H Is for Harlem


By Dinah Johnson

Illustrated by April Harrison

Formats and Prices




$23.99 CAD




Hardcover $18.99 $23.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around July 19, 2022. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

A Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Honor Book for Nonfiction • An ALA Notable Book

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Kirkus Reviews • School Library Journal • The Horn Book • Nerdy Book Club • The Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature • Bank Street College

An SCBWI Golden Kite Honor Award Winner for Nonfiction

Celebrate Black History Month with this richly informative and gorgeously illustrated book that celebrates Harlem’s vibrant traditions, past and present.
A is for Apollo Theatre
L is for Liberation Bookstore
U is for Uptown 
Discover the Harlem icons that have defined generations of American culture. Harlem is full of remarkable treasures, including museums, performance spaces, community centers, and more—all of which come to life in this lavish celebration of Harlem as an epicenter of African American history and a vibrant neighborhood that continues to shape our world. At once a love letter and a rich alphabetical archive, H Is for Harlem highlights communities and traditions that connect our past and present. 
★ "Stunning." —Booklist, starred review
★ "Remarkable." —School Library Journal, starred review
★ "Historically rich…. A gem." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★ "Engaging and beautiful." —Horn Book, starred review
★ "Arresting." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

  • Praise for H Is for Harlem:
    A Boston Globe
    Horn Book Award Honor Book for Nonfiction
    A Kirkus Best Book of the Year
    A School Library Journal Best of the Year
    A Horn Book Fanfare Title
    An SCBWI Golden Kite Honor for Nonfiction Text for Younger Readers

    A Nerdy Book Club Best of the Year Selection
    A Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature Best Book of the Year
    An ALSC Notable Book for Children
    A Bank Street College Best Book of the Year
    An NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Selection
    A CBC Teacher and Librarian Favorite Award Winner
    A PureWow Happy Kid Best History Book Award Winner

    An Amazon Best Book of the Month 
    A Junior Library Guild Selection 

    * "Historically rich…. Harrison’s stunning, colorful, highly textured illustrations complement and expand upon Johnson’s textual snapshots, which offer just enough detail to encourage children to deepen their knowledge of Harlem. This is a beautiful and welcome celebration of Black joy. A gem that whets the appetite to learn more about a city where art is as alive as the people who live there."
    Kirkus Reviews, starred review
  • * "Sumptuous and necessary…Harrison’s mixed-media illustrations are meant to be savored for their layers of detail. Light seems to shine through these stunning, vibrant pages. Would that the English alphabet had more than 26 letters so that H Is for Harlem could have been longer."
    Booklist, starred review
  • * "An ode to the beating heart of African American culture with remarkable depth and breadth. This title is a celebration of Harlem’s vibrancy, dynamism, and significance."
    School Library Journal, starred review
  • * "Harrison’s arresting mixed-media illustrations render the abundant cast of important figures and myriad, unique surroundings in lifelike shades, lush textures, and generous dimensions, showing, as Johnson writes, that 'Harlem is a place like no other in the world.'"
    Publishers Weekly, starred review
  • * "Engaging and beautiful … What a splendid way to learn the alphabet!"
    Horn Book, starred review

On Sale
Jul 19, 2022
Page Count
48 pages

Dinah Johnson

About the Author

Dinah Johnson is the award-winning author of many books for young readers, including H Is for Harlem, illustrated by April Harrison, which received five starred reviews and was named a Kirkus Best Book of the Year, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, and a Horn Book Fanfare title. A professor of English at the University of South Carolina, she lives in Columbia. She invites you to visit her at dinahjohnsonbooks.com.

Jerry Jordan is a painter working in the style of contemporary realism. He counts the unsung artists of the Harlem Renaissance as his artistic role models. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin. This is his first book for young readers. He invites you to visit him on Instagram @purplehood2 or at artistjerryjordan.com.

Learn more about this author