Updated: Jan 15
Wakanda forever! As we anticipate the release of Black Panther 2, we're reflecting on the excitement surrounding the release of the first movie. There was a lot of pride in seeing Black people represented on the screen in such a positive way, while also knowing that Black people played a major role in creating the film.
We can't talk about the Marvel Black Panther movie without mentioning the legacy of Chadwick Boseman and the meaningful body of work he left us with. In addition to Black Panther, Chadwick created several other impactful movies that honored the stories of Black people. Watching the new movie will be tough, but in the words of Chadwick, "Press on with pride, press on with purpose." Words to live by.
Just like the Black Panther movie, the books featured here were created by Black authors or illustrators. The list below is complete with publisher's descriptions and recommended reading ages too. Which ones have you read or are looking forward to reading?
Set in the world of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever from Marvel Studios, The Courage to Dream is an inspiring picture book about a young Wakandan finding her destiny, from two New York Times best-selling creators.
The Courage to Dream tells the story of Assata, a young Wakandan who hopes to become one of the Dora Milaje, the warriors who protect Wakanda. But because of Assata's disability, she lets go of her dream.
Assata's light shows through all the same, introducing her to surprising friends: the princess Shuri, the warrior Okoye, and the powerful M'Baku. But only Assata can give herself what she's missing: the courage to dream.
New York Times best-selling author Frederick Joseph (The Black Friend) and New York Times best-selling illustrator Nikkolas Smith (The 1619 Project: Born on the Water) bring Wakanda to life in this inspiring picture book about discovering who you can truly be. (Rec Ages 3-5 years)
Learn More: Bookshop
Marvel's Black Panther springs into action in his first ever action-packed Little Golden Book!
Meet Marvel's Black Panther! As an Avenger, this Super Hero uses his strength, speed, and unbreakable claws to stop evil-doers!
Boys and girls ages 2-5 will love this action-packed Little Golden Book as they learn about the Black Panther--from his Wakandan origins to his powers as well as his friends and foes.
Learn more: Bookshop
Two heroes are better than one when Marvel's Black Panther and his sister, Shuri, team up in this action-packed Little Golden Book!
The threats to the African nation of Wakanda are many, so Marvel's Black Panther teams up with his little sister, Shuri, to defeat their foe!
Boys and girls ages 2 to 5 will love this Little Golden Book, which features Black Panther, Shuri, and other great Marvel characters. The friendly eye-catching retro art style is the perfect way to introduce little heroes to the Marvel Universe and is equally loved by adult collectors and comic book fans as well!
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Marvel's Black Panther and his allies race into action in a new Little Golden Book!
Meet Marvel's Black Panther and his amazing allies!
Boys and girls ages 2 to 5 will love this action-packed Little Golden Book featuring the Black Panther; his scientist sister, Shuri; the fierce fighter Okoye; and the other warriors who keep the African country of Wakanda safe.
Learn more: Bookshop
From New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone comes an all-new upper-middle-grade series based on one of the Marvel Universe's break-out characters -- Shuri, from Black Panther! (Book #1)
An original, upper-middle-grade series starring the breakout character from the Black Panther comics and films: T'Challa's younger sister, Shuri! Crafted by New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone. Shuri is a skilled martial artist, a genius, and a master of science and technology. But, she's also a teenager. And a princess. This story follows Shuri as she sets out on a quest to save her homeland of Wakanda.
For centuries, the Chieftain of Wakanda (the Black Panther) has gained his powers through the juices of the Heart-Shaped Herb. Much like Vibranium, the Heart-Shaped Herb is essential to the survival and prosperity of Wakanda. But something is wrong. The plants are dying. No matter what the people of Wakanda do, they can't save them. And their supply is running short. It's up to Shuri to travel from Wakanda in order to discover what is killing the Herb, and how she can save it, in the first volume of this all-new, original adventure. (Rec ages 8-12)
Shuri, the Princess of Wakanda (and sister to the Black Panther), sets out to save a group of kidnapped girls in this all-new, original middle-grade novel by New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone! (Book #2)
With the heart-shaped herb thriving, a group of Wakanda's finest engineers working on expanding her dome technology, and the borders more fortified than ever, Princess Shuri can finally focus on what matters most: her training.
Soon, a bigger problem rears its head. The princess hears whispers of exceptionally talented young girls across the world going missing. A young environmental scientist in Kenya, a French physics prodigy -- the list of the missing keeps growing and growing. And when this mystery hits home in a way the princess would've never expected, there's no more time for hesitation: There are lost girls out there somewhere, and Shuri is determined not to let them be forgotten. (Rec ages 8-12)
New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone takes Shuri to uncharted parts of Wakanda in this original adventure. (Book #3 - publishes February 7, 2023)
The royal palace of Wakanda is one of, if not the most, secure facilities on this planet--or any other. So the anxiety Shuri feels when she's jolted out of sleep by the queen mother with the news that someone attempted to break into the palace--and succeeded--is significant. And as quickly as they broke in, they vanished.
