15 Children's Books About Great African Americans


I searched for 15 children's books about great African Americans in honor of Black History Month. That being said, I consider African American History an integral part of American History rather than a relegated subject. I think the same about Native American History, Hispanic American History, and other minorities' history, which are usually consigned to a particular month when they should be read, studied, and enjoyed all year long.



Picture Books

A Picture Book of Frederick Douglass written by David A. Adler accounts the life of one of the most important African American abolitionists and social activists.


A Kid's Guide to African American History: More than 70 Activities by Nancy I. Sanders contains biographies of great African Americans and more than 70 hands-on activities.



If A Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks by Faith Ringgold tells the story of how Rosa Parks inspired The Civil Rights Movement by refusing to give up her seat to a white man.



A 2016 Caldecott Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Award winner, Trombone Shorty by Toni Andrews and illustrated by Brian Collier is about the life of the prodigious musician Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews.




Written by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Brian Collier, Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a Caldecott Honor Book for Illustration, Coretta Scott King Honor Book, and ALA Notable Book.



Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World's Fastest Woman written by Kathleen Krull and illustrated by David Diaz tells how Wilma achieved greatness despite having suffered from polio when she was little.




A New York Times bestseller, Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope is a biography for young children about our first African American president written by Nikki Grimes and illustrated by Brian Collier.





Chapter Books 


Misty Copeland by Laurie Calkhoven is about the life of the first African American ballerina to have the main dancing role at the American Ballet Theater.


Great Black Heroes: Five Brilliant Scientists by Lynda Jones includes the biographies of Susan McKinney Steward, George Washington Carver, Ernest Just, Percy Julian, and Shirley Jackson. 



What Are You Figuring Now?: A Story About Benjamin Banneker by Jeri Ferris accounts the life of an autodidact African American scientist. 



A Horn for Louis: Louis Armstrong – as a kid! By Eric A. Kimmel is a biography about an African American jazz legend. 


Who is Barack Obama? by Roberta Edwards is a complete biography of President Barack Obama for young readers. 


Who is Michelle Obama? by Megan Strive is the biography of the first African American First Lady for young readers. 


Time for Kids: Jesse Owen: Running into History by Editors of TIME for kids is the biography of one of the fastest runners of all time. 


Jackie Robinson and the Story of All Black Baseball by Jim O'Connor tells the life of the first African American to play baseball in the major leagues. 





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