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17 Must-Read Picture Books to Celebrate Black History Month

Use this list as a starting point for conversations with your child about African American history.
on February 04, 2016

February is Black History Month and a great way to teach your children more about African American history is by using picture books as a teaching tool. Picture books break history into bite-sized pieces that are perfect for young children.

There are picture book biographies, books about Africa, books about the Civil Rights Movement, about slavery and the Underground Railroad, and more. This is not a definitive list, rather it’s a starting point. If you have a picture book that fits on this list we would love to hear about it and share it with our readers on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page.

Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions by Margaret Musgrove

Why Do Mosquitoes Buzz In People’s Ears
by Verna Aardema

Anansi The Spider by Gerald McDermott

Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson

Henry’s Freedom Box
by Ellen Levine

My Name Is Truth: The Life Of Sojourner Truth
by Ann Turner

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

Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter

Let Them Play
by Margot Theis Raven

Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson
by Sharon Robinson

Rosa by Nikki Giovanni

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Doreen Rappaport

The Story of Ruby Bridges
by Robert Coles

Sit In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Linda Brown, You Are Not Alone: The Brown vs. Board of Education Decision by Joyce Carol Thomas

Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became The World’s Fastest Woman by Kathleen Krull

What Color Is My World?: The Lost History of African-American Inventors
by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar & Raymond Obstfeld



Check out bloggers Amy Mascott and Allie McDonald's book, Raising a Rock-Star Reader: 75 Quick Tips for Helping Your Child Develop a Lifelong Love for Reading. Get expert advice and learn new strategies for your young readers.




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In the Raise a Reader blog, get advice, tips, and resources from our expert contributors on helping your child read at every age and stage. Each week, find book recommendations, literacy activities, and more to spark your reader's interests.

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