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150 Children’s Books Celebrating Black Boys

Children's Books Celebrating Black Boys



Now more than ever, we need to celebrate Black boys in order to combat stereotypes and racial prejudice!

This extensive list includes a huge variety of books featuring Black boys, from classics such as The Snowy Day to new releases, from books for babies to books for teenagers! #BlackBoyJoy #BlackLivesMatter

150 Children’s Books Celebrating Black Boys

Babies & Toddlers

I wonder what the little black boy dreams about
by Tyrin Sanchez

I wonder what the little black boy dreams about is a sweet book for black boys. As a new parent to a son, Tyrin is always wondering what his baby boy is dreaming about. But most importantly he wants to let young black boys know it’s okay to be themselves and to never cave in to society thoughts. In the words of Countee Cullen ” Do you know you can be, What you want to be, If you try to be, What you can be “. ~ African – Babies & Toddlers

Brown Baby Lullaby
by Tameka Fryer Brown

With expressive illustrations and Spanish words sprinkled throughout, Brown Baby Lullaby follows two new parents as they lovingly care for their beautiful brown baby boy: From playing outside, to dinner and bath time, and finally a warm snuggle before bed. ~ African – Babies & Toddlers

Related: 11 Multicultural Lullabies

Whose Knees Are These?
by Jabari Asim

Featuring playful rhymes and beautiful illustrations, Whose Knees are These? follows a little boy as he explores his knees from his mother’s lap. A fun book that foster body awareness and self-esteem from an early age. ~ African – Babies & Toddlers

Bedtime, Ted!
by Sophy Henn

When his parent tells him it’s time for bed, Ted’s not ready yet! He still has something to do! Bedtime, Ted! has big flaps on each spread that reveal what that something really is. With these fun flaps and colourful illustrations, this book will be a hit with the littlest readers! ~ African – Babies & Toddlers

Also available: Let’s Go, Ted!

Related: Top 10 Multicultural Bedtime Stories for Babies & Toddlers

Who Will You Be?
by Andrea Pippins

My child, my little one, / Who will you be when you are grown? / There’s loving kindness in your eyes, like your daddy’s / and boldness in your heart, like your grandma’s. / Will you be like them?.” So begins this loving picture book about a mother who wonders who her boy will grow up to be. For fans of I Am EnoughThe Day You Begin, and The Wonderful Things You Will BeWho Will You Be? is a poignant picture book about how family and community help shape the wonderfully unique people our children become. ~ African – Babies & Toddlers

Related: 20 Multicultural Children’s Books To Help Build Self-Esteem

I Am So Brave!
by Stephen Krensky

I Am So Brave! celebrates the feats of growing out of toddlerhood with courage and increased knowledge – from petting a dog or waving good-bye to a parent, to knowing how to get dressed or how to fly a kite. Toddlers and parents will love the encouraging text and the vintage screen-print-style illustrations. ~ African – Babies & Toddlers

Related: 18 Multicultural Children’s Books about Fear and Courage

Whistle for Willie // The Snowy Day
by Ezra Jack Keats


We just love little Peter and his unique way of dealing with everyday situations! In Whistle for Willie the adorable recurring character of several of Ezra Jack Keats’ books explores his urban neighbourhood whilst trying to learn how to whistle for his dog. In The Snowy Day Peter wakes up to the city covered in snow. He spends the day discovering the magic and beauty of snow. Written 50 years ago, Keats’ books are timeless classics that appeal to toddlers with their simple text and fresh collage illustrations. ~ African – Babies & Toddlers

Related: Author Spotlight: Ezra Jack Keats


Baby Says
by John Steptoe

Baby Says is a warm and loving portrayal of a baby boy trying to get the attention of his big brother. With its simple text and appealing pastel illustrations this is a perfect book to share with a baby just learning to talk. ~ African – Babies & Toddlers

Related: 20 Multicultural Picture Books about new siblings

Baby Boy, What Will You Be?
by Terquoia Bourne

On a cold winter day, a new mom  snuggles with her baby boy and warms her heart with the thoughts of all the limitless possibilities that her baby can achieve in his lifetime. “When I gaze upon your face, there’s so much hope I see. As I gaze, I begin to wonder, just what you’ll grow up and be.” ~ African – Babies & Toddlers

Full, Full, Full of Love
by Trish Cooke

In this colourful book a little boy helps his Grandma prepare Sunday dinner for a family gathering. He is surrounded by an abundance of food, mouth-watering smells and – most importantly – love. Full,Full,Full of Love is a warm and cheerful celebration of family values. ~ African – Babies & Toddlers

Related: Multicultural Picture Books about Love

by Anna McQuinn


Lola’s baby brother gets his own mini-series! Leo loves baby time at the library and loves to swim! And little black boys will love seeing themselves reflected in this cute baby boy and his little adventures! ~ African – Babies & Toddlers

Good Night, Baby
by Cheryl Willis Hudson

Part of the “What-A-Baby” series, Good Night, Baby shows a little boy at the end of a busy day as he winds down with a bath and a bedtime story before going to sleep. Realistically drawn illustrations and simple rhyming text make these books very appealing to toddlers. ~ African – Babies & Toddlers

Related: Top 10 Multicultural Bedtime Stories for Babies & Toddler

Welcome Fall
by Jill Ackerman

From Little Scholastic come these bright, tactile and interactive board books celebrating the four seasons (only Spring and Fall feature children of colour though). Bold, simple illustrations, textures to feel and flaps to turn makes Welcome Fall a fun book for the very little ones. ~ African – Babies & Toddlers


The King of Kindergarten
by Derrick Barnes

“The morning sun blares through your window like a million brass trumpets. It sits and shines behind your head–like a crown. Mommy says that today, you are going to be the King of Kindergarten!” New York Times bestseller The King Of Kindergarten follows a confident little boy on his first day of kindergarten. A joyful and empowering story that will give new kindergarteners a reassuring confidence boost! ~ African – Preschool

The New Small Person
by Lauren Child

When his baby brother comes along, everything changes for little Elmore. He goes from feeling displaced to angry to just wanting to be alone, until one night The New Small Person comforts him after a bad dream. After that, Elmore begins to notice some other not-so-bad things about his new brother. A humourous story about a less-than-welcome sibling, playfully illustrated with colourful cartoon-style drawings. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 20 Multicultural Picture Books about New Siblings

