This selection of must-read Black History Month books for kids covers a range of topics and will entertain kids without compromising accuracy.
Celebrate Black History Month with a book that educates and celebrates inspiring African American figures.
Perfect for kids of all ages, this selection of must-read books covers a range of topics from the Tuskegee Airmen to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., discover heroes who will change the way young kids see our world and its history.
Must-Read Black History Month Books for Kids
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
Little Leaders is an inspirational book that celebrates the lives and legacies of 40 extraordinary Black women in American history, from abolitionist Sojourner Truth to filmmaker Julie Dash.
Through vivid illustrations, these stories show how their courage, passion, and achievements have made an indelible impact on a world that often shuns them.
From overcoming personal struggles to making pivotal changes in society, these women are role models for generations of girls and women who follow them.
Henry's Freedom Box
Henry Brown was a slave in the United States who yearned for freedom but had no idea how to get it.
Until one day, while working at a warehouse, an idea struck him: he would mail himself to freedom.
He made the perilous journey inside a crate and, after a difficult and dangerous trip, arrived in the North where he experienced freedom for the first time.
His story has been immortalized in "Henry's Freedom Box," a book by Jane Addams Peace Award-winning author and Corey Scott King Award-winning artist.
The Undefeated is a homage to African American achievements in the United States. The poem chronicles the journey of survival and triumph from slavery, through the civil rights movement, to present-day success stories.
The Story of Ruby Bridges
In 1960, six-year-old Ruby Bridges and her family bravely faced public backlash when she was chosen to attend the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans. Ruby's journey into a world of prejudice and hostility was documented by Robert Coles' powerful narrative and George Ford's emotive illustrations. As she entered the classroom that day, she offered an act of courage, faith, and hope that stayed with her for more than 60 years. The story of Ruby Bridges remains an inspiring example of strength in the face of adversity.
Mae Among the Stars
Mae Among the Stars tells the inspiring story of Mae Jemison, the first African American woman to travel in space. Young Mae's parents encourage and believe in her dreams of traveling in space, and with determination and hard work, she makes her dreams a reality. This book is a great read-aloud that encourages children to use their imaginations and know that anything is possible if they put their minds and hearts into it.
The ABCs of Black History
The ABCs of Black History is a unique alphabet book that celebrates the story of African Americans, spanning centuries and continents. With rhyming text, it covers major events like the Great Migration, profiles iconic figures such as Zora Neale Hurston, Malcolm X, and Fannie Lou Hamer, and acknowledges the power, science, and soul that is rooted in Black history.
Brown Girl Dreaming
Jacqueline Woodson's memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming, captures her experience growing up Black and in two different places during the Civil Rights Movement. Through accessible and emotionally charged poems scattered throughout the book, she conveys the complexities of living under Jim Crow laws and battling her own difficulties with reading as a child.
Hair Love is a heartwarming tale about the beauty of natural hair and the bond between fathers and daughters. Zuri has unruly locks that Daddy attempts to style for a special occasion, with comedic and endearing results. This book celebrates the joy of loving yourself and your family.
I am Enough!
This gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another comes from Empire actor and activist Grace Byers and talented newcomer artist Keturah A. Bobo.
Let the Children March
Multi-award-winning author Monica Clark-Robinson has captured this incredible moment in time with beautifully poetic lyrics, while Frank Morrison's emotive oil-on-canvas paintings powerfully depict this courageous stand. Let the Children March is an inspiring tribute to this pivotal moment in civil rights history!
Your Name is a Song
Your Name is a Song is a story about an uplifting journey of discovery and appreciation for one's own name. After having her name mispronounced one too many times, a young girl's mother leads her on a lyrical walk through their city to explore the musicality of African, Asian, Black-American, Latinx, and Middle Eastern names. The conversation gives the young girl confidence—empowering her to celebrate and share this newfound knowledge with her class when she returns the next day.
Stacey’s Extraordinary Words
When Stacey, a young girl with a passion for words, is chosen to compete in the local spelling bee competition, she is overcome with anxiety and self-doubt. As she goes through her preparation phases, Stacey slowly discovers something: no matter if she wins or loses in the end, her words are filled with immense power and potential. Ultimately, she learns that sometimes perseverance and courage can be a powerful ally when it comes to overcoming fear.
