Check out these books for young summer reading.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the publication of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry,by Mildred D. Taylor. Taylor, one of the first African-American children’s-book authors to gain widespread acclaim, later won the Newbery Medal for the book. Her work was pivotal in empowering black children to see themselves in young adult literature—inspiring a modern generation of black writers to believe that our stories could have a place in the world of children’s literature.

“I am a writer because Ms. Taylor wrote this book and I saw myself inside the pages of it,” says writer Jacqueline Woodson, winner of the National Book Award for her novel Brown Girl Dreaming.

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