Black History Books for Kids ages 3 to 18
Various authors and illustrators, prices ranging from $14.95
By Terri Schlichenmeyer
The Truth Contributor
When you're a kid, there are so many things to learn.
Someone has to teach you your A-B-Cs, and to count to a
hundred. You have to learn to tie a knot and set the table
and stay safe. And this month, you should learn more about
Black History, and that can be fun with these great books...
For the littlest reader ages three to five, The ABCs
of Black History by Rio Cortez, illustrated by Lauren
Semmer is a great way to start the lesson. This most
fundamental book includes holidays, cities, people, and
music that forms the base of Black History, in colorful
drawings and a format that's fun.
Slightly older kids ages four to about seven – those who
still love picture books – will want Stompin' at the
Savoy by Moira Rose Donohue, illustrated by Laura
Freeman, which is a book about the life of famed drummer
Chick Webb; or Life As You Climb: The Story of Ella
Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell and R. Gregory Christie,
the tale of activist Baker and her inspirational work.
Also look for The Teacher's March! How Selma's
Teachers Changed History by Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich
Wallace, illustrated by Charly Palmer. It's the story of
Reverend F. D. Reese and his co-workers in Selma, Alabama,
For middle graders, This is Your Time by Ruby
Bridges is a quick but impactful book, perfect for Black
History Month. Bridges, of course, is a Civil Rights worker
and this is the story of her life, and the day she was six
years old and was escorted by federal marshals, a little
Black girl heading to a white school. Her tale will inspire
young readers to help create justice in their classrooms and
Also for older kids ages 12 and up, Ida B. The Queen
by Michelle Duster looks like it might be a storybook.
The truth is that it is a story – it's a bunch of
stories, in fact – first, of Ida B. Wells, crusader, writer,
and suffragist, but not just her. The book is also
about the people she inspired, the singers, lawmakers,
inventors, thinkers, and others. Keep in mind that this is a
big book, with lots of side-bars in a skinny cover; having a
bookmark and notebook nearby might be handy.
And finally, for high school readers, Separate No
More: The Long Road to Brown v. Board of Education
by Lawrence Goldstone begins more than 100 years ago
with a landmark ruling on education for Black citizens and
ends with another one that turned the first one upside down.
Not just a story of an event, though, this book also looks
at the people involved: judges, parents, teachers,
politicians, citizens, and students who merely wanted to go
If these books don't quite fit your child's interests, ask
your librarian or bookseller for ideas. There's sure to be a
book that you and your child will love to read and share
because, when it comes to Black History, there's really so
much to learn.