Titles Examining Black History and Titles Celebrating Black Voices

Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group has a great roundup of books to celebrate Black History Month. Take a look:

Titles Examining Black History:

  • ROSA by Nikki Giovanni; illustrated by Bryan Collier:  Winner of the Caldecott Honor Medal and the Coretta Scott King Medal, this picture book tribute to Rosa Parks celebrates the 50th anniversary of her refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, AL, city bus.
  • SING, ARETHA, SING! by Hanif Abdurraqib; illustrated by Ashley Evans: An empowering picture book biography of Aretha Franklin and her role in civil rights, described here in a way that’s uplifting and hopeful, rather than simply informative, and is a testament to how a single voice can empower a whole community.
  • IDA B. WELLS, VOICE OF TRUTH by Michelle Duster; illustrations by Laura Freeman: An inspiring picture book biography of groundbreaking journalist and civil rights activist Ida B. Wells, as told by her great-granddaughter, Michelle Duster.
  • THE BURNING (YOUNG READERS EDITION) by Tim Madigan: 100 years after the event, this is a powerful middle-grade adaptation of The Burning, the true story of Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Massacre.
  • THE AWAKENING OF MALCOLM X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Tiffany D. Jackson: A powerful narrative account of the activist’s adolescent years in jail, written by his daughter Ilyasah Shabazz along with YA powerhouse Tiffany D. Jackson.
  • ANGEL OF GREENWOOD by Randi Pink: A historical YA novel that follows two Black teens in the days leading up, during, and after the Tulsa Race Massacre, one of the most violent racist acts of our history recently brought into the spotlight. 2021 marks the 100 year anniversary.

Titles Celebrating Black Voices:

  • WHAT THE ROAD SAID by Cleo Wade; illustrated by Lucie de Moyencourt: With gentle reminders that it’s okay to be afraid or sometimes wander down the wrong path, Cleo Wade’s New York Times bestselling picture book debut encourages children (and adults) to lead with kindness and remember that the most important thing we can do in life is to keep going.
  • BLACK MAGIC by Dinah Johnson; illustrated by R. Gregory Christie: In this celebration of the African American spirit, a young girl explores what “black” means, from the surprising stripes on a zebra to her mother’s voice as she falls asleep.
  • AFRICAN PROVERBS FOR ALL AGES by Johnnetta Betsch Cole and Nelda LaTeef; illustrated by Nelda LaTeef: An Oprah Book about the power of proverbs, how they evolve over time, and the wisdom of various cultures of Africa.
  • WHY?: A CONVERSATION ABOUT RACE by Taye Diggs, illustrated by Shane W. Evans: WHY? takes a hard look at the events of the past year through the point of view of inquisitive children. This poignant, piercing, and memorable story strikes an emotional chord after the unrest, highlighting the work still needed to be done to bring racial justice to all.
  • THE MARVELOUS by Claire Kann: From the author of Let’s Talk About Love comes this pacey YA novel that follows three teens locked together in a mansion, competing for a big cash prize in a competition run by a mysterious heiress.
  • ME (MOTH) by Amber McBride: This thrilling and artful YA debut novel-in-verse, which follows a Black teen as she grieves the death of her family after an accident, has been named a National Book Award finalist and Indies Introduce Summer/Fall 2021 pick. Here is an author to watch!
  • SO MANY BEGINNINGS: A LITTLE WOMEN REMIX by Bethany C. Morrow: Four young Black sisters come of age during the American Civil War in this warm and powerful YA retelling of the classic novel Little Women, part of the Remixed Classics series.