Star Side of Bird Hill, Dear Ijeawele: A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, Born A Crime, and Searching for Zion.
I am such a GINORMOUS fan of The Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility -- it was extra special to see this review of Two Naomis on their site! Woot!
I had a wonderful time talking the joy and power of diverse literature, inclusion, empowerment, and discomfort on NCTE's Voices from the Middle podcast. My related article for the March 2017 issue of Voices, SAY THAT TO MY FACE: On Teaching and Learning Diverse Literature for Empowerment and Enjoyment (Or, On Feeling Itchy) is also online.
My latest on Brightly: Books to help children understand more about the refugee experience.
Woot! Many thanks to The Undefeated for including the Naomis on this great list.
I'm Reading: Just finished and LOVED Swing Time, reading Jeff Chang's We Gon' Be Alright now; so much more to add to my shelves!
TWO NAOMIS got a Nerdie!!!!! So many thanks to the amazing Nerdy Book Club team for the honour -- it means so much. I'm a great admirer of their exemplary work sharing literature and book joy with us all, so this is extra sweet. Woohoo!!!! We got a Nerdie!!!!!
WHOA! TWO NAOMIS is an NAACP Image award nominee!!! I am THRILLED and SO, SO GRATEFUL!
Hooray! I took so much joy in perusing these flyers as a kid...now 8th Grade Superzero is a part of the Scholastic Reading Club/We Need Diverse Bookswinter flyer, and I'm seriously happydancing!
I am proud to be a member of The Brown Bookshelf. Please join us in our Open Declaration in Support of Children
TWO NAOMIS, out NOW. Grateful for starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist!
"A compassionate, necessary tale about the real-life act of building a blended family."Thrilled by these kind words about TWO NAOMIS from Hope Wabuke at The Root!
"Two Naomis is quiet, it’s smart, it’s full of real people dealing with real—and messy—feelings. It’s the sort of book that makes my cold heart feel all warm and fuzzy; it’s the sort of book that I hope inspires companion novels because all of the side characters—even the ones that we never actually meet!—are so immediately interesting and unique and again, real; it’s the sort of book that I just want to thrust at people and say, “HERE! READ THIS!” So, so grateful for this lovely post by Leila Roy over at Kirkus, and LOVE the Reading Challenge idea!
"Warm, upbeat, and satisfying" -- thank you, Publshers Weekly!
A starred review! "A smart, endearing story about two girls who are blending families, growing up, and building a friendship." Thank you, Kirkus!
TWO NAOMIS is a Junior Library Guild Selection! Woot!
Many thanks to Sam Bloom for this lovely Throwback Thursday review of 8th Grade Superzero!
Thank you to The Root for recommending TWO NAOMIS!
What a beautiful and powerful day at the 2016 Kweli Journal Children's Book Writers' Conference!
Looking for other work? Some of my writing on literacy, parenting, crafting, and more can be found online
Justice On The Lesson Plan, my post on literature and social justice over at The Brown Bookshelf.
Especially grateful for this generous review from author and teacher Megan Morrison