13 Books That Celebrate Black History Month

(Updated January 11, 2017.)


Books for Black History Month

Black History Month reading recommendations for K-12 classrooms.

Honor Black History Month by reading about the achievements, culture, and central role of African Americans in U.S. history. Take a look at our list of popular titles for Black History Month and find out how to purchase the book in bulk for your school today!

13 Books for Black History Month

1. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
the snowy day
One of the first picture books for young children to portray a realistic, multi-cultural urban setting, this book has come to be regarded as a classic and one of the most important picture books ever published.

Reading level: preschool – kindergarten

2. Peter’s Chair by Ezra Jack Keats
peter's chair
The sequel to The Snowy Day shares how Peter deals with welcoming a new baby sister into the family.

Reading level: preschool – 2nd grade

3. Who Was Jackie Robinson? by Gail Herman
who was jackie robinson
Introduce the life and career of baseball’s Jackie Robinson to your kids with this easy-to-follow book.

Reading level: 3rd – 7th grade

4. Who Was Rosa Parks? by Yona Zeldis McDonough
who was rosa parks
This is the story of Rosa Parks, a woman widely recognized as the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.

Reading level: 3rd – 7th grade

5. Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? by Bonnie Bader
who was martin luther king jr
Concise text and black-and-white illustrations celebrate the vision and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Reading level: 3rd – 7th grade

6. Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
bud not buddy
Nothing can stop 10-year-old Bud when he decides to hit the road in search of his father.

Reading level: 3rd – 7th grade

7. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
roll of thunder hear my cry
During a time filled with prejudice and discrimination, Cassie and her family struggle to keep their land and hold on to what rightfully belongs to them.

Reading level: 6th grade and above

8. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
the immortal life of henrietta lacks
Skloot introduces the birth of bioethics and the dark history of experimentation on African Americans through the story of Henrietta Lacks, a woman whose cells have been unwittingly used for scientific research since the 1950s.

Reading level: High school and above

9. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
the color purple
A 1983 Pulitzer Prize winner, The Color Purple is a powerful feminist novel about an abused and uneducated black woman’s struggle for empowerment.

Reading level: High school and above

10. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
i know why the caged bird sings
Angelou recounts her childhood in racially-charged Arkansas in the 1930s, using poetic language to illustrate the vivid world in which most Americans had no idea existed.

Reading level: High school and above

11. The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
the autobiography of malcolm x
This is the story of Black Muslim leader Malcolm X, a man who passionately articulated the anger, the struggle, and the beliefs of African Americans in the 1960s.

Reading level: High school and above

12. Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
a long walk to freedom
Nelson Mandela’s story is an epic, real-life account of struggle, setback, hope, and ultimately triumph.

Reading level: High school and above

13. Rosa’s Bus by Jo S. Kittinger

rosa's bus

Bus #2857 was just an ordinary public bus… until Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger. This is the story of the bus and the passengers who changed history.

Reading level: kindergarten – 2nd grade

Reading books with your class to learn more about the culture and history of African Americans is a great way to celebrate February. Purchase a class set of books for Black History Month with BookPal or browse for more title recommendations by clicking on the banner below!

books for black history month

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