The Man Who Knew Too Much. Illustrations by Leonard Jenkins
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To Be A Slave, 1968 Penguin Modern Classics
Newbery Honor Book, 1969
Black Folktales, 1969 (Grove Press)
The Knee-High Man and Other Tales, Illustrations by Ralph Pinto, 1972 (Picture Puffins)
The Tales of Uncle Remus:The Adventures of Brer Rabbit. Illustrations by Jerry Pinkney, 1987. (Puffin Books)
More Tales of Uncle Remus: Further Adventures of Brer Rabbit, His Friends, Enemies, and Others. Illustrations by Jerry Pinkney, 1988. (Puffin Books)
The second volume of my four volume retelling.
How Many Spots Does A Leopard Have and other Tales. Illustrations by David Shannon, 1989 (Scholastic Trade)
Retellings of twelve African,African-American and Jewish folk tales.
Further Tales of Uncle Remus: The Misadventures of Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, Brer Wolf, the Doodang, and Other Creatures. Illustrations by Jerry Pinkney, 1990. (Out of print)
The third volume of the series
The Last Tales of Uncle Remus. Illustrations by Jerry Pinkney, 1994. (Out of print)
The last volume in the retellings of the Uncle Remus tales.
Uncle Remus: The Complete Tales, with a new introduction. Illustrations by Jerry Pinkney, 1999 (Dial Books for Young Readers)
The omnibus edition of the four volumes of retellings.
When the Beginning Began, illustrated by Emily Lisker, 1999. (Harcourt/Silver Whistle)
Traditional retellings and original stories around the creation story in Genesis
Long Journey Home, 1972 (Dial Books For Young Readers)
Short stories based on true stories from Black history.
This Strange New Feeling, 1982 (Scholastic Paperbacks)
Three love stories based on true stories from slavery.
Do Lord Remember Me, 1984
A novel inspired by my father's life
And All Our Wounds Forgiven, 1994.
A novel about the civil rights movement and suggested by the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Othello: A Novel, 1995 (Point)
A novelization of the Shakespeare play.
Pharaoh's Daughter: A Novel, 2000. (Harcourt/Silver Whistle)
A story about the young Moses growing up in ancient Egypt.
When Dad Killed Mom, 2001. (Harcourt/Silver Whistle)
A novel about what happens to a brother and sister when their father murders their mother.
The Autobiography of God, 2004, (St. Martin's Press)
A novel that probes the question why evil can exist if God is omnisicient, omnipresent, and All-Good.
Day of Tears: A Novel in Dialogue, 2005, (Hyperion Books)
A novel in dialogue about the largest slave auction in American history.
Time's Memory 2006 (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
A novel about an nyama (spirit) that comes to the United States on a slave ship.
Cupid: A Novel, (Harcourt, January, 2007)
A retelling of the story of Cupid and Psyche.
The Hungry Ghosts, 2009
Poetry and Photography
Who I Am, 1974, with David Gahr, photographer
Lovesong:Becoming A Jew, 1988 (Bullfinch Press)
Story of my spiritual odyssey to Judaism.
On Writing for Children and Other People, 2005 (Dial Books)
A literary memoir discussing the relationship between my life and my writing
John Henry. Illustrations by Jerry Pinkney, 1994. (Dial Books for Young Readers)
The first picture book collaboration with Jerry Pinkney
Sam and the Tigers, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, 1996 (Dial Books for Young Readers)
Black Cowboy, Wild Horses: A True Story. Illustrations by Jerry Pinkney, 1998 (Dial Books for Young Readers)
What A Truly Cool World, Illustrated by Joe Cepeda, 1999. (Scholastic)
Albidaro and the Mischievous Dream, Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, 2000. (Phyllis Fogelman Books)
A Black fantasy story
The Blues Singers: Ten Who Rocked the World. Illustrations by Lisa Cohen, 2001. (Jump at the Sun/Hyperion)
Brief biographies of ten important and influential black singers.
Ackamarackus: Julius Lester's Sumptuously Silly Fantastically Funny Fables, Illustrated Emilie Chollat, 2001 (Scholastic)
A book of original fables
Why Heaven is Far Away, Illustrations by Joe Cependa, 2002 (Scholastic)
This is the sequel to What A Truly Cool World
Shining, Illustrations by John Clapp, 2003 (Harcourt Books)
A fable about what a young girl learns from silence.
From Slaveship to Freedom Road, Paintings by Rod Brown, 1998 (Dial Books for Young Readers)
Let's Talk About Race. Illustrated by Karen Barbour 2005 (Harper Collins/Amistad)
A book in which I talk personally about race and how to think about it. Wonderful illustrations by Karen Barbour.
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Web-site of my photography