6 Must-Read Books for Kids During Black History Month

These are great books for you to read with your kids this month!

Shannon Hicks February 18, 2016

I love books. Ever since I became a teacher, I’ve bought and read children’s books like it’s my job (because it is!). I love how books foster closeness between adults and children and I appreciate how reading a story can initiate challenging topics of conversation in a non-threatening way. Lots of “Must Read” lists have 25, 50 or 100 books. That’s too many “musts” for me in one month. So I picked six must-read books for kids during Black History Month. Of course, all of these books are better when they are shared between a child and a caring adult. So buy them for your kids. And then read them with your kids.

Our Children Can Soar
1. Our Children Can Soar

I just discovered this book and I am enamored with it. The simple text and engaging illustration capture the attention of young kids. The additional information about each “pioneer of change” mentioned in the book is enough to keep older kids interested too.

This is the Dream
2. This is the Dream

Similar to Our Children Can Soar, the text in this book is simple enough for young children to understand (though perhaps a bit too optimistic about the current state of race relations in America). The themes mentioned and the illustrations could certainly spark conversations with older children about the people and events referenced.

Martin’s Big Words
3. Martin’s Big Words

A great introduction to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, this book focuses on some of his famous and not-so-famous quotes. Be sure to preview this one for appropriateness with your own children in mind.

My Brother Martin
4. My Brother Martin

This is the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s childhood, as told by his sister. It does focus almost exclusively on his early life and how his family and childhood experiences laid the groundwork for his work as an adult. With considerably more detail than the other books I’ve mentioned so far, this one is for kids with longer attention spans.

5. Rosa

This is the story of Rosa Parks and the aftermath of her refusal to move from her seat on the bus. What pushes it into must-read territory for me is the illustrations. So beautifully detailed, I’d even suggest buying and sharing this one with kids who are too young to handle the text.

Through My Eyes: Ruby Bridges
6. Through My Eyes: Ruby Bridges

An autobiographical story of this historic event complete with photographs? Yes, please. Again, be sure to preview this one with your own children in mind.
So, there are my picks. What did I miss? What books do you share with your children during Black History Month?

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Shannon Hicks

Shannon is mom to two amazing kids who joined her family through foster care adoption. She is passionate about advocating for children through her writing and her job as a kindergarten teacher. You can read more from her at Adoption, Grace and Life.

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