Although African American History Month may be coming to an end soon, there’s still time to get your kids and students reading some great and informative books that focus on African American characters.
We think it’s important to focus on diversity in kid lit all year round, so we encourage you to incorporate these books into the lives of your children every day.
Check out our recommended book list for this month below and get reading!
Written by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Ekua Holmes
Photo courtesy of http://www.amazon.com/Voice-Freedom-Fannie-Movement-Informational/dp/0763665312
Coined with the famous quote, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired,” this book introduces kids to Fannie Lou Hamer, a champion of the civil rights movement. Written in the first person, this story provides a glimpse into the challenging and inspiring life of an activist that would not give up on fighting social injustice.
Written by Matt De La Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson
Photo courtesy of http://www.amazon.com/Last-Stop-Market-Street-Matt/dp/0399257748
Winner of the 2016 Newberry Medal, this book tells the story of CJ and his grandmother as they go about their Sunday after church routine. CJ has lots of questions for his grandma, like why they always have to take the bus, or why they get off in the dirty part of town. Continually met with encouraging answers, this book bridges the gap between generations and helps reader see that there is joy to be had in all circumstances.
Photo courtesy of http://www.amazon.com/Voices-March-Washington-Patrick-Lewis/dp/1620917858
This book is a collection of poems that tell the story of the March on Washington, DC, in 1963. Weaving multiple voices together, this book creates a sense of urgency and immediacy to this historical event, which is still very relevant in today’s world. Instead of illustrations, this book features real photographs from the march, helping to immerse readers further into the real-life events of that day.
Written by Katheryn Russell-Brown, illustrated by Frank Morrison
Photo courtesy of http://www.amazon.com/Little-Melba-Her-Big-Trombone/dp/1600608981
With vibrant illustrations, this book will transport you to the days of big band, jazz clubs, and a time when music was king. Telling the story of famous jazz musician, Melba Doretta Liston, her passion for rhythm jumps off the page and may just inspire young readers to pick up an instrument of their own. The book also includes a guide of selected discography, so readers can take this one beyond the page and dig into the sounds of the music.
Written by Laban Carrick Hall, illustrated by Theodore Taylor
Photo courtesy of http://www.amazon.com/When-Beat-Was-Born-Creation/dp/1596435402
Now a widely accepted and respected genre of music, this story tells the tale of how hip-hop emerged from spinning records and breakdance interludes in the South Bronx. Based on the real life story of Clive Campbell, also known as DJ Kool Herc, this book transports readers to 1970’s New York City and on a journey that changed the history of music forever.