Natasha Tarpley

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General Information

Name: Natasha Tarpley

Pen Name: None

Born: 1971 in Chicago, Illinois

The Brown Bookshelf Website:



Illinois Connection

Tarpley is a resident of the Historic Pullman neighborhood in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Natasha Tarpley writes fiction and non-fiction for both adults and children. She is best known, however, for her diverse children's books that include the award-winning bestseller I Love My Hair. She has also co-edited an anthology of writings by African American girls ages 12 - 19, What I Know is Me and edited, Testimony: Young African-Americans on Self-Discovery and Black Identity. Tarpley is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Thurber House and the Illinois Arts Council.

A former reporter for Fortune magazine, she is the recipient of numerous awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Her work has appeared in Essence, the Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, and The Washington Post, as well as many literary journals. With her mother, she founded Voonderbar! Productions, LLC, a multimedia children's entertainment company that produces multicultural books for children of all ages.

Published Works

  • Girl in the Mirror: Three Generations of Black Women in Motion, Beacon Press, 1999 - reprinted by Voonderbar! Productions in 2013
  • I Love My Hair!, Little, Brown Books, 2001 - reprinted in 2003
  • Bippity-Bop Barbershop, Little, Brown Books, 2002 - reprinted in 2009
  • Joe-Joe's First Flight, Knopf, 2008
  • Destiny's Gift, Lee and Low, 2004
  • The Princess and the Frog: Princess Tiana and the Royal Ball, Disney Press, 2009
  • Selma Takes the Stage, Voonderbar! Books, 2016
  • The Harlem Charade, Scholastic, 2017

Titles at Your Library

Girl in the Mirror: Three Generations of Black Women in Motion (Bluestreak)

ISBN: 0807072036
Release Date: 1999-05-01

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I Love My Hair!

ISBN: 0316525588
Release Date: 2003-11

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Bippity Bop Barbershop

ISBN: 0316522848
Release Date: 2002-02-01

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Destiny's Gift

ISBN: 1584301562
Release Date: 2004-10

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Selma Takes the Stage (The Geek Goddesses) (Volume 1)

ISBN: 0988618427
Release Date: 2016-10-30

Find on World Cat

Literary Awards

Bippity-Bop Barbershop

  • Starred Review, Booklist

I Love My Hair!

  • Children's Book of the Year Award, BlackBoard, 1999

The Harlem Charade

  • Starred Review, Kirkus

Other Awards:

  • Washington DC, Commission for the Arts Larry Neal Award for Poetry
  • Natasha was honored at the 2005 Illinois Authors Book Fair sponsored by the Illinois Center for the Book and the Illinois State Library in Springfield, Illinois.

Speaking Engagements and Upcoming Appearances

Speaking Engagement Availability: (Yes)

External Links

Natasha Tarpley on WorldCat


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