This Black History Month, we are proud to shine a spotlight on stories that center on African American protagonists. Whether you’re a new reader or an older fan, these series will satisfy anyone looking to explore new worlds inspired by ancient legends, folklore, and mythology.
The Tristan Strong Trilogy
From best-selling author Kwame Mbalia, this middle grade epic fantasy is set in a richly-imagined world populated with African American folk heroes and West African gods. This Coretta Scott King and Children’s Africana Book award-winning series centers on seventh grader Tristan Strong as he explores Midpass, a world where ancient African gods clash with gods of African-American legend.
Seventh grader Tristan Strong feels anything but strong ever since he failed to save his best friend when they were in a bus accident together. All he has left of Eddie is the journal his friend wrote stories in. Tristan is dreading the month he’s going to spend on his grandparents’ farm in Alabama, where he’s being sent to heal from the tragedy. But on his first night there, a sticky creature shows up in his bedroom and steals Eddie’s journal. Tristan chases after it–is that a doll?–and a tug-of-war ensues between them underneath a Bottle Tree.
In a last attempt to wrestle the journal out of the creature’s hands, Tristan punches the tree, accidentally ripping open a chasm into the MidPass, a volatile place with a burning sea, haunted bone ships, and iron monsters that are hunting the inhabitants of this world. Tristan finds himself in the middle of a battle that has left Black American gods John Henry and Brer Rabbit exhausted. In order to get back home, Tristan and these new allies will need to entice the god Anansi, the Weaver, to come out of hiding and seal the hole in the sky.
But bartering with the trickster Anansi always comes at a price. Can Tristan save this world before he loses more of the things he loves?
Books in the series:
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky
Tristan Strong Destroys the World
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky: The Graphic Novel
The Serwa Boateng Trilogy
From New York Times best-selling author Roseanne A. Brown, this brand-new series stars Serwa Boateng, a seventh grader/vampire hunter who must protect her new community from the adze, vampires from Ghanaian folklore.
Serwa is the best adze slayer her age, and she knew how to use a crossbow before she could even ride a bike. But when an obayifo (witch) destroys her childhood home while searching for a drum, do Serwa’s parents take her with them on their quest to defeat her? No. Instead, they dump Serwa with her hippie aunt and cryptic-obsessed cousin in the middle of Nowheresville, Maryland “for her own safety.” Now, instead of crossbows and battle armor, she’s dealing with mean girls and algebra.
Just as Serwa starts to get the hang of this whole normal girl who doesn’t punch vampires every day thing, an adze infiltrates her school. It’s up to her to whip some of her classmates into monster-fighting shape before all of them become firefly food. And when she uncovers a secret that upends everything she thought she knew about her family’s role in the slayer vs. adze war, Serwa will have to decide which side of herself–normal girl or slayer–is the right one.
After all, seventh grade is hard enough without adding vampires to the mix.
Books in the series so far:
Serwa Boateng’s Guide to Vampire Hunting
Serwa Boateng’s Guide to Witchcraft and Mayhem (On Sale 9/12)
And Don’t Forget the Internationally Best-Selling Kane Chronicles Trilogy by Rick Riordan!
When the gods of Ancient Egypt are accidentally unleashed into the modern world, siblings Carter and Sadie Kane discover that they are descended from the most powerful magicians, and only they have the power to set things right.
Carter and Sadie have just had their world rocked—by a real rock: the Rosetta Stone, which their father has just blown up. And that’s just the beginning.
The explosion released five powerful Egyptian gods—Isis, Horus, Set, Osiris, and Nephthys—from the Stone. The gods need mortal hosts to survive. Isis chooses Sadie; Horus chooses Carter. Without permission, that is, so neither of the Kanes have a clue they’re godlings.
Hosting a god is a crime in the world of Egyptian magic, however. The punishment is death. When the head of the magical order, the House of Life, discovers the siblings’ secret, he orders their swift execution.
Luckily, Carter and Sadie are swifter.
In the days that follow, they learn to channel the power of Isis, goddess of magic, and Horus, the falcon god of war. Sadie becomes adept in casting spells, while Carter taps into combat magic. With Isis and Horus on their side—or rather, on their insides–they thwart a plot hatched by Set, the god of evil, to raze the earth’s landscape and turn it into a desert, his personal place of power.
Will the Kanes and their trainees be ready for what is to come?
Books in the series:
Brooklyn House Magician’s Manual
The Red Pyramid: The Graphic Novel
The Throne of Fire: The Graphic Novel