#ReadingBlackout: 28 Books for Young Readers This Black History Month

#ReadingBlackout: 28 Books for Young Readers This Black History Month

Black History Month

It’s Black History Month and that means it’s time for #readingblackout, a movement started by BookTuber Denise D. Cooper that encourages readers to exclusively pick up books by black authors. We rounded up a list of great reads for adults, but we know that young readers don’t want to miss out either. Here are 28 titles—14 middle grade books and 14 picture books—that are perfect reading for Black History Month and all the months beyond.

Hurricane Child by Kacen Callender

In this middle grade book, 12-year-old Caroline searches for her mother with the help of her new friend Kalinda, who Caroline is beginning to have feelings for.

As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds

Brothers Genie and Ernie learn what bravery really means when they travel from Brooklyn to Virginia to spend the summer with their grandfather.

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

Newbery Honor winner Jacqueline Woodson’s latest middle grade novel follows six students who learn to open up to each other during a weekly meeting.

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson

After discovering a mysterious letter addressed to her grandmother that hints at a fortune to be found, Candice teams up with a neighborhood boy named Brandon to uncover more and claim the bounty.

Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Renée Watson

This fictionalized biography takes readers back to 1945 Detroit to meet 11-year-old Betty Shabazz, who would grow up to become a civil rights advocate alongside her husband Malcolm X.

The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon

In this middle grade story, two brothers get more than they bargained for when a game of trading escalates until secrets are revealed.

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

This fantasy series follows 12-year-old Sunny, an albino girl who moves from New York to Nigeria and discovers she has magical powers.

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

This middle grade novel explores modern and historical instances of prejudiced violence through the eyes of a boy who becomes a ghost after being shot by a police officer.

The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore

After losing his brother to gang violence, 12-year-old Lolly finds solace in Legos and begins to construct a miniature city for the local community center.

So Done by Paula Chase

Tai and Mila started the summer as best friends, but after two months apart they reunite and find that something’s changed. Can they find their way back to each other?

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

This verse novel follows twin brothers Josh and Jordan through their basketball season and the trials and tribulations of growing up.

Zora and Me: The Cursed Ground by T.R. Simon

T.R. Simon lets readers into the childhood of Zora Neale Hurston in this fictionalized tale about a decades-old mystery surrounding the life of an enslaved girl named Lucia.

Dragons In a Bag by Zetta Elliott

An afternoon at grandma’s house turns into an incredible adventure for Jaxon when he learns that Ma is a witch who needs help transporting baby dragons to a new home.

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Delphine and her two younger sisters travel from Brooklyn to Oakland to spend the summer with their mother. But when they show up, their mom ships them off to a Black Panther summer camp instead.

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison

This read pairs short biographies with gorgeous illustrations of real life heroines for readers to look up to.

Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora

Sure to get little tummies rumbling, this book features a neighborhood that comes together to share a delicious meal.

Mommy’s Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, illustrated by Ebony Glenn

Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow’s passion for inclusive stories that reflect black and Muslim experiences inspired her picture book about a Muslim girl who loves dressing in her mother’s headscarf.

The Roots of Rap by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Frank Morrison

Filled with rhythm and poetry, The Roots of Rap takes readers on a musical journey through the history of hip-hop.

Brave Ballerina by Michelle Meadows, illustrated by Ebony Glenn

Little dancers won’t want to miss out on this biography of Janet Collins, the first African American principal dancer at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Hands Up! by Breanna J. McDaniel, illustrated by Shane W. Evans

Moments of happiness in a young girl’s life are celebrated with hands raised towards the sky in this joy-filled picture book.

Black Girl Magic by Mahogany L. Browne, illustrated by Jess X. Snow

This important poem by Mahogany L. Browne challenges the way that society treats young black girls.

I Am Enough by Grace Byers, illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo

This beautiful and inspiring book encourages readers to believe in themselves. After finishing, you’ll feel ready to shine like the sun.

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James

Celebrate that magical feeling that comes along with a fresh haircut with this critically acclaimed book by Derrick Barnes.

A Night Out with Mama by Quvenzhané Wallis, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

For an extra fun evening, we recommend getting dressed up and going out for ice cream to enjoy this adorable book by Academy Award-nominated actress Quvenzhané Wallis.

Sisters and Champions: The True Story of Venus and Serena Williams by Howard Bryant, illustrated by Floyd Cooper

Young tennis fans will love reading about Venus and Serena Williams and their paths to becoming two of the greatest athletes the sport has ever seen.

Before She was Harriet by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illustrated by James E. Ransome

This picture book is filled with poetry and will amaze young readers by teaching them about the inspiring life of Harriet Tubman.

Martin Rising: Requiem For a King by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney

Teach your little one about Martin Luther King, Jr. with this beautifully illustrated picture book from Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney.

Princess Hair by Sharee Miller

Celebrate all styles and textures of hair with this adorable book from Sharee Miller. We know the princess in your life will love it, too.

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