0 In Inspiration/ life

55 Elementary Level Books Perfect for Black History Month

February is Black History month and since my little is beginning to read, I spent some time scouring the web for books that he would be able to read on his level. Finding books that test his comprehension while giving words he recognizes is super important to me. While I generally strive to have books in our library with characters that look like him, I haven’t been the best with sharing historical books with him. In February we are striving to read something that highlights and celebrates black culture everyday/night and I compiled this great list elementary level black history books so you don’t have to spend a million years searching like I did. I did my best to ensure the reading level increases by grade the further you scroll down the list.

*Disclaimer, this post does contain affiliate links which mean if you make a purchase I will (at no additional cost to you) earn a small commission to help keep this site running! =)


He’s Got The Whole World in His Hands

Reading Level Pre-K through 3

What began as a spiritual has developed into one of America’s best-known songs, and now for the first time it appears as a picture book, masterfully created by award-winning artist Kadir Nelson.Through sublime landscapes and warm images of a boy and his family, Kadir has created a dazzling, intimate interpretation, one that rejoices in the connectedness of people and nature.

Inspired by the song’s simple message, Kadir sought to capture the joy of living in and engaging with the world. Most importantly, he wished to portray the world as a child might see it—vast and beautiful.

BUY NOW


Before She Was Harriet

Reading Level Pre-K through 3

We know her today as Harriet Tubman, but in her lifetime she was called by many names. As General Tubman she was a Union spy. As Moses she led hundreds to freedom on the Underground Railroad. As Minty she was a slave whose spirit could not be broken. As Araminta she was a young girl whose father showed her the stars and the first steps on the path to freedom.

BUY NOW


Sisters and Champions: The True Story of Venus and Serena Williams

Reading Level Pre-K through 3

Everyone knows the names Venus & Serena Williams. They’ve become synonymous with championships, hard work, and with shaking up the tennis world. This inspirational true story, written by award-winning sports journalist, Howard Bryant, and brought to beautiful life by Coretta Scott Kind Award and Honor winner, Floyd Cooper, details the sisters’ journey from a barely-there tennis court in Compton, CA, to Olympic gold medals and becoming the #1 ranked women in the sport of tennis. Here is a worthy ode to Venus and Serena Williams, the incredible sister duo who will go down in history as two of the greatest athletes of all time.

BUY NOW


I Am Rosa Parks

Reading Level K through 3

When Rosa Parks was born, the rules weren’t fair to African Americans. She had to attend a different school, drink from different water fountains and sit at the back of the bus, all because of the color of her skin. One day, Rosa dared to stand up for herself and other African Americans by refusing to give up her seat on the bus, and as a result she helped end public bus segregation and launch the country’s Civil Rights Movement.

BUY NOW


So Tall Within: Sojourner Truth’s Long Walk Toward Freedom

Reading Level K through 3

Sojourner Truth was born into slavery but possessed a mind and a vision that knew no bounds. So Tall Within traces her life from her painful childhood through her remarkable emancipation to her incredible leadership in the movement for rights for both women and African Americans. Her story is told with lyricism and pathos by Gary D. Schmidt, one of the most celebrated writers for children in the twenty-first century, and brought to life by award winning and fine artist Daniel Minter. This combination of talent is just right for introducing this legendary figure to a new generation of children.

BUY NOW


The Story of Ruby Bridges

Reading Level K through 3

“Please, God, try to forgive those people. Because even if they say those bad things, They don’t know what they’re doing.” This is the true story of an extraordinary 6-year-old who helped shape history when she became the first African-American sent to first grade in an all white school. This moving book captures the courage of a little girl standing alone in the face of racism.”Ford’s moving watercolor paintings…capture the…warmth of Ruby’s family and community, the immense powers against her, and her shining inner strength.