Daniel Finds a Poem
by Micha Archer

What is poetry? Is it glistening morning dew? Spider thinks so. Is it crisp leaves crunching? That’s what Squirrel says. Could it be a cool pond, sun-warmed sand, or moonlight on the grass? With rich, multi-layered collage illustrations, Daniel Finds A Poem is a delightful picture book celebrating the poetry found all around us. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 26 Multicultural Poetry Books for Children aged 0 to 10

Brown Boy Joy
by Dr Tomishia Booker

With cheerful illustrations, Brown Boy Joy celebrates all things brown boys love, from superheroes to astronauts,and more. ~ African – Preschool

My Brown Skin
by Dr Tomishia Booker

Part of the Hey Carter! series, My Brown Skin is a reassuring picture book about a young boy embracing who he is. ~ African – Preschool

Rain Feet // Mama Bird, Baby Birds // Joshua’s Night Whispers // Joshua By The Sea
by Angela Johnson


The Joshua series depicts small moments in the life of a young black boy. Rain Feet follows Joshua as he jumps into puddles and quietly watches the raindrops plopping on the steps. In Mama Bird, Baby Birds Joshua and his sister find a nest of baby birds. Joshua’s Night Whispers finds him seeking comfort from his father when he wakes up in the middle of the night. In Joshua by the Sea, he enjoys a day at the beach with his family. The rhythmic text coupled with soft water colour illustrations give this little series a soothing feel. ~ African – Preschool

Southwest Sunrise
by Nikki Grimes

When Jayden’s family moves to New Mexico, he is not sure if he will ever feel at home there. But when he takes a walk outside, he finds so much beauty — from bright flowers to birds, lizards and turtles, and a turquoise sky as far as the eye can see. With poetic text and stunning illustrations, Southwest Sunrise is a gorgeous picture book about the beauty of the natural world and finding a new place to call home.  ~ African – Preschool

When I Am Old With You 
by Angela Johnson

“When I am old with you, Granddaddy, / I will sit in a big rocking chair beside you / and talk about everything.” A small boy imagines a future when he will be old with his Granddaddy, and all the things they’ll do together then. When I Am Old With You is a touching picture book about the special bond between a child and his grandfather. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 40+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Grandparents


Dear Dragon: A Pen Pal Tale
by Josh Funk

Pen pals George and Blaise write letters to each other about their pets, birthdays, favourite sports, and science fair projects. But what they don’t know is that George is a human, while Blaise is a dragon! What will happen when the pen pals finally meet face-to-face? Written in bouncy rhyme, Dear Dragon is a sweet and clever story about true friendship and appreciating others for who they are. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 18 Multicultural Children’s Books about Friendship

Black Boy, Black Boy
by Crown Shepherd

“Black Boy, Black Boy, what do you see? I see a bright future ahead of me!” Black Boy, Black Boy is a melodic mantra with a powerful message: Black boys can be a doctor, a judge, the president . . . anything they want to be! Each page depicts a boy looking into the future, seeing his grown-up self, and admiring the greatness reflected back at him. ~ African – Preschool

The Thing About Bees: A Love Letter
by Shabazz Larkin

“Sometimes bees can be a bit rude. / They fly in your face and prance on your food.” And yet… without bees, we might not have strawberries for shortcakes or avocados for tacos! Gorgeously illustrated The Thing About Bees is a love poem from a father to his two sons, and a tribute to the bees that pollinate the foods we love to eat. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 26 Multicultural Poetry Books for Children aged 0 to 10

My Father’s Shop
by Satomi Ichikawa

Mustafa loves a particular rug in his father’s shop. It has a hole, so he can put it over his head and still see out. When his father tries to teach his son some foreign languages, Mustafa runs off to the bustling Moroccan market (with his favourite rug on his head). There he finds a different way of learning languages – and of getting tourists to his father’s shop.  My Father’s Shop has a sweet storyline and vibrant watercolour illustrations.  ~ African – Preschool

Related: 20 Children’s Books set in the Middle East & Northern Africa

The Joys of Being a Little Black Boy
by Valerie Reynolds

The Joys of Being a Little Black Boy is a vividly illustrated, history-based children’s book that follows Roy, a joyful Black boy. Roy takes children on a journey with some of the world’s most notable Black men who were all at one time young Black boys.  ~ African – Preschool

The Word Collector
by Peter H. Reynolds

“Some people collect stamps. / Some people collect coins. / Some people collect art. / And Jerome? Jerome collected words.” Follow little Jerome as he discovers the magic of the words all around him — short and sweet words, multi-syllable words, and those that sound like little songs. NY Times bestseller The Word Collector is a wonderful celebration of words and their power to connect and transform. ~ African – Preschool

The Carpenter
by Bruna Barros

A young boy abandons his beloved digital device when his dad’s old-fashioned zigzag ruler causes his imagination to run wild. He turns it into a house, a car, an elephant, a tree, and finally a water-spouting whale. The Carpenter is a beautifully illustrated, wordless picture book that inspires imagination and creativity. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 50+ Multicultural STEAM Books for Children

My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood
by Tameka Fryer Brown

On a really good day, Jamie feels purple like the first bite of a juicy cold plum. And when he draws, he feels green, like a dragon dancing through a jungle made of green jello. But when his brothers push him around and make fun of his drawings, Jamie feels like dark grey, like a storm brewing. What will it take to put him back in a bright-feeling mood? My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood presents a unique way of describing feelings. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 21 Multicultural Children’s Books About Feelings

Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!
by Wynton Marsalis

A door squeeeaks, a mouse goes eek, eeek, eeeek, big trucks rrrrrrrumble, hunger makes a tummy grrrrumble. Famous jazz musician Wynton Marsalis takes young readers on an inspiring sonic adventure through the sounds of an urban neighbourhood. The infectious rhythm and the fun cartoon-like illustrations bring the sounds to life. Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp! will have your little ones clapping, singing and dancing in no time! ~ African – Preschool

Related: 18 Multicultural Children’s Books about Jazz

Not So Fast Songololo
by Niki Daly

Not so fast, Songololo follows a little South African boy as he goes on a shopping trip to the city with his – not so fast anymore – grandmother. The love and respect that flows between him and his gogo are reflected in the tender text and beautiful watercolour and marker illustrations of this wonderful book. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 23 Children’s Books set in South Africa

