NEW Black History Books For Children & Teenagers

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New Black History Books for Children & Teenagers


It’s Black History Month! Time to share some gorgeous new Black history books for children and teenagers! From activists to artists, athletes, musicians, and successful business people, these books portray a wide range of inspiring figures past and present. Enjoy browsing and don’t forget to also check out our extensive library of Black History Month books for all ages!

NEW Black History Books For Children & Teenagers

Babies & Toddlers

Baby Ballers: Venus and Serena Williams
by Bernadette Baillie

Before they were serving up grand slam victories, Venus and Serena Williams were just two sisters growing up in Compton, California. Baby Ballers: Venus and Serena Williams follows them as they go from learning tennis with their dad to winning Wimbledon Introduce little ones to the lives of two true game changers in this inspiring board book perfect for baby ballers! ~ African – Babies & Toddlers

Related: 44 Children’s Books About Extraordinary Black Athletes

A is for Aretha
by Leslie Kwan

Spotlighting 26 Black women in music, A is for Aretha is a celebration of the contributions they made not only within their industry but also of the social causes that often underpinned their music. This exciting ABC board book features Black women whose artistry and activism globally changed the way we hear and interact with music, one song at a time. ~ African – Babies & Toddlers

Related: 60+ Children’s Books About Legendary Black Musicians






The Green Piano: How Little Me Found Music
by Roberta Flack

Growing up in a Blue Ridge mountain town, little Roberta didn’t have fancy clothes or expensive toys…but she did have music. And she dreamed of having her own piano. When her daddy spies an old, beat-up upright piano in a junkyard, he knows he can make his daughter’s dream come true. He brings it home, cleans and tunes it, and paints it a grassy green. And soon the little girl has an instrument to practice on, and a new dream to reach for–one that will make her become a legend in the music industry. The Green Piano: How Little Me Found Music is a lyrical autobiographical picture book that shares an intimate look at Roberta Flack’s family and her special connection to music. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 60+ Children’s Books About Legendary Black Musicians

You Gotta Meet Mr. Pierce!: The Storied Life of Folk Artist Elijah Pierce
by Chiquita Mullins Lee

“Creeeeak!” goes the screen door to self-taught artist Elijah Pierce’s barbershop art studio. A young boy walks in for an ordinary haircut and walks out having discovered a lifetime of art. Mr. Pierce’s wood carvings are in every corner of the small studio. There are animals, scenes from his life, and those detailing the socio-political world around him. It’s this collection of work that will eventually win Elijah the National Heritage Fellowship in 1982 just two years before his death. Based on the true story of Elijah Pierce and his community barber shop in Columbus, Ohio, You gotta meet Mr. Pierce! includes cleverly collaged museum-sourced photos of his art and informative backmatter about his life. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 40 Multicultural Children’s Books About Fabulous Female Artists

You Come from Greatness: A Celebration of Black History: A Picture Book
by Sara Chinakwe

A father lays out the history of his son’s ancestry: from the love and warmth of a big family, to the change makers and status shakers, the inventors and engineers, the astronomers, philosophers, and storytellers, the leaders and the doctors. The father details the legacy and impact of Black ancestors whose determination, dedication, creativity, and leadership contributed to making the world better. You Come from Greatness is a lyrical retelling of Black history—both a love letter to Black children and an anthem empowering them to know their God-given worth. Includes illustrations and short biographies of historical figures such as Wangari Muta Maathai, Ellie Mannette, Rebecca Lee Crumpler, and more. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 15 Black History Biography Collections for Children

Ice Cream Man: How Augustus Jackson Made a Sweet Treat Better
by G. Armand & K. Freeman

Born in 1808 in Philadelphia, Augustus and his family depended on their garden and their chickens for food. He dreamed of becoming a professional cook, and when his mom suggested he may be able to make meals for the president one day, Augustus didn’t waste any time in making that dream a reality. At only twelve years old, he started working in the White House, as a kitchen helper first and then as a cook. During his time, Augustus invented ice cream and went on to open his own ice cream parlor and ship his ice cream to other businesses, too. Beautifully illustrated Ice Cream Man shines a light on a little-known visionary known as “the father of ice cream”. Includes an easy ice cream recipe. ~ African – Preschool

Related: NEW 2022 Black History Books for Children & Teenagers

Little Black Lives Matter
by Khodi Dill

Little Black Lives Matter empowers all Black children by affirming that their lives, however little they may yet be, matter. Featuring 15 Black heroes (from Harriet Tubman and Malcolm X to Maya Angelou, Billie Holiday, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and more) this rhyming board book encourages young readers to find their inner heroes and see their own self-worth and agency through the acts of great Black heroes who came before them. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 100 Children’s Books to help talk about Racism & Discrimination





Elementary School

We Are Here
by Tami Charles

Lyrical, empowering, and bursting with love, We Are Here is a poignant story about Black and brown heritage and community. With stunning illustrations, this much-anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestselling picture book All Because You Matter offers an equally inspirational and arresting ode to all of the Black women and men throughout history who have made momentous contributions. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 80 Picture Book Biographies About Bold Black Women & Girls

