Books by Andrea Davis Pinkney

MARTIN RISING by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Released: Jan. 2, 2018

"Spiritually vital. (author's and illustrator's notes, history, timeline, bibliography) (Poetry. 8-adult)"
The multiaward-winning Pinkneys' requiem lovingly explains in a set of "docu-poems" the events surrounding Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, particularly the Memphis sanitation workers' strikes that brought him to the city where he eventually died. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 2016

"A loving and forceful reminder that Keats' Peter is our Peter—always. (author's notes, Keats bibliography, resources, photographs) (Picture book/poetry/biography. 6-10)"
A love letter to the man who gave readers the beautiful and enduring image of a black boy in a red hooded snowsuit. Read full book review >
RHYTHM RIDE by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Released: Sept. 29, 2015

"An ebullient, wonderfully told introduction to music that had an indelible influence on a generation and its times. (photos, timeline, discography, source notes, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)"
Adopting the informal, laid-back voice of a narrator she calls "the Groove," Pinkney offers readers a lively, engaging chronicle of the Motown sound. Read full book review >
THE RED PENCIL by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Released: Sept. 16, 2014

"A soulful story that captures the magic of possibility, even in difficult times. (author's note, illustrator's note, glossary) (Verse fiction. 8-12)"
A 12-year-old Sudanese girl struggles for survival after a janjaweed attack on her town forces her family to seek safety in an overcrowded refugee camp. Read full book review >
MARTIN & MAHALIA by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Released: Aug. 6, 2013

"Sure to become an indispensable part of annual Black History Month celebrations and library nonfiction collections on important African-Americans. (Informational picture book. 6-12)"
A well-illustrated and meticulously researched story of the inextricably intertwined lives of two important African-American historical figures. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 23, 2012

"A feast for readers whose eyes are (or should be) on the prize, in a volume as well-turned-out as the dapper W.E.B. Dubois, who was 'more handsome than a fresh-cut paycheck.' (timeline, index, lists of recommended reading and viewing) (Collective biography. 10-15)"
Addressing the appetites of readers "hungry for role models," this presents compellingly oratorical pictures of the lives and characters of 10 African-American men who exemplify a "birthright of excellence." Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2011

"A solid entry in an ever-popular series. (historical note, photographs, biographical notes, time line) (Historical fiction. 8-14)"
Coretta Scott King Award-winner Pinkney provides an outstanding contribution to the Dear America series with the diary of the (fictional) first African-American student to integrate the segregated schools of Hadley, Va. Read full book review >
BIRD IN A BOX by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Released: April 12, 2011

"Perfect pacing and italicized radio commentary drawn from Pinkney's research provide a tense and rousing closing, in which the dreams that Louis represented do come true, and three new friends find that 'faith is here like a long-gone friend.' (Historical fiction. 9-14)"
It's the era of Joe Louis at Yankee Stadium, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington at the Savoy and Philco radios in living rooms across the country, hope and dreams afloat on the airwaves. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 24, 2009

"Imbued with a righteous beauty—like Sojourner herself. (author's note, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 5-8)"
The Pinkneys (Boycott Blues, 2008, etc.) collaborate on an upbeat yet nuanced picture biography of Sojourner Truth, whose slave name was Isabella. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

"Parks's preceding, years-long activism in civil-rights issues is unexamined in both text and author's note, however, continuing an unfortunate silence shared with other treatments of the subject for young children. (author's note, further resources) (Picture book. 5-8)"
Grounded in the events of the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, this hybrid of fact and fiction is leavened by a guitar-picking hound dog's blues-imbued narration. Read full book review >
PEGGONY-PO by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Released: April 1, 2006

"Reminiscent of tall-tale heroes like Pecos Bill and John Henry, Peggony-Po and his larger-than-life seafaring antics result in a rollicking Moby-Dick for the small set. (author's note, glossary, further reading) (Picture book. 4-7)"
A fearless young whaler leads a fearsome whale on a merry chase, triggering the Great Whale Bet of 1847. Read full book review >
SLEEPING CUTIE by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

"Nothing here on the level of some of the Pinkneys' other work—the attractive, brightly colored ink illustrations emphasize sweetness over artistic richness—but the musical interlude adds a lively touch of nightclub excitement to this bedtime story. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Cutie LaRue is sweet as cream—until bedtime rolls around. Read full book review >
FISHING DAY by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Released: Nov. 1, 2003

"A gentle tale with a big punch. (Picture book. 7-10)"
Reenie and her mom are having fun and great success while fishing in Jim Crow River, while Peter and his father are fishing for food and have nothing to show for it. Read full book review >
MIM’S CHRISTMAS JAM by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Released: Oct. 1, 2001

"The Pinkneys have again succeeded in presenting a lesser-known aspect of African-American history as a moving, sensitive story with which modern young readers can identify. (Picture book. 4-9)"
It's 1915 and Pap is in New York City, working on the construction of the subway system. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2001

"Cool. (Picture book/biography. 5-9)"
In this terrific picture-book biography, Scat Cat Monroe, a slick, fast-talking cat tells the story of Ella Fitzgerald, the Queen of Scat. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"A truly inspiring collection for personal as well as institutional libraries. (Biography. 8-12)"
This exciting collective biography features ten important women in the historic struggle to win freedom and civil rights. Read full book review >
RAVEN IN A DOVE HOUSE by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Released: April 1, 1998

"Cumulatively, the adults have far more presence than the younger generation, several important events are reported rather than seen, and Nell is largely an observer. (Fiction. 11-14)"
A surprisingly awkward novel from Pinkney (Bill Pickett, 1996, etc.) about the comings and goings in an African-American family; it captures the pace of life in a small town in upstate New York at the cost of losing readers along the way. Read full book review >
DUKE ELLINGTON by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Released: April 1, 1998

"Like Chris Raschka's solos, Charlie Parker Played Be-Bop (1992) and Mysterious Thelonius (1997), this loving tribute temptingly evokes the sound and spirit of a jazz pioneer. (Picture book/biography. 8-10)"
PLB 0-7868-2150-7 Addressing readers directly—"You ever heard of the jazz-playin' man, the man with the cats who could swing with his band?"—the Pinkneys embark on a cool and vibrant tour of Duke Ellington's musical career, from the pool hall ragtime that "set Duke's fingers to wiggling," to his 1943 Carnegie Hall concert, also giving some of the soloists that played with him, and songwriter Billy Strayhorn, a chance to step forward. Read full book review >
BILL PICKETT by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

From the creators of Dear Benjamin Banneker (1994), rip-snorting picture-book biography of the first African-American cowboy inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. Read full book review >
DEAR BENJAMIN BANNEKER by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"Still, the text is serviceable; and Brian Pinkney's glowing paint-and-scratchboard illustrations vibrate with dignity and purpose. (Book-of-the-Month Club featured selection) (Biography/Picture book. 5-10)"
This outline of the accomplishments of the distinguished African-American astronomer and mathematician focuses on the landmark publication of his first almanac and an eloquent 1791 letter to Thomas Jefferson. Read full book review >
ALVIN AILEY by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Released: Oct. 11, 1993

"A final note fills in some of the facts; this attractive introduction, based on interviews with many who knew Ailey, will leave readers hungry for more. (Biography/Picture book)"
A slightly fictionalized account of the great dancer- choreographer's (1931-89) early training and rise to fame, ending with the triumphant 1960 production of Revelations. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

"Useful four-item reading list. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 7-9)"
An introduction to the history, symbols, and customary celebration of this African-American holiday. Read full book review >