Grace loves stories, whether they're from books, movies, or the kind her grandmother tells. So when she gets a chance to play a part in Peter Pan, she knows exactly who she wants to be. Remarkable watercolor illustrations give full expression to Grace's high-flying imagination.
In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall
This collection of poetry by African American writers is a tribute to the powerful bond between fathers and their children. With grace, humor, and dignity, authors like Folami Abiade, Dinah Johnson, Carole Boston Weatherford, Dakari Hru, Michael Burgess, E. Ethelbert Miller, Lenard D. Moore, David Anderson, Angela Johnson, Sonia Sanchez, and Davida Adedjouma all contribute poems that pay homage to what is arguably our greatest gift: family.
Bolstered by the love and wisdom of his large, warm family, young Malcolm Little was a natural-born leader. But when confronted with intolerance and a series of tragedies, Malcolm’s optimism and faith were threatened. He had to learn how to be strong and how to hold on to his individuality. He had to learn self-reliance.
The Night is Yours
This lyrical text, narrated to a young girl named Amani by her father, follows her as she plays an evening game of hide-and-seek with friends at her apartment complex. The moon's glow helps Amani find the last hidden child, and seems almost like a partner to her in her game, as well as a spotlight pointing out her beauty and strength.
Goin' Someplace Special
'Goin' Someplace Special' is a story set in a 1950s Southern town, where segregation along racial lines exists. 'Tricia Ann has a special place she wants to visit and sets off to go by herself, only to experience the racism of the Jim Crow laws when she catches the bus. Through it all, her grandmother's words of encouragement to "remember that you're somebody, no better or worse than anyone else" help keep her spirits lifted and remind her that she's not alone in facing this prejudice.
Can a city be beautiful if there's trash on the streets and graffiti on the walls? A little girl finds out when her teacher writes the word "beautiful" on the blackboard and the girl decides to look for beauty in her neighborhood.
Miss Tizzy is a beloved character among the children in her neighborhood. Her house and clothing are always full of vibrant colors, and she loves to share her special attention with them, like baking cookies and making pictures full of sunshine and butterflies. She also lets them put on puppet shows, and parades, and stretch out together on brightly colored quilts to sing moon songs in the evenings. When Miss Tizzy, unfortunately, becomes ill, the children know how to make sure she knows how much they care for her. This heartwarming picture book is sure to bring joy to kids of all ages!
Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom
In this award-winning book, acclaimed author Carole Boston Weatherford and bestselling artist Kadir Nelson offer a resounding, reverent tribute to Harriet Tubman, the woman who earned the name Moses for her heroic role in the Underground Railroad.
Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans
Heart and Soul is about the men, women, and children who toiled in the hot sun picking cotton; it's about America ripped in two by Jim Crow laws; it's about the brothers and sisters of all colors who rallied against those who would dare bar a child from an education. It's a story of discrimination and broken promises, determination, and triumphs.
Fifty years after her refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus, Mrs. Rosa Parks is still one of the most important figures in the American civil rights movement. This tribute to Mrs. Parks is a celebration of her courageous action and the events that followed.
Ruth and the Green Book
When Ruth and her family got a car in the early 1950s, she was excited about an adventure. However, she soon found out that African Americans weren't always welcomed at hotels and gas stations due to Jim Crow laws. Fortunately, a friendly attendant pointed them to The Green Book - a guidebook that listed places that accepted black travelers. With this book and the help of strangers along their way from Chicago to Alabama, Ruth could finally make it safely to her grandma's house.
The Youngest Marcher
At only nine years old, she had a bold urge to join the movement and speak out against segregation laws. When she heard about picketing white stores, marching in protest, and filling jail cells, Audrey offered up her help without hesitation. Her resilience and courage during that time made her an inspiration to many and serves as a reminder of what one person can do for something greater than themselves.
Harlem's Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills
Born to two former slaves, Florence Mills had a passion for singing from an early age. Her sweet, bird-like voice charmed everyone who heard it and eventually brought her to the stages of 1920s Broadway. Despite her success, Florence was aware of the prejudice that surrounded her and decided to use her platform to call for civil rights and promote works by other black performers. Harlem's Little Blackbird is a poignant tale about justice and equality, featuring a meaningful text accompanied by beautiful illustrations. Through Florence's story, readers are reminded to stay true to themselves and follow their dreams!
Even more Black History Month posts you don’t want to miss!