ABOUT US

Black History Month Is Every Month & This Book List Is Here for It

Black History Month is historically celebrated every February, but learning about and honoring Black History with purpose can and should happen year round. One way to do that, especially with young kids, is to read Black history books by BIPOC authors and illustrators. Our friends at 

Reading Partners, a National early literacy program who always have education and equality in mind have put together a year-round reading list to celebrate Black History Month every month.

January: Carter Reads the Newspaper by Deborah Hopkinson

This children's biography about the man known as the "Father of Black History" learn all about this author, editor, publisher and champion for Black rights. Illustrated by Don Tate. 

Find a copy here. $15.79

photo: Hyperion

February: Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford

A Caldecott Honor Book, children can learn more about Harriet Tubman, the champion of the Underground Railroad who earned the nickname "Moses" for leading hundreds of enslaved people to freedom. Contains religious overtones. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson.

Get a copy here. $15.05

photo: Little Brown

March: Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport

Using some of the most powerful words from Martin Luther King Jr.'s speeches, the author weaves a story of his life. Illustrated by Bryan Collier. 

Get it here. $15.99

photo: HMH Books

April: Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson

Beatuifully written from the point-of-view of a young African-American girl living in Birmingham, Alabama, who hears MLK's call for a peaceful protest. The girl's parents are fearful, but the children march instead. Illustrated by Frank Morrison, this book won the Caldecott Honor Book Award for illustrations in 2019!

Get it here. $13.99

photo: Armistad

May: Ida B. Wells: Let the Truth Be Told by Walter Dean Myers

Ida B. Wells was the leader of the movement to include Black women in the charge for women's right to vote. Children will learn about this fearless, outspoken woman who fought for equality through her words, actions and teachings. Illustrated by Bonnie Christensen. 

Get a copy here. $7.99

photo: Dutton Books for Young Readers

June: Ron’s Big Mission by Rose Blue and Corinne J. Naden

Set in the segregated world of 1950s South Carolina, Ron's mission to get a library card is not as simple as it seems. Illustrated by Don Tate. 

Get it here. $15.99

photo: Scholastic Paperbacks

July: The Story of Ruby Bridges By Robert Coles

The story of the first Black girl to attend an all white school after desegregation, children everywhere will relate to this incredible journey of one girl's whose example made a lasting impact on history. Illustrated by George Ford. 

Get it here. $6.99

photo: Lee & Low Books

August: Frederick Douglass: The Last Days of Slavery by William Miller

A beautifully illustrated look into the life of Frederick Douglass, born enslaved, who found reading as an escape in his early years, and credited it to helping him become the abolitionist and champion of Black rights he is remembered as being today. Illustrated by Cedric Lucas. 

Get your copy here. $10.95

photo: Puffin Books

September: Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-ins by Carole Boston Weatherford

Four black teens sit down at a lunch counter in 1960's segregated South and young Connie sees how change is on the horizons. Though Connie is young, she is mighty and we can all learn from this child's eye view of the Civil Rights Movement. Illustratrated by Jerome Lagarrigue Lagarrigue.

Get it here. $6.99

photo: Knopf Books for Young Readers

October: Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters by Barack Obama

President Barack Obama writes a moving tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans, from Jackie Robinson to Georgia O'Keefe to George Washington, in the form of a letter to his two young daughters. Illustrated by Loren Long. 

Get a copy here. $11.97

photo: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

November: I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison and Frank Morrison

This joyful story of music and rhythm will make all your readers want to dance. Illustrated by Frank Morrison. 

Get your copy here. $15.66

photo: Dragonfly Books

December: Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, by Deborah Hopkinson

Clara was born into slavery and is known for being a renowned seamstress. This talent proves invaluable later when she uses it to create a quilt with a map of the Underground Railroad. Illustrated by James Ransome, a Caldecott Honor Award winning artist. 

Order your copy here. $7.99

Reading Partners is a New York Times-endorsed organization uses volunteer tutors across the country to work one-on-one with kids to foster early reading skills. 

To learn more about Reading Partners, and learn how to volunteer or donate, visit: readingpartners.org

—Amber Guetebier

RELATED STORIES 

29 Books for Kids About Racism, Inequality & Injustice in America 

21 Places to Visit to Learn About Black History with the Kids 

6 Actionable Ways to Celebrate Black History Month, Every Day 

22 Black Heroes Our Kids Should Know By Name 

How to Teach Children Compassion 

How to Educate Your Children on Riots & Protests 

This Author Compiled a List of 500 Diverse Books for Teens & Tweens