Going Down Home with Daddy
by Kelly Starling Lyons

Down home is Granny’s house where Lil’ Alan and his parents and sister will join their extended family for reunion day. They hear stories of the ancestors and pay tribute to the land that has meant so much to all of them. All the kids have to decide on what tribute to share, but what will Lil’ Alan do?  With expressive illustrations and a moving storyline, Going Down Home With Daddy is a stunning celebration of family, culture, and traditions. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 40 Multicultural Children’s Books about Fathers


A Song for Miles
by Tiffany Russell

Miles is a curious little boy. When one day he hears his father listening to soul music, he wants to know all about it. His father takes him on a colourful journey through famous songs by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye and other artists. A Song for Miles nurtures a love of music, all the while teaching the importance of having a good character . Available on Kindle only. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 15 Multicultural Children’s Books based on Famous Songs

Birthday Suit
by Olive Senior

4-year-old Johnny loves splashing about naked in the ocean. But his mother says he is too old for that now and buys him a pair of overalls with 100% child-proof snap fasteners (that he wriggles out of in no time!). Only when his dad asks him if he doesn’t want to be big like him, Johnny decides to wear his swimsuit… well, at least some of the time. Birthday Suit is a charming story with bright illustrations that capture the spirit of the Caribbean. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 36 Children’s Books set in the Caribbean

My Two Grandads
by Floella Benjamin

Join little biracial Aston in a fun music session with his two Grandads! He plays the steel drums with Grandad Roy and the trumpet with Grandad Henry, and they are all loving it! My Two Grandads is a sweet book that depicts loving family interactions. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 70+ Picture Books about Mixed Race Families

I AM… Positive Affirmations for Brown Boys
by Ayesha Rodriguez

In this book for boys, author Ayesha Rodriguez uses rhyming verses, followed by a positive affirmation. I am… is a powerful picture book that can help build up your child’s self-esteem. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 20 Multicultural Children’s Books To Help Build Self-Esteem

The Seeds of Friendship
by Michael Foreman

Little Adam loves his new high-rise home in the city but also misses his home country. He fills his room with pictures of African animals and draws them on the frosted windows in winter. When a teacher gives him some seeds, Adam and his friends plant them everywhere until their urban neighbourhood is transformed into a green landscape. The Seeds of Friendship is a light fable about a little boy who brings the green warmth of his home country to his new urban world. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 30 Multicultural Picture Books about Immigration// 18 Multicultural Children’s Books about friendship

A Beach Tail
by Karen Williams

Little Gregory draws a lion in the sand. Totally immersed in this activity he winds its tail around a jellyfish, a sandcastle, a crab,  further and further away from his Dad… until he is lost. A Beach Tail brings to life a child’s summer experience. The rhythmic text, paired with realistic watercolour illustrations, makes this a wonderful read-aloud book for preschool children. ~ African – Preschool

What will I be?: 
by Jayla Josephs

What Will I be? is a positive and uplifting book for young Black boys. It showcases an array of different careers in an easy to understand way. ~ African – Preschool

Also available: What will I be? Coloring Book for Black boys

Peter’s Chair // Hi, Cat // Pet Show!
by Ezra Jack Keats


Imaginative and fun-loving little Peter has been loved by children for over 50 years! Keats’ classic series with its simple text and fresh collage illustrations appeals to children everywhere. In Peter’s Chair Keats’ little hero tries to save his blue chair from being painted pink for his new baby sister. Hi, Cat features Peter and his friend Archie who is being followed by a stray cat after greeting her. In Pet Show! Peter helps Archie who can’t find his cat as he wants to enter the neighborhood pet show. ~ African – Preschool

Related: Author Spotlight: Ezra Jack Keats


by Karen Lynn Williams

In a Malawian village, Kondi is determined to make a galimoto – a toy vehicle made of wires. Despite his brother laughing at the idea, Kondi gathers up the wire he needs and starts to construct the push car. By nightfall, his car is finished and all the village children enjoy playing with it. With expressive watercolour illustrations, Galimoto tells of a young boy’s creativity and determination. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 22 Multicultural Children’s Books for Earth Day // 23 Children’s Books set in South Africa

Riley Can Be Anything
by Davina Hamilton

Riley Can Be Anything is an inspiring rhyming story that follows Riley as he discovers some of the wonderful things he can do when he grows up. With the help of his big cousin Joe, Riley is taken on a series of imaginative journeys that allow him to realise he can be anything he wants to be. ~ African – Preschool

Daddy Calls Me Man
by Angela Johnson

Inspired by his parents’ paintings, a young boy creates four short poems about his family, one of them about his father. Rich oil illustrations from the family’s home studio introduce each of the sweet poems in Daddy Calls Me Man. “Big Shoes” is about the boys’ desire to have big running shoes just like his daddy. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 26 Multicultural Poetry Books for Children aged 0 to 10

When Aidan Became a Brother
by Kyle Lukoff

When biracial (Black and South Asian) Aidan was born, everyone thought he was a girl. His parents gave him a pretty name, his room looked like a girl’s room, and he wore clothes that other girls liked wearing. After he realized he was a trans boy, Aidan and his parents fixed the parts of his life that didn’t fit anymore, and he settled happily into his new life. And when his parents announce that he will become a big brother, Aidan is determined to do everything right for his new sibling from the beginning. When Aidan Became a Brother is a heartwarming book that celebrates the changes in a transgender boy’s life, from his initial coming-out to becoming a big brother. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 70+ Picture Books about Mixed Race Families

Max and the Tag-Along Moon
by Floyd Cooper

When Max must say good-bye after a visit, Grandpa promises him that the moon will follow him all the way home. On that swervy-curvy car ride back to his house, Max watches as the moon tags along. Max and the Tag-Along Moon is a gentle and comforting story that will reassure children that their loved ones are always with them. The lush paintings perfectly capture the wonder of the moon and the love between grandfather and grandson. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 40+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Grandparents

Marvelous Me: Inside and Out
by Lisa Bullard

Little Alex is just like other children in some ways, such as getting angry sometimes, but also unique because of his special laugh, his grizzly hugs, and his own interesting thoughts. Marvelous me teaches children to value their own uniqueness and is a great self-esteem booster. Includes activities. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 20 Multicultural Children’s Books To Help Build Self-Esteem

The Adventures Of Sparrowboy
by Brian Pinkney

An oldie but goldie! One afternoon on Thurber Street something mysterious happens that changes paperboy henry’s life forever.  With dynamic illustrations, The Adventures of Sparrowboy is an award-winning book that introduces a new superhero who takes the neighbourhood under his wing and saves the day. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 22 Multicultural Children’s Books featuring Superheroes


