Black History Month: A Booklist for Kids

Last week I was raving to a friend about a couple of books by African-American authors that won the 2015 Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor awards. We thought one of them might be a good fit for her son Justus who is in the 5th grade. Justus was not interested and balked about having to check it out. However, once home and he started reading it, he didn't want to stop. Justus finished the book in one day. Not only did he finish reading it, he recommended it to his friends.
Justus' mom sent this picture of him reading The Crossover.

This was so encouraging to hear. statistically it is more challenging to get boys to read, so when they find something that excites them it is to be celebrated. Another friend then suggested I post a booklist here. So in celebration of Black History Month I compiled a short list of books by incredible African American children's authors and illustrators.
For younger kids:
  • Moses: when Harriet Tubman led her people to freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford
  • Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson (award winning author and illustrator)
  • Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold
  • I Love My Hair by Natasha Tarpley (perfect our textured hair girls)
  • Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown
  • Knock Knock: My Dad's Dream for Me by Daniel Beaty (beautifully written and illustrated story of a boy and his father, love and loss. great for boys.)
For older kids:
  • Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor (one of my all time favorites)
  • The Crossover by Kwame Alexander (2015 Newbery Award winner)
  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (one of my favorite authors & this title is a 2015 Newbery Honor, 2015 Coretta Scott King award winner, & a 2014 National Book Award winner)
  • Monster by Walter Dean Myers (this book is so good. for high school kids)
  • Forged by Fire by Sharon Draper
  • The Skin I'm In by Sharon Flake (great book. especially good for middle/high school girls)
This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are many more beautiful and wonderfully written children's books by and about African-Americans. Do you have any favorites you care to share?
xo, jen

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