Celebrate Black History with children of most ages by reading these tales of African-Us citizens overcoming adversity and making their multicultural tag in the world. With books about from jazz and Jackie Robinson to slavery and segregation, there are various rich biographies and designs to explore with kids during Black Background Month (February) or any moment of year.
Black History Month simply started. So for individuals considering taking time to educate themselves and their own families about the countless, many contributions that people of color have made to building this country, we’ve put together a set of a few of our favorite books.
Although we ought to be recognizing the achievements of black scientists, writers, educators and musicians all throughout the year, Black History Month provides a good chance to dedicate a while to learning something new. Here is our selection of the best books for Black History Month 2020.
Best Children’s Books to read in honor of Black History Month
Dream Big, Little One
Featuring 18 trailblazing black women in American history, Dream Big, Little Leader 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.
The leaders in this book may be little, but they all did something big and amazing, inspiring generations to come.
This book is absolutely amazing. I learned about different African American women that made history, succeeded in their goals, and opened doors for little girls everywhere. There were some women that I did not know about, until I read this book. Dream Big, Little One, taught me that these women changed the world in different ways. This book is inspiring and empowering not only as an African American woman, but as woman in general.
As a teacher, this book would be a great way to kick off Black History Month or during Black History Month. I would use this book to teach my students, especially my young girls, that there is not limitation on what little girls/women can do. I believe allowing my young girls to read this book, I can inspire them to be or do anything they set their mind to. This book would be beneficial to little girls in all schools, but I believe this book would benefit little girls in Title 1, schools the most.
The Hate U Give
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
This was such a heartbreakingly honest account of what is happening in America right now. As a white reader, the experience this story affords its readers cannot be taken for granted. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this book takes you into the heart of Garden Heights after the main character has witnessed the wrongful murder of her best friend Khalil by a police officers. Being Canadian, as well as being white, I have the privilege of not having to deal with any of the things Starr deals with on a day to day basis but the experience of being alongside her as she grappled with the injustice of it all gave me a completely new understanding of what is going on in America. Canada has it’s fair share of race issues as well and I obviously am not ignorant to it all, but this just felt like an honest firsthand account. It really is indescribable. This is such an important read and I highly encourage you to pick it up.
I will do a full spoiler free review and spoiler discussion on my channel very soon.
Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream
The mere mention of the name conjures up visions of basketball played at its absolute best. But as a child, Michael almost gave up on his hoop dreams, all because he feared he’d never grow tall enough to play the game that would one day make him famous. That’s when his mother and father stepped in and shared the invaluable lesson of what really goes into the making of a champion — patience, determination, and hard work.
Deloris Jordan, mother of the basketball phenomenon, teams up with his sister Roslyn to tell this heartwarming and inspirational story that only the members of the Jordan family could tell. It’s a tale about faith and hope and how any family working together can help a child make his or her dreams come true.
Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream by Deloris Jordan is a fictional story about Michael Jordan wanting to be tall when he was a child. He would play basketball with his older brothers and his neighborhood friends but they were so much taller than him. He felt like he had to be tall to be good. He thought putting salt in his shoes would make him get taller but it didn’t. However dedicating time to practice, being patient and working hard made him a lot better when he played the other boys again. I think this book had a good underlying message and black boys who love basketball will love this book. The language is so pure and flows great. The Illustrations done by Kadir Nelson is also very very detailed. Catches the eye really nicely and keeps me interested.
Hidden Figures Young Readers’ Edition
This edition of Margot Lee Shetterly’s acclaimed book is perfect for young readers. It is the powerful story of four African-American female mathematicians at NASA who helped achieve some of the greatest moments in our space program. Now a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner.
Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.
This book brings to life the stories of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, who lived through the Civil Rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the movement for gender equality, and whose work forever changed the face of NASA and the country.
Had to give this three because even though I absolutely loved the story and find the arcs of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson and Katherine Johnson incredibly inspiring, the format and flow of the book made it hard to follow. I frequently had a difficult time remembering which characters had which distinctions and also keeping the timeline straight. However, the content itself is important and truly hidden from our collective history, so I’m happy to have read and begun to appreciate how amazing these women were in shaping change in both science and society.