8 Fantastic Middle Grade Books to Read for Black History Month

Book Roundup, Middle Grade

There are so many amazing books to read for Black History Month. Whether the story is fiction or nonfiction, a biography or an adventure, stories have the unique ability to inform and inspire.

Some of the greatest people in American history overcame tremendous obstacles during their lifetimes. I love reading these stories, whether they’re true or not.

Other books about black history deal with quiet strength and expressions of courage in everyday situations. These stories are just as important.

For this blog post, I rounded up some of my favorite books to read during Black History Month, including a new title out this year.

If you’re looking for picture books to read during Black History Month, check out this post:

As always, this blog post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking my link, I’ll receive a small commission.


Middle Grade Books for Black History Month

Heroes of Black History: Biographies of Four Great Americans (America Handbooks) by TIME for Kids. Good middle grade books for kids to read for Black History Month. Books for kids to read in February about black history. Biography of Harriet Tubman for kids. Biography of Jackie Robinson for kids. Biography of Rosa Parks for kids. Biography of Barack Obama for kids. | batchofbooks.comHeroes of Black History: Biographies of Four Great Americans by TIME for Kids

This is a fascinating book from TIME for Kids. It contains the biographies of Harriet Tubman, Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, and Barack Obama — all amazing Americans.

Each biography contains information about the person’s childhood, their challenges they faced, and the things they accomplished. It’s quite detailed, yet still easy to read. It’s a must-read for kids researching any of these people or if your child simply wants to learn more about them.

Click here for a free curriculum guide to use in your classroom or for a homeschool lesson.

Amazon | Book Depository


Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis. A chapter book about slavery and freedom. A young boy leaves his free home in Canada. Middle grade books about slavery. Chapter books for kids to read during February for Black History Month. Good books about black history. | batchofbooks.comElijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis

Elijah lives in a small community of runaway slaves in Canada and is the first child there that was born free. When someone steals his friend’s money, Elijah goes searching for the thief.

With wit and humor, this book tells the extraordinary story of a boy who runs toward trouble. It’s a story of courage, hope, and the human spirit.

Amazon | Book Depository


Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. Historical fiction novel for kids to read during Black History Month. Books for kids about black history. Chapter books about social issues, racial inequality. An emotional and heartfelt story. Middle grade books written in poetry. | batchofbooks.comBrown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

This is another bestselling, award-winning book that’s worth the read. The author wrote about her own childhood in poetry and the result is a heartfelt, eye-opening, and moving story.

This is a quick read, so if you finish it and want more from this author, check out Another Brooklyn.

Amazon | Book Depository


One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia. Chapter books for kids about the Black Panthers and the fight for civil rights in California. Books for kids to read in February for Black History Month. Historical Fiction books for kids about black history. | batchofbooks.comOne Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

When they’re reunited with their estranged mother for the summer, Delphine, Vonette, and Fern are in for a few surprises. Attending day camp with the Black Panthers is just the beginning of their crazy and unforgettable summer.

This book has won several awards and honors. It’s the first in a series of three books. The girls’ story continues in P.S. Be Eleven and Gone Crazy in Alabama.

Amazon | Book Depository


Hidden Figures Young Reader's Edition by Margot Lee Shetterly. Books for kids about the cold war. Books for kids about the space race. Books for kids to read during Black History Month. Chapter books about black history. Middle grade books for kids about NASA, women's rights, and racial equality. | batchofbooks.comHidden Figures Young Reader’s Edition by Margot Lee Shetterly

This book is a fascinating look at four women who broke down both gender and race barriers. Using their brilliants minds and determined spirits, these women accomplished amazing things for both NASA and society.

It’s an interesting look at the space race, the Cold War, and a time when women and minorities fought an uphill battle for equality.

Also, check out the picture book version or the original adult version of the book.

And of course, you MUST watch the movie. It was fantastic!

Amazon | Book Depository


Ruby Lee and Me by Shannon Hitchcock. Books about segregation. Books for kids about school integration in the South. Good books about racial relations. Historical fiction books for kids for Black History Month. Chapter books about friendship for kids. Middle grade books for kids about civil rights. | batchofbooks.comRuby Lee and Me by Shannon Hitchcock

Sarah and Ruby Lee love being friends, but everyone tells them it would be easier to keep their friendship secret because this is the first year of school integration.

It’s a sweet book about the friendships that exist between friends. It’s about kindness, bravery, and forgiveness. Both Ruby and Sarah have to learn to be strong and brave in order to face the challenges that lay ahead.

This is a good book that gently broaches the topic of segregation and interracial relations.

Amazon | Book Depository


The Sittin' Up by Shelia P. Moses. A sweet, family-filled book about a funeral, a flood, and a boy learning to be a man. This is a good book to read during February for Black History Month and it's perfect for kids in the 9-12 age group. Books for kids about black history. Books about civil rights. Historical fiction books for kids in middle school. | batchofbooks.comThe Sittin’ Up by Shelia P. Moses

“My home is in hev’n. I’m just a stranger passing through this here ole earth. We all just strangers passing through.”

I read this book a few years ago and I loved the sense of community in the story. It takes place well after slavery ended, but there are still some people alive that experienced it. It’s about a “sittin’ up”, which is the modern-day equivalent of a funeral.

The thing I liked most about this book was getting a peek inside the culture, families, and traditions that existed in this community of people. It’s an interesting, sweet story.

Amazon | Book Depository (audiobook)


Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor. Middle grade chapter books for kids to read about Black History Month and the civil rights movement. Chapter books about social issues. Books for kids ages 9-12 about inequality, courage, and race relations in America. Books for kids about black history. | batchofbooks.comRoll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

I read this book several times as a kid and loved it. I believe it’s the only book I read about the struggle for civil rights. Even though it’s been many years since I read it, I remember the impression it made on me. It’s a modern classic that is still touching the hearts of young readers.

If you’re looking for a moving story that will stay with you for a long time, add this one to your reading list.

Amazon | Book Depository


What books are your kids reading for Black History Month?


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  • Reply
    Susan (Bloggin' 'bout Books)
    February 9, 2018 at 9:36 am

    Thanks so much for this list! My youngest is adopted and bi-racial, so I’m always looking for books about people who look like her and have experiences that will resonate with her. I’ve read a few of these, but there are some I haven’t even heard of. Thanks for the heads-up!

    • Reply
      Dena at Batch of Books
      February 9, 2018 at 10:39 am

      Yay! I’m glad you found some new books to check out.

      This is the first year I’ve done a post for Black History Month and the response I’ve received has been so overwhelmingly positive that I think I’m going to do one every year.

  • Reply
    February 9, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    This is such a great post and I really appreciate you sharing these!

  • Reply
    February 11, 2018 at 9:18 am

    WONDERFUL list!!

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