In our family, black history is history. We teach it along with every other topic. We’ve covered African history, civil rights, and even jazz history with our children over the years. But we’ve also enjoyed sharing African-American storybooks that help them “see” themselves in stories.
As part of learning about history, we’ve read some wonderful black history books for kids over the years. Today I’m sharing some of the selections that I consider “must-read” books! If I missed any of your favorites, feel free to share your suggestions in the comments!
Image c/o: Brainsil / depositphotos
Must-Read Black History Books for Kids
1. 100 African-Americans Who Shaped American History by Chrisanne Beckner (If you only get one, make it this one.)
3. When the Beat was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip-Hop by Laban Carrick Hill
4. My Name is Truth: The Life of Sojourner Truth by Ann Turner
5. Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America
6. Fly High: The Story of Bessie Coleman by Louise Borden
8. Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream by Deloris Jordan
9. Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad
10. A Weed is a Flower: The Life of George Washington Carver by Aliki
11. Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky by Faith Ringgold
12. Black Cowboys by Ryan P. Randolph
13. Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington by Jabari Asim
14. The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles (Check out our Ruby Bridges unit study!)
15. Alvin Ailey by Andrea Davis Pinkney
16. Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell
17. 28 Days: Moments in Black History That Changed the World by Charles R. Smith, Jr.
18. Fort Mose: And the Story of the Man Who Built the First Free Black Settlement in Colonial America by Glennette Tiley Turner
19. Molly, By Golly!: The Legend of Molly Williams, America’s First Female Firefighter
20. Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson (Don’t miss our Nelson Mandela unit!)
21. Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman by Kathleen Krull
22. Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra by Andrea Davis Pinkney
23. Tommy Traveler in the World of Black History by Tom Feelings (This is a tough one to find, but it is so worth it.)
24. The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch by Chris Barton
25. What Color is My World?: The Lost History of African-American Inventors by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
26. Mister and Lady Day: Billie Holiday and the Dog Who Loved Her by Amy Novesky
27. Jump Back, Paul: The Life and Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar by Sally Derby
28. Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X by Ilyasah Shabazz
29. Rhythm Ride: A Road Trip Through the Motown Sound by Andrea Davis Pinkney
30. Stealing Home: The Story of Jackie Robinson by Barry Denenberg
31. When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson by Pam Munoz Ryan
32. Nothing But Trouble: The Story of Althea Gibson by Sue Stauffacher
33. Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins by Carole Boston Weatherford
34. We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson
Check out these other black history posts!
Plus, grab our ebook “We Got Jazz” for 120 pages of unit studies and activities about jazz greats, including Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and more!
Follow my Living History for Kids board on Pinterest for more history teaching ideas!
This post is part of the “Must-Read Books” linkup from iHomeschool Network! Stop by to read more awesome book lists from my fellow bloggers!