Knowledge of the past is the key to ensuring that kids grow into compassionate adults who understand the importance of inclusion and social justice. Books and stories are always an excellent way to help kids understand challenging topics like racism, slavery, and segregation. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of the best books about Black History for kids.
Best Books About Black History For Kids
Kids of all ages can learn and understand Black History. Even babies and toddlers can learn the importance of treating others with kindness. Here are ten of the best books about black history for kids that teach diversity, inclusion, and compassion.
Baby and Preschool Books
The ABCs of Black History by Rio Cortez
This book is excellent for babies and toddlers. My ABC’s teaches the alphabet while associating it with Black History. Each letter of the alphabet corresponds with a theme, like education, and then highlights famous Black people throughout history, like Ruby Bridges and the Little Rock Nine, some of the first Black students integrated into all-white schools.
My First Heroes: Black History by Editors of Silver Dolphins Books
My First Heroes tells the stories of four incredible black heroes: Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou, and Serena Williams. Preschoolers will learn about activism and bravery with essential facts, push and pull side elements, and adorable illustrations.
If A Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks by Faith Ringgold
On a magical bus ride, a young girl named Marcie learns all about Rosa Parks and her pivotal role in the Civil Rights movement. Using bright illustrations and a unique storytelling device in the form of a talking bus, this title from Caldecott Honor Award winner Faith Ringgold really engages young readers.
My Name is Truth: The Life of Sojourner Truth by Ann Turner
Elementary-aged kids from 6-10 can learn the remarkable true story of how a formerly enslaved person transformed herself into a preacher and orator, Sojourner Truth. Not only did she endure racism, but she was an activist for all women’s rights.
We March by Shane W. Evans
Reviewed as one of the Best Children’s Books of 2012, We March remains one of the best stories depicting the African American civil rights movement. Kids will learn about Martin Luther King Jr. and the importance of actively fighting for the rights of all.
28 Days: Moments In Black History That Changed the World
Each day in this gorgeously illustrated book features a different influential, Black figure who significantly impacted history, up to the first Black U.S. President, Barack Obama.
Middle Grade and Young Adult Books
Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
A classic in most middle school and high school classes, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry is a book about a young girl’s fight against prejudice in the wake of Jim Crow laws. Kids can understand racism, discrimination, and the fight for justice by reading a story through the eyes of someone their age.
100 African Americans Who Shaped American History by Chrisianne Beckner
Middle school and high school-aged kids can learn about the extraordinary lives of 100 Black Americans with fact-filled biographies. From Harriet Tubman to Rosa Parks and Malcolm X, kids will learn the struggles, accomplishments, and road to freedom that black Americans went through.
Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre by Brandy Colbert
One of the most deadly and destructive acts of racial violence in American history remains one of the least discussed. This nonfiction account of the Tulsa Race Massacre lays the groundwork for all conversations surrounding the roots of racism in America and how it still impacts Black Americans today. It is an eye-opening must-read for all, high school and up.
Growing Up In Slavery: Stories of Young Slaves Told by Themselves by Yuval Taylor
This book encompasses the enslavement, brutality, and dreams of freedom of ten former slaves, all under 19. By understanding what slavery was like, teens and young adults can relate and discover the importance of the fight against modern social injustice.
More Books For Kids
Looking for more book recommendations? Check out some of our other posts below!
- 50 Children’s Books About Racism and Diversity
- 12 of The Best Books About Social Justice for Kids
- 50 Children’s Books for All Ages
Have you read an excellent black history month book that strikes conversation about diversity, inclusion, activism, racial injustice, or more? Please share any books you feel kids should read on our Local Anchor Facebook Group!