FEATURED WORK OF

MBAE AUTHORS

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Ella and Kay Kay

Ari Ella

Aren’t little sisters great? If your name is Ella and you’re six-years-old, the answer is a resounding YES! Ever since precious, little Kay Kay was born, life has been grand. The giggles, the coos, the tiny, little fingers and toes, everything about having a little sister makes life so much better. They play. They laugh. They love. Follow Ella and Kay Kay’s sweet story as they grow closer and closer with each passing day. Nothing can ever break their bond.

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Is There Space for Me?

Bell, Drs. Ron & Eboni

Where did you put it? When is the last time you were told to value your grief? The short answer is, we don't. What happens as a result of never learning to celebrate our grief is that we tuck that grief away. We dismiss it. We forget that it is there for a purpose, our grief has purpose. Our grief is sacred. It is a messy ritual that we all experience. This book celebrates grief. It uses art and prose to give space to grief, without apology. This book honors the experience of grieving through art. This book is needed.

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Dragon Variation

Cisco, Taylor Aaron

Her gifts made her a savior. Her loyalty made her a slave. Her escape made her a threat. Skye has been captive since childhood, but using her astonishing gifts, she escapes her tormentors and embarks on a treacherous journey of freedom and revenge. Dragon Variation is a dystopian epic from prolific afrofuturism author,T. Aaron Cisco. Dragon Variation is more than a gripping quest of escaping and overcoming oppression. It's an allegory of race and class in America, making T. Aaron Cisco's sophomore epic is just as relevant and poignant as ever! In addition to the novel, T. Aaron is currently adapting Dragon Variation into a comic book miniseries. His other works include Teleportality, The Preternaturalist, Shadow of the Valley, Big Ass Aliens, and his nonfiction recollection, Black Nerd Blue Box: The Wibbly Wobbly Memoirs of a Lonely Whovian.

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Don't Give Up, Aaliyah!

Ekpe-Idang, Flora

Aaliyah is an 8-year-old Chicagoan entrepreneur in the making with boundless curiosity about nearly everything. In the little green notebook that she carries everywhere, she writes down her many ideas and inspirations. When she finally decides to make one of her inventions, it turns out that it is nothing new. Instead of being discouraged, this spunky inventor goes back to the drawing board. With the help of her best friends, Tara and Bee, and Omari, her clever little brother, Aaliyah creates something that gives her classmates something to cheer about. Along the way, she gains encouragement from those who walked the entrepreneurial path before her. Come follow Aaliyah on her journey of discovery. You are sure to be uplifted and inspired.

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Soaring, My Improbable Life

Jones, Alphonso B. & Nelson, Kim

Soaring, My Improbable Life is the inspiring story of a poor, African American boy growing up in the Great Depression, who dreams of traveling the world. With audacity, focus, and resilience, he succeeds in getting a college education, finding love, journeying to distant lands, becoming a decorated war hero, and raising three successful children. Al’s story provides valuable insights for dreamers everywhere determined to make their own dreams come true against the odds.

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The Vast Wonder of the World: Biologist Ernest Everett Just

Mangal, Mélina

Winner of the 2019 Carter G. Woodson Award, this picture book presents the life and accomplishments of long overlooked scientific pioneer, Ernest Everett Just. Dr. Just was not like other scientists of his time. He saw the whole, where others saw only parts. He noticed details others failed to see. He persisted in his research despite the discrimination and limitations imposed on him as an African American. His keen observations of sea creatures revealed new insights about egg cells and the origins of life. Illustrated by Luisa Uribe.

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On Life (Things I Should Have Told You)

Nelson, Kim

On Life (Things I Should Have Told You) was written by trail-blazing business executive, Kim Nelson, to guide her daughters through their college years. Nelson shares her reflections on the environment they will encounter, provides advice on how to make the most of their experiences and conveys her beliefs about what matters most as they navigate their journey towards adulthood.

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My Pretty and its Ugly Truth

Pittman, De'Vonna

Secrets. Everybody has them. We can choose to disclose them to intimate friends or we can bury them…deeply in our graves of shame; in the innermost alcoves of our consciousness, not recognizing that they have rooted themselves so far into our essence, that if unchecked, become the insidious driving force that shapes every life decision. In “My Pretty…and Its Ugly Truth” De’Vonna Bentley-Pittman reveals her very personal and raw experiences of being a very pretty girl plagued by sexual abuse, rape, unhealthy relationships and the effects of growing up in poverty. Her coming-of-age journey from a misused “product of the streets” to an empowered advocate for those, particularly young women, who feel powerless due to years of abuse, is a fascinating one. Like so many others, she grew up in a single-parent household with a mother who worked hard to provide for her children.

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5 Essential Principles For Healing Black Men and Raising Black Boys

Razzaq, Kasim Abdur

5 Essential Principles identifies the conditions, political posture and psychological disposition necessary for black men to heal and raise healthy black boys. This book is a must read for anyone hoping to improve the lives of black boys, black men and restore the families and communities they live in.

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Bet on Yourself 5 Approaches to Winning

Stanley, CoWano

This book is designed to help inspire people to start trusting in themselves and win. So many people will go years or even their whole life, not betting on themselves or take a chance to use what God has put in them to win. Here are some steps in this book to help you take some start moving forward and not being afraid to take some of these approaches needed to succeed. The best thing you can do on the journey of life is BET ON YOURSELF.

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Soulfully Expressing

Williams, Chartiase

Soulfully Expressing invites readers to delve deep into this heartfelt, soul-searching, inspirational, honest, and sometimes triumphant poetry collection.
In this perfectly-sized collection, you'll find moments of laughter, moments of remembrance, plenty of inspiration, tender moments, and the motivation you need to move past your pain; soothe your weary soul; and summon the strength and courage to push forward and continue fighting for what you want. If you are ready for unadulterated truth, unconditional love, and a new, clear vision for what's ahead, this heartwarming collection is for you.

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Princess Paige Lemonade

Ari Ella

Six-year-old Paige, an accomplished entrepreneur in Minneapolis, MN, is always looking for new ways to help others. When the young entrepreneur came up with an exciting idea to raise funds for children with cancer, just as she expected, her lemonade stand is a local hit! Paige proves once again that kind-heartedness is always best!

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I am “HER”

Caldwell, Latrina

I am on a journey of finding and accepting myself as I am, and as I was born to be. Have you ever admired something in another individual and thought maybe you could learn something from them? Many of us do, and then we later realize we are everything we have been searching for. All the things you admire about someone else may be manifesting inside of you. Then again, maybe what God has for you is just different. We all have our own walk, our own journey and we must find peace in our own journey. We were born with purpose and destiny, and we have to activate it at some point. I tapped into my power, I found "HER".

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Grant Practices Math with Manners

Davis, Nadvia

After Grant purchases, a box of his favorite cereal with a $5-dollar bill, he receives his change and a receipt. Upon leaving the grocery store, Grant is made aware by his Mom Ella that he received incorrect change from the cashier. This story shares Grant’s experience of counting basic money, overcoming fear and practicing his everyday manners at the grocery store to regain his correct change. This is simple story that could be a real-life scenario and used as a day time or bed time read for young children.

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Never Give Up: A Christopher Family Novel

Foster-Graham, W.D.

Earl James Berry is the patriarch of the Berry family and lifelong friend of Elijah Edwards. As one of the first Black district attorneys in Hennepin County, his success rate in convictions took him to a seat on the bench. He has had a long and distinguished career in the field of law and justice, and the reputation of being a tough but fair judge. Family and being rooted in faith has always seen his family through, until a fateful Election Night in 2012… As his life hangs by a thread, we see his life and legacy through the lenses of his wife, six children, and a grandson, and wonder is a “gift” passed down through generations will help solve a mystery. The place: Minneapolis.

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Prince Can Hear

Long, Nina

Prince is a perfect boy. That's why it's so difficult for his family and friends to understand why he doesn't listen to them. After a while with no idea why he isn't listening, they take him to the doctor and realize it's not his fault. He's hard of hearing. Relieved that he isn't an obstinate child and worried his hearing problem will make life difficult, the surgeon tells them he can make life easier for Prince and them. He will perform a surgery that will correct the hearing loss. Follow Prince's story as he struggles and ultimately gets his hearing corrected in, Prince Can Hear

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Your Hue Looks Good On You

Maya Marchelle

As a child, I remember my granny's stories and wanting to be able to relay a message and captivate an audience just a fraction of the way she could. One story, in particular, that I could never forget was when she spoke of how growing up in the segregated South caused her to hate the color of her skin. She was ostracized by darker-skinned children for being too ''white'' and by white children for not being ''white'' enough.
So many times black and brown children are made to feel inadequate because of our complexion and features. These feelings plant seeds that manifest into self-hatred and low self-esteem. I aim to help change that narrative by creating images and crafting content that tell a different story; a story of beauty, appreciation, and love.
''Carry confidence in your complexion because of the royalty in your reflection. Take a good look at what you see, and love yourself with no objection. Out of all the colors in the world, yours was chosen just for you. Nothing to hide--stand tall with pride. Your hue looks good on you!'

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A Ballad for the Dawn

Nins, Thomas

"A Ballad for the Dawn" is a collection of poetry, prose and personal reflections from the mind and heart of an African American Pastor, Parent, Teacher, Community Advocate and POET. It is both uplifting and deeply moving.

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Savannah's Inheritance

Pittman, De'Vonna

Savannah Belmont has it all--- she's an up and coming attorney with money at her disposal, a high-rise office in downtown Minneapolis, and a trust fund. It isn't until she meets Creswell Delarby, a successful attorney that she considers letting her guards down. Secrets established before her birth have the potential to shatter her perfect life at any moment. When she least expects it, they begin to unravel right before her eyes. Creswell has plans of his own and they may very well collide with hers. Seduction and lies will have Savannah discovering what she fears most, that the people she love could either heal her heart or put her in great danger.

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Beyond Belief

Richardson, Ray

Mary Johnson of Minneapolis reaches the ultimate level of forgiveness. Mary's only child, her 20 year old son, is shot and killed by a rival gang member in 1993 at a house party in Minneapolis. The gunman is 16. Twelve years after the crime, Mary, a deeply religious woman, overcomes her hatred for the convicted murderer and goes to Stillwater Prison to meet him. The emotional meeting leads Mary to express her forgiveness to the man. A month later, she adopts the man as her "spiritual son." As you follow Mary's story, you will ask yourself, 'Could I do what Mary did?'

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Justice Makes A Difference

Tyner, Artika

“Words are powerful,” Grandma told Justice. “They can be used in powerful ways to do good or to do harm. That’s why it’s important to always be careful with your words.”

Justice has grown up witnessing the many ways her grandma serves the community. She wants to make a difference in the world, too, but how? Isn’t she too young?

Through conversations with her grandma and their shared love of books, Justice learns about important women and men throughout history who changed the world: Ella Baker, Shirley Chisholm, Charles Hamilton Houston, Dr. Wangari Maathai, Paul Robeson, and Ida B. Wells. Justice learns how each leader was a champion for advancing justice and improving the world, and she dreams of becoming a change maker, too—“Miss Freedom Fighter, Esquire,” a superhero with a law degree and an afro!

Written by Dr. Artika Tyner and Jacklyn Milton, passionate educators and community advocates, Justice Makes a Difference is the inspiring story of one little girl’s realization that her name is her destiny.

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The Uber Chronicles Behind Closed Doors

Williams, Clark

The Uber Chronicles Behind Closed Doors takes you on an amazing journey over the course of a three year period through the streets of Chicago. You will partake in an up close and personal experience from a novice driver’s perspective. During his epic adventure, the driver shares experiences that will make you laugh. Some may cause you to shed a tear; some of the events that take place may cause you to reflect on life’s most valuable lessons. It is recommended that you sit back, buckle your seat-belt and enjoy the ride. You are about to be exposed to what really happens behind closed doors.

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GiGi and Her Different Ability

Ari Ella

Gi Gi is spectacular in every way. She knows it. Her family knows it. Her friends know it. The problem is the rest of the world doesn’t always agree. Born with Down Syndrome, Gi Gi’s life has had obstacles, of course. But more importantly, it’s been filled with great joy, lots of love, plenty of fun, and all the things that make life wonderful. She’s talented, beautiful, outgoing, happy, creative, and incredibly confident while still maintaining humility. Now she wants to make the world see her life the way she sees it. Kids bully. Adults give sympathetic looks. Others avoid eye contact. Instead of wallowing in pain or letting them hurt her feelings, she carries on. That great attitude and her tenacity earns her an excellent opportunity.
She is offered a modeling contract and gets to do what she’s always wanted to do – prove that differently-abled isn’t bad at all. It’s what makes her delightfully perfect!

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The Art of Sucker Dunkin

Caldwell, Tierre

To be aware is to be alive. Sucker Duckin by definition is when you disassociate yourself from any situation, relationship, or affiliation that limits the growth of life, self, and purpose.

The word S.U.C.K.E.R. is an acronym that stands for Someone Ultimately Conspiring to Kill Everything Righteous. You can't defend your well-being if you're unaware of the threat. The word D.U.C.K.I.N. stands for Demonstrating an Understanding of Critical Knowledge Immune to Nothingness.

You see many of us are smart and talented but the people we surround ourselves with do not always bring that out of us causing us to suppress our intelligence and ignore our gifts. The Art of Sucker Duckin teaches us to surround ourselves with those who bring out the best in us and DUCK those who bring out the worst in us.

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Daddy, can you hear me?

Davison, Thomas


This book orchestrates thoughts between a child and an absent father. The beautiful illustrations and powerful loving message blend together to make this book a keepsake.

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Mark My Words: A Christopher Family Novel Book 1

Foster-Graham, W.D.

Allan Beckley Christopher is a self-made, Black multimillionaire. Succeeding against the odds in the 1960s, he turned a fix-it shop in southside Chicago into a multimillion-dollar corporation. He’s “made his mark.” He is among the Who’s Who of Black America. His company is among the Fortune 500. He is a mover and shaker in the community, with all the connections. He faithfully attends church on Sundays. But has he made it? With the advent of his 60th birthday, his character, past, and beliefs come into focus, honor, and question as his story is told through the lenses of his family—including his four LGBT children—and with it his impact on their lives. The time: 1988. The place: Chicago.

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Jayden's Impossible Garden

Mangal, Mélina

Jayden wants his mother to see the beauty of nature in the city. When he joins forces with an elderly neighbor, who knows what will happen? Winner of the first annual African American Voices in Children’s Literature writing contest, cosponsored by Strive Publishing and Free Spirit Publishing. Illustrated by Ken Daley.

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Africans and Americans: Embracing Cultural Differences

Mbele, Joseph

This book discusses differences between African and American culture, to help prevent cultural miscommunications which might poison or ruin relationships between Africans and Americans. I am lucky to have lived in both Africa and America, and I feel privileged and obliged to share my views and experiences with others.

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Bee Love (Can Be Hard)

Page, Alan and Kamie

Otis wasn't scared of many things, but at the top of his list? Bees."When Grandpa was younger, he was afraid of bees too. That is, until he learned more about them. "Bees are amazing insects," Grandpa tells Otis. "They're pollinating powerhouses!"

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Black Child Run

Razzaq, Kasim Abdur

Black child run, a story of cultural lessons and behaviors to empower today's children with healthy family values. A book to be shared and experienced in the warmth of family and community.

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Nature-Based Learning for Young Children

Ridge, Sheila Williams

Nature-Based Learning for Young Children is designed to provide ideas for all early childhood educators ranging from novice to highly experienced in a wide range of ecosystems, including forests, cities, prairies, coastal, urban, and deserts. It includes background information on a range of nature topics, reproducible parent newsletters, sample play-based lesson plans, guidance and health and safety issues related to nature activities, ideas for free/inexpensive equipment and materials and for big-ticket items, ideas for family involvement, and connections to early childhood learning standards. Chapters are divided by nature topic, so readers can dip in right away where they want to start exploring.

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Please Remember I Am There

Williams, Charday

"Dear Child, you are loved." Every child needs to hear those words, but for those who may not get to hear them as often as they'd like, there are other ways a parent can express their love, even those we may not have everyday contact with, due to incarceration.

Please Remember I am There is a heartwarming expression of pure, unconditional love between a parent and their child. No matter the circumstance or the distance, unconditional love never fades. The words in this heartfelt story will tighten a cherished bond between any incarcerated parent and their child, and it will soothe the child who reads it, or has it read to them. Sit a spell, read Please Remember I am There, and help a little boy or girl know they are cherished every moment of everyday of their lives by the parent who is loving them from jail or prison.