The search for this interloper, a mysterious "symbiote" with superhuman speed and strength, will lead Shuri to the Jabari Lands, a remote, unforgiving part of the country she has never seen. And what she discovers will be more shocking than she could have imagined . . . (Rec ages 8-12)
Shuri and T'Challa set out to remove a curse from Wakanda in this action-packed, totally original graphic novel!
Twelve-year-old Shuri is a lot of things. Scientist. Princess. All around cooler person than her pain-in-the-butt big brother, T'Challa. Shuri knows she could do so much more to help Wakanda, but everyone is obsessed with the prince because he's the next Black Panther. That is, until Soul Washing Day, one of the most important rituals of Wakandan society.
When an argument between T'Challa and Shuri leads to one of Shuri's inventions accidentally destroying the sacred ceremony site, chaos reigns instead of prosperity. Suddenly the people of Wakanda, including her mother the queen, are becoming sick! Could this be a curse from the ancestors? Desperate to save her mother, Shuri dives into research and finds an answer hidden deep in an ancient children's myth. It may be nothing more than a fantasy, but with the sickness spreading each day, the young princess must trust her instincts and travel deep into the mysterious Heartlands to save her family and her kingdom.
Joining Shuri on her journey is none other than a meddling T'Challa. If Shuri and T'Challa can set aside their jealousy and resentment of each other long enough to survive this journey, they might just discover that they are far more powerful together than they could ever be apart. But if they can't face their fears in the Heartlands and lift the so-called curse, it may not be just the end for their family, but the end of Wakanda as they know it. No pressure, right? (Rec ages 8-12 years)
Learn more: Bookshop
Book 1 in The Young Prince series by award-winning author Ronald L. Smith!
Black Panther. Ruler of Wakanda. Avenger.This is his destiny. But right now, he's simply T'Challa--the young prince.
Life is comfortable for twelve-year-old T'Challa in his home of Wakanda, an isolated, technologically advanced African nation. When he's not learning how to rule a kingdom from his father--the reigning Black Panther--or testing out the latest tech, he's off breaking rules with his best friend, M'Baku. But as conflict brews near Wakanda, T'Challa's father makes a startling announcement: he's sending T'Challa and M'Baku to school in America.
This is no prestigious private academy--they've been enrolled at South Side Middle School in the heart of Chicago. Despite being given a high-tech suit and a Vibranium ring to use only in case of an emergency, T'Challa realizes he might not be as equipped to handle life in America as he thought. Especially when it comes to navigating new friendships while hiding his true identity as the prince of a powerful nation, and avoiding Gemini Jones, a menacing classmate who is rumored to be involved in dark magic.
When strange things begin happening around school, T'Challa sets out to uncover the source. But what he discovers in the process is far more sinister than he could ever have imagined.
In order to protect his friends and stop an ancient evil, T'Challa must take on the mantle of a hero, setting him on the path to becoming the Black Panther. (Rec ages 8-12 years)
The second book in the hit Young Prince series from Ronald L. Smith, recipient of the 2016 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award. (Book #2)
I'm T'Challa. The Prince of Wakanda. Son of T'Chaka. And one day, I will wear the mantle.
Thirteen-year-old T'Challa can't wait to go back to America to visit his friends Sheila and Zeke, who are staying with Sheila's grandmother in Beaumont, a small Alabama town, over their summer break. He's thrilled to be on vacation away from his duties as the Prince of Wakanda for a few weeks, and he's taking full advantage of his access to the amazing food and the South's rich history.
But as T'Challa continues to explore the town, he finds that a man who goes by the ordinary name of Bob happens to be everywhere he is--and T'Challa begins to think it's no coincidence.
When residents of the town begin flocking to Bob's strange message, and a prominent citizen disappears, the Young Prince has no choice but to intervene.
T'Challa and his friends start to do their own sleuthing, and before long, the three teens find themselves caught in a plot involving a rare ancient book and a man who's not as he seems.
Swept up in a fight against an unexpected and evil villain, T'Challa, Sheila, and Zeke must band together to save the people of Beaumont . . . before it's too late. (Rec ages 8-12 years)
Learn more here: Amazon
For all fans of Black Panther, this is the newest adventure of young T'Challa, prince of Wakanda, in the hit Young Prince series from Ronald L. Smith, recipient of the 2016 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award. (Book #3)
One day, he will wear the mantle of the Black Panther. But for now, thirteen-year-old T'Challa is back in Wakanda--back to his training, his family, and the comforts of home. And he is surprised to find himself missing his friends so soon after his recent time in America.
That's why he's thrilled when Sheila and Zeke come for a surprise visit. But their introduction to the wonders of Wakanda takes a dark turn when a national holiday goes wrong--and the mysterious, terrifying Originators are unleashed from the kingdom's past. Even worse, now the elders of Wakanda, including T'Challa's parents, are banished to a place beyond space and time.
