Published by Balzer + Bray
Summary: This illustrated poem recounts the history of African Americans, beginning with their capture in Africa and continuing through enslavement, emancipation, the Great Migration, the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Power movement, the Hip-Hop era, the election of Barack Obama, and the Black Lives Matter movement. There are mentions and depictions of many famous Black writers, entrepreneurs, musicians, and artists. Each section embodies one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa and concludes by naming it. Includes a two-page author’s note with additional information about Kwanzaa and her connection to it, a four-page timeline with additional information about the events in the book, and a list for further reading. 64 pages; grades 1 and up.
Pros: This amazing book traces the history of African Americans with concise but beautiful language that will inspire readers to dig more deeply into the events and people named. The vibrant illustrations portray what’s going on in the text realistically but with a touch of imaginative fantasy. There aren’t nearly enough Kwanzaa books, and this one would make an excellent resource; it could be read all at once or spread out over the seven days of the holiday.
Cons: Some reviewers recommended this for ages 4-8. It’s a long book with lots of information, which I think would be more appreciated by older readers of any age.