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Jacketed Hardback
Publication Date: 9/22/20
Ages 6-10
$18.00 (discounts vary)

Recommended for You


For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World

With a guide by the Muhammad Ali Center

Written by Michael W. Waters

Illustrated by Keisha Morris

Winner of the 2020 Goddard Riverside CBC Youth Book Prize for Social Justice

A Top Ten Selection of the 2021 In the Margins Book Awards

A Texas Institute of Letters 2021 Finalist for Best Picture Book

2021 Winner of the Wilbur Award for Children's Book of the Year

A Picture Book Discovery Prize Winner for the 2020 Writers' League of Texas Book Awards

“Dad, what happened?”

“Why are they shooting?”

“What is this vigil for?”

The shootings keep coming, and so do Jeremiah’s questions. Dad doesn’t have easy answers, but that doesn’t mean he won’t talk about it—or that he won’t act. But what if Jeremiah doesn’t want to talk anymore? None of it makes sense, and he’s just a kid. Even if he wants to believe in a better world, is there anything he can do about it?

Inspired by real-life events, this honest, intimate look at one family’s response to racism and gun violence includes a discussion guide created by the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky, a multicultural center and museum committed to promoting respect, hope, and understanding. A portion of the publisher's sales proceeds will be donated to nonprofit organizations that facilitate the empowerment of Black communities.

An extended version of the guide and a printable coloring sheet featuring Jeremiah and his friends are available for download at


Winner of the 2020 Goddard Riverside CBC Youth Book Prize for Social Justice

Named a “Must-Read Book About Race” by Essence

"One of the most important and timely children's books of the year. . . . Waters’ powerful words and Keisha Morris’ beautiful illustrations give families struggling to come to terms with the systemic racism of American society a way to talk about these extraordinarily challenging issues."

—Beto O'Rourke

"Jeremiah’s reactions serve as a starting point for facilitating discussions about racism and violence against Black people." 

Publishers Weekly

"This book is a must-have."

—Imam Omar Suleiman

“There’s a candor here that’s not always found in picture book treatments of social issues and racism, and the specificity mirrors conversations likely held in many households.” 

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“Understandable and relatable, this timely book shows social justice issues and gives readers action steps and hope.” 

Imagination Soup

"Essential reading . . . touches on the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Edwards, and more, but manages to end on a hopeful note, providing a gentle way of broaching the topic with kids." 

D Magazine

"Uses a narrative structure to convey both the gravity of this collective trauma and the unrelenting nature of racism in America." 

The Englewood Review of Books

"The book breaks down what is happening in our country without watering down the seriousness of racism . . . its words and illustrations embody a sensitivity that young children need."

Christian Century

“Tackles with frankness a sensitive and uncomfortable subject. . . . An open invitation to adults to engage children about racism.” 

Friends Journal

"Very highly recommended."

Midwest Book Review

Named "Book Cover of the Month" by the Christian Century

Purchase Options

Indiebound  |  Bookshop  |  Barnes & Noble  |  The Thoughtful Christian  |  |  Amazon  |  Muhammad Ali Center

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