Best Kids Books to Celebrate Black History

Pages Bookshop
3 min readFeb 24, 2021


Black history is American history — and books are one of the best ways to teach, share, and celebrate that history with the kids in your life.

This list has books for ages 0–11. There are stories of everyday families and
historical figures including artists, ballet dancers, politicians, athletes, astronauts, activists, and community leaders. Plus, James Baldwin’s only
children’s book, an upcoming release from the youngest US inaugural poet Amanda Gorman, and a great new book for all ages from Detroit’s Rochelle
Riley. All fantastic reads for any day of the year!

Board Books (ages 0–3)

Handmade Love by bell hooks
Every Little Thing by Bob Marley
Peekaboo Morning by Rachel Isadora
Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee
Woke Baby by Mahogany L. Browne
Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang
Baby Young Gifted and Black by Jamia Wilson
Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi
Baby Says by John Steptoe
Follow Your Dreams, Little One by Vashti Harrison
Dream Big, Little One by Vashti Harrison
I Look Up to Michelle Obama by Anna Membrino

Picture Books (ages 4–8)

Crown: an Ode to a Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes
Saturday by Oge Mora
Me and Mama by Cozbi A. Cabrera
Nana Akua Goes to School by Tricia Elam Walker
Parker Looks Up by Jessica Curry and Parker Curry
Radiant Child by Javaka Steptoe
Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o
Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall
I Am Loved by Nikki Giovanni
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison
Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History by Vashti Harrison
Brave Ballerina: The Story of Janet Collins by Michelle Meadows

Picture Books (ages 6–10)

One Last Word by Nikki Grimes
Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop by Alice Faye Duncan
Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed
Loretta Little Looks Back by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Big Papa and the Time Machine by Daniel Bernstrom
Little Man, Little Man by James Baldwin
Change Sings by Amanda Gorman
We are the Ship by Kadir Nelson
Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport
Have You Thanked an Inventor Today? by Patrice McLaurin
Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen
Madam C.J. Walker Builds a Business by Rebel Girls
Talkin About Bessie by Nikki Grimes
A Nutcracker in Harlem by T.E. McMorrow
Juneteenth for Maizie by Floyd Cooper
Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice by Nikki Grimes
Young, Gifted, and Black by Jamia Wilson
You Should Meet Mae Jemison by Laurie Calkhaven
That They Lived by Rochelle Riley
Firebird by Misty Copeland

Middle-Grade Fiction (ages 8–12)

The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon
From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks
New Kid by Jerry Craft
Ways to Make Sunshine by Renee Watson
Clean Getaway by Nic Stone
The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Renee Watson
The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones by Daven McQueen
Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Walking With Miss Millie by Tamara Bundy
Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome
Becoming Muhammad Ali by James Patterson and Kwame Alexander
X: a Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon



Pages Bookshop

Friendly neighborhood bookstore in northwest Detroit. Home to Pip the Cat.