BUY NOW


A Song for Gwendolyn Brooks (People Who Shaped Our World)

With a voice both wise and witty, Gwendolyn Brooks crafted poems that captured the urban Black experience and the role of women in society. She grew up on the South Side of Chicago, reading and writing constantly from a young age, her talent lovingly nurtured by her parents. Brooks ultimately published 20 books of poetry, two autobiographies, and one novel. Alice Faye Duncan has created her own song to celebrate Gwendolyn’s life and work, illuminating the tireless struggle of revision and the sweet reward of success.

BUY NOW


Hidden Figures

Reading Level Pre-K through 3

Author Shetterly and illustrator Freeman bring the incredibly inspiring true story of four black female mathematicians who helped NASA launch men into space to picture book readers in this adaptation of Shetterly’s #1 New York Times bestseller, the basis for the Oscar-nominated film.

BUY NOW


Freedom in Congo Square

Reading Level K – 3

This poetic, nonfiction 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.

Mondays, there were hogs to slop,
mules to train, and logs to chop.
Slavery was no ways fair.
Six more days to Congo Square.

BUY NOW


A Chair For My Mother

Reading Level Pre-K through 1

After a fire destroys their home and possessions, Rosa, her mother, and her grandmother save their money to buy a big comfortable chair. Suffused with warmth and tenderness, A Chair for My Mother celebrates family love and determination.

BUY NOW


Bright Eyes, Brown Skin

Reading Level Pre-K through 1

Four African American children interact with one another in a preschool environment, exploring their facial features, skin tones, what they wear, what they do, and how they learn from and enjoy each other. A happy book and nice addition to preschool and kindergarten classrooms.

BUY NOW


Something Beautiful

Reading Level Pre-K through 2

A little girl longs to see beyond the scary sights on the sidewalk and the angry scribbling in the halls of her building. When her teacher writes the word beautiful on the blackboard, the girl decides to look for something beautiful in her neighborhood. Her neighbors tell her about their own beautiful things. Miss Delphine serves her a “beautiful” fried fish sandwich at her diner. At Mr. Lee’s “beautiful” fruit store, he offers her an apple. Old Mr. Sims invites her to touch a smooth stone he always carries. Beautiful means “something that when you have it, your heart is happy,” the girl thinks. Her search for “something beautiful” leaves her feeling much happier. She has experienced the beauty of friendship and the power of hope.

BUY NOW


Dream Big, Little One

Reading Level Pre-K through K

Featuring 18 trailblazing black women in American history, Dream Big, Little One is the irresistible board book adaptation of Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History.  Among these women, you’ll find heroes, role models, and everyday women who did extraordinary things – bold women whose actions and beliefs contributed to making the world better for generations of girls and women to come. Whether they were putting pen to paper, soaring through the air or speaking up for the rights of others, the women profiled in these pages were all taking a stand against a world that didn’t always accept them.

BUY NOW


Our Legendary Ladies: Harriet Tubman

Reading Level Pre-K through

Harriet Tubman was one Legendary Lady. Why wait to start teaching your children about her determination and bravery? The first of many in the Our Legendary Ladies series, this books encourages parents to go beyond the basics and teach their children about history’s amazing Harriet Tubman. All the content has been approved by her leading historian, Kate Clifford Larson.

BUY NOW


The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip-Hop 

Reading Level Pre-K through 2

The roots of rap and the history of hip-hop have origins that precede DJ Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash. Kids will learn about how it evolved from folktales, spirituals, and poetry, to the showmanship of James Brown, to the culture of graffiti art and break dancing that formed around the art form and gave birth to the musical artists we know today. Written in lyrical rhythm by award-winning author and poet Carole Boston Weatherford and complete with flowing, vibrant illustrations by Frank Morrison, this book beautifully illustrates how hip-hop is a language spoken the whole world ’round, it and features a foreward by Swizz Beatz, a Grammy Award winning American hip-hop rapper, DJ, and record producer.

