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  • Writer's pictureKirsten Smith

Celebrating Black History Month: 8 Inspiring Books Kids Can Read in 2023

As Black History Month approaches, now is the perfect time to introduce our kids to inspiring stories that celebrate the rich heritage and accomplishments of black individuals. As a parent and avid reader myself, I am a firm believer in the power of books and their ability to shape our children's world view.

Books not only teach us how to comprehend the world, but they also teach people of all ages to foster empathy and understanding. That’s why books are a great way to start off your celebration of Black History Month this year. Still, knowing which books to show your kids can be difficult. You want to give them age-appropriate reading material that really showcases what this historic month is all about.

Thankfully, I’ve already curated a list of Black History Month books for kids. In this post, I’ll go over kids books that not only celebrate the achievements of important Black figures but also address crucial themes like resilience, diversity, and equality. So, let's get started on this literary journey together and discover some amazing stories that will undoubtedly leave a positive impact on your young reader!

Best Books For Kids During Black History Month:

1. “Hidden Figures” by Margot Lee Shetterly

The first book I suggest reading with your kids is the illustrated children’s edition of Hidden Figures. In my opinion, this book is essential for kids during Black History Month. It tells the remarkable true story of four brilliant African American women who played a vital role in NASA's space program during the 1960s!

Through their unwavering determination and intellect, these inspiring women shattered racial and gender barriers, leaving a lasting impact on the history of space exploration. What I enjoyed the most about this book, and the reason I recommend it to parents, is that it introduces children to the importance of perseverance, the value of diversity, and the significance of recognizing the unsung heroes of history.

2. "Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History" by Vashti Harrison

This next book is beautifully illustrated and teaches kids about some of the most important women in Black History. Little Leaders brings to life the stories of 40 trailblazing women who defied social norms and truly paved the way for future generations of women.

This book showcases scientists, activists, artists, and athletes who broke down gender barriers and overcame adversity. I loved showing my kids this book for the first time. It teaches kids to dream big and aspire to make a positive impact on the world, no matter what your background is!

3. "Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad" by Ellen Levine

The next book I’d like to talk about is Henry's Freedom Box which is recommended for kids ages six and up. This story is based on the life of Henry Brown, a slave who mailed himself to freedom in a wooden crate. The book addresses the horrors of slavery, but it also emphasizes the importance of resilience and hope in the face of terrible circumstances.

The illustrations and compelling plot are sure to hook your kids. Most importantly, I think this book is a great way to open up discussions about the Underground Railroad and other more mature topics surrounding Black History Month.

4. "The Undefeated" by Kwame Alexander

The Undefeated is a poem that pays tribute to the strength, fortitude, and achievements of Black individuals throughout history. The book's poetic verses and beautiful artwork are the perfect way to spread an uplifting message of hope and pride to young readers. I especially recommend this book if you want your kids to embrace their heritage and realize their potential!

5. "Mae Among the Stars" by Roda Ahmed

For younger kids, Mae Among the Stars might be the best introduction to Black History Month. This book tells the story of Mae Jemison, the first African American woman to travel to space. This inspiring tale encourages children to pursue their dreams, no matter how impossible they might seem at first. It also highlights the power of perseverance and shows just how crucial the support of family and friends is when we are trying to achieve our goals.

6. "Let the Children March" by Monica Clark-Robinson

If you want to introduce your kids to the Civil Rights Movement, I highly recommend this book by Monica Clark-Robinson. This story tells the history of the Civil Rights Movement through the eyes of children who participated in the Birmingham Children's Crusade in 1963.

Through this book, kids will learn about the significant impact that young voices can have on shaping the world around them. This book is a powerful tool to start conversations about racial equality and social justice!

7. "The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist" by Cynthia Levinson

Finally, to finish this list of amazing Black History Month books for kids, try reading The Youngest Marcher, with your kids. The Youngest Marcher has a similar theme to Let the Children March, but it focuses on one particular kid who made a huge difference.

Audrey Faye Hendricks, a nine-year-old civil rights activist played a crucial role in the Birmingham Children's Crusade. This inspiring tale really shows kids how to be courageous and stand up for what is right, regardless of their age. It offers an excellent starting point for discussions about historical activism and the ongoing fight for civil rights.

Final Thoughts on Black History Month Books For Kids

As we celebrate Black History Month, it is essential to empower our children with knowledge through inspiring books. This list of Black History Month books for kids includes a diverse range of stories that celebrate the achievements of Black figures throughout history. Hopefully, through this list, you can find a story that really interests your kids and teaches them the meaning of this historic month.

Sharing these stories with young readers has never been more important! Throughout February, we can instill in them a sense of pride in their heritage, foster empathy, and inspire everyone to make a positive impact on the world around them.

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