Books by Langston Hughes

LULLABY (FOR A BLACK MOTHER) by Langston Hughes
Released: March 19, 2013

"Share with little ones needing a gentle lullaby. (note, further reading) (Picture book/poetry. 2-6)"
An urban setting with a calming palette complements the soothing, loving tone of Hughes' poem celebrating an African-American mother and her baby. Read full book review >
I, TOO, AM AMERICA by Langston Hughes
Released: May 22, 2012

"Enjoy the poem and the illustrations; skip the instructions. (Picture book. 8 & up)"
A brilliant visual association between Hughes' poem and the history of the Pullman porters illuminates a chapter of American history but gets bogged down in backmatter explaining its metaphors. Read full book review >
BOY OF THE BORDER by Arna Bontemps
ADVENTURE
Released: Oct. 1, 2009

"An afterword provides cultural and historical context for this solid, old-fashioned adventure tale. (Historical fiction. 10-14)"
This rediscovered gem from two giants of the Harlem Renaissance is more than just an historical curiosity. Read full book review >
THE NEGRO SPEAKS OF RIVERS by Langston Hughes
POETRY
Released: Jan. 6, 2009

"The beautifully reverent, serene cover image will persuade all to look inside. (Picture book. 5 & up)"
A visual paean to Hughes's enduring poem, Lewis's images make a personal connection to a taproot of feelings. Read full book review >
MY PEOPLE by Langston Hughes
Released: Jan. 6, 2009

"All together, they are the perfect accompaniment to the classic poem and create a complex work of art that any age can relish. (photographer's note) (Picture book. 2-10)"
Hughes first published "My People" in 1923. Read full book review >
POETRY FOR YOUNG PEOPLE by Langston Hughes
POETRY
Released: April 3, 2006

"So long, / so far away / is Africa. / Not even memories alive / Save those that history books create, / Save those that songs / Beat back into the blood." Read full book review >
CAROL OF THE BROWN KING by Langston Hughes
Released: Oct. 1, 1998

"The deliberately childlike feel of the drawings throws into relief the power of the message, that the story of the first Christmas belongs to no one, and to everyone."
Six holiday poems highlight the universality of the Christmas season with a special emphasis on African-American influences. Read full book review >
THE PASTEBOARD BANDIT by Arna Bontemps
FICTION
Released: Nov. 20, 1997

"Consider this a long-lost literary relic, available at last, more for study than pleasure. (Fiction. 12+)"
 Sandwiched between an introduction by Bontemps's son and a biographical and analytical afterword is a never-before-published story, innovative for its time, written in 1935 by two icons in the history of African-American literature. Read full book review >
SHORT STORIES by Langston Hughes
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

"Stories that, at their best, provide a remarkable portrait of black America over several crucial decades: an important collection that can only enhance our admiration of a great American writer."
 Eight of the forty-seven stories in this welcome volume of Hughes's short fiction have never before been collected, and the rest are from long out-of-print books. Read full book review >
THE BLOCK by Langston Hughes
POETRY
Released: Nov. 1, 1995

"Like Ntozake Shange's i live in music (1994, not reviewed), a continuous poem, illustrated by many of Bearden's works, this also shows readers how poetry and collage are not only related, but probably siblings. (Picture book/poetry. 4+)"
 In a work published in conjunction with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the words and images of two Harlem Renaissance artists combine in a jazzy portrait of life on a Harlem block. Read full book review >
THE BOOK OF RHYTHMS by Langston Hughes
MUSIC AND THE ARTS
Released: Aug. 1, 1995

"Thought-provoking. (Nonfiction. 8+)"
 Starting with zigzag lines on paper, Hughes's book proceeds through musical notes, the ebb and flow of water, a man batting a ball, and a child spinning a top to show how all the world is connected by rhythm. Read full book review >
THE SWEET AND SOUR ANIMAL BOOK by Langston Hughes
ABC BOOKS
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"Harlem Renaissance poet Hughes and young Harlem artists together create a fun, provocative, and visually exciting abecedary. (Poetry/Picture book. 3+)"
 Published for the first time, this book of poems for children covers animals for all the letters of the alphabet (except for X, which gets a poem but no animal). Read full book review >
THE RETURN OF SIMPLE by Langston Hughes
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 1994

"Quite simply, an indispensable part of our cultural heritage."
 A welcome reintroduction to the pioneering African-American writer's most memorable fictional character. Read full book review >

"Recent Life article may direct interest."
Coverage of the life of the Negro in the United States from pre-revolutionary days to the present provides a straight-forward text along with some 1000 illustrations from prints, engravings, woodcuts, photographs, paintings. Read full book review >