BUY NOW


Harlem’s Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills

Reading Level Pre-K through 2

Born to parents who were both former slaves, Florence Mills knew at an early age that she loved to sing, and that her sweet, bird-like voice, resonated with those who heard her. Performing catapulted her all the way to the stages of 1920s Broadway where she inspired everyone from songwriters to playwrights. Yet with all her success, she knew firsthand how prejudice shaped her world and the world of those around her. As a result, Florence chose to support and promote works by her fellow black performers while heralding a call for their civil rights. Featuring a moving text and colorful illustrations, Harlem’s Little Blackbird is a timeless story about justice, equality, and the importance of following one’s heart and dreams.

BUY NOW


Something Happened in Our Town

Reading Level Pre-k through 3

Something Happened in Our Town follows two families — one White, one Black — as they discuss a police shooting of a Black man in their community. The story aims to answer children’s questions about such traumatic events, and to help children identify and counter racial injustice in their own lives.

Includes an extensive Note to Parents and Caregivers with guidelines for discussing race and racism with children, child-friendly definitions, and sample dialogues.

BUY NOW


Barack Obama 101: My First Presidential-board-book

Reading Level K-2

Barack Obama 101 has pages suitable for people of all ages. The book is designed for families to share. Young children will love the large format photos of the 44th president, the white house and even air force one. Older children and adults will enjoy a well-designed pictorial biography of Barack Obama, his campaign theme of “hope” and “change” and fascinating look at the Presidency.

BUY NOW


We March

Reading Level Pre-K through 2

On August 28, 1963, a remarkable event took place–more than 250,000 people gathered in our nation’s capital to participate in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The march began at the Washington Monument and ended with a rally at the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech, advocating racial harmony. Many words have been written about that day, but few so delicate and powerful as those presented here by award-winning author and illustrator Shane W. Evans. When combined with his simple yet compelling illustrations, the thrill of the day is brought to life for even the youngest reader to experience.

BUY NOW


Martin and Mahalia

Reading Level K through 3

Martin’s voice kept people in their seats, but also sent their praises soaring.
Mahalia’s voice was brass-and-butter – strong and smooth at the same time.
With Martin’s sermons and Mahalia’s songs, folks were free to shout, to sing their joy.

BUY NOW


Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis

Reading Level K through 3

Celebrating ingenuity and dreaming big, this inspirational story, featuring Jabari Asim’s stirring prose and E. B. Lewis’s stunning, light-filled impressionistic watercolor paintings, includes an author’s note about John Lewis, who grew up to be a member of the Freedom Riders, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and demonstrator on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. John Lewis is now a Georgia congressman, who is still an activist today, recently holding a sit-in on the House floor of the U.S. Capitol to try to force a vote on gun violence. His March: Book Three recently won the National Book Award, as well as the American Library Association’s Coretta Scott King Author Award, Printz Award, and Sibert Award.

BUY NOW


I am Jackie Robinson

Reading Level K through 2

Jackie Robinson always loved sports, especially baseball. But he lived at a time before the Civil Rights Movement, when the rules weren’t fair to African Americans. Even though Jackie was a great athlete, he wasn’t allowed on the best teams just because of the color of his skin. Jackie knew that sports were best when everyone, of every color, played together. He became the first black player in Major League Baseball, and his bravery changed African-American history and led the way to equality in all sports in America.

BUY NOW


Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington

Reading Level K through 2

Born into slavery, young Booker T. Washington could only dream of learning to read and write. After emancipation, Booker began a five-hundred-mile journey, mostly on foot, to Hampton Institute, taking his first of many steps towards a college degree. When he arrived, he had just fifty cents in his pocket and a dream about to come true. The young slave who once waited outside of the schoolhouse would one day become a legendary educator of freedmen.

BUY NOW


Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13

Reading Level K through 2

From Katherine’s early beginnings as a gifted student to her heroic accomplishments as a prominent mathematician at NASA, Counting on Katherine is the story of a groundbreaking American woman who not only calculated the course of moon landings but, in turn, saved lives and made enormous contributions to history.

