Sugar Hill

Harlem's Historic Neighborhood

Take a walk through Harlem’s Sugar Hill and meet all the amazing people who made this neighborhood legendary. With upbeat rhyming, read-aloud text, Sugar Hill celebrates the Harlem neighborhood that successful African Americans first called home during the 1920s. Children raised in Sugar Hill not only looked up to these achievers but also experienced art and culture at home, at church, and in the community. Books, music lessons, and art classes expanded their horizons beyond the narrow limits of segregation. Includes brief biographies of jazz greats Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Sonny Rollins, and Miles Davis; artists Aaron Douglas and Faith Ringgold; entertainers Lena Horne and the Nicholas Brothers; writer Zora Neale Hurston; civil rights leader W. E. B. DuBois and lawyer Thurgood Marshall.

  • 32 Pages
  • 8" x 10"
  • 9780807576502
  • February 2014

Buy from Albert Whitman

  • 9780807576519
  • May 2015

Other Places to Buy


  • With spare text and minimalist illustrations, Weatherford and Christie pay fine tribue to the tradition of artistic expression that bloomed during the Harlem Renaissance. Each page turn reveals a luminary of the scene with just a single line of text that gracefully sums up his or her contribution.

    - Booklist

  • Christie’s handsome paintings of Harlem’s Sugar Hill neighborhood bring warmth to Weatherford’s catalogue of the African-American artists who lived there in the 1920s and ’30s…This portrait of a community of color that cherished its artists will inspire readers.

    - Publishers Weekly

  • Weatherford’s poetic, swinging textual rhythms meet Christie’s artistic razzmatazz to create one hot picture book…A fine tribute to the local color of Sugar Hill, who have made America a better and more interesting country for almost a century.

    - Kirkus Reviews, starred review

  • Weatherford’s words celebrate the people and neighborhood where black culture blossomed in the ’20s and ’30s…Christie’s signature paintings—bold and simple—capture the excitement and energy of the place and time.

    - School Library Journal

  • It’s a joyous celebration of community and a poetic tribute to one of this country’s most exciting cultural movements.

    - BookPage

  • The paintings and Weatherford’s poetry give a strong sense of vibrant simultaneous action, and neither slides into nostalgia.

    - The Horn Book Magazine

Awards & Accolades

  • CCBC Choices 2015
  • Best History/Non-fiction Picture Book of 2014, The Huffington Post
  • 2015 Jefferson Cup Overfloweth
  • 2016 Arnold Adoff Early Readers Poetry Award, Honor Book


R. Gregory Christie

Common Core

RL.3.1,4,7,10 RL.4.1,2,4,5,6,10 L.3-4.5


  • Accelerated Reader Points: 0.5
  • ATOS Level: 3.5