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Battle of the Books

2014 Judge: Tonya Bolden

Tonya Bolden has written more than twenty books for children and adults. Her book Tell All the Children Our Story: Memories and Mementos of Being Young and Black in America was named a Best Book of the Year by School Library Journal. Her Wake Up Our Souls: A Celebration of Black American Artists received a starred review in Booklist magazine. Maritcha: A Nineteenth-Century American Girl was named a YALSA Best Book for Young Adults, an ALSC 2006 Notable Children’s Book, a NAPPA Gold Award Winner, a CCBC Best Book of the Year, a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age, and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. She lives in New York City. Tonya’s website is:


  1. I loved the perspective of last year’s EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION. I’ve been looking forward to SARAH RECTOR this year. Bolden very much ferrets out lost and mostly unknown stories which show an overlooked layer of American history.

    • I thank you so much DaNae for sharing this truth about Ms. Bolden’s writings. I really want to show the children in my community another way to celbrate Black History month beyond the eyes of slavery only. I look forward to reading Sarah Rector as well would love to share thoughts with you.

  2. Sam Bloom says:

    Love the three judge choices so far. And thanks for including such a strong member of Team Nonfiction in Ms. Bolden.

  3. Daryl Grabarek says:

    For more about Tonya Bolden and her latest book, Searching for Sarah Rector, see SLJ’s interview with the author. It’s an incredible story, and, as always, Ms. Bolden’s research, scholarship, and storytelling skills shine. The link:

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