Children's Africana Book Awards 2018

The Children’s Africana Book Awards (CABA) are presented annually to the authors and illustrators of the best children’s and young adult books on Africa published or republished in the U.S. The awards were created by Africa Access and the Outreach Council of the African Studies Association (ASA) to encourage the publication and use of accurate, balanced children’s materials about Africa.  Below are books that have been nominated this year, along with some from prior years. 

Young Readers

Join Baby and his doting mama at a bustling southwest Nigerian marketplace for a bright, bouncy read-aloud offering a gentle introduction to numbers.

Chronicles the life and activism of the Grammy-award winning South African singer, including her anti-apartheid work with Nelson Mandela.

Sleep well Siba & Saba by Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl

Forgetful sisters Siba and Saba are constantly losing things, then dreaming at night of the things that they have lost, until their dreams begin to reveal something else.

The wooden camel by Wanuri Kahiu

Etabo wants nothing more than to race camels, but when times are tough and his chances disappear, he must be content with dreaming about racing them, until his sister makes a herd of wooden camels to help him imagine.

Older Readers

Soldier boy by Keely Hutton

Follows Ricky from 1987-1991, and Samuel in 2006, as they are abducted to serve as child-soldiers in Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda. Includes historical notes and information about Friends of Orphans, an organization founded by Ricky Richard Anywar, on whose life the story is partly based.

Solo by Kwame Alexander

Seventeen-year-old Blade endeavors to resolve painful issues from his past to navigate the challenges of his former rockstar father's addictions, scathing tabloid rumors, and a protected secret that threatens his own identity.

When morning comes by Arushi Raina

Zanele is secretly plotting against the apartheid government, while her best friend Thabo has troubles of his own with a local gang, and Jack, from the wealthy white suburbs, falls in love with a girl from the black township of Soweto.

Akata warrior by Nnedi Okorafor

Now stronger, feistier, and a bit older, Sunny Nwazue, along with her friends from the the Leopard Society, travel through worlds, both visible and invisible, to the mysterious town of Osisi, where they fight in a climactic battle to save humanity.

Prior Year's Titles- Young Readers

The storyteller by Evan Turk

In a time of drought in the Kingdom of Morocco, a storyteller and a boy weave a tale to thwart a Djinn and his sandstorm from destroying their city.

Chicken in the kitchen by Nnedi Okorafor

Awakened by strange sounds, Anyaugo discovers a giant chicken in her kitchen and has to muster the courage to remove it before the chicken destroys her family's preparations for the New Yam Festival.

Recounts the life and accomplishments of the environmentalist and Nobel Peace Prize winner.

While riding his new bicycle Desmond is hurt by the mean word yelled at him by a group of boys, but he soon learns that hurting back will not make him feel any better.

The boy who harnessed the wind by William Kamkwamba

Presents a story of how an African teenager built a windmill from scraps to create electricity for his home and his village, improving life for himself and his neighbors.

"A biography of Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize winner and environmentalist Wangari Maathai, a female scientist who made a stand in the face of opposition to women's rights and her own Greenbelt Movement, an effort to restore Kenya's ecosystem by planting millions of trees"--Provided by publisher.

Prior Year's Titles- Older Readers

Black dove, white raven by Elizabeth Wein

Having moved to Ethiopia to avoid the prejudices of 1930s America, Emilia Menotti, her black adoptive brother Teo, and their mother Rhoda, a stunt pilot, are devoted to their new country even after war with Italy looms, drawing the teens into the conflict

The red pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney

After her tribal village is attacked by militants, Amira, a young Sudanese girl, must flee to safety at a refugee camp, where she finds hope and the chance to pursue an education in the form of a single red pencil and the friendship and encouragement of a wise elder

Aya : love in Yop City by Marguerite Abouet

Follows the story of Aya and her family and friends who live in Ivory Coast during the 1970s

Aluta by Adwoa Badoe

Attending college away from her opinionated father in 1981 Ghana, Charlotte basks in her new freedom, until the Ghanian government is overthrown and she is drawn into the dangerous world of student politics

The bitter side of sweet by Tara Sullivan

They only wanted to make some money during the dry season to help their impoverished family; instead they were tricked into forced labor on a plantation in the Ivory Coast. For two years what has mattered are the number of cacao pods Amadou and his younger brother, Seydou, can chop down in a day. Then Khadija comes, the first girl who has ever come to camp, and she’s a wild thing. She fights, but the bosses break her. Now the three band together as family and try just once more to escape