The 8 Best Books to Read During Black History Month for Kids of 2021

Add these celebratory titles to their growing library

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Established in 1976, February kicks off the annual celebration and recognition of the endless sacrifices and contributions of African Americans. Black History Month is the perfect time to introduce your children to the important people and events that have helped to shape America. From the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement to our first Black President, books are a fun way for your children to learn about the artists, leaders, pioneers, and the brave people who acted as catalysts for change. 

Here are the best books to read during Black History Month for kids. 

Our Top Picks
A colorful and vibrant celebration of Black history, it'll teach your kiddo about important figures alongside the ABC’s.
Introduce your kids to some of the most inspirational women in Black history with this book, complete with charming illustrations.
The Story of Ruby Bridges:
The Story of Ruby Bridges at Amazon
This title takes readers through the historical journey of Ruby Bridges' difficult first day of school and its after-effects.
In this true story, your child will be on the edge of their seat as they follow Henry Brown's journey from enslavement to freedom.
Your STEM enthusiast will appreciate this beautifully illustrated book on four Black women who aided America's Space Race efforts.
Suitable for big kids between 7 and 9 years old, it'll teach your kiddo how peaceful protests have positively changed the nation.
If a Bus Could Talk:
The Story of Rosa Parks at Amazon
This title tells the story of Rosa Parks, a leader in the Civil Rights Movement, from the unique perspective of a bus.
As captivating as it is informative, it profiles Black leaders, pioneers, and intellectuals from both past and present.

ABCs of Black History

ABCs of Black History by Rio Cortez

A colorful and vibrant celebration of Black history, this upbeat title explores important moments in a playful way that your little one will love. Highlighting incredible historic figures like Zora Neal Hurston and Malcolm X as well as important moments like the Great Migration, your kiddo will be learning about Black history alongside their ABC’s. The rhythmic theme gives this title an alluring beat that will make it a home library essential. 

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

Introduce your kids to some of the most inspirational, trailblazing women in Black history. From renowned scientist Alice Ball to fearless revolutionary Rosa Parks, they will learn more about some familiar faces and discover new leaders they never knew existed. The charming illustrations and delightful pastel colors makes this title perfect for little ones. 

The Story of Ruby Bridges: The Story of Ruby Bridges

At the start of the fall back-to-school season, little 6-year-old Ruby Bridges is standing on the steps of her new school. But, unlike typical school drop-offs, this day is quite different. Ruby is the first Black student to be integrated into the all-white William Frantz Elementary School under the order of a judge in 1960. This title takes readers through the journey of Ruby’s momentous first day of school and illustrates what her brave act means for children today.

Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story From the Underground Railroad

When freedom was seemingly out of reach, Henry Brown was willing to do anything to get his hands on it. In this harrowing true story, your child will be on the edge of their seat as they follow Henry’s journey from enslavement to freedom as he discovers an uncharted path to the north.

Hidden Figures: The Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race

During a time when being Black and a woman automatically created insurmountable barriers to success, four young Black women completely changed history. Deemed natural math superstars, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden became household names in NASA helping to successfully route America’s first expedition into space. Your own little STEM enthusiast will truly appreciate this beautifully illustrated picture book.

If You Were a Kid During the Civil Rights Movement

Your own child might have a hard time imagining themselves living through the Civil Rights Movement that propelled the United States into social change. This book, suitable for big kids between 7 and 9 years old, features two girls who have found themselves smack in the middle of a civil rights demonstration. Through their experience, your kiddo will learn how peaceful marches and protests changed the country for the better. 

If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks

A leader in the Civil Rights Movement, this title tells the story of Rosa Parks from the perspective of a bus. Written with a unique spin, the bus takes the main character, Marcie, on a magical ride through Rosa Parks' brave decision to take a stand. With themes of courage, bravery, and inspiration, your little one will be blown away by the story of how one woman sparked an incredible movement. 

Young, Gifted, and Black

Filled with some of the most historical figures in Black history, this striking title is as captivating as it is informative. Profiling Black leaders, changemakers, pioneers, and intellectuals from both past and present, your kiddo will hold on to this book for years to come. Each page is exploding with vibrant colors that will instantly draw your little reader in to learn about each historical figure. From Barack and Michelle Obama to George Washington Carver, there are endless people to discover.

Key Considerations

Age Appropriate

Just like everything that you purchase for your child, you want to opt for books that are going to be easy for your child to understand and enjoy at their age. Whether it is a colorful board book for your toddler or a profile of an inspirational historical figure for your big kids, choosing a book that fits your child's age is key.

History and Culture

Black History Month is a time to celebrate and highlight the wonderful achievements, incredible history, and rich culture of Black people. Make sure to choose books that prominently feature these themes when picking out titles to read during Black History Month.

Final Verdict

Whether you are reading to your baby under a year old or reading to your big kid, books are a great way to incorporate digestible history lessons. For younger kids, The ABCs of Black History is a colorful and engaging book that they will enjoy. For bigger kids, Young, Black, and Gifted will remind them that they can be whoever they want to be when they grow up, despite obstacles.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Latifah Miles is the Parenting Commerce Editor for Verywell Family with years of experience as a freelance writer in the parenting space. She is a mom to a lively 8-year-old boy. Storytime has always been a wonderful way of bonding with her son since toddlerhood. Books are a great way to incorporate lessons about Black History Month in a way that is fun and enjoyable.

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