Updated: May 25, 2022
Read aloud our list of black history books with your kids to learn about important figures in history! Each is an excellent historical book about prominent Black figures from the past and present, and most are easily digestible for a younger audience and great for reading aloud at home or with your classroom.
Dream Big, Little One
Vashti Harrison (Ages 0-3)
Featuring 18 trailblazing Black women in American history, Dream Big, Little One is the irresistible board book adaptation of Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History. Among these women, you'll find heroes, role models, and everyday women who did extraordinary things - bold women whose actions and beliefs contributed to making the world better for generations of girls and women to come.
Follow Your Dreams, Little One
Vashti Harrison (Ages 0-3)
This beautifully illustrated board book highlights true stories of black men in history. The exceptional men featured include artist Aaron Douglas, civil rights leader John Lewis, dancer Alvin Ailey, lawman Bass Reeves, tennis champion Arthur Ashe, and writer James Baldwin.
Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.?
Lisbeth Kaiser, Stanley Chow (Ages 0-3)
The chronology and themes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s meaningful life are presented in a masterfully succinct text, with just a few sentences per page. The fresh, stylized illustrations are sure to captivate young readers and adults alike. With a read-aloud biographical summary in the back, this age-appropriate introduction honors and shares the life and work of one of the most influential civil rights activists of our time.
The ABCs of Black History
Rio Cortez, Lauren Semmer (Ages 5+)
Letter by letter, The ABCs of Black History celebrates a story that spans continents and centuries, triumph and heartbreak, creativity and joy. It’s a story of big ideas––P is for Power, S is for Science and Soul. Of significant moments––G is for Great Migration. Of iconic figures––H is for Zora Neale Hurston. It’s an ABC book like no other, and a story of hope and love.
Mae Among the Stars
Roda Ahmed, Stasia Burrington (Ages 4+)
A great classroom and bedtime read-aloud, Mae Among the Stars is the perfect book for young readers who have big dreams and even bigger hearts. Little Mae’s curiosity, intelligence, and determination, matched with her parents' encouraging words––If you believe it, and work hard for it, anything is possible––paved the way for her incredible success at NASA as the first African American woman to travel in space. This book will inspire other young girls to reach for the stars, to aspire for the impossible, and to persist with childlike imagination.
Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race
Margot Lee Shetterly, Laura Freeman (Ages 4+)
Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were good at math…really good. They participated in some of NASA's greatest successes, like providing the calculations for America's first journeys into space. In this beautifully illustrated picture book, we explore the story of four female African American mathematicians at NASA and how they overcame barriers to succeed in a highly challenging STEM-based career.
Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood
Tony Hillery, Jessie Hartland (Ages 4+)
Harlem Grown tells the inspiring true story of how one man made a big difference in a neighborhood. After seeing how restless they were and their lack of healthy food options, Tony Hillery invited students from an underfunded school to turn a vacant lot into a beautiful and functional farm.