Celebrating Black History Through Children’s Books


Decorative image with colors of red, yellow and green with the title of the post. Also includes a profile silhouette of two childrenBooks provide us with a beautiful vehicle to journey through time and learn through the experiences of others. During February, we celebrate Black History Month and spotlight the contributions made to society by many Black trailblazers and visionaries.

Hopefully, reading and exploring some of these beautifully illustrated books with your children will open up the opportunity for many wonderful conversations.

Ages 4-8 Years

“Trombone Shorty” by Troy Andrews (Recommended Age: 4-8 years)

“Mae Among the Stars” by Roda Ahmed (Recommended Age: 4-8 years)

“This Jazz Man” by Karen Ehrhardt (Recommended Age: 4-7 years)

“Human Computer: Mary Jackson, Engineer” by Andi Diehn (Recommended Age: 5-8 years)

“Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis” by Jabari Asim (Recommended Age: 5-8 years)

“Firebird” by Misty Copeland (Recommended Age: 5-8 years)

“Have You Thanked An Inventor Today?” by Patrice McLaurin (Recommended Age: 5-12 years)

“If a Bus Could Talk” by Faith Ringgold (Recommended Age: 2-8 years)

Ages 6-9 Years

“The Undefeated” by Kwame Alexander (Recommended Age: 6-9 years)

“Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters” by Andrea Davis Pinkney (Recommended Age: 6-9 years)

“Let the Children March” by Monica Clark-Robinson et al. (Recommended Age: 6-9 years)

“28 Days: Moments in Black History that Changed the World” by Charles R. Smith Jr.  (Recommended Age: 6-10 years)

“Ron’s Big Mission” by Rosa Blue (Recommended Age: 6-8 years)

“Salt in His Shoes” by Michael Jordan (Recommended Age: 5-10 years)

Ages 7-12 Years

“If You Were a Kid During the Civil Rights Movement” by Gwendolyn Hooks (Recommended Age: 7-9 years)

“Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History” by Vashti Harrison (Recommended Age: 8-12 years)

“Bedtime Inspirational Stories: 50 Amazing Black People Who Changed the World” by L. A. Amber (Recommended Age: 8-12 years)

“Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas” by Gwendolyn Hooks (Recommended Age: 7-12 years)

“Child of the Dream:  A Memoir of 1963” by Sharon Robinson (Recommended Age: 8-12 years)

“Portraits of African-American Heroes” by Tonya Bolden (Recommended Age: 8-12 years)

“Strong Inside (Young Readers Edition): The True Story of How Perry Wallace Broke College Basketball’s Color Line” by Andrew Maraniss (Recommended Age: 10-12 years)

“The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore” by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson (Recommended Age: 7-10 years)

“Stamped” by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi, adapted by Sonja Cherry-Paul (Recommended Age: 7-11 years)

“Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” by Mildren D. Taylor (Recommended Age: 10-12 years)

“Freewater” by Amina Luqman-Dawson (Recommended Age: 10 years and up)

“Chains” (The Seeds of America Trilogy) by Laurie Halse Anderson (Recommended Age: 10-13 years)

“Amos Fortune, Free Man” by Elizabeth Yates (Recommended Age: 10-12 years)

“The Watsons Go to Birmingham” by Christopher Paul Curtis (Recommended Age: 10-11 years)

“Defiant: Growing Up in the Jim Crow South” by Wade Hudson (Recommended Age: 10+)

Ages 12 and Older

“The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks: Young Readers Edition (ReVisioning History for Young People)” by Brandy Colbert (Recommended Age: 12-17 years)

“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot  (Recommended Age: 15+)

“And We Rise” by Erica Martin (Recommended Age: 12+)

“The Burning: Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921” (Young Readers Edition) by Tim Madigan and Hilary Beard (Recommended Age: 12+)

“Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America” (Young Adult Adaptation) by Candacy Taylor (Recommended Age: 12+)

“African Town” by Charles Water and Irene Latham (Recommended Age: 12+)

Do you have any favorite books to add to this list?

Please share them with us!


{Original post by Danielle B. in February 2021}

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  1. Thank you for sharing this list. Over the years, I have found that books written for children are foundational; that is, the authors usually assume the reader knows little or nothing about the subject so the information is presented concisely. I look forward to reading!


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