Books by Khodi Dill

Check out these exciting titles by author Khodi Dill.

stay up: racism, resistance, and reclaiming Black freedom

Published by Annick Press. Available here in Canada and here in the U.S.

An incisive, innovative, and inviting take on fighting oppression and fighting for racial justice.

Racism is a real and present danger. But how can you fight it if you don’t know how it works or where it comes from? Using a compelling mix of memoir, cultural criticism, and anti-oppressive theory, Khodi Dill breaks down how white supremacy functions in North America and gives readers tools to understand how racism impacts their lives. From dismantling internalized racism, decolonizing schools, joining social justice movements and more, Dill lays out paths to personal liberation and social transformation.

Vibrant, dramatic collages by stylo starr complement Dill’s propulsive voice. Fueled by joy and hope as much as by rage and sorrow, this groundbreaking book empowers racialized young people to be confident in their identities and embrace the fullness of their futures.

Welcome to the Cypher

Published by Annick Press. Available here in Canada and here in the US.

WELCOME TO THE CYPHER is a delight to read—a story that will move every part of you to a wild and wonderful beat.” —Jael Richardson, Author and Executive Director, The Festival of Literary Diversity

WELCOME TO THE CYPHER is a beautiful, rhythmic exploration of the joy of language and self-expression. Our whole family loved how the bright illustrations and the bold words pulled us through this gorgeous book …We’re HUGE fans!” —Bestselling authors, Alice Kuipers (the Polly Diamond series) & Yann Martel (Life of Pi)

Words burn bright in this joyful celebration of rap, creativity, and self-expression.

“Welcome to the cypher!

Now huddle up nice and snug.

You feel that circle around you?

Well, that’s a hip hop hug!” 

Starting with beatboxes and fingersnaps, an exuberant narrator introduces kids in his community to the powerful possibilities of rap, from turning “a simple phrase/into imagery that soars” to proclaiming, “this is a voice that represents me!” As Khodi Dill’s rhymes heat up, the diverse crew of kids—illustrated in Awuradwoa Afful’s bold, energetic style—gain self-confidence and a sense of freedom in this wonderful picture book debut that is perfect for reading aloud. 


“Dill has created a wonderful story that shines a light on an art form that is rarely represented in literature, particularly in children’s literature. The rhyming syntax makes WELCOME TO THE CYPHER a great book to read aloud and for readers to interact with. This wonderful and fun story encourages kids to be themselves and to support one another to speak up for what they believe in. This book is recommended for school-aged children and would be perfect to be read aloud in the classroom and shared with friends and family. Highly Recommended.”- CM Reviews, 09/03/21

“A fun read-aloud and a safe introduction to hip-hop as a pathway to healthy child development.”- Kirkus Reviews, 07/27/21

“This lovely book is all about being brave, stepping up, and being heard.”- Booklist, 10/15/21

“With a cadence and beat in the text itself, and accompanied by energetic illustrations, this will make an affirming addition to a poetry or music unit . . . encouraging readers to find within themselves “a voice that represents me!””- School Library Journal, *starred review, 11/21

Little Black Lives Matter

Published by Seven Stories Press / Triangle Square. Available here in Canada and here in the US. (Available in board book and hardcover).

An inspiring, life-affirming debut activist board book in rhyming couplets and triplets about Black heroes for little ones, their families, and anyone who loves A is for Activist and Antiracist Baby.

Little Black Lives Matter empowers all children, but Black children especially, by affirming that their lives, however little they may yet be, matter. Featuring fifteen great Black heroes of the past and the powerful words they spoke and actions they took, Little Black Lives Matter is a rhyming board book that incorporates memorable quotations and a reminder to little ones that each of these great people once lived a little Black life themselves. From Harriet Tubman and Malcolm X to other inspiring freedom fighters like Marsha P. Johnson, Fred Hampton, and Frederick Douglass, writers James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, and Maya Angelou, musical artists Billie Holiday and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, athletes Wilma Rudolph, Jesse Owens, and Muhammad Ali, and Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr., this little book encourages young readers to find their inner heroes and see their own self-worth and agency through the acts of great Black heroes who came before them.

“let us look upon them and let us say their names,

And let us hear the mighty words they spoke to bring us change.

Audre Lorde lived a little Black life before she wrote to inspire

“I am deliberate
and afraid
of nothing.”

to remind us of our inner power, and to share her poetic fire.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s