In February, the United States celebrates Black History Month. Black History Month started as a week-long celebration by Carter G. Woodson in 1926 to celebrate the achievements by Black Americans that were often nonexistent in history books. Discovering (and reading) a book written by or about a Black American that you may have missed (or never got around to reading) is a great way to celebrate Black History Month. Here are a few suggestions for the entire family:
Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is the most checked out book of all time to date at the New York Public Library. Enough said.
Please, Baby, Please by Spike and Tonya Lee shares the story of the highs and lows of taking care of a little one.
Of Thee I Sing by Barack Obama profiles 13 American heroes with beautiful illustrations.
Younger Primary School
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History or Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History by Vashti Harrison are collections of biographies of accomplished Black women and men.
What Color Is My World?: The Lost History of African American Inventors by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld is about Black inventors that have contributed to making our world even better.
Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine is the story of the slave, Henry “Box” Brown, that mails himself in a crate to Philadelphia to seek freedom.
Middle Primary School
The Watsons Go To Birmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis is a historical fiction novel about a family headed to Birmingham, Alabama in 1963. There is also a film depiction of the book.
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson is a novel told in verse that describes the author’s life growing up in the segregated South in the ‘60s.
Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes is about a 12-year-old Black student that is killed while playing with a toy gun.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is about the shooting of an unarmed Black teen and the grief, political activism and friendships that follow. There is also a film depiction of the book.
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicole Yoon is a romantic novel about an interracial teen couple in New York. There is also a film depiction of the book.
Dear Martin by Nic Stone tells the story of a Black teen headed to an Ivy League college that becomes a victim of racial profiling.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot is about a Black woman diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1951 and how her cells became vital to scientists worldwide. There is also a mini-series that was produced based on the book.
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson details the work of a lawyer and the wrongly imprisoned of the U.S. criminal justice system. In addition, there is a version adapted for young adults, major motion picture and television documentary based on this incredible book.
Becoming by Michelle Obama is the memoir written by the former first lady that eloquently details her life from childhood through her time in the White House.
Hopefully, you’ll find something on this list to peak your (or your family’s) interest for Black History Month.
Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Please share in the comments below. I’d love to hear all about it.
Hugs and love,