February is Black History Month. Growing up in Canada, I didn’t learn about black history (or American history) in school. So when I moved to the States, I had to learn about a lot of people I’d never heard of before.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and George Washington Carver are just a few of the amazing people I’ve learned about since immigrating to this beautiful country.
The thing I like about Black History Month is the focus on honoring and celebrating the amazing people of color that shaped American history and culture. There is so much to learn and absorb — so many incredible people that sacrificed everything for a better life.
Here are some extraordinary books I’m reading with my kids this February to celebrate Black History Month.
Picture Books for Black History Month
Be A King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream and You by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by James E. Ransome
One of the things I’ve grown to love about Martin Luther King Jr. as I’ve learned about him is his message of love and strength.
This book captures the spirit of his work. It’s about a class full of young students who decide to follow Dr. King’s example. The writing is poetic
Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine, illustrated by Kadir Nelson
This story is about an boy named Henry who grows up in slavery. When his family is sold at market, he decides to mail himself to freedom.
I read this book to my kids a while back and Henry’s story really touched me. I’m amazed at the lengths some people went to in order to gain their freedom. This is a tale of hardship, heartbreak, and unbreakable courage.
I read this book to my children a couple of years ago when it first came out. While the story is technically fiction, it is based on an actual steamboat school. It’s a moving, passionate story about the desire for education and the lengths that people went to in order to gain access to it.
This is one of those hidden gems you don’t hear much about, but it’s a beautiful story and well worth the read.
This book is about the children’s march that happened in 1963 in Alabama. Thousands of children joined a march to protest segregation.
This is another event that I’d never heard of until I read the book. I like how this story shows children that they can make a difference. They can stand up and make their voices heard, even if they are young.
A great read for Black History Month to encourage kids to stand tall for what they believe in.
This book became an instant bestseller, and it’s not hard to see why. First off, the illustrations are ADORABLE. Second, it features amazing people from history who overcame barriers to achieve remarkable things.
With 40 incredible women featured in this book, it’s definitely a title I want my girls to read.
Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly, illustrated by Laura Freeman
This book has been a wildly popular addition to the growing number of picture books about women of color. It’s the perfect book to read with your kids for Black History Month. These four women were both brave and brilliant.
And of course, you MUST watch the movie. It was fantastic!
As long as we’re talking about the space race, we need to mention this gem. This book is about Mae Jemison, the first African American woman to travel in space. It’s a fictionalized biography, and it focuses on Mae’s determination, dreams, and hard work.
This story is about dreaming big and reaching for the stars (literally).
What are you reading with your kids for Black History Month?
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