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The 10 Best Books To Teach Your Child About Black History Month

Sometimes there is an idea that only children from diverse backgrounds need diverse books and toys, but that is simply not true. It’s incredibly vital that children see a true landscape of people reflected in their toys and books.

Celebrate Black History month with kids of all ages by reading these stories of African-Americans overcoming adversity and making their multicultural mark on the world. There are so many rich biographies and themes to explore with your kids not just this month, but at any time of year

This is a  stirring, dramatic story of a slave who mails himself to freedom by a Jane Addams Peace Award-winning author and a Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist. Henry plans to mail himself to the North. After an arduous journey in the crate, Henry finally has a birthday — his first day of freedom.

An Amazon teacher’s pick, this is a celebration of diverse childhoods, and the essential things that make us all the same. Every day all over the world, children are laughing and crying, playing and learning, eating and sleeping. Inside, they are all alike. Stirring words and bold paintings weave their way around our earth, across cultures and generations and remind children to accept differences, to recognize similarities, and–most importantly–to rejoice in both.

A standout teacher’s pick biography, this picture book of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. brings his life and the profound nature of his message to young children through his own words. A timeline and a list of additional books and websites help make this a standout biography of Dr. King.

The story of America and African Americans is a story of hope and inspiration and unwavering courage. Kadir Nelson’s stirring paintings and words grace 100-plus pages of a gorgeous picture book—a beautiful gift for readers of all ages, a treasure to share across generations at home or in the classroom.

The winner of numerous awards, including the Coretta Scott King Author Award and Illustrator Honor, this book demonstrates that in striving for freedom and equal rights, African Americans help our country on the journey toward its promise of liberty and justice—the true heart and soul of our nation.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, basketball legend and the NBA’s all time leading scorer, champions a lineup of little-known African-American inventors in this lively, kid-friendly book. Offering profiles with fast facts on flaps and framed by a funny contemporary story featuring two feisty twins, here is a nod to the minds behind the gamma electric cell and the ice-cream scoop, open-heart surgery, and more — inventors whose ingenuity and perseverance against great odds made our world safer, better, and brighter.

Based on the New York Times bestselling book and the Academy Award–nominated movie, Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award winner Laura Freeman brings the incredibly inspiring true story of four black women who helped NASA launch men into space to picture book readers! In this beautifully illustrated picture book edition, we explore the story of four female African American mathematicians at NASA and how they overcame gender and racial barriers to succeed in a highly challenging STEM-based career.

This historical teacher’s pick chronicles the inspirational true story of Ruby Bridges. When a judge orders Ruby to attend first grade at William Frantz Elementary, an all-white school, Ruby must face angry mobs of parents who refuse to send their children to school with her. Told with Robert Coles’ powerful narrative, Ruby’s story of courage, faith, and hope continues to resonate more than 60 years later.

A winner of the Coretta Scott King illustrator award, I, Too, Am America blends the poetic wisdom of Langston Hughes with visionary illustrations from Bryan Collier in this inspirational picture book that carries the promise of equality.

#1 New York Times Bestseller, USA Today Bestseller, Winner of the Newbery Medal, Caldecott Honor Book, and a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book, this award-winning modern classic—a must-have for every child’s home library—is an inclusive ode to kindness, empathy, gratitude, and finding joy in unexpected places, and celebrates the special bond between a curious young boy and his loving grandmother.

This is the New York Library’s #1 most checked out book of all time. The magic and wonder of winter’s first snowfall is perfectly captured in Ezra Jack Keat’s Caldecott Medal-winning picture book. The quiet fun and sweetness of Peter’s small adventures in the deep, deep snow is perfect for reading together on a cozy winter day.

We hope you choose to introduce a few of these books to your kids this month to teach them that the world is full of all types of people. It’s important for us all to learn the vital contributions of the incredible humans who have come before and live alongside us so that the things that make us different from one another become help us form even better bonds, not boundaries.

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