BUY NOW


Mae Among the Stars

Reading Level Pre-K through 3

Little Mae is a girl with big dreams, a supportive loving family, unbounded passion, and all the right stuff to dance among the stars. Against all odds, she will overcome any obstacle to become an astronaut one day.
This hardcover picture book, written by debut author Roda Ahmed and illustrated by Stasia Burrington, is not the typical picture book biography. It’s accessible and bursts with color, which makes it perfect for young readers who also have big dreams and even bigger hearts! Timely and inspiring, this book is a tribute to a woman whose belief and tenacity turned her into a modern-day hero. Mae’s story will inspire children to persevere, even in the face of doubt, and remind them that if you believe it and work hard for it, anything is possible.

BUY NOW


Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story of the Underground Railroad

Reading Level Pre-K through 3

Henry Brown doesn’t know how old he is. Nobody keeps records of slaves’ birthdays. All the time he dreams about freedom, but that dream seems farther away than ever when he is torn from his family and put to work in a warehouse. Henry grows up and marries, but he is again devastated when his family is sold at the slave market. Then one day, as he lifts a crate at the warehouse, he knows exactly what he must do: He will mail himself to the North. After an arduous journey in the crate, Henry finally has a birthday — his first day of freedom.

BUY NOW


A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon

Reading Level Pre-K through 3

Katherine knew it was wrong that African Americans didn’t have the same rights as others–as wrong as 5+5=12. She knew it was wrong that people thought women could only be teachers or nurses–as wrong as 10-5=3. And she proved everyone wrong by zooming ahead of her classmates, starting college at fifteen, and eventually joining NASA, where her calculations helped pioneer America’s first manned flight into space, its first manned orbit of Earth, and the world’s first trip to the moon!

BUY NOW


Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World

Reading Level Pre-K through 3

From the award-winning author of Ada’s Violin, Susan Hood, this is a poetic and visual celebration of persistent women throughout history.

In this book of poems, you will find Mary Anning, who was just thirteen when she unearthed a prehistoric fossil. You’ll meet Ruby Bridges, the brave six year old who helped end segregation in the South. And Maya Lin, who at twenty-one won a competition to create a war memorial, and then had to appear before Congress to defend her right to create.

BUY NOW


Freedom On The Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins

Reading Level Pre-K through 3

There were signs all throughout town telling eight-year-old Connie where she could and could not go. But when Connie sees four young men take a stand for equal rights at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, she realizes that things may soon change. This event sparks a movement throughout her town and region. And while Connie is too young to march or give a speech, she helps her brother and sister make signs for the cause. Changes are coming to Connie’s town, but Connie just wants to sit at the lunch counter and eat a banana split like everyone else.

BUY NOW


Rosa

Reading Level Pre-K through 3

Fifty years after her refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus, Mrs. Rosa Parks is still one of the most important figures in the American civil rights movement. This tribute to Mrs. Parks is a celebration of her courageous action and the events that followed.

Award-winning poet, writer, and activist Nikki Giovanni’s evocative text combines with Bryan Collier’s striking cut-paper images to retell the story of this historic event from a wholly unique and original perspective.

BUY NOW


Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down

Reading Level K through 2

This picture book is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the momentous Woolworth’s lunch counter sit-in, when four college students staged a peaceful protest that became a defining moment in the struggle for racial equality and the growing civil rights movement.

BUY NOW


Thurgood

Reading Level K through 4

Thurgood Marshall was a born lawyer–the loudest talker, funniest joke teller, and best arguer from the time he was a kid growing up in Baltimore in the early 1900s. He would go on to become the star of his high school and college debate teams, a stellar law student at Howard University, and, as a lawyer, a one-man weapon against the discriminatory laws against black Americans. After only two years at the NAACP, he was their top lawyer and had earned himself the nickname Mr. Civil Rights. He argued–and won–cases before the Supreme Court, including one of the most important cases in American history: Brown v Board of Education. And he became the first black U.S. Supreme Court Justice in history.

