There’s a notion that diverse children’s toys or diverse children’s books are only important for children from diverse backgrounds—but that is entirely untrue. It’s vital for all kids to see a true landscape of people reflected in their toys and books. And it’s important for us all to learn the vital contributions of the incredible humans who have come before us and live alongside us. It’s necessary for the lines between “us” and “other” to disappear completely. Books are not the only way to go about this work, but they are a start. When children are surrounded by diversity, it becomes a regular part of their life. So, be vigilant. Start young. Talk about hard things. Learn with your kids. Do the work. It’s always worth it. With this in mind—and with the start of Black History Month—we’re sharing 40+ books featuring Black heroes that every kid should read. Keep scrolling for our favorite Black History Month books for kids!
Editor’s Note: All shopping links in this article link out to Black-owned bookstores. Please help us in supporting these businesses.
40+ Books for Kids to Read This Black History Month
This beautifully-illustrated board book edition of instant bestseller Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History showcases women who changed the world and is the perfect goodnight book to inspire big dreams.
Introduce little ones to the incredible life of speaker, writer, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou.
Created by famed filmmaker Spike Lee alongside his wife and producer Tonya Lewis Lee, this precious little board book expresses the many joys—and natural fiascos!—of raising a baby. It’s a sweet story giving Black families, and the loving bonds they cultivate, the representation they deserve.
Bop along with the greats in this adorable baby book that introduces little ones to the rappers who started it all!
This board book distills tennis superstar Serena Williams's excellent qualities into an eminently shareable read-aloud text with graphic, eye-catching illustrations.
This book teaches little ones to follow their biggest dreams by introducing them to 18 different trailblazing women creators.
The entire family can share all the memories and history of Barack Obama's election as the 44th President of the United States!
Celebrate Oprah Winfrey’s most motivational and powerful moments, with quotes from the media mogul and vibrant illustrations.
This board book distills Michelle Obama's excellent qualities into deliciously illustrated little baby-sized bites with text designed to share and read aloud.
A beautiful picture book for sharing, inspired by the life of the first African American woman to travel in space, Mae Jemison.
Every parent hopes their child grows up believing the sky's the limit when it comes to discovering their passions and pursuing their ambitions. Girls Like Me is a wonderful depiction of little Black girls exploring the many career possibilities that could bring to life the greatness that already lives inside of them.
A beautifully illustrated book showcasing true stories of Black men throughout history.
Similar to the book above, this books showcases true stories of Black women throughout history.
This is an introductory series to teach young learners about Black history using bright and engaging illustrations.
A stirring, dramatic story of a slave who mails himself to freedom.
In luminous paintings and arresting poems, two of children's literature’s top African American scholars track Arturo Schomburg’s quest to correct history.
A newer release in the popular Little People, Big Dreams series, this book chronicles the life of actress and trans pioneer Laverne Cox.
This book tells the story of thousands of African American children who marched in Birmingham, Alabama for their civil rights after being inspired by the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The incredibly inspiring true story of four Black women who helped NASA launch men into space.
An illustrated story about the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and the African American civil rights movement.
Kids can learn about music icon Stevie Wonder's life and rise to fame in this Little People, Big Dreams book.
This picture book biography is an excellent and accessible introduction for young readers to learn about one of the world's most influential leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This New York Times bestselling picture book biography series by Brad Meltzer has an inspiring message: we can all be heroes.
In this book, littles can discover the incredible life of British soccer player Marcus Rashford who, in addition to being a world-famous athlete, is a passionate campaigner against racism, homelessness, and child hunger.
Not only is Hair Love an ode to that special daddy-daughter bond that warms our hearts, but it uplifts the natural beauty of black hair in its many forms. Written by Academy Award-winning director and former NFL player Matthew Cherry, it’s a complete recipe for honoring family roots and raising a child with self-love and confidence.
This celebrates a contemporary Black STEAM role model, a man whose quiet work enabled the creation of an iconic building reflecting America's past and future.
Singer Aretha Franklin's musical talent was obvious from a young age and little readers can follow her journey to stardom in this pretty picture book.
This book tells the story of Dave, who despite having been a slave, was an extraordinary artist, poet, and potter living in South Carolina in the 1800s.
Harriet Tubman's heroic and pivotal role in the fight against slavery is the subject of the 14th picture book in this New York Times bestselling biography series.
Though Sassy doesn’t have the figure or personality of the stereotypical ballerina, she’s determined to turn her dreams of becoming one into a reality anyway. Find out how she captures the attention of a famous director. Hint: it’s not by being negatively singled out by the color of her skin! Written by dancer and Golden Globe winner Debbie Allen, this charming story told by an authentic voice lifts up Black girls and beyond.
Part of the critically-acclaimed Little People, Big Dreams book series, discover the life of Wilma Rudolph, the remarkable sprinter and Olympic champion.
Originally performed for ESPN