4 Must-Read Children’s Books for Black History Month

Black History Month is celebrated every February to honor the history and achievements of generations of African Americans. Uplift and appreciate Black voices by spending this month (and beyond!) with children's books by Black authors. We've picked out some of our favorites to get you started.

My Fade Is Fresh by Shauntay Grant, illustrated by Kitt Thomas 

Cover of My Fade is Fresh by Shauntay Grant
In this fun and empowering picture book from multi-talented author Shauntay Grant, a little girl walks into her local barber shop and knows she wants the “flyest, freshest fade on the block!” With so many awesome hairstyles to choose from, the choice can be tricky, but she knows the importance of staying true to herself and makes sure she walks out with the haircut that she feels fabulous in. This rhyming story celebrates the beauty and diversity of Black hair and reminds young readers to be confident in themselves. (Ages 3-7)

The Door of No Return by Kwame Alexander
Cover of The Door of No Return by Kwame Alexander

The Door of No Return is the latest release from the critically acclaimed author Kwame Alexander. Set in 1860, this first book of a soon-to-be trilogy follows eleven-year-old Kofi, who lives with his family in the African village of Upper Kwanta and loves spending time with his best friend Ebo and crush Ama. When tragedy strikes, Kofi's life is upended. He suddenly finds himself in a fight for his life, set on a journey miles away from home and everything he knows to be true. (Ages 10+)

Freewater by Amina Luqman-Dawson
Cover of Freewater by Amina Luqman-Dawson

Winner of the Coretta Scott King Author Award and the John Newbery Medal, this historical fiction novel is centered around twelve-year-old Homer and his little sister Ada as they escape a plantation, leaving their mother behind. When the two enslaves siblings flee, they stumble upon a secret community called Freewater. Homer finds new friends as he explores this magical new place, but soon discovers a threat that could mean the end of his new home. Homer must hatch a plan to save his community and his mother. An inspiring tale of survival and courage. (Ages 10+)

Ain't Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds, artwork by Jason Griffin
Cover of Ain't Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds

From lifetime achievement award-winner author Jason Reynolds and renowned artist Jason Griffin comes Ain't Burned All the Bright, a multimedia work that poetically captures what it's like to be Black in America. Three hundred pages of gorgeous artwork and thought-provoking text come together to weave a powerful narrative—a nameless Black narrator guides the reader through the poignant story of his family and their experience with current social issues (such as police brutality and the COVID-19 pandemic). A must-read for teens and adults alike. (Ages 12+)