Black History Month Book Recommendations

This is Deniece from This Little Piggy Reads.
In February, my school celebrates Black History Month with a huge program that every grade level participates in.  Over the past decade we have celebrated many ways, including "faux wax museums", poetry readings, choir performances and plays.  It is standing room only!  

During the month I make it a point to read a variety books to my students.  I try to read both fiction and non-fiction texts that introduce them to new people/characters they can relate to.  I normally do not read the entire book.  Instead, I read a chapter to hook them!  I consider this to be more like a book trailer and/or a book review.
I Have A Dream by Martin Luther King, Jr. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
This book is Dr. King's speech beautifully illustrated.

Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges
This book includes primary sources and is a pretty amazing read.

Let's Read About Ruby Bridges by Ruby Bridges and Grace Maccarone, 
Illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu
An easy reader that's a good introduction to non-fiction.

Little Rock Nine by Marshall Poe, Illustrated by Ellen Lindner
I've read a few books about The Little Rock Nine.  I haven't read this specific book; however, it is a graphic novel and my kiddos LOVE all graphic novels.  I have a feeling this book will end up in my classroom library this year!

This series of books is AHHH-MAZING!  I love these quick reads.  I have a small variety of the What Was books and a larger collection of the Who Was series.  These are perfect non-fiction texts for biography studies.

 The Tuskegee Airmen Story by Lynn M. Homan and Thomas Reilly
I have this book and another one about the Tuskegee Airmen.  My boys are obsessed with the Tuskegee Airmen!  Last year for Black History Month, we made paper mache' airmen helmets.  If you'd like to read about my adventure into paper mache', click here

This book is a great option to incorporate STEM.  
My students love aviation and this book was a hit last year!

I am a teacher on a mission.
My mission is to ensure that my students see themselves in the literature that they read.  It is incredibly important for children to see themselves in the stories that they read.  I highly recommend adding any of these books to your classroom or school library.
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
This quick read is definitely for 5th grade and up.  If memory serves me right, there are pieces that are written like a diary.  The 3 sisters in this book have to deal with their unconventional mother.  The good news is Rita Williams-Garcia continues the girls' story with two other books.  


Thunder Rose by Jerdine Nolen, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
I love this book and highly recommend adding it to your Tall Tale Unit.

Ellray Jakes (series) by Sally Warner, Illustrated by Brian Biggs
If your boys don't know Lil' Ellray Jakes...they are missing out.
This is a good introduction to reading a series of books.  It is an easy read and the characters are very relatable.

Liberty Porter, First Daughter by Julia DeVillers, Illustrated by Paige Pooler
This is a new series about the First Daughter.  It is on my "to buy list".  There are a few books in the series and I have a feeling my students will definitely like Liberty!

Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Have you heard of Henry "Box" Brown who mailed himself to freedom?
I found out about him a few years ago during Black History Month when our Kindergarteners studied him.  It is a pretty amazing story.  I added this book to my library last year and it both shocked and intrigued my GT students.  We ended up getting a box and many of them would sit inside it when they read the book.  Interesting.

Sugar Plum Ballerinas by Whoopi Goldberg.
I will admit, I heard about this book while watching The View.
It is a newer series, but has been successful.  I have one of them and some of my younger girls will read them.  Again, I think it's a good beginner series.

I know we have many primary grade teachers and although I do not own these books, I did read them when they were at our book fair.  I thought both were beautifully illustrated.  Music is a great way to introduce books in a PK/K classroom.

Do you have a favorite book to celebrate Black History Month? 


  1. I am going directly to Amazon to shop for both song/story books and Henry's Freedom Box, along with the What Was..... books! Thanks for introducing me to these treasures!
    Stories and Songs in Second

  2. I love Henry's Freedom Box. It is a great story. I also like We Shall Overcome. We sing that every year at our program.


  3. Some great book recommendations there - I will have to look into getting some for our school library. Thank you!
    Growing Little Learners

  4. What a fabulous collection of book ideas!!! I appreciate the variety. Have you ever read Crossing Bok Chito? FABULOUS book. I am going to grab some of your ideas here and get on Amazon this weekend!! Thanks!