Like its subject, here is a biography that crackles with energy and intensity–a great introduction to a great man

BUY NOW


Ruby, Head High: Ruby Bridge’s First Day of School

Reading Level 1 through 3

Inspired by an iconic Norman Rockwell painting and translated from an original French text, this is a story about the day a little girl held her head high and changed the world.

BUY NOW


My Brother Martin: A Sister Remembers Growing Up with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Reading Level 1 through 3

Long before he became a world-famous dreamer, Martin Luther King Jr. was a little boy who played jokes and practiced the piano and made friends without considering race. But growing up in the segregated south of the 1930s taught young Martin a bitter lesson—little white children and little black children were not to play with one another. Martin decided then and there that something had to be done. And so he began the journey that would change the course of American history.

BUY NOW


Ruth and the Green Book

Reading Level 1 through 2

Ruth was so excited to take a trip in her family’s new car! In the early 1950s, few African Americans could afford to buy cars, so this would be an adventure. But she soon found out that black travelers weren’t treated very well in some towns. Many hotels and gas stations refused service to black people because of the Jim Crow laws.

Finally, a friendly attendant at a gas station showed Ruth’s family The Green Book. It listed all of the places that would welcome black travelers. With this guidebook and the kindness of strangers, Ruth could finally make a safe journey from Chicago to her grandma’s house in Alabama. Ruth’s story is fiction, but The Green Book and its role in helping a generation of African American travelers avoid some of the indignities of Jim Crow are historical fact.
BUY NOW


The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist

Reading Level Kindergarten through 5

Meet the youngest known child to be arrested for a civil rights protest in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963, in this moving picture book that proves you’re never too little to make a difference.

Audrey Faye Hendricks was confident and bold and brave as can be, and hers is the remarkable and inspiring story of one child’s role in the Civil Rights Movement.

BUY NOW


Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom

Reading Level 1 through 3

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.

BUY NOW


The Undefeated

Reading Level 1 through 4

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.
Originally performed for ESPN’s The Undefeated, this poem is a love letter to black life in the United States. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world’s greatest heroes. The text is also peppered with references to the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others, offering deeper insights into the accomplishments of the past, while bringing stark attention to the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present. Robust back matter at the end provides valuable historical context and additional detail for those wishing to learn more.

BUY NOW


Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Be Malcolm X

Reading Level 1 through 5

Bolstered by the love and wisdom of his large, warm family, young Malcolm Little was a natural born leader. But when confronted with intolerance and a series of tragedies, Malcolm’s optimism and faith were threatened. He had to learn how to be strong and how to hold on to his individuality. He had to learn self-reliance.

Together with acclaimed illustrator AG Ford, Ilyasah Shabazz gives us a unique glimpse into the childhood of her father, Malcolm X, with a lyrical story that carries a message that resonates still today—that we must all strive to live to our highest potential.

BUY NOW


Let the Children March

Reading Level 1 through 4

In 1963 Birmingham, Alabama, thousands of African American children volunteered to march for their civil rights after hearing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak. They protested the laws that kept black people separate from white people. Facing fear, hate, and danger, these children used their voices to change the world. Frank Morrison’s emotive oil-on-canvas paintings bring this historical event to life, while Monica Clark-Robinson’s moving and poetic words document this remarkable time. 

BUY NOW


Thirteen Ways of Looking at A Black Boy

Reading Level 1 through 6

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy by Tony Medina offers a fresh perspective of young men of color by depicting thirteen views of everyday life: young boys dressed in their Sunday best, running to catch a bus, and growing up to be teachers, and much more. Each of Tony Medina’s tanka is matched with a different artist―including recent Caldecott and Coretta Scott King Award recipients.

BUY NOW


28 Days: Moments in Black History that Changed the World

Reading Level 2 through 3

Each day features a different influential figure in African-American history, from Crispus Attucks, the first man shot in the Boston Massacre, sparking the Revolutionary War, to Madame C. J. Walker, who after years of adversity became the wealthiest black woman in the country, as well as one of the wealthiest black Americans, to Barack Obama, the country’s first African-American president.

