Diversity is not only about ethnicity it deals with one’s body of work too. We desperately need black authors who write everything from historical fiction and coming-of-age narratives to humorous adventure stories and chilling dystopian chronicles.
Christopher Paul Curtis is an author whose repertoire is quite varied. In his books Mr. Chickee’s Messy Mission and Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money he delivers a fast-pace heist type story laced with humor and fun. Think Mission Impossible, but with a cool old man and a weird 9 year-old boy. I’d definitely recommend listening to these on road trips, they’re mindless enough for cruisin’ on open roads, but gripping enough to make 6+ hours seem like a piece of cake.
If you’re looking for something a bit more historical Mr. Curtis has The Watson’s Go to Birmingham. It tells the story of a family going down from Flint, Michigan to Birmingham, Alabama in 1963. Told from a 9 year-olds perspective, it tackles the tragic events of that city and year in a natural unintimidating manner. It’s one of those classic books that most people have never heard of but need to read. With wit, humor, and history it has something for everyone.
Bud Not Buddy is another amazing read, it tells the story of a little boy in search of his father. Armed only with his precious suitcase, flyers with clues of his past, and a bucket full courage and charisma, Bud launches on a long and intense journey filled with adventure and lots of jazz.
I’ve loved each of these five books at different times and in different ways, I hope they impact you as positively as they’ve impacted me.