Publications & Recordings


Onawumi's first book, Precious and the Boo Hag (2005), a collaboration with acclaimed author Patricia C. McKissack was praised in the School Library Journal as an enchanting tale that is "a pinch scary but a peck of fun. Booklist noted it had "the grand feel of folktale." The New York Public Library designated Precious and the Boo Hag one of its top 100 must-read books for 2005, an honor given to the best achievements in children's publishing ranging from picture books through teen novels.

Precious and the Boo Hag has received three starred reviews, is the winner of the 2006 ALA/ALSC Notable Children's Book award (Middle Readers category); is the national finalist for three prestigious national awards: the CCBC Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book Award; Storytelling World Award, Stories for Young Listeners Category (2006) and the Irma S. and James H. Black Honor for Excellence in Children's Literature Award (2006).


Onawumi is currently working on two recording projects.


April 1994 to 2006 - Keepers of the Word Storytelling Festival, Amherst College

Onawumi Jean Moss, Executive Director, Producer

Amherst College and Amherst Community TV, Co-Producers

December 1998 - Kwanzaa, A PBS Special

WGBY, Producer

Onawumi Jean Moss, Narrator, Co-Writer

May 1993 - African Folktales: "Onawumi Jean Moss Tells"

First World Images, Producer, Amherst Community Television

"We were incredibly fortunate in finding Onawumi, as she was everything we hoped for and more. Her involvement in the project went beyond talent; she was very knowledgeable about Kwanzaa, and became co-writer of the script as well as project consultant. With her help, we were able to produce a program that served our local audience well, generated a large number of viewer comments, and attracted the interest of national distributors. I eagerly await the next opportunity to work with her."

- Kevin Crane, Manager of Programming and New Technology Services, WGBY-TV


Onawumi Jean Moss is the recipient of the prestigious Zora Neale Hurston Award for storytelling, the highest award given by the National Association of Black Storytellers (NABS). This award is given in acknowledgement of a body of work that preserves the tenets of African and African American storytelling through performance, publications and recordings. Previous recipients have included the legendary theatrical couple of Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee and Oscar Brown Jr. Jazz singer and storyteller.