Bippity Bop Barbershop
by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley

Bippity Bop Barbershop follows little Miles as he bravely sits through his first haircut. The beautiful watercolour illustrations emphasize the loving family interactions and add to the warm feel of the story. ~ African – Preschool

Swift Walker: A Space Adventure
by Verlyn Tarlton

Swift Walker’s speedy legs take him to all the planets in our solar system. Kids can join him on his space adventure with this fun picture books that will power your child’s imagination with real information. Swift Walker: A Space Adventure is a perfect book for home, school, and homeschool. ~ African – Preschool,  Elementary School

More books in the Swift Walker series: Swift Walker: A Continental Journey // Swift Walker: A Journey Around the Oceans // Swift Walker: World Geography Coloring Book

Please Don’t Cry, Mom/a Book About Depression
by Helen Denboer

Once happily absorbed in her family and in photography, Stephen’s mother is now sad all the time and cries often. Nobody can make her feel better. Reluctant to medical treatment, she eventually suggests that she would be better off dead. It is at this point that her husband insists that she sees a psychiatrist which marks the beginning of a gradual recovery. Please Don’t Cry, Mom is a realistic and sensitive portrayal of a family learning to cope with a family member’s depression. ~ African – PreschoolElementary School

Related: 5 Multicultural Picture Books about Mental Illness

My Brother Charlie
by Holly Robinson Peete

“Charlie has autism. His brain works in a special way. It’s harder for him to make friends. Or show his true feelings. Or stay safe.” But for everything that Charlie can’t do well, there are plenty of things he’s good at, such as knowing the names of all the American presidents, knowing stuff about aeroplanes, and playing the piano really well. With expressive illustrations, My Brother Charlie is a heartwarming book by bestselling author and actress Holly Robinson Peete – in collaboration with her daughter -, inspired by her own son, who has autism. ~ African – PreschoolElementary School

Related: 9 Multicultural Children’s Books about Autism

Jaden Toussaint
by Marti Dumas


Jaden Toussaint is a 5 year-old scientist with a giant afro and an even bigger brain. Whether he is on a mission to convince his parents that he needs more screen time, saves his school from a (possible) alien invasion, or finally meets his match in the form of his cousin, young boys will love this all around cool dude and his hilarious adventures. ~ African – Preschool ,Elementary School

Related: 40+ Multicultural Book Series for Girls & Boys

Just Really Joseph: A Children’s Book About Adoption, Identity, And Family
by Kayla Craig

The author was inspired to write this book because she couldn’t find books to help foster conversation about her adopted son’s identity, skin colour, and his birth mother. Just Really Joseph is a warm-hearted and reassuring story that follows a day in the life of two young brothers, one of them being adopted. ~ African – Preschool, Elementary School

Related: 28 Multicultural Children’s Books about Adoption

Elementary School

A Boy Like You
by Frank Murphy

“The world needs a boy like you”.  A Boy Like You shows that here is much more to being a boy than sports, feats of daring, and keeping a stiff upper lip. This stunningly illustrated book encourages every boy to embrace all the things that make him unique, to be brave and ask for help, to tell his own story and listen to the stories of those around him. A must have for every boy! ~ Diverse – Elementary School

by Mina Javaherbin

“When we play, / we forget to worry. / When we run, / we are not afraid.” Playing soccer lets Ajani and his friends forget the harsh reality of living in a township until some older boys try to take their new ball. But Ajani and his friends use their soccer skills to deter the bullies. With rich oil paintings and lyrical text, Goal! celebrates the unifying power of one of South Africa’s most favourite sports. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 23 Children’s Books set in South Africa

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
by Derrick Barnes

The barbershop is where the magic happens. Boys go in as lumps of clay and, with princely robes draped around their shoulders, a dab of cool shaving cream on their foreheads, and a slow, steady cut, they become royalty. That crisp yet subtle line makes boys sharper, more visible, more aware of every great thing that could happen to them. A fresh cut makes boys fly. With rhythmic text and dynamic illustrations, award-winning Crown is a real confidence-boosting book for young Black boys. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: Multicultural 2019 ALA Youth Media Award-Winning Books

Brian’s Bird
by Patricia A. Davis

Brian, who is blind, gets a parakeet for his eighth birthday. He learns how to take care of Scratchy and teaches him to talk. One day his older brother Kevin leaves the door open and Scratchy flies to a nearby tree. With Kevin’s help, Brian manages to get Scratchy back to safety. With colourful illustrations, Brian’s Bird is a simple story about family, disability, and the loss of a pet.  ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 8 Multicultural Children’s Books Featuring Blind Children

Dear Black Boy: It’s Ok to Cry
by Ebony Lewis

Following the suicide of her cousin, author Ebony Lewis wrote Dear Black Boy: It’s Ok to Cry to serve as a part of the necessary conversations about mental health in the African American community. She wrote this book not just for boys, but for parents, community leaders, youth, everyone from all backgrounds to find the strength and courage to feel comfortable embracing emotions and seeking help when needed. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 5 Multicultural Picture Books about Mental Illness

Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions
by Chris Barton

One of the most popular toys of all time, the Super Soaker was invented by Lonnie Johnson entirely by accident. Whoosh! tells the story of the inventor’s childhood. A love for rockets, robots, and inventions, coupled with a mind for creativity and a passion for problem-solving became the cornerstones for Johnson’s career as an engineer and his work with NASA. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 50+ Multicultural STEAM Books for Children

Miami Jackson
by Patricia McKissack


This series follows Miami Jackson’s third-going-on-fourth-grade life: From getting through the last few days of school before summer vacation, finding his place in summer baseball camp, to dealing with a no-nonsense new teacher with humour and irrepressible attitude. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 40+ Multicultural Book Series for Girls & Boys

Dear Baobab
by Cheryl Foggo

Moving from Tanzania to Canada with his aunt and uncle, little Maiko feels homesick. He remembers the big baobab tree in his home village, and feels a connection to a small spruce tree in his new home. Seven years old just like Maiko, the tree sings to him and shares his secrets. When there is talk of cutting down the tree because it is too close to the house, Maiko tries to save it. After all he knows what it feels like to be planted in the wrong place. Dear Baobab is one of our favourite multicultural picture books about immigration, because of its easy-to-relate-to allegory of an uprooted tree. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 30 Multicultural Picture Books about Immigration

