Books by R. Gregory Christie

Released: Feb. 1, 2013

"Somber and inspirational. (thumbnail sketches) (Poetry. 10-16)"
The Children's Poet Laureate salutes 15 men and women, including one child, who spoke out and acted for equality and liberty, several at the cost of their lives. Read full book review >
IT JES' HAPPENED by Don Tate
Released: April 1, 2012

"An important picture-book biography that lovingly introduces this "outsider" artist to a new generation. (source notes, afterword) (Picture book/biography. 6-11)"
Tate and Christie capture the spirit behind the work of Bill Traylor, "one of the most important self-taught American folk artists of the twentieth century." Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 2012

"A stirring and thought-provoking account of an unsung figure in 20th-century American history. (author's notes, source notes, bibliography, index) (Fictional biography. 12-18)"
Lewis Michaux provided a venue for his fellow African-Americans to have access to their own history and philosophy at a time when the very idea was revolutionary. Read full book review >
ROOTS AND BLUES by Arnold Adoff
FICTION
Released: Jan. 3, 2011

"An incandescent, important work. (Poetry. 8 & up)"
Adoff creates a moving meditation on the roots of American blues. Read full book review >
ALMOST ZERO by Nikki Grimes
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2010

"A treasure. (Fiction. 5-8)"
"Everything we have is a gift," or at least that's what Dyamonde's mom says. Read full book review >
BLACK MAGIC by Dinah Johnson
POETRY
Released: Feb. 1, 2010

"Adults will find this book a great conversation starter with little ones. (Picture book. 5-9)"
"My hundred black braids make a spiderweb around my head, / and Mama's voice is black and sweet as I fall asleep." Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Nov. 1, 2009

"Here, children can saddle up with a genuine Western hero in a narrative that hits the bull's-eye. (glossary, timeline, bibliography, notes) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)"
He rode tall in the saddle and excelled at riding, shooting, tracking and every other skill required of a man representing the law in the vast and often lawless American frontier known as Indian Territory in the late 1800s. Read full book review >
RICH by Nikki Grimes
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2009

"Young readers will wish they had a friend like Dyamonde. (Fiction. 6-9)"
"Dyamonde liked to know everything, and she'd made up her mind that she was going to get to know Damaris Dancer." Read full book review >
MAKE WAY FOR DYAMONDE DANIEL by Nikki Grimes
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 2009

"Here's hoping this series kick-off leads to many more stories about best friends Dyamonde and Free. (Fiction. 7-10)"
Third grader Dyamonde Daniel, transplanted from Brooklyn to Washington Heights because of her parents' divorce, is looking for a best friend. Read full book review >
WHEN LOUIS ARMSTRONG TAUGHT ME SCAT by Muriel Harris Weinstein
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Feb. 1, 2009

"Jazz scholars might disagree. (biographical note) (Picture book. 4-8)"
This ebullient tribute to Armstrong as scat innovator opens with a girl and her mom dancing to Satchmo's scatting on the radio. Read full book review >
OPEN THE DOOR TO LIBERTY! by Anne Rockwell
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Jan. 12, 2009

"While this introduction may pique the interest of some history buffs, it seems unlikely that it will find a wide audience. (Biography. 9-12)"
Born a slave, Toussaint L'Ouverture overcame ill health and used his considerable intellect to shape both his life and the future of his country. Read full book review >
JAZZ BABY by Lisa Wheeler
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Nov. 1, 2007

"Exultant and infectious, from the red-and-yellow-striped endpapers to the final "OH YEAH!" (Picture book. 3-6)"
A snappy rhyming text celebrates an extended family's joyous gyrations to the jazz spinning on the turntable. Read full book review >
THE DEAF MUSICIANS by Pete Seeger
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

"An unusual story, both stylish and uplifting. (author note) (Picture book. 4-8)"
After losing his hearing, a piano man finds new musical life. Read full book review >
DEAR MR. ROSENWALD by Carole Boston Weatherford
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2006

"Accomplished yet accessible, this is an important book for every library. (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-10)"
Set in the rural south in the early 1920s, this terrific picture book uses evocative free verse to describe the building of a school for black children using seed money from Julius Rosenwald, the Sears catalog magnate. Read full book review >
KEEP CLIMBING, GIRLS by Beah E. Richards
POETRY
Released: Jan. 1, 2006

"Both a period piece and a shout-out of encouragement, this is sure to find a new, responsive audience. (Picture book. 5-8)"
First published in 1951 by the late actress and poet, Keep Climbing, Girls gets renewed energy from the strong gouache images of Christie and the introduction from Hamilton. Read full book review >
THE SUN’S DAUGHTER by Pat Sherman
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: March 28, 2005

"While adding to the canon of Iroquois lore is to be commended, this reads as if the specifics of northeastern flora and fauna are simply grafted on to a universal tale. (author's note) (Picture book. 4-7)"
This original story by the first time author is a pourqoui tale of the seasons, similar to the familiar Greek legend of Persephone. Read full book review >
THE CHAMP by Tonya Bolden
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Dec. 28, 2004

"A fascinating introduction to an intriguing person. (notes, source list) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)"
Muhammad Ali remains an interesting, colorful persona long after his amazing boxing career. Read full book review >
HOT CITY by Barbara Joosse
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 1, 2004

"A vivid, if somewhat meandering summer-in-the-city vignette. (Picture book. 5-8)"
On a smoldering summer day, an African-American girl and her little brother sit on porch steps, "hot as a fry pan," trying to figure out how to cool off. Read full book review >
YESTERDAY I HAD THE BLUES by Jeron Ashford Frame
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

A young African-American boy uses the blues as a springboard to explore both his emotions and those of his family in this perfectly agreeable picture book. Read full book review >
RULER OF THE COURTYARD by Rukhsana Khan
FICTION
Released: March 1, 2003

"Suspense, a positive message, and illustrations that show up across the room, make this a winner for reading aloud. (Picture book. 6-10)"
The Pakistani setting provides an additional and timely dimension to this perfectly paced story. Read full book review >
LOVE TO LANGSTON by Tony Medina
POETRY
Released: Feb. 1, 2002

"This is a treasure to be read and reread—a splendid work. (Poetry. 8-12)"
A biography in verse pays homage to the life and art of Langston Hughes. Read full book review >
ROCK OF AGES by Tonya Bolden
HISTORY
Released: Dec. 26, 2001

"Although somewhat ungainly at times, it's ultimately moving. (Picture book. 5-8)"
A poetic tribute to the sustaining power of the Black Church. Read full book review >
DESHAWN DAYS by Tony Medina
POETRY
Released: July 1, 2001

"Sincerity to spare, but not much else. (Picture book/poetry. 7-10)"
A series of free-verse poems gives readers a relentless look at the bright side of life in the projects. Read full book review >
STARS IN THE DARKNESS by Barbara Joosse
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 2001

"An annotated list of resources on gang prevention is included. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Joosse (A Houseful of Christmas, 2001, etc.) tells the story of a boy's sadness over his older brother's growing gang involvement and of his idea to speak out against it. Read full book review >