To save his nation, T'Challa will need the help of all his friends, including M'Baku and his sister, Shuri. It's a supernatural showdown between Wakanda's past and its future, and it will challenge all that T'Challa thinks he knows about his home.
From award-winning author Ronald L. Smith, the third book in the Young Prince trilogy brings the series to an epic conclusion. (Rec ages 8-12)
A Marvelous new era begins here! Readers can get lost in the technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda.
Follow the all-new adventures of its monarch, the Black Panther! King T'Challa is responsible for defending his people--and the world--from any threats. And he gets plenty of help--and sass--from his genius sister Shuri. With Wakanda plagued by deadly weather, Black Panther and Shuri have leaped into action to prevent their people from further suffering.
T'Challa is the king of the secretive and highly advanced African nation of Wakanda, as well as the powerful warrior known as the Black Panther. The younger sister of T'Challa, Shuri, astounds with her brilliant inventions, often providing key components to her brother's battles. (Rec ages 9-12 years)
Learn more: Amazon
Follow the adventures of T'Challa, the Black Panther, his sister Shuri and the fantastic citizens of Wakanda in these middle-grade friendly adventures!
Every ten years, Wakanda's ruler trades places with one of their subjects to gain perspective on their kingdom. T'Challa's turn has come, and while working in a Vibranium refinery, he uncovers a plot to sell the priceless metal on the black market. Plus, when one of the Black Panther's advisers suffers an injury during an attack, the adviser requests the aid of a traditional healer over modern medicine. Shuri scoffs at the idea, but soon a curse forces her on an epic quest.
Everything is all set for a policital summit and the Wakandan Scientific Conference. T'Challa and Shuri are ready to showcase their achievements to the world. But of course, where there are important people and expensive technology, all sorts of evildoers are liable to turn up. Collects issues #4-6 of the Marvel Action: Black Panther series. (Rec ages 9-12)
Learn more here: Bookshop
Dive into the legend of the Black Panther in this new origin story by acclaimed author Tochi Onyebuchi and New York Times-bestselling illustrator Setor Fiadzigbey! T'Challa and Hunter are brothers growing up in the idyllic royal palace of Wakanda. Theirs goes beyond the usual sibling rivalry, though -- Hunter, although older, is adopted, and T'Challa is the true heir to the throne.
But when tragedy strikes, the two brothers must grow up fast! See the moments that made T'Challa who he is, from his walkabout as a teen where he meets the enchanting Ororo Munroe, to when he first invites the Fantastic Four to Wakanda! Son, brother, warrior, king...as each chapter unfolds, new pieces of T'Challa's character will be revealed -- and the Black Panther will rise! (Rec ages 10-14)
Learn more here: Bookshop
The Black Panther's techno-genius sister stars in her own incredible adventures! T'Challa has disappeared, and Wakanda expects Shuri to lead their great nation in his absence! But she's happiest in a lab surrounded by her inventions. She'd rather be testing gauntlets than throwing them down!
So it's time for Shuri to rescue her brother yet again - with a little help from Storm, Rocket Raccoon and Groot! But what happens when her outer-space adventure puts Africa at risk from an energy-sapping alien threat? Then, Shuri heads to America to investigate a lead, with Ms. Marvel and Miles Spider-Man Morales along for the ride! But with her people in peril, will Shuri embrace her reluctant destiny and become the Black Panther once more? Prepare for a hero like you've never seen before! (Rec ages 10-14)
Learn more here: Bookshop
Shuri, princess of Wakanda, has one of the bravest souls and most brilliant minds in the whole Marvel-Verse -- and these are the tales that prove it!
Whether she's wearing the cowl of the Black Panther to take on A.I.M. and prove her mettle to a Wakandan challenger or pitting her wits against the mutant Forge in a high-tech race, Shuri knows how to get the job done -- and have fun. That's why she is her brother T'Challa's most dependable ally, aiding him in battle against deadly threats!
But when Shuri returns from near-death with mystical new abilities, what comes next? How about a meeting of the geniuses with Riri Williams, a.k.a. Ironheart? (Rec ages 10-14)
Learn more here: Bookshop
Your turn! Which books would you add to this list? Let us know.
In his acceptance speech for a SAG Award Chadwick Boseman shared these words about creating Black Panther:
“To be young, gifted and Black. We all know what it’s like to be told that there is not a place for you to be featured. Yet you are young, gifted and Black. We know what it’s like to be told there’s not a screen for you to be featured on, a stage for you to be featured on. We know what it’s like to be the tail and not the head. We know what it’s like to be beneath and not above. That is what we went to work with every day because we knew… that we had something special that we wanted to give the world. That we could be full human beings in the roles that we were playing. That we could create a world that exemplified a world that we wanted to see.”
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