A Flag for Juneteenth
by Kim Taylor

A Flag for Juneteenth depicts a close-knit community of enslaved African Americans on a plantation in Texas, the day before the announcement is to be made that all enslaved people are free. Young Huldah, who is preparing to celebrate her tenth birthday, can’t possibly anticipate how much her life will change that Juneteenth morning. The story follows Huldah and her community as they process the news of their freedom and celebrate together by creating a community freedom flag. Each of the illustrations has been lovingly hand sewn and quilted, giving the book a unique tactile quality. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 20 Children’s Books celebrating Juneteenth

All Aboard the Schooltrain: A Little Story from the Great Migration
by Glenda Armand

Every morning, Thelma and her friends walk to school, single file, chanting all the way: “Schooltrain! Schooltrain! Don’t be late! The school bell rings at half past eight!” Then it’s on to great adventures with her teacher’s books ― and her own imagination. But lately, someone named Jim Crow has been making trouble for folks in Vacherie. Aunt Bea and Uncle Ed have already moved away. When Thelma’s best friend also has to leave, Thelma wonders, who is Jim Crow and why does he have to be so mean? Will he make trouble for Pop, too? All Aboard The Schooltrain is a tender story that shines a light on the Great Migration ― and the many trains people rode toward freedom. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: NEW 2022 Black History Books for Children & Teenagers

Justice Rising: 12 Amazing Black Women in the Civil Rights Movement
by Katheryn Russell-Brown

You’ve heard the names Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King, but what about the many other women who were crucial to the civil rights movement? Told through twelve short biographies, Justice Rising celebrates just some of the many Black women–each of whom has been largely underrepresented until now–who were instrumental to the nation’s fight for civil rights and the contributions they made in driving the movement forward. An empowering, eye-opening look at how one person can impact greater change, this book is both a conversation starter and much-needed history lesson for our modern world. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 30 Diverse Children’s Anthologies About Trailblazing Women

An American Story
by Kwame Alexander

From the fireside tales in an African village, through the unspeakable passage across the Atlantic, to the backbreaking work in the fields of the South, this is a story of a people’s struggle and strength, horror and hope. This is the story of American slavery, a story that needs to be told and understood by all of us. A testament to the resilience of the African American community, this book honours what has been and envisions what is to be. With stunning mixed-media illustrations, An American History is a potent book for those who want to speak the truth. Perfect for classroom use. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 21 Award-winning Children’s Books for Black History Month

You Are My Pride: A Love Letter from Your Motherland
by Carole Boston Weatherford

Before words or tools or fire, Mother Africa’s caves sheltered us and her forests fed us. She could not protect us from all dangers, but, like mothers everywhere, she gave her children all she could and sent us into the world with confidence and love. With stunning illustrations and written in the voice of Mother Africa, You Are My Pride thrums with the love between mother and child as it celebrates humanity’s common roots. Includes back matter with nonfiction information about human evolution and about the migration of Homo sapiens from Africa around the globe. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: NEW 2021 Black History Books For Children & Teenagers

My Red, White, and Blue
by Alana Tyson

What does the American flag mean to you? For some, it’s a vision of hope and opportunity. For others, it represents pain and loss. And for many, it’s more complicated than that—a symbol of a nation where the basic ideas of freedom and equality are still up for debate. My Red, White, And Blue is a powerfully validating story that showcases many facets of Black American history through the eyes of a young Black boy in conversation with his grandfather. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 150 Children’s Books Celebrating Black Boys

Papa’s Mark
by Gwendolyn Battle-Lavert

Simms knows election day will be a big day for his papa, and for all of Lamar County. For the very first time, Papa will get to vote. But Simms wishes his papa could write his own name, so he could go to the courthouse with head held high. And Simms is determined to teach Papa, because, like his father, he knows that freedom doesn’t come easy. With expressive oil paintings and a warm story line, Papa’s Mark shines a light on the obstacles facing Black voters in the aftermath of the Civil War and the fight to end voter suppression that goes on even today. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 18 Multicultural Children’s Books About Voting & Elections

Lift Every Voice and Change: A Celebration of Black Leaders and the Words that Inspire Generations
by Charnaie Gordon

With the touch of the button, hear impactful quotes spoken by inspiring Black Americans, alongside a succinct profile and a vibrant illustration of the speaker. Through the included quotes, kids gain an age-appropriate understanding of the strides made in the ongoing journey for equality, from the early days of sound recording to modern day. Lift Every Voice and Change features the voices of Booker T. Washington, Dr. Martin Luther King, Toni Morrison, Katherine Johnson, Jay-Z, Faith Ringgold, and many more. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 15 Black History Biography Collections for Children

Love Is Loud: How Diane Nash Led the Civil Rights Movement
by Sandra Neil Wallace