With powerful illustrations by Shane Evans, this is a completely unique look at the importance and influence of African Americans on the history of this country.

BUY NOW


If You Were a Kid During the Civil Rights Movement

Reading Level 2 through 4

Joyce Jenkins has recently moved to a new town with her family, and she will soon be attending a segregated school for the first time. Meanwhile, Connie Underwood is trying to figure out what her twin brothers are planning in secret. Readers (Ages 7-9) will follow along with the two girls as they find themselves in the middle of a civil rights demonstration, and find out how the fight for equality changed the country forever.

BUY NOW


Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker

Reading Level 2 through 5

In exuberant verse and stirring pictures, Patricia Hruby Powell and Christian Robinson create an extraordinary portrait for young people of the passionate performer and civil rights advocate Josephine Baker, the woman who worked her way from the slums of St. Louis to the grandest stages in the world. Meticulously researched by both author and artist, Josephine’s powerful story of struggle and triumph is an inspiration and a spectacle, just like the legend herself.

BUY NOW


A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation

Reading Level 2 through 5

Martin Luther King, Jr. was once asked if the hardest part of preaching was knowing where to begin. No, he said. The hardest part is knowing where to end. “It’s terrible to be circling up there without a place to land.”

Finding this place to land was what Martin Luther King, Jr. struggled with, alongside advisors and fellow speech writers, in the Willard Hotel the night before the March on Washington, where he gave his historic “I Have a Dream” speech. But those famous words were never intended to be heard on that day, not even written down for that day, not even once.

Barry Wittenstein teams up with legendary illustrator Jerry Pinkney to tell the story of how, against all odds, Martin found his place to land.

BUY NOW


Young Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present

Reading Level 2 through 5

Meet 52 icons of color from the past and present in this celebration of inspirational achievement—a collection of stories about changemakers to encourage, inspire, and empower the next generation of changemakers. Jamia Wilson has carefully curated this range of black icons and the book is stylishly brought together by Andrea Pippins’ colorful and celebratory illustrations.

Written in the spirit of Nina Simone’s song “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black,” this vibrant book is a perfect introduction to both historic and present-day icons and heroes. Meet figureheadsleaders, and pioneers such as Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Rosa Parks, as well as cultural trailblazers and athletes like Stevie Wonder, Oprah Winfrey, and Serena Williams.

BUY NOW


Rise!: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou

Reading Level 2 through 6

Writer, activist, trolley car conductor, dancer, mother, and humanitarianMaya Angelou’s life was marked by transformation and perseverance. In this comprehensive picture-book biography geared towards older readers, Bethany Hegedus lyrically traces Maya’s life from her early days in Stamps, Arkansas through her work as a freedom fighter to her triumphant rise as a poet of the people.

A foreword by Angelou’s grandson, Colin A. Johnson, describes how a love of literature and poetry helped young Maya overcome childhood trauma and turn adversity into triumph. Coupled with Tonya Engel’s metaphorical and emotive illustrations, this biography beautifully conveys the heartaches and successes of this truly phenomenal woman, and is a powerful tribute to the written word.

BUY NOW


Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library

Reading Level 3 through 7

Amid the scholars, poets, authors, and artists of the Harlem Renaissance stood an Afro–Puerto Rican named Arturo Schomburg. This law clerk’s life’s passion was to collect books, letters, music, and art from Africa and the African diaspora and bring to light the achievements of people of African descent through the ages. When Schomburg’s collection became so big it began to overflow his house (and his wife threatened to mutiny), he turned to the New York Public Library, where he created and curated a collection that was the cornerstone of a new Negro Division. A century later, his groundbreaking collection, known as the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, has become a beacon to scholars all over the world.

