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|My BHM Reading List series continues with a collection of fifteen children's books. These books are primarily authored and illustrated by black authors, with a focus on Black history. These books are mainly targeted towards younger readers. Keep an eye out for future posts, which will include middle grade and young adult lists.
Remember: The Journey to School Integration by Toni Morrison
A renowned, award-winning author of adult fiction, Toni Morrison wrote this children's nonfiction story of school integration, accompanied by archive photos.
My People by Langston Hughes, photography by Charles R. Smith Jr.
My People was originally a stand alone poem, but has been adapted into a story book for children, featuring photography of real kids, in a glorious celebration of self and of blackness.
Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly, Illustrated by Laura Freeman
Hidden Figures, originally a nonfiction book for adults and now a major film, has been adapted for children in this picture book.
Little Leaders: Bold Women In Black History by Vashti Harrison
Little Leaders features the stories of forty different black women throughout history. It includes well-known women, along with those lesser known, ranging from writers to activists to scientists and many others.
Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale by John Steptoe
Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters received numerous awards in the 1980s, and was even a Reading Rainbow book. This story blends traditional African folk tale with Cinderella-esque elements.
Harlem by Walter Dean Myers, Illustrated by Christopher Myers
Harlem, written as a poem, is filled with the history, culture, and people that make up Harlem as a place and community, serving as an ode to said history, culture, and people.
Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges
Ruby Bridges was the first black child to desegregate her all white school in Louisiana, accompanied by US marshals for her protection. This is her story in her own words.
Rosa by Nikki Giovanni, Illustrated by Bryan Collier
Much lauded poet Nikki Giovanni tells the story of Rosa Parks, serving as a perfect introduction for children to learn about her groundbreaking acts of resistance and protest.
Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine, Illustrated Kadir Nelson
Henry's Freedom Box tells the true story of Henry Brown, a young slave with the desire for freedom, who eventuallymails himself north in a crate to escape slavery.
Ron's Big Mission by Rose Blue and Corinne J. Naden, Illustrated by Don Tate
During his adulthood, Ron McNair was a physicist and NASA astronaut who lost his life during the Challenger explosion. This tells the story of his childhood, and of his mission to get a library card in his town's segregated library.
We are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson
We are the Ship serves as a children's guide to the history of Negro League baseball from when it began until its decline as players like Jackie Robinson made it into Major League Baseball.
Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? by Bonnie Bader, Illustrated by Nancy Harrison and Elizabeth Wolf
This children's biography of Martin Luther King Jr serves as a detailed introduction to the dedicated man who did so much for the civil rights movement.
28 Days: Moments in Black History that Changed the World by Charles R. Smith Jr., Illustrated by Shane W. Evans
28 Days includes a story for every day during Black History Month. Stories span over two hundred years of important moments and people in black history.
Be Boy Buzz by bell hooks, Illustrated by Chris Raschka
bell hooks is most well known for her adult nonfiction on race and gender, but she has released a number of empowering picture books. Be Boy Buzz is a celebration of boyhood.
When Harriet Met Sojourner by Catherine Clinton, Illustrated by Shane W. Evans
When Harriet Met Sojourner tells the individual stories of Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth, as well as what happened when the two incredible women met.
Previous posts in the series are:
"A Black History Month Reading List: Introduction"
"Black History Month Reading List: Poetry" .