Recommended Reads - Black History Month - Children's Collection

February is Black History Month. Explore and celebrate black characters both past and present, real and fictional, in these children's books.

Betty Before X

by Shabazz, Ilyasah

Raised by her aunt until she is six, Betty, who will later marry Malcolm X, joins her mother and stepfamily in 1940s Detroit, where she learns about the civil rights movement.

Available in physical and digital formats. Check availability in our online catalog!

The Fierce 44: Black Americans Who Shook Up the World

A dynamic and hip collective biography that presents forty-four of America's greatest movers and shakers, from Frederick Douglass to Aretha Franklin to Barack Obama, written by ESPN's TheUndefeated.com and illustrated with dazzling portraits by Rob Ball.

Available in physical and digital formats. Check availability in our online catalog!

The Compton Cowboys: and the fight to save their horse ranch

by: Thompson-Hernandez, Walter

The Compton Cowboys are a group who grew up in the city where Kendrick Lamar and Serena Williams were raised; a city portrayed in the media as ground zero for gang violence. But in 1988, with the creation of the Compton Junior Posse, a youth program set on a horse ranch in the middle of Compton, these men and women found a safe space. In this young readers' edition, kids will witness how the Cowboys' lives were shaped by harsh realities.

Available in physical and digital formats. Check availability in our online catalog!

Brave, Black, First: 50+ African American Women Who Changed the World

by: Hudson, Cheryl Willis

An illustrated biographical compilation of over fifty African American women from the 1700s through to the present day.

Available in physical and digital formats. Check availability in our online catalog!

The ABCs of Black History

by: Cortez, Rio

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, X is for Malcom X. It’s an ABC book like no other, and a story of hope and love.

Available in physical and digital formats. Check availability in our online catalog!

Brown Girl Dreaming

by: Woodson, Jacqueline

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child's soul as she searches for her place in the world.

Available in physical and digital formats. Check availability in our online catalog!

Like Vanessa

by: Charles Tami

It is 1983 and Vanessa Martin, a thirteen-year-old African American girl in Newark's public housing, dreams of following in the footsteps of the first black Miss America, Vanessa Williams; but with a dysfunctional family (mother in jail, father withdrawn, drunken grandfather, gay cousin) the odds are against her--until a new teacher at school organizes a beauty pageant and encourages Vanessa to enter.

Available in physical and digital formats. Check availability in our online catalog!

Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History

by Harrison, Vashti

Profiles thirty-five prominent men in African American history, including James Armistead Lafayette, Thurgood Marshall, Alvin Ailey, and Leland Melvin.

Available in physical and digital formats. Check availability in our online catalog!

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

by Harrison, Vashti

Based on her popular Instagram posts, debut author/illustrator Vashti Harrison shares the stories of 40 bold African American women who shaped history.

Available in physical and digital formats. Check availability in our online catalog!

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

by: Shetterly, Margot Lee

Explores the previously uncelebrated but pivotal contributions of NASA's African American women mathematicians to America's space program, describing how Jim Crow laws segregated them despite their groundbreaking successes. Includes biographies on Dorothy Jackson Vaughan (1910-2008), Mary Winston Jackson (1921-2005), Katherine Colman Goble Johnson (1918-), Dr. Christine Mann Darden (1942-).

Available in physical and digital formats. Check availability in our online catalog!

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