Best of the Best 2021 Book List

For over 50 years, the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) has inspired, championed, and promoted a love for reading to African American children and teens from preschool to high school. Reading is an important skill that can open doors and pathways to advancement and success in life. The great Frederick Douglass acknowledged this when he said, “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”

In continuing this tradition, several BCALA members from public and school libraries have curated the Best of the Best 2021 Book List, a list of books highly recommended for African American children and teens. The list is broken down by grade level and includes summaries of each of the books listed. The Best of the Best 2021 Book List is available for download from the BCALA website at:

BCALA thanks KC Boyd, Kathy Carroll, Aleea Davey-Price, Sandra Michelle Echols, Donna Gray, Karen Lemmons, Mitzi Mack, Cherese McKnight, Pamela Moore, Stacey Nunn, Ritse Adefalolu, Richard Ashby, Jr., Tamela Chambers, Sandra Farag, Taryn Fouche, Tiffany James, Jordan McKenna, Mariel Matthews, Annelisa Purdie, Wayne Walters, and Fallon White for their efforts in contributing to this wonderful resource.


The Black Caucus of the American Library Association serves as an advocate for the development, promotion, and improvement of library services and resources to the nation’s African American community; and provides leadership for the recruitment and professional development of African American librarians.

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