5 Books To Celebrate Black History Month

February is Black History Month, just one of the many times throughout the school year to look back, celebrate and share stories with your students about individuals who fought for justice, challenged entrenched belief systems, and blazed new trails. It’s also a time to acknowledge the struggles for justice and equality that remain with us to this day.

We’ve compiled a list of five books to share with your class this month and all year long.

The ABCs of Black History by Rio Cortez

An ABC book like no other, this colorful, creative book guides young readers through Black history through rhymes and stories of powerful figures and even more powerful ideas. Told through rhyming text and vibrant illustrations, students will also benefit from back matter that provides more information about the events and figures they read about.

This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt

A rhythmic, musical introduction to some of the biggest names in jazz music’s long and vibrant history. 

Kids ages 4 to 7 will enjoy tapping, snapping, and scatting along with the reading as they learn to count with legends like Louis Armstrong and Charles Mingus.

Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou

A moving, powerful children’s poetry book written by Maya Angelou and illustrated by artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Full of thought-provoking stories and messages that will help young learners realize their inner strength and faith.

Who Was Rosa Parks? by Yona Z. McDonough

On Dec. 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. This illustrated book tells the story of that day, the Montgomery bus boycott, and the life of the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.”

Twins by Varian Johnson

Maureen and Francine Carter are twins, best friends, and companions who do everything together. But as middle school approaches, the sisters start growing apart, and there’s nothing Maureen can do to stop it – or is there?

This graphic novel explores the dramatic social and emotional changes that kids face as they transition into middle school and how they can come to terms and grow with them.

We encourage educators to use these stories to open up important conversations and strengthen key social emotional skills this month and all year long. If you’re interested in more resources for supporting social emotional development, learn more about our PreK-12 SEL programs and download a starter kit for your community.


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