BUY NOW


When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop

Reading Level 3 through 4

On a hot day at the end of summer in 1973 Cindy Campbell threw a back-to-school party at a park in the South Bronx. Her brother, Clive Campbell, spun the records. He had a new way of playing the music to make the breaks―the musical interludes between verses―longer for dancing. He called himself DJ Kool Herc and this is When the Beat Was Born. From his childhood in Jamaica to his youth in the Bronx, Laban Carrick Hill’s book tells how Kool Herc came to be a DJ, how kids in gangs stopped fighting in order to breakdance, and how the music he invented went on to define a culture and transform the world.

BUY NOW


Bedtime Inspirational Stories: 50 Amazing Black People Who Changed the World (Volume 1) 

Reading Level 3 through 4

Bedtime Inspirational Stories… celebrates the achievements of the amazing black heroes who have paved the way for future generations.Unfortunately, in today’s world, it can be a challenge to raise positive kids, as they are constantly bombarded with negative messages. More than ever, parents and teachers need to create a positive atmosphere for our children in order to help them believe in themselves.That’s why we’ve proudly created this richly illustrated and inspiring book, Bedtime Inspirational Stories: 50 Amazing Black People Who Changed the World, which highlights the achievements and stories of fifty notable women and men from the 18th century to today. Some were born slaves, some grew up in poverty, and some had physical or emotional challenges. Some were born many years ago, and some are still with us. The stories in the book include those of political activists, scientists, artists, musicians, inventors, businesspeople, Nobel prize winners, and more.

BUY NOW


Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History

Reading Level 3 through 7

This beautifully illustrated board book highlights true stories of black men in history. The exceptional men featured include artist Aaron Douglas, civil rights leader John Lewis, dancer Alvin Ailey, lawman Bass Reeves, tennis champion Arthur Ashe, and writer James Baldwin.
The legends in this book span centuries and continents, but what they have in common is that each one has blazed a trail for generations to come.

BUY NOW


Finding Langston

Reading Level 3 through 7

It’s 1946. Langston’s mother has just died, and now they’re leaving the rest of his family and friends. He misses everything– Grandma’s Sunday suppers, the red dirt roads, and the magnolia trees his mother loved.

In the city, they live in a small apartment surrounded by noise and chaos. It doesn’t feel like a new start, or a better life. At home he’s lonely, his father always busy at work; at school he’s bullied for being a country boy.

But Langston’s new home has one fantastic thing. Unlike the whites-only library in Alabama, the Chicago Public Library welcomes everyone. There, hiding out after school, Langston discovers another Langston–a poet whom he learns inspired his mother enough to name her only son after him.

BUY NOW


This Promise of Change: One Girl’s Story in the Fight for School Equality

Reading Level 4 through 6

In 1956, one year before federal troops escorted the Little Rock 9 into Central High School, fourteen year old Jo Ann Allen was one of twelve African-American students who broke the color barrier and integrated Clinton High School in Tennessee. At first things went smoothly for the Clinton 12, but then outside agitators interfered, pitting the townspeople against one another. Uneasiness turned into anger, and even the Clinton Twelve themselves wondered if the easier thing to do would be to go back to their old school. Jo Ann–clear-eyed, practical, tolerant, and popular among both black and white students—found herself called on as the spokesperson of the group. But what about just being a regular teen? This is the heartbreaking and relatable story of her four months thrust into the national spotlight and as a trailblazer in history. Based on original research and interviews and featuring backmatter with archival materials and notes from the authors on the co-writing process.

BUY NOW


Black Women in Science: A Black History Book for Kids

Reading Level 4 through 6

Throughout history, black women have blazed trails across the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Black Women in Science brings something special to black history books for kids, celebrating incredible black women in STEM who have used their brains, bravery, and ambition to beat the odds.

Black Women in Science stands out amongst other black history books for kids―featuring 15 powerful stories of fearless female scientists that advanced their STEM fields and fought to build a legacy. Through the triumphs of these amazing women, you’ll find remarkable role models.

BUY NOW


Have a favorite that didn’t make the list? Leave your recommendations in the comments. Looking for school supplies? Check out this list of Black Owned Business owners perfect for Back to School.

Want to Save this for Later? Pin It!

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply