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Black Arts and Culture

Congrats to Kwame!

Chesapeake native and best selling author of children’s books, Kwame Alexander, has been named The Amazon Books Editors Top Children’s pick of 2022. According to Amazon, Alexander’s newest book, “The Door of No Return” is a brilliant work of storytelling that moves you with joy, fear, sadness, hope, and love …”

Chesapeake’s Kwame Alexander Scores Another National Honor

By Jaelyn Scott
Winter Intern
New Journal and Guide

Virginia native Kwame Alexander’s Children’s novel, “The Door of No Return,” has been picked as The Amazon Books Editors Top Children’s pick of 2022.

On November 15, the Amazon Book Editors announced their picks for the Best Books of 2022. According to Amazon, “The annual list is hand-picked by a team of editors who read thousands of books each year and share their recommendations on Amazon Book Review to help customers find their next great read.” The list features the top 100 books published this year, as well as the top 20 books in a popular category like mystery romance, and children’s books.

This year, the book picked for Amazon books Editors Top Children’s pick of 2022 is “The Door of No Return,” written by Kwame Alexander. Kwame Alexander is, according to his website, “a poet, educator, publisher, and New York times bestselling author of 36 books, with his works including titles such as Swing, Becoming Muhammad Ali which he co-authored with James Patterson, and Rebound.

He grew up in Chesapeake, his father being a scholar and book publisher himself and his mother being an educator. His Alma Mater is Virginia Tech, where he took writing classes with Nikki Giovanni, another American poet and author, as well as well-known activist. He has been a recipient of multiple awards, including The Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, The Coretta Scott King Author Honor, Three NAACP Image Award Nominations, and the 2017 Inaugural Pat Conroy Legacy Award.

The Door of No Return is Alexander’s most recent novel that is aimed towards teens. The novel focuses on the history of slavery, and it follows a boy named Kofi growing up in Ghana in 1860. The goal of the novel is to help readers have a better understanding of the lives and experiences of Africans before they experienced the “door of no return” – and were shipped to the Americas.

According to Amazon, “The Door of No Return is a brilliant work of storytelling that moves you with joy, fear, sadness, hope, and love for the brave, resilient boy at its heart.”

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