Enough of Frankie Already!
by Felicia Capers

Seven-year-old Amir is being targeted by Frankie, the bully who practically runs Jefferson Elementary. What Amir doesn’t know is that Frankie has his own problems, too. Can Amir and his friends work together to end the cycle of bullying? Enough of Frankie Already! encourages children to start a ‘Enough Already’ campaign against bullying in their own schools. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 20 Multicultural Children’s Books about Bullying

Brothers in Hope
by Mary Williams

This award-winning picture book tells the true story of Garang Deng, one of 20,000 Sudanese war orphans. The 8-year-old boy was one of the leaders of the orphans who walked more than a thousand miles in search for safety. Half of them died on the dangerous 4-year-long journey. Those who made it to Ethiopia had to flee again when war arrived there, this time to Kenya. Years later, 3,800 of the children found a new home in the U.S.  Brothers in Hope is a heartbreaking yet inspirational story about the unyielding power of the human spirit. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 20 Children’s Books set in the Middle East & Northern Africa

Bonjour, Lonnie
by Faith Ringgold

Bonjour, Lonnie follows a biracial orphan boy through Paris on his surreal search for his family history. With the help of the magical “Love Bird” he meets his African American grandfather and his French grandmother; his soldier father, who was killed in World War II and his Jewish mother, who died in the Holocaust. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 50+ Picture Books about Mixed Race Families // Author Spotlight: Faith Ringgold


Mo Jackson
by David A. Adler


Mo Jackson is a little boy with a big passion for sports. He may not be the biggest, strongest, or fastest player, but he won’t let that stop him from playing! With colourful cartoon illustrations, this award-winning new series will be hit with sports-loving boys.  ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 40+ Multicultural Book Series for Girls & Boys

The Can Man
by Laura E.Williams

Tim (a biracial Asian/African American boy) desperately wants a skateboard for his birthday but money is tight for his family. When he sees a homeless man collection empty cans, he decides to do the same. By the end of the week, he has almost reached his goal but then a few encounters with the can man change everything. Expressively illustrated The Can Man is a touching story that encourages children to think beyond themselves and make a difference in people’s lives. ~ Diverse – Elementary School

Related: 25 Multicultural Children’s Books teaching Kindness & Empathy

Desmond and the Very Mean Word
by Desmond Tutu

Desmond’s pride and joy about his new bicycle turn to hurt and anger when some boys shout a very mean word at him. Responding with an insult, Desmond soon realises that fighting mean with mean doesn’t make him feel any better. Based on Desmond Tutu’s childhood experiences, Desmond and the Very Mean Word is a touching story about compassion and forgiveness. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 9 Children’s Books about Nelson Mandela & Desmond Tutu

Jabari Jumps
by Gaia Cornwall


“Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids at the pool jumping off the diving board. He has just passed his swim test and he’s not scared at all. But then again, he needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do first, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board… Jabari Jumps is a beautifully illustrated, charming story about overcoming your fears. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 18 Multicultural Children’s Books about Fear and Courage

by Alexander McCall Smith


Ten-year-old Akimbo lives on a game reserve in Africa. His father is the head ranger, and Akimbo helps him whenever he can – even if it means getting into some pretty dangerous situations, like protecting elephants from poachers, saving a lion cub from a trap, and rescueing a man from a crocodile. Adventure- and wildlife-loving boys will adore this series! ~  African – Elementary School

First 3 of the series available in a box set: The Akimbo Adventures

My Rainy Day Rocket Ship
by Markette Sheppard

A rainy afternoon and an order from Mom to stay inside are no match for a little astronaut, who uses everyday household items—a rocket chair, a cardboard box, an old dish rag —for an indoor space adventure. My Rainy Day Rocket Ship is a high-spirited, engaging salute to the imagination of Black boys. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 15 Multicultural Children’s Books about Rain

Beautiful Moon
by Tonya Bolden

A little boy is woken by the bright full moon and remembers that he has forgotten to say his prayers. As the moon illuminates the city with its diverse population, the boy prays for homeless people, for peace, for the sick and the hungry, followed by prayers for his family members, his turtle and for his teacher to read a story every day. With a warm storyline and rich illustrations by award-winning illustrator Eric Velasquez, Beautiful Moon celebrates prayer, empathy and diversity. ~ African – Elementary School

Mrs. Katz and Tush
by Patricia Polacco

Larnel asks his elderly neighbour, Mrs Katz, to look after an abandoned kitten. Mrs Katz agrees on the condition that Larnel must help her with that task. The young boy and the old lady start spending a lot of time together. Mrs Katz tells Larnel stories about coming to America from Poland and about her late husband. Over time Larnel learns that Jewish and Black heritage both have in common a history of suffering and triumph. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 18 Multicultural Children’s Books about Friendship

You Can Do It!
by Tony Dungy

Tony Dungy’s little brother, Linden, has a bad day at school and loses motivation because he hasn’t found “it” yet. During a  visit to the dentist, he finds the excitement he has been looking for and dreams of becoming a dentist himself. You can do it! is a sweet book that illustrates how encouragement from family and faith in God can be helpful in finding fulfillment in life. ~ African – Elementary School

EllRay Jakes
by Sally Warner


EllRay Jakes is the shortest kid in his class, and he gets into trouble from time to time. The Ellray Jakes early chapter book series features short authentic stories about school life and peers. Ellray’s often hilarious antics are sure to keep the attention of young readers!  ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 40+ Multicultural Book Series for Girls & Boys


Different: A Story About Loving Your Neighbor
by Chris Singleton

Ever since his first day at a new school in a new country, Obinna’s classmates won’t let him forget that he is different. But with the help of a loving teacher and the unexpected chance to show his talents, Obinna’s proves that being different isn’t just okay—it’s the most important thing he could ever be. Different: A Story About Loving Your Neighbor is a beautiful book about celebrating difference and also a tribute to author’s late mother who, in 2015, was murdered alongside eight other parishioners in a race-related mass shooting at her church. ~ African – Elementary School

Eight Days: A Story of Haiti
by Edwidge Danticat

While being trapped for 8 days beneath his collapsed house after an earthquake, 7-year-old Junior uses his imagination for comfort. Drawing on everyday-life memories, he paints a sparkling picture of Haiti for each of those days, from flying kites with his best friend to racing his sister around St. Marc’s Square. With expressive illustrations and powerful text, Eight Days is a heartfelt story of resilience, love and hope. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 36 Children’s Books set in the Caribbean

