Two black children read a book together.

Black History Month Books for Children

| Pinelands Library

Fiction

Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed
Little Mae imagines floating among billions of stars. Her dream of becoming an astronaut is fueled by her curiosity and determination, but also her parents’ encouragement.

I am Perfectly Designed by Karamo Brown
A father and son share a day in the city and a conversation about what they love about each other.

Everett Anderson’s Goodbye by Lucille Clifton
This is a touching portrait of a little boy who is trying to come to grips with his father's death. The author captures Everett's conflicting emotions as he confronts this painful reality. We see him struggle through many stages, from denial and anger to depression and, finally, acceptance.

Hair Love by Matthew Cherry
A little girl’s daddy steps in to help her arrange her curly, coiling, wild hair into styles that allow her to be her natural, beautiful self.

Juneteenth for Mazie by Floyd Cooper
Little Mazie wants the freedom to stay up late, but her father explains what freedom really means in the story of Juneteenth, and how her ancestors celebrated their true freedom.

Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment by Parker Curry
A visit to Washington, D.C.’s National Portrait Gallery forever alters Parker Curry’s young life when she views First Lady Michelle Obama’s portrait.

We March by Shane Evans
Illustrations and brief text portray the events of the 1963 march in Washington, D.C., where the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a historic speech.

Bring Me Some Apples and I'll Make You a Pie by Robbin Gourley
From the whippoorwill's call on the first day of spring through the first snowfall, Edna and members of her family gather fruits, berries and vegetables from the fields, garden and orchard on their Virginia farm, and turn them into wonderful meals.

The 1619 Project: Born on the Water by Nikole Hannah-Jones
Stymied by her unfinished family tree assignment for school, a young girl seeks Grandma's counsel and learns about her ancestors, the consequences of slavery, and the history of Black resistance in the United States.

Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea by Meena Harris
This beautiful, empowering picture book about two sisters who work with their community to effect change was inspired by a true story from the childhood of the author’s aunt, Kamala Harris, and mother, lawyer and policy expert Maya Harris.

Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
Although a classmate says that she cannot play Peter Pan in the school play because she is black, Grace discovers that she can do anything she sets her mind to do.

Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson
Taken from her mother at a young age, Sweet Clara dreams of returning to her mother and escaping slavery. With scraps of cloth, she finds a way to sew to freedom.

Brown: The Many Shades of Love by Nancy James
In this loving ode to the color brown, a boy describes the many hues of his family.

A Sweet Smell of Roses by Angela Johnson
This is a stirring yet jubilant glimpse of the youth involvement that played an invaluable role in the Civil Rights movement.

Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream by Deloris Jordan
Young Michael Jordan, who is smaller than the other players, learns that determination and hard work are more important than size when playing the game of basketball.

Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine
This is a fictionalized account of how, in 1849, Virginia slave Henry "Box" Brown escapes to freedom by shipping himself in a wooden crate from Richmond to Philadelphia.

Our Skin: A First Conversation about Race by Megan Madison
This board book is the first in a series meant to help parents start important conversations with clear, concrete language and beautiful imagery that young children can grasp.

These Hands by Margaret H. Mason
An African American man tells his grandson about a time when, despite all the wonderful things his hands could do, they could not touch bread at the Wonder Bread factory. This book is based on stories of bakery union workers.

The Nutcracker in Harlem by T.E. McMorrow
In Harlem in the 1920s, in the middle of a family Christmas party, Marie receives a nutcracker from her Uncle Cab, which leads to a marvelous dream in this resetting of E.T.A. Hoffmann's familiar tale. This story includes historical notes.

The Quickest Kid in Clarksville by Pat Zietlow Miller
Growing up in the segregated town of Clarksville, Tennessee, in the 1960s, Alta's family cannot afford to buy her new sneakers – but she still plans to attend the parade celebrating her hero Wilma Rudolph's three Olympic gold medals.

Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o
When 5-year-old Sulwe's classmates make fun of her dark skin, she tries lightening herself to no avail, but her encounter with a shooting star helps her understand there is beauty in every shade.

Hey Black Child by Useni Eugene Perkins
Enjoy a lyrical, empowering poem that celebrates black children and seeks to inspire all young ones to dream big and achieve their goals.

Ruth and the Green Book by Calvin Ramsey
When Ruth and her parents take a motor trip from Chicago to Alabama to visit her grandma, they rely on a pamphlet called "The Negro Motorist Green Book" to find places that will serve them. This book includes facts about "The Green Book.”

Who Are Your People? by Bakari Sellers
We are all, in some part, shaped by our ancestry. This story examines what that means for Black Americans. Beautifully and simply written, in a way that children can easily engage with, this book is meant to begin a dialogue.

Your Name is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
A young girl who struggles with correcting people when they don’t say her name the right way overcomes her fears and learns to appreciate the music in her name.

Freedom Summer by Debbie Wiles
Two boys – one black, one white – are best friends in the segregated 1960s South in this picture book about friends sticking together through thick and thin.

The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson
Two girls, one white and one black, gradually get to know each other as they sit on the fence that divides their town.

 

Nonfiction

The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Cole
At the tender age of 6, Ruby Bridges advanced the cause of civil rights in November 1960 when she became the first African American student to integrate an elementary school in the South.

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
This book explores the previously uncelebrated but pivotal contributions of NASA's African American women mathematicians to America's space program, describing how Jim Crow laws segregated them despite their groundbreaking successes.

Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter
This rhythmic story and colorful paintings help show children the importance of the Underground Railroad — the secret path to freedom for thousands of African-Americans.

The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander
The Newbery Award-winning author of The Crossover pens an ode to black American triumph and tribulation, with art from a two-time Caldecott Honoree.

Your Legacy: a Bold Reclaiming of our Enslaved History by Schele Williams
This is a proud, empowering introduction to African American history that celebrates and honors enslaved ancestors. Your African ancestors defied the odds and survived 400 years of slavery in America, and passed down an extraordinary legacy to you.

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford
This is an awarded picture book about Harriet Tubman, one of the most inspiring figures of the Underground Railroad. Harriet leaves her family and plantation behind, led by God, to find free land in the north.

Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford
This poetic story about a little-known piece of African American history captures a human's capacity to find hope and joy in difficult circumstances and demonstrates how New Orleans' Congo Square was truly freedom's heart.


Biographies

Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglass by Lesa Cline-Ransome
This picture book biography chronicles the youth of Frederick Douglass, one of the most prominent African American figures in American history.

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Doreen Rappaport
This picture book-biography introduces young readers to one of the world's most influential leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story by Audrey Vernick
Effa always loved baseball. As a young woman, she would go to Yankee Stadium just to see Babe Ruth’s mighty swing. But she never dreamed she would someday own a baseball team, or be the first – and only – woman ever inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

My Name is Truth: The Life of Sojourner Truth by Ann Turner
An iconic figure of the abolitionist and women's rights movements, Sojourner Truth famously spoke out for equal rights roughly 100 years before the civil rights movement.

Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X by Ilyasah Shabazz
In this unique glimpse into the childhood of her father, Malcolm X’s daughter and author Ilyasah Shabazz delivers a lyrical story that carries a message that resonates still today – that we must all strive to live to our highest potential.

Audience: Kids Family Babies & Toddlers
Category:
Kids
Parents
Reading Lists