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Looking to build a list of children fantasy books with black protagonist ... Can you help?


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Initial post: Sep 5, 2010 8:20:57 AM PDT
Looking to build a list of children fantasy/adventure books with black protagonist and I must say I'm finding it hard to do. Looking for any help.

Posted on Sep 5, 2010 10:06:47 AM PDT
lifewontwait says:
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Volumes I and II by MT Anderson come to mind.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2010 11:04:47 AM PDT
Do you know of any that's not dealing with slavery?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2010 12:17:58 PM PDT
Hikari says:
The Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin features 'Ged' the boy wizard as a prototype for Harry Potter, though it is more in the Tolkien high fantasy mode. Ged is a person of color, though not specifically African-American. He exists in a world that is not Earth, hence, no familiar countries or racial groups. There is reference, however to his being dark-complected and something of a minority.

Don't want to scare you with the Tolkien reference--The earthsea books (there are four) are definitely High Fantasy, but they are short, and quite simple to read.

Posted on Sep 5, 2010 1:45:05 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 5, 2010 1:45:57 PM PDT
K. Crumley says:
I was just going to suggest Earthsea! It's very good.

~K. Crumley
http://www.dragondreamzpublications.info

Posted on Sep 5, 2010 7:48:31 PM PDT
C. Sachs says:
Patricia McKillip Moon-Flash and Moon And The Face.
Sadly, African Americans are underrepresented in fantasy. Steven Barnes writes some very fun stuff, but I wouldn't consider him a children's writer. Adolescent who likes action and reads above grade level would do just fine with him.
I'd be interested to see what people suggest.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2010 8:31:27 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 5, 2010 8:32:45 PM PDT
Catching Santa (The Kringle Chronicles, Book 1)
My son was selected as part of the focus group for Catching Santa so we've read an advanced copy. Santa is black. The book is taking off. Major sci-fi gadget fantasy. Author spoke at my sons school and a national tour is commencing in October. Catching Santa (The Kringle Chronicles, Book 1)

Posted on Sep 7, 2010 7:55:36 AM PDT
Now, I haven't read it myself, but it is on my to-read list specifically because I liked "Steel Magic" the first book in this series, and because this book features an African-American protag. Also, the name is pretty cool! Lavender-Green Magic: The Magic Books #5 Sorry I don't have first hand knowledge about it, though.

Posted on Sep 7, 2010 8:08:39 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 7, 2010 8:09:29 AM PDT
Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone. I will be checking them out.

Posted on Sep 7, 2010 8:32:43 AM PDT
Tamora Pierce's Circle of Magic series has four protagonists, Daja is described as dark-skinned. If you only want the ones with Daja, that would be Daja's Book and Cold Fire

Posted on Sep 7, 2010 9:10:37 AM PDT
Andrew says:
Starship Troopers, the original Heinlein, not the movies.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2010 1:59:00 PM PDT
Mrs. Garside says:
The OP is looking for children's books. Heinlein is more suitable for teens and adults.

Posted on Sep 7, 2010 2:36:35 PM PDT
Tori says:
Anansi BoysAnansi Boys by Neil Gaiman has a main character who is black. I can't remember if there are any R-rated scenes in it, but I'm pretty sure it should be ok.

Posted on Sep 7, 2010 6:09:13 PM PDT
Captain says:
From the responses there seem to be quite a few. Good to know.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2010 6:43:49 PM PDT
... says:
JM, I really hope you find what you are looking for.
In case you do not, have you considered creating what it is that you are looking for?

Have you ever heard of a woman named Sheryl Leach?
IN case you have not, she was the woman who created Barney.
She came up with the idea for the program while searching for an educational program that would appeal to her son. Obviously there was Sesame street and the like, but she was searching for something a bit more specific and when she could not find it, she created it.

This woman is obviously now quite wealthy....but that was apparently not her motivation.
Maybe, you can use this void as a catalyst to get your creative juices flowing. The worst thing that can happen is that your loved one is entertained. I do hope you can consider making that change!

There are relatively inexpensive book binding kits and with printers these days, the hardest part of the process would be to come up with a story line that is entertaining.

If you don't plan on going global with it, 'borrow' certain elements from other books and make them your own. With a basic computer and a printer you would be amazed at what you could do.

The little person in your life will cherish the effort for years to come.

I hope you at least consider this!

Posted on Sep 7, 2010 7:20:04 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Oct 11, 2010 9:35:33 AM PDT]

Posted on Sep 7, 2010 7:26:49 PM PDT
Greg Webster says:
I would just like to second the Earthsea books. I loved them as a child, reading them several times.

There is currently a animated cartoon from Japan as well, but they changed him to a more Anglocized amalgamation, like most Asian cartoons.

Posted on Sep 7, 2010 8:57:38 PM PDT
Thanks everyone ... love the input.

To Example: Mark Twain,

Thanks for the encouragement.

I started writing a couple of years ago. It took me a good year to create my world and I just published my first book through my publishing company.
Labyrinth's Door - No. 1 (Anyia - Dream of a Warrior)

My kids do love it, but as it takes time for me to get books out I'm still looking for books for them. Especially for my son who loves fantasy adventure stories. He loves my stories but still will ask for stories for boys and I'm at a lost for him. He's reading The red pyramid off and on but really hasn't taken to it. Loves Harry Potter and has already read all of the star wars books for children and loves comics but I'm still looking for a good series for him.

And as I still love to read good fantasy adventures I would love to get caught up in a new series as well.

Again. Thanks for the suggestions.

Warmly,

-JM

Posted on Sep 7, 2010 8:59:26 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Sep 8, 2010 8:01:40 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2010 10:07:42 AM PDT
_Lavender-Green Magic_ and _Dragon Magic_ are the two Magic books Andre Norton wrote with black characters. As far as I recall, the kids in _Steel Magic_ are white, but that coulds be due to the illustrations.
Virginia Hamilton wrote _The House of Dies Drear_, with a house dating back to the underground railroad. Check out her other books too.

Posted on Sep 8, 2010 8:01:30 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Sep 9, 2010 7:50:57 AM PDT]

Posted on Sep 9, 2010 4:23:20 AM PDT
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Posted on Sep 9, 2010 5:12:05 AM PDT
As a parent, I, would like my children to have a mix of books. And yes I would like them to have books with black protagonist ... in books that are not about slavery. I care and I don't find it irrelevant as they grow and develop, to read about characters that look like them. It's not for all. I understand that. But for me personally it matters. They read a lot of books. And I don't stop them from reading anything they want ... I just also want to inject some books with characters that look like them. And it's not that easy to do in the fantasy/adventure genre.

As a mom ... it matters.

Posted on Sep 9, 2010 11:01:06 PM PDT
It is easy, JM.
Just don't assume anyone who's not explicitly shown to be black must be white and the author a racist for not making his protagonists black.

Posted on Sep 10, 2010 3:29:16 AM PDT
Professor J says:
J. T. Wenting,

Spoken like someone who's never questioned his white privilege. Of course it doesn't matter to you whether the protagonists are members of your race -- because most protagonists ARE. You have millions of choices when it comes to showing your children role models in novels; not everyone has that luxury. Not seeing examples of oneself in media has a serious impact on a child's psychosocial development, self esteem, and even future politics. (As this book -- "Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?": A Psychologist Explains the Development of Racial Identity -- illustrates.) Pretend that race doesn't matter all you want -- unfortunately, thanks to the history and continued presence of racism, some of us don't get to do that yet.
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Discussion in:  Fantasy forum
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Initial post:  Sep 5, 2010
Latest post:  Dec 25, 2012

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