8 Must-Read Kids’ Books for Black History Month
February is Black History Month, and books are an easy and fun way to introduce your kids to African American historical events and figures. Check out some of our favorite recent releases.
Martin Luther King Jr. by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara and Mai Ly Degnan
From the Little People, BIG DREAMS series, read about the life of Martin Luther King Jr., the inspiring minister and civil rights activist, accompanied by illustrations, facts and a biographical timeline. Other books in the series about African Americans include Maya Angelou, Ella Fitzgerald, Harriet Tubman and more. For ages 4-7.
Brave Ballerina: The Story of Janet Collins by Michelle Meadows and Ebony Glenn
Janet Collins was the first African American principal dancer at the Metropolitan Opera House, pursuing her dreams at a time when racial segregation tried to prevent her from succeeding. Kids will love this inspiring story of never giving up. For ages 4-8.
Fearless Mary: Mary Fields, American Stagecoach Driver by Tami Charles and Claire Almon
A little-known figure in history, Mary Fields became the first female African American stagecoach driver in 1895, traveling the badlands with her pet eagle and protecting mail from outlaws and wild animals. Kids will love this fascinating tale of a trail-blazing woman. For ages 5-7.
HBCU Proud by Yvette Manns and Catarina Neto
During spring break, Q’s aunt takes him to tour an HBCU (historically black college and university), where he learns about the importance, legacy, people and culture of HBCUs. Fun fact: Author Manns is an alumna of Clark Atlanta University. For ages 5-9.
A Ride to Remember: A Civil Rights Story by Sharon Langley, Amy Nathan and Floyd Cooper
The true story of how a community came together to change segregated amusement parks. Co-author Sharon Langley was the first African American child to ride the carousel at Gwynn Oak Amusement Park, and older children will appreciate the photos, timeline and more at the back of the book. For ages 6-9.
Carter Reads the Newspaper by Deborah Hopkinson and Don Tate
Read about the father of Black History Month, Carter G. Woodson. As a child, he read the newspaper to his father every day to help him be an informed citizen. His interests lead him to traveling the world to research people and history. For ages 6-10.
A Black Woman Did That! by Malaika Adero and Chanté Timothy
Learn about more than 40 historical women and modern-day heroines who are pushing boundaries, including Harriet Tubman, Madam CJ Walker and Serena Williams. With illustrations, biographies and storytelling, kids will be inspired to follow in these women’s footsteps to pursue their own dreams. For ages 8-12. Release date: Feb. 18.
Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History by Vashti Harrison and Kwesi Johnson
Read about black men in this beautifully illustrated book, including civil rights leader John Lewis, writer James Baldwin, dancer Alvin Ailey (check out the company’s performance at the Fox Theatre this month!) and more. Companion book, “Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History,” looks at important African American women throughout history. For ages 8-12.