8 Must-Read Children’s Books to Celebrate Black History Month

28 Days - Moments in Black History

Take Your Child to the Library Day (TYCLD) is “an international initiative that encourages families everywhere to take their children to their local library.” My kids and I look forward to this day each year. Needless to say, we went this year and had a blast!  Moreover, while in the midst of all the fun activities, we stumbled upon a gem that we just can’t keep to ourselves. The gem I’m referring to is the book 28 Days: Moments in Black History that Changed the World (for ages 4-10 years) by Charles R. Smith.This book highlights prominent, influential African Americans of the past and present and their contributions and achievements that have helped shape history. 

One major feature of the book I particularly like is how it designates each day of February to a specific historical figure, fact, or event. The daily breakdown of information makes it shorter and easier for younger kids to grasp. It also gives them something to look forward to the following day. You may even want to take it a bit further and ask your child, students, etc., to guess who or what they think will be highlighted the following day. The book is written in a way that allows for that. This incredible feature is bound to raise much anticipation and enthusiasm throughout the book. 

Whether you decide to read the entire book through with your kids or simply read each section daily, this book will take you on an incredible journey through black history that will help you and your young readers better understand, reflect on, and celebrate the people and moments in African American history that changed the world. As always, we love hearing your thoughts on children’s books. Feel free to leave a comment or two about this books or other books you are reading to help you reflect on or celebrate Black History Month. Happy Reading!

By: Dawn Hoff, Book Kids

BONUS BOOKS: SEVEN ADDITIONAL BLACK HISTORY MONTH BOOKS WE THINK ARE ABSOLUTELY WORTH CHECKING OUT . . .

Heroes in Black History - True Stories

1.  Heroes in Black History: True Stories from the Lives of Christian Heroes by Dave Jackson & Neta Jackson (Authors) 

Book Synopsis:  Drawn from the lives of key Christians from the past and present, Heroes in Black History is an inspiring collection of 42 exciting and educational readings that highlight African American Christians through a short biography and three true stories for each hero. Whether read together at family devotions or alone, Heroes in Black History is an ideal way to acquaint children ages six to twelve with historically important Christians while imparting valuable lessons. Featured heroes include Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver, William Seymour, Thomas A. Dorsey, Mary McLeod Bethune, Martin Luther King Jr., and many more. Includes brand new material as well as content from previous Hero Tales editions. (Ages 6-12 years)

One Hundred and One Read Aloud Stories

2. One-Hundred-and-One African-American Read-Aloud Stories by Susan Kantor (Author)

Book Synopsis: The newest volume in the popular Read-Aloud series, this engaging collection features the best African-American short stories and excerpts to read to children in under ten minutes. The diverse tales, selected for their rich histories, spiritual writings and adventurous characters, offer the perfect bed-time — or any other time — activities for parents, grandparents, siblings or babysitters. The book includes 50 beautiful drawings that capture the spirit of these tales, legends, lore and fables. The narratives are faithful adaptations of the oral and written stories passed down through the centuries. They include Langston Hughes, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington and Paula Fox. (Ages 9 and up)

The Bus Ride that Changed History

3. The Bus Ride that Changed History: The Story of Rosa Parks by Pamela Duncan Edwards (Author), Danny Shanahan (Illustrator)

Book Synopsis: In 1955, a young African-American woman named Rosa Parks took a big step for civil rights when she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger. The bus driver told her to move. Jim Crow laws told her to move. But Rosa Parks stayed where she was, and a chain of events was set into motion that would eventually change the course of American history. Fifty years later, The Bus Ride That Changed History retraces that chain of events by introducing the civil rights movement one idea at a time. Take a ride through history with this unique retelling of what happened when one brave woman refuses to stand up so that a white passenger could sit down. (Ages 4-8 years)

The Palm of My Heart

4. The Palm of My Heart: Poetry by African American Children by Davida Adedjouma (Author),  R. Gregory Christie (Illustrator)

Book Synopsis: Black is dark, dark is lovely, lovely is the palm of my heart, and my heartbeats are filled with joy. When children are encouraged to celebrate their lives — their joys, their influences, their hopes — the results are pure poetry. Honest, wise, and inspiring, each of the twenty poems in this dazzling collection resounds with the unique rhythms of life, as seen through the eyes of African American children. (Ages 5 and up)

Music of Our Lord's Holy Heaven

5. Music from Our Lord’s Holy Heaven by Gloria Pinkney (Author), Jerry Pinkney, Brian Pinkney, and Myles Pinkney (Illustrators)

Book Synopsis: Tapping a wellspring of comfort, inspiration, and renewal, Gloria Pinkney has gathered twenty-two African-American spirituals and reverential songs which her husband, Jerry Pinkney, and sons Brian Pinkney and Myles Pinkney have lovingly illustrated. (Ages 4-10 years)

Moses - Harriet Tubman

6. Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford (Author), Kadir Nelson (Illustrator)

Book Synopsis: This poetic book is a resounding tribute to Tubman’s strength, humility, and devotion. With proper reverence, Weatherford and Nelson do justice to the woman who, long ago, earned over and over the name Moses. (Ages 5-8 years)

Richard Wright and the Library Card

7. Richard Wright and the Library Card by William Miller (Author), R. Gregory Christie (Illustrator)

Book Synopsis: As a young black man in the segregated South of the 1920s, Wright was hungry to explore new worlds through books, but was forbidden from borrowing them from the library. This touching account tells of his love of Blareading, and how his unwavering perseverance, along with the help of a co-worker, came together to make Richard’s dream a reality. An inspirational story for children of all backgrounds, Richard Wright and the Library Card shares a poignant turning point in the life of a young man who became one of this country’s most brilliant writers, the author of Native Son and Black Boy. (Ages 7-10 years)

 

 

 

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