Those Shoes
by Maribeth Boelts

Everyone at school has these cool new shoes, and all Jeremy wants is a pair, too. But his grandma says they don’t have room for “want,” just “need”. When he finds a pair at a thrift shop, he is determined to wear them even though they are way too small. With the loving support of his grandma, Jeremy learns that sore feet aren’t fun and that there are things that matter a lot more, for example helping a friend. Those Shoes is a heartfelt and realistic story about disappointment, kindness and compassion. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 25 Multicultural Children’s Books teaching Kindness & Empathy

A Father Like That
by Charlotte Zolotow

A young boy, whose dad left before he was born, imagines a father who plays checkers with him, helps him with his homework, banishes nightmares and spends special time with him.  “He would always be on my side, and I could always talk to him.” His loving, supportive mother understands his son’s desire and the void he feels, and tells him that he can be a father like that himself one day. With warm illustrations and a gentle approach to this delicate subject, A Father Like That can be a helpful read for children with absent fathers. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 40 Multicultural Children’s Books about Fathers

The Soccer Fence
by Phil Bildner

Little Hector loves playing soccer and dreams of playing on a real pitch with the white boys. When apartheid slowly starts to crumble and the national soccer team wins the African Cup of Nations, Hector’s dream suddenly doesn’t seem so impossible anymore. With simple text and expressive pencil and acrylic illustrations, The Soccer Fence tells a story of hope and change. Includes a (quite advanced) timeline of historical events.  ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 12 Multicultural Children’s Books About Soccer

Hey, Wall: A Story of Art and Community
by Susan Verde

Ángel’s neighbourhood bustles with life: music, dancing, laughing. But not that one big bleak wall. The young boy decides to change that and mobilizes his community for a big art project. Told in verse and stunningly illustrated, Hey Wall! is an empowering book about the power of art and community. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 12 Multicultural Children’s Books about the Power of Community

Marvin in the Kooky Spooky House: A Halloween Adventure
by Lord Toph

Follow Marvin as he sneaks out of the house at night to visit the spooky house in the neighbourhood! Will he be in for a big scare? With vivid illustrations Marvin in the Kooky Spooky House is a suspenseful Halloween story for older kids. ~ African- Elementary School

Related: 12 Multicultural Children’s Books about Halloween

My Name Is Blessing
by Eric Walters

My Name Is Blessing tells the true story of a young Kenyan boy born with two fingers on his right hand and none on his left. Baraka and eight cousins live with their grandmother who loves them dearly but is unable to provide food for them all. Grandmother and grandchild have to go on a journey to find a place at the orphanage for Baraka. This story with a twist approaches the subjects of disability and poverty in a tender and light-hearted way, showing that blessings – and family – can take unexpected forms. ~ African – Elementary School

A Letter to Amy // Goggles
by Ezra Jack Keats


Keats’ endearing character of the ‘Peter’ series writes A letter to Amy to invite her to his all boy birthday party. The wind blows it out of his hands and he ends up chasing it around everywhere. In Goggles! Peter and his friends find a pair of goggles and are chased by a gang of bullies. Keats’ books are timeless classics that appeal to all children. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: Author Spotlight: Ezra Jack Keats

by Marc Tauss

Maleek may be a small boy in a big city, but he’s no ordinary kid. He’s a scientist and a superhero! So when his beloved city’s parks and playgrounds mysteriously disappear, it’s up to Maleek and his robot Marvyn to save the day. With mesmerizing black-and-white photo-illustrations Superhero brings every young superhero’s fantasy to life. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 22 Multicultural Children’s Books featuring Superheroes

Hair for Mama
by Kelly Tinkham

A young boy’s mother doesn’t want to be in the family photo after she has lost her hair through chemotherapy. Marcus tries to make a plan, and even though it doesn’t quite work out, he learns that “hair is nice to have, but not as nice as me having Mama and Mama having me.” Told with gentle humour and warm illustrations, Hair for Mama captures the fear, pain, and hope of families affected by cancer. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 14 Multicultural Children’s Books about Mothers

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy
by Tony Medina

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy presents thirteen fresh glimpses into the everyday life of Black boys, from dressing in their Sunday best to running to catch a bus, and growing up to be teachers. Each tanka poems is matched with a different artist, including some recent Caldecott and Coretta Scott King Award recipients. ~ African – Elementary School, Middle School

Middle School

The Season of Styx Malone
by Kekla Magoon

When brothers Caleb and Bobby Gene meet their cool new neighbour, Styx Malone, they are in for a mad adventure. Styx convinces them to join in the Great Escalator Trade: Exchanging one small thing for something better in the hope of ending up with a motorbike. But soon things get out of control. The Season Of Styx Malone is a heartwarming novel about friendship, trust, and the yearning to escape the ordinary. ~ African – Middle School

Related: 18 Multicultural Children’s Books about Friendship

Brendan Buckley’s Universe and Everything in It
by Sundee T. Frazier

10-year-old Brendan Buckley keeps a confidential notebook for his top-secret discoveries. His biggest discovery yet is the grandpa he’s never met, whom his mom refuses to talk about, who is an expert mineral collector and lives nearby! Brendan sneaks off to meet his grandpa, who is white, not brown like Brendan and his dad, and discovers more secrets. Brendan Buckley’s Universe And Everything In It is an authentic story about family and identity. ~ African – Middle School

Related: 21 Middle Grade Novels With Multiracial Characters

When Stars Are Scattered
by Victoria Jamieson & Omar Mohamed

Omar and his younger brother, Hassan, grow up in Dadaab, a refugee camp in Kenya where there is never enough food, and no access to the medical care Omar knows his nonverbal brother needs. So when Omar has the opportunity to go to school, he knows it might be a chance to change their future . . . but it would also mean leaving his brother, the only family member he has left, every day. When Stars Are Scattered is a heartbreaking yet hopeful graphic novel about a childhood spent waiting. ~ African – Middle School

The Usual Suspects
by Maurice Broaddus

Because of his disruptive antics and pranks, Thelonius Mitchell is in special ed, separated from the “normal” kids at school who don’t have any “issues.” When a gun is found at a neighbourhood hangout, Thelonius and his pals become instant suspects and they must find the real culprits in order to prove their innocence. The Usual Suspects is an engaging and honest middle-grade thriller that young readers won’t want to put down. ~ African – Middle School

