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Black and Proud! Black History Month Booklist (ages 5-13)

By Quetzalli Cortez

Want to celebrate Black History Month by reading books that feature black characters but don't know where to start? This list is for you. It has something that everyone will enjoy. Remember, any time of the year is a good time to read books by and about black people!

  • Honey, I Love, and Other Love Poems

    1978 by Greenfield, Eloise

    Celebrating the experiences of black children, this book is full of love. The illustrations by Diane and Leo Dillon invoke feelings of nostalgia and childlike curiosity. This is a personal favorite from my own childhood--I will always cherish the memories of my mom reading this book to me as a little girl.

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  • Black Girl Magic: A Poem

    2018 by Browne, Mahogany L.

    In response to all the injustices, stereotypes, and limitations put on black girls, this poem reaffirms the strength, resilience, and beauty of black girls. "You a black girl worth remembering/... And you turning into a beautiful black woman right before OUR eyes."

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  • Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment

    2019 by Curry, Parker

    Based on the viral picture of toddler Parker Curry staring mesmerized at Amy Sherald's portrait of Michelle Obama, this book highlights the importance of representation.

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  • The Undefeated

    2019 by Alexander, Kwame

    Winner of both the Caldecott Medal and Coretta Scott King Illustrator award, this phenomenal book blends past, present, and future, in tribute to the resiliency and ingenuity of African Americans.

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  • Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans

    2011 by Nelson, Kadir

    Nelson's illustrations are just as stunning as ever in this book depicting the history of African Americans in the United States. Following major events in history, Nelson highlights the different--sometimes overlooked--contributions African Americans have made throughout the history of the United States.

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  • Reaching for the Moon: The Autobiography of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson

    2019 by Johnson, Katherine G.

    Beginning with her decision to go to school with her brother at age four, this autobiography of NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson follows her life as she became the renowned scientist we know her as today. Johnson does not shy away from the hardships she faced along the way, writing, "You are no better than anyone else, but nobody else is better than you."

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  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

    2016 by Taylor, Mildred D.

    A literary classic, this book follows the lives of the Logan family in rural Mississippi during the Depression as they fight to survive following the lynchings of three black men. The theme of justice versus injustice is prevalent throughout the novel, with certain aspects--unfortunately--still true today.

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  • Finding Someplace

    2015 by Patrick, Denise Lewis

    On Reesie's 13th birthday, Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans and completely destroys her home in the 9th ward. Reesie is separated from her family during the hurricane and has to find them and a new place to call home. This book delves deep into the lives of the people living in the 9th ward and the consequences Hurricane Katrina had on the community.

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