Diane Nash grew up in the southside of Chicago in the 1940s. When she learned that segregation in the South was part of daily life, she decided to fight back, not with anger or violence, but with strong words of truth and action. Together with like-minded students, including student preacher John Lewis, Diane took command of the Nashville Movement. They sat at the lunch counters where only white people were allowed and got arrested, day after day. Leading thousands of marchers to the courthouse, Diane convinced the mayor to integrate lunch counters. Then, she took on the Freedom Rides to integrate bus travel, garnering support from Martin Luther King Jr. and then the president himself—John F. Kennedy. With expressive illustrations, Love Is Loud is a poignant and powerful picture book that shines a light on a lesser-known civil rights leader. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 30 Diverse Children’s Anthologies About Trailblazing Women

Holding Her Own: The Exceptional Life of Jackie Ormes
by Traci N. Todd

Jackie Ormes was the first Black woman cartoonist to be nationally syndicated in the United States. She was also a journalist, fashionista, philanthropist, and activist, and she used her incredible talent and artistry to bring joy and hope to people everywhere. But in post-World War II America, Black people were still being denied their civil rights, and Jackie found herself in a dilemma: How could her art stay true to her signature “Jackie joy” while remaining honest about the inequalities Black people had been fighting? Holding Her Own is a gorgeous and heartfelt tribute to the indelible legacy of Jackie Ormes, whose life and work still influences illustrators and cartoonists today. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 80 Picture Book Biographies About Bold Black Women & Girls

To Boldly Go: How Nichelle Nichols and Star Trek Helped Advance Civil Rights
by Angela Dalton

As Lieutenant Uhura on the iconic prime-time television show Star Trek, Nichelle Nichols played the first Black female astronaut anyone had ever seen on screen. A smart, strong, independent Black woman aboard the starship Enterprise was revolutionary in the 1960s when only white men had traveled to outer space in real life and most Black characters on TV were servants. Nichelle not only inspired a generation to pursue their dreams, but also opened the door for the real-life pioneering astronaut Sally Ride, Dr. Mae Jemison, and more. To Boldly Go is an empowering tribute to the trailblazing pop culture icon that shows young readers of the importance of perseverance. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 26 Multicultural Picture Books about Inspiring Women & Girls





Middle School

My Selma: True Stories of a Southern Childhood at the Height of the Civil Rights Movement
by Willie Mae Brown

As the civil rights movement and the fight for voter rights unfold in Selma, Alabama, many things happen inside and outside the Brown family’s home that do not have anything to do with the landmark 1965 march. Yet it forms an inescapable backdrop in this collection of stories. In one, 12-year-old Willie Mae offers summer babysitting services to a glamorous single white mother―a secret she keeps from her parents that unravels with shocking results. In another, Willie Mae reluctantly joins her mother at a church rally, and is forever changed after hearing Martin Luther King Jr. deliver a defiant speech in spite of a court injunction. Infused with the vernacular of her Southern upbringing, My Selma is a loving portrayal of the author’s coming-of-age in a town at the crossroads of history. ~ African – Middle School

Related: African American Historical Fiction for Middle School

We Are Your Children Too
by P. O’Çonnell Pearson

In 1954, after the passing of Brown v. the Board of Education, the all-White school board of one county in Virginia made the decision to close its public schools rather than integrate. Those schools stayed closed for five years. While the affluent white population of Prince Edward County built a private school, Black children and their families had to find other ways to learn. Some Black children were home schooled by unemployed Black teachers. Some traveled thousands of miles away to live with relatives, friends, or even strangers. Some didn’t go to school at all. But many stood up and became young activists, fighting for one of the rights America claims belongs to all: the right to learn. We Are Your Children, Too is a revelatory and gripping book that explores a deeply troubling chapter in American history that is still playing out today. ~ African – Middle School

Related: 100 Children’s Books to help talk about Racism & Discrimination





High School

How to Be a (Young) Antiracist
by I. Kendi & N. Stone

Based on the adult bestseller, How to be a (Young) Antiracist serves as a guide for teens seeking a way forward in acknowledging, identifying, and dismantling racism and injustice. The book is a dynamic reframing of the concepts shared in the adult book, with young adulthood front and center. The authors have revised their work to provide anecdotes and data that speaks directly to the experiences and concerns of younger readers, encouraging them to think critically and build a more equitable world in doing so. ~ African – High School

Related: The 50 Best Multicultural Young Adult Books of 2022

The Davenports
by Krystal Marquis

One of the few Black families of immense wealth and status in a changing U.S., the Davenports made their fortune made through the William Davenport, a formerly enslaved man who founded the Davenport Carriage Company. Now it’s 1910, and the Davenports live surrounded by servants, crystal chandeliers, and endless parties. Olivia, the beautiful elder daughter, is ready to get married . . . until she meets the charismatic civil rights leader Washington DeWight. The younger daughter, Helen, is more interested in fixing cars than falling in love—unless it’s with her sister’s suitor. Amy-Rose, the childhood friend turned maid, dreams of opening her own business—and marrying the one man she could never be with, Olivia and Helen’s brother, John. But Olivia’s best friend, Ruby, also has her sights set on John Davenport, though she can’t seem to keep his interest. Inspired by the real-life story of the Patterson family and offering a glimpse into an often overlooked period of Black History, The Davenports is a tale of four young Black women discovering the courage to steer their own path in life. ~ African – High School

Related: The 50 Best Multicultural Young Adult Books of 2021

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