Mama’s Library Summers


A moving tribute to a strong Black mother, libraries, and the power of reading and of seeing oneself in books, by the author of Chef Edna

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ISBN: 9781949480238 Category:

Melvina Noel


Every summer, Mama takes her two daughters to the library to pick out books. Not just any books-books about Black people. In the 1960s, such stories were not taught in schools. If there were any books at all, they were often shelved in a separate part of the library. But that didn’t stop two sisters from making a beeline to that very spot and gathering up the library’s limit: ten books each. Back at home, the three retreat to their favorite reading spots, and the older sister is soon running to freedom alongside Harriet Tubman; reading poetry with Paul Lawrence Dunbar; listening to Martin Luther King say, “I have a dream.” In these books, the older sister sees the struggles, the strength, the love, the hope, and the happiness of people who look like her and never gave up on their dreams. She sees herself.

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 22.9 x 27.9 cm
Publisher name Cameron Books
Publication date 14 March 2024
Number of pages 32
Format Hardback
Contributors Illustrated by Daria Peoples
Dimensions 22.9 x 27.9 cm
Weight 300 g


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Melvina Noel is the author of Chef Edna: Queen of Southern Cooking, Edna Lewis, illustrated by Caldecott Honoree and Coretta Scott King Honoree Cozbi Cabrera and published by Cameron Kids. Mama’s Library Summers was inspired by Noel’s mother. She lives in Virginia. Daria Peoples, a part-time schoolteacher, is also an author and illustrator. Her first job was in the children’s section of her hometown library when she was nine. She worked a little, but she mostly read picture books. Peoples lives in Las Vegas.