The Toothpaste Millionaire
by Jean Merrill

In 1960s Cleveland, Sixth-grader Rufus Mayflower bets he can make a gallon of his own toothpaste for the price of one store-bought tube. He develops a production plan and starts a successful toothpaste making business with his good friend Kate. The Toothpaste Millionaire is a breezy story with a subtle message about treating everyone as equal, irrespective of race or gender.  ~ African – Middle School

Garvey’s Choice
by Nikki Grimes

His father wants him to be athletic but Garvey is only interested in astronomy, science fiction, and reading. He is kind, funny, smart, a loyal friend, and he is also overweight, teased by bullies, and lonely. When his only friend encourages him to join the school chorus, Garvey’s life changes. Garvey’s Choice is a heartfelt novel in verse about self-acceptance and being true to yourself. ~ African – Middle School

The Prince of Fenway Park
by Julianna Baggott

Oscar Egg believes he is cursed, just like his favourite team, the Boston Red Sox. His birth parents didn’t want him, and now his adoptive mom is sending him to live with his strange and sickly adoptive father. Turns out that Oscar’s dad is one of a number of strange magical souls called the Cursed Creatures, who have been doomed to live deep below Fenway Park. Oscar is the key to breaking the curse but someone wants him to fail. The Prince of Fenway Park is an intriguing story that not only young baseball fans will love. ~ African – Middle School

As Brave As You
by Jason Reynolds

11-year-old Genie and his older brother Ernie are leaving Brooklyn for the very first time to spend the summer with their grandparents in rural Virginia. It is a time full of surprises for Genie and learning about himself and his family: From finding out that his grandfather is blind to discovering his secret room to learning that bravery can mean different things. Just published this month, As Brave As You Are is a thoughtful and gentle middle-grade novel by Coretta Scott King/Johnson Steptoe Award-winner Jason Reynolds (When I Was the Greatest). ~ African – Middle School

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
by William Kamkwamba & Bryan Mealer

When William Kamkwamba’s family lost their crops in a terrible drought in their Malawian village, he started exploring science books in order to find a solution. He eventually came up with the idea to build a windmill out of scrap metal and old bicycle parts. William’s windmill brought electricity to his home and helped his family pump the water they needed to farm the land. The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind is an inspiring memoir that shows how creative thinking can change a desperate situation for the better. ~ African – Middle School

Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact
by A.J. Hartley

11-year-old Darwen Arkwright has spent his whole life in a tiny town in England. When he is forced to live with his aunt in Atlanta, Georgia, he knows things will be different but what he finds is beyond even his wildest imagination. Darwen discovers an enchanting and dangerous world through the old mirror hanging in his closet. Along with his new friends Rich and Alexandra, he becomes entangled in an adventure and mystery that involves the safety of his entire school. Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact is a thrilling fantasy novel both boys and girls will adore. ~ African – Middle School


The Crossover
by Kwame Alexander

With an ex-basketball pro father, 12-year old twins Josh and Jordan grow up with a basketball in their hands. Their relationship is taking strain when Jordan starts dating Alexis, and Josh struggles to deal with his jealousy. At the same time, the boys have to come to terms with their father’s deteriorating health. A fast-paced read in a poetic hip-hop style, The Crossover is not so much a story about sports but about family ties and growing up. ~ African – Middle School

by Kwame Alexander

“Like lightning / you strike /fast and free / legs zoom / down field / eyes fixed / on the checkered ball / on the goal / ten yards to go / can’t nobody stop you…” Booked is the heartfelt follow-up to award-winning The Crossover, twelve-year-old Nick struggles with problems at home, is faced with a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams. With the help of his best friend and inspiring books, given to him by a rapping librarian, Nicky learns about the power of words and how to stand up for himself. ~ African – Middle School

Related: 20 Multicultural Children’s Books about Bullying

by Jacqueline Woodson

Orphaned and separated from his little sister, 11-year-old Lonnie grows up in a foster home and misses his family terribly. His foster mother’s understanding and his teacher’s suggestion to write his feelings down, help Lonnie deal with his grief. Through his poetry, the reader learns about Lonnie’s heartache, his thoughts about the world and his determination to be reunited with his sister. Locomotion is a touching and lyrical story about love, loss and hope. ~ African – Middle School

Elijah of Buxton
by Christopher Paul Curtis

11-year-old Elijah is the first child born free in a runaway slave settlement in Buxton, Canada. The “fragile” boy talks too much, is scared of snakes and gets teased and rebuked a lot. But when someone steals the money a friend has been saving to buy his family out of slavery, Elijah sets out on a dangerous adventure to catch the thief. Elijah of Buxton is an original and moving novel full of suspense and Christopher Paul Curtis’ trademark humour. ~ African – Middle School

Related: African American Historical Fiction for Middle School

Finding Langston
by Lesa Cline-Ransome

After the death of his mother, 11-year-old Langston and his father move from Alabama to Chicago’s Bronzeville district. Everything is different here and Langston misses his home, his family and his friends. Being bullied at his new school and not seeing much of his father, Langston feels lonely in the big and noisy city. The library becomes his safe place and this is where he discovers the Langston his mother named him after. Finding Langston is a lyrical novel about one boy’s experiences during the Great Migration. ~ African – Middle School

Black Brother, Black Brother
by Jewell Parker Rhodes

12-year-old Donte is one of the few Black boys at Middlefield Prep. His teachers and classmates make it clear they wish he were more like his lighter-skinned brother, Trey. When Donte is bullied and framed by the captain of the fencing team, he is suspended from school and arrested. Searching for a place where he belongs, Donte joins a local youth center and meets former Olympic fencer Arden Jones. With Arden’s help, he begins training as a competitive fencer, setting his sights on confronting his bullies, racism, and the corrupt systems of power that led to his arrest. Black Brother, Black Brother is a powerful novel about a Black boy’s journey to finding his voice. ~ African – Middle School

New Kid
by Jerry Craft

Seventh-grader Jordan Banks’ passion is drawing cartoons about his life. He’d love to go to art school but his parents decide to send him to a prestigious private school known for its academics instead. Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds. New Kid is an engaging graphic novel about fitting in and staying true to yourself. ~ African – Middle School

Ghost Boys
by Jewell Parker Rhodes

After being shot dead by a police officer who mistook his toy gun for a real one, twelve-year-old Jerome observes the aftermath as a ghost. Soon he meets another ghost: Emmett Till, a black boy murdered in 1955. Emmett helps Jerome understand how historical racism may have led to the events that ended his life. Jerome also meets Sarah, the daughter of the police officer, who grapples with her father’s actions. Award-winning Ghost Boys is a gripping and poignant story about racism, bias and the fight for justice. ~ African – Middle School

Related: 37 Children’s Books to help talk about Racism & Discrimination

Bud, Not Buddy
by Christopher Paul Curtis

“It’s funny how ideas are, in a lot of ways they’re just like seeds. Both of them start real, real small and then… woop, zoop, sloop… before you can say Jack Robinson, they’ve gone and grown a lot bigger than you ever thought they could.” In Depression-era Michigan 10-year-old philosopher Bud runs away from an abusive foster home to find the man he believes to be his father. Bud Not Buddy is a touching novel that gives hope and makes the reader laugh whilst realistically depicting the harshness of Bud’s life. ~ African – Middle School

Related: African American Historical Fiction for Middle School

Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man
by Brian Michael Bendis

Before Peter Parker died, young Miles’ life was just that of a normal teenager who was about to start at a new school. But when a spider’s bite grants him incredible arachnid-like powers, Miles is thrust into a world he doesn’t understand. Can he live up to Peter’s legacy as Spider-Man? Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man is a new chapter in the classic graphic novel that youngsters everywhere love! ~ African – Middle School

by Amar’e Stoudemire


STAT (Standing Tall And Talented) is a slam-dunk chapter book series by NBA superstar Amar’e Stoudemire. Eleven-year-old Amar’e loves skateboarding and playing basketball. He takes his school work very seriously and helps out with his dad’s landscaping company. Based on the author’s life, this is a heartfelt, accessible middle-grade series about following your passion and overcoming obstacles. ~ African – Middle School

High School

The Black Flamingo
by Dean Atta

Stonewall Award Winner

Growing up in London as a mixed-race gay teen, Michael struggles to navigate his Greek-Cypriot and Jamaican, never quite feeling Greek or Black enough. As he gets older, Michael’s coming out is only the start of learning who he is and where he fits in. When he discovers the Drag Society, he finally finds where he belongs. Told with raw honesty and insight, The Black Flamingo is a fierce novel-in-verse that explores cultural and sexual identity. ~ African – High School

The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones
by Daven McQueen

For biracial Ethan Harper, who was raised mostly by his white father, race has always been a distant conversation. But when he spends the summer of 1955 with his aunt and uncle in Alabama, his Blackness is suddenly front and center, and everyone is making it clear that he’s not welcome there. Except Juniper Jones, the town’s resident oddball and free spirit. As Ethan is confronted for the first time by what it means to be Black in America, Juniper tries to help him see the beauty in even the ugliest reality. The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones is a heartfelt novel about racism, friendship and a summer that changed lives. ~ African – High School

Related: 37 Children’s Books to help talk about Racism & Discrimination

by Walter Dean Myers

“Sometimes I feel like I have walked into the middle of a movie. Maybe I can make my own movie. The film will be the story of my life. No, not my life, but of this experience. I’ll call it what the lady prosecutor called me … Monster.” Multi-award-winning Monster is a provocative coming-of-age story about Steve Harmon, a teenager awaiting trial for murder and robbery. Was he really involved in the crime or was he just in the wrong place at the wrong time? Written as a screenplay playing in Steve’s imagination, coupled with his journal entries, this compelling novel shows how one single decision can change your whole life. ~ African – High School

Also available as a stunning black-and-white graphic novel adaptation: Monster: A Graphic Novel

Harlem Summer
by Walter Dean Myers

It’s 1925 and 16-year-old musician Mark Purvis dreams of breaking into Harlem’s jazz scene. He meets Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen and is invited to one of Alfred Knopf’s parties. Needing to earn money, Mark becomes involved in a bootlegging scheme with jazz artist Fats Waller and finds himself crossing gangster Dutch Schultz. Harlem Summer is a light-hearted and action-packed historical novel that teenagers will love! ~ African – High School

Related: Children’s Books about the Harlem Renaissance


The Night I Lost My Father’s Gun
by Azmi Abusam

Elon X dreams of becoming a professional basketball player. That is the only thing that keeps him up in his dull life with an accomplished older sister, an absent father who named him after Malcolm X, and a mother who quotes Reverend King even from the depths of her alcoholism. But his dream ends when he is expelled and his mother wants to send him to a military school in Montana. Before he’s banished to the Rockies, he needs a getaway of his own making, if only for one night. ~ African – High School

Anger Is a Gift: A Novel
by Mark Oshiro

Schneider Family Book Award (Teens)

Ever since his father was murdered by an Oakland police officer and vilified by the media, Moss Jefferies suffers from crippling panic attacks. At school, Moss and his classmates find themselves increasingly treated like criminals. The students decide to organize and push back against the administration. When tensions rise and tragedy strikes again, Moss must face a difficult choice: give in to fear and hate or realize that anger can actually be a gift.  Featuring a very diverse cast of characters (Black, Latinx, LGBTQIA), Anger is a Gift is a powerful novel about racism, police brutality and friendship. ~ African – High School

Black Panther Adventures
by Joe Caramagna

An international incident explodes when the Fantastic Four get their hands on a shipment of Vibranium – the uncanny metal only found in T’Challa’s kingdom, the fictional African nation of Wakanda. Will the FF feel the Black Panther’s wrath? The Black Panther Adventures is a suspenseful all-time favourite graphic novel.  ~ African – High School

Dear Martin
by Nic Stone

Top of his class and set for the Ivy League, Justyce writes a journal to Martin Lurther King Jr in an attempt to make sense of a police encounter in which he was treated roughly and unfairly. When he is caught up in another police encounter in which shots are fired, Justyce finds himself under attack in the media. Dear Martin is a compelling must-read that tackles the myth that if you don’t do anything wrong you have nothing to fear from the police. ~ African – High School

All American Boys
by Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely

When 16-year-old Rashad goes to buy a packet of chips at the corner shop, he finds himself mistaken for a shoplifter and beaten up by the police. Soon the incident is all over the news and simmering racial tensions get to the point of explosion. Written by two award-winning authors and alternating between the perspectives of one black and one white teenager, All American Boys is a moving novel about privilege and racism that every teenager should read. ~ African – High School

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