Nikki Shannon Smith

Nikki Shannon SmithStoryteller: Nikki Shannon Smith

Nikki Shannon Smith was born and raised in Oakland, CA. She is the author of eleven books, ranging from picture books to young adult. Her work includes the Azaleah Lane chapter book series and four titles in Capstone’s multi-author, historical fiction/adventure, middle-grade series, Girls Survive. Nikki also wrote A Star Like Jesse Owens, a Smithsonian Historical Fiction title about the 1936 Olympics. Her writing is informed not only by her research, but by her child-like curiosity and nearly thirty years of elementary school teaching experience. She is represented by Jennifer March Soloway of Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Photo credit: Alan Bradley of AFBPhotography)

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Nikki On Writing for Children:

“Books serve so many purposes. They teach. They entertain. They comfort. They open portals to other worlds, cultures, and experiences. They foster imagination and creativity. They make us feel. And ideally, they reflect the world around us. My goal as an author is to contribute books that do all of this, while at the same time providing authentic representation for Black children.”


The Amazing Life of Azaleah Lane
The Dramatic Life of Azaleah Lane
The Scrumptious Life of Azaleah Lane
A Star Like Jesse Owens (Smithsonian Historical Fiction)
Sarah Journeys West- An Oregon Trail Survival Story (Girls Survive)
Ann Fights for Freedom- An Underground Railroad Survival Story (Girls Survive)
Charlotte Spies for Justice- A Civil War Survival Story (Girls Survive)
Noelle at Sea- A Titanic Survival Story (Girls Survive)
The Little Christmas Elf (Little Golden Book)
Treasure Hunt (Reality Show)

Would you like to see and purchase titles from our Storyteller cohort and members of The Brown Bookshelf?

THE LITERARY CAFE–BOOKS & EVENTS Bookstore Amplify Black Stories Book List, Curated by The African American Children’s Book Project showcases a wide range of topics and talent from the Black Literary Community, including our cohort of Storytellers and members of the Brown Bookshelf. The list includes both non-fiction and fiction titles that will empower, enlighten and enrich all readers. Visit the bookstore.

See all Storytellers in the 2021 Amplify Black Stories cohort.