Black History Month

Grades PK

Bright Brown Baby: A Treasury

By: Andrea Davis Pinkney

A rhythmic, whimsically illustrated celebration of Black and brown babies and the joy, tender moments, and boundless love shared between children and their caregivers, from New York Times bestselling and award-winning duo Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney.

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I am Brave: A Little Book About Martin Luther King, Jr.

By: Brad Meltzer

The littlest readers can learn about Martin Luther King, Jr., in this board book version of the New York Times bestselling Ordinary People Change the World biography. This friendly, fun biography series focuses on the traits that made our heroes great–the traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves.

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Soul Food Sunday

By: Winsome Bingham

Granny teaches her grandson to cook the family meal in this loving celebration of food, traditions, and gathering together at the table. Evocatively written and vividly illustrated, this mouthwatering story is a warm celebration of tradition and coming together at a table filled with love and delicious food.

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We Shall Overcome

By: Brian Collier

celebration of the gospel anthem and Civil Rights protest song “We Shall Overcome,” masterfully brought to life by Caldecott Honor recipient and a nine-time Coretta Scott King Award winner Bryan Collier.

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Your Life Matters

By: Chris Singleton

Empowering and validating, Your Life Matters reassures Black children everywhere that no matter what they hear, no matter what they experience, no matter what they’re told, their lives matter. Your Life Matters teaches kids to stand tall in the face of racial adversity and fight for the life they dream of.

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Grades K-2

Shirley Chisholm Dared : The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress

By: Alicia R. Williams

Discover the inspiring story of the first black woman elected to Congress and to run for president – meet Shirley, a little girl who asks way too many questions. Shirley kicks butt in school; she breaks her mother’s curfew; she plays jazz piano instead of classical. And as a young adult, she fights against the injustice she sees around her, against women and black people. Soon she is running for state assembly… and winning in a landslide. Her slogan? “Fighting Shirley Chisholm–Unbought and Unbossed!” Does she win? You bet she does.

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I Am Oprah Winfrey

By: Brad Meltzer

Deeply influential cultural icon Oprah Winfrey is the twenty-fifth hero in this New York Times bestselling picture book biography series. This friendly, fun biography series focuses on the traits that made our heroes great–the traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. This book features critically acclaimed talk show host Oprah Winfrey, who used her struggles in childhood as motivation to become “Queen of All Media.”

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Papa’s Free Day Party

By: Marilyn Nelson

Johnnie wants to celebrate her Papa’s birthday, but Papa doesn’t know exactly when that special day is. Johnnie doesn’t understand how that could be. Then she learns about Papa’s childhood–how he built a new life in the all-Black town of Boley, Oklahoma. Inspired by her father’s incredible story, Johnnie decides to throw Papa a different kind of party–one to recognize her Father’s Day of freedom. Based on a true story about the author’s grandfather, Papa’s Free Day Party is a powerful celebration of storytelling, strength, and the importance of family.

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One Step Further : My Story of Math, the Moon, and a Lifelong Mission

By: Katherine G. Johnson

This inspirational picture book reveals what is was like for a young black mother of three to navigate the difficult world of the 1950s and 60s and to succeed in an unwelcoming industry to become one of the now legendary “hidden figures” of NASA computing and space research.

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The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read

By: Rita Lorraine Hubbard

Imagine learning to read at the age of 116! Discover the true story of Mary Walker, the nation’s oldest student who did just that. From Rita Lorraine Hubbard and rising star Oge More comes the inspirational story of Mary Walker, a woman whose long life spanned from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, and who–with perseverance and dedication–proved that you’re never too old to learn.

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Playing to Win: How Althea Gibson Broke Barriers and Changed Tennis Forever

By: Karen Deans

Growing up in Harlem in the 1930s, Althea Gibson became tough and rebellious. Some said she was having trouble finding her way, until she was a teenager when she discovered she had a talent for sports. In fact, Althea was a natural at tennis, but tennis was played mostly by wealthy white people in country clubs that excluded African Americans. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Althea was not deterred. Instead, she set about becoming a barrier-breaking and world-famous athlete.

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I Am Every Good Thing

By: Derrick Barnes

An upbeat, empowering, important picture book from the team that created the award-winning Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut. The confident Black narrator of this book is proud of everything that makes him who he is. He’s got big plans, and no doubt he’ll see them through–as he’s creative, adventurous, smart, funny, and a good friend.

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Dream Street

By: Tricia Elam Walker

Discover the true meaning of community in this gorgeous picture book about a very special street bursting with joy, hope, and dreams. An award-winning illustrator and critically acclaimed author pay tribute to the neighborhood where they grew up as cousins- “a place where love abounds” ( The Horn Book , starred review).

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Grades 3-5

Black Boy Joy

By: Kwame Mbalia

THE INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER. FIVE STARRED REVIEWS. Celebrate the joys of Black boyhood with stories from seventeen bestselling, critically acclaimed Black authors -including Jason Reynolds, Jerry Craft, and Kwame Mbalia! “Pick up Black Boy Joy for a heavy dose of happiness.” – Booklist, starred review

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Genesis Begins Again

By: Alicia Williams

A Newbery Honor Book Winner of the Correta Scott King – John Steptoe for New Talent Author Award A Morris Award Finalist An NPR Favorite Book of 2019 A School Library Journal Best Middle Grade Book of 2019 A Kirkus Reviews Best Middle Grade Book of 2019. This deeply sensitive and powerful debut novel tells the story of a thirteen-year-old who must overcome internalized racism and a verbally abusive family to finally learn to love herself.

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King and the Dragonflies

By: Kacen Callender

Twelve-year-old Kingston James is sure his brother Khalid has turned into a dragonfly. When Khalid unexpectedly passed away, he shed what was his first skin for another to live down by the bayou in their small Louisiana town. Khalid still visits in dreams, and King must keep these secrets to himself as he watches grief transform his family. The Thing About Jellyfish meets The Stars Beneath Our Feet in this story about loss, grief, and finding the courage to discover one’s identity, from the author of Hurricane Child .

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Ghost Boys

By: Jewell Parker Rhodes

A heartbreaking and powerful story about a black boy killed by a police officer, drawing connections through history, from award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes. Jewell Parker Rhodes deftly weaves historical and socio-political layers into a gripping and poignant story about how children and families face the complexities of today’s world, and how one boy grows to understand American blackness in the aftermath of his own death.

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She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World

By: Chelsea Clinton

Chelsea Clinton introduces tiny feminists, mini activists and little kids who are ready to take on the world to thirteen inspirational women who never took no for an answer, and who always, inevitably and without fail, persisted. In this book, Chelsea Clinton celebrates thirteen American women who helped shape our country through their tenacity, sometimes through speaking out, sometimes by staying seated, sometimes by captivating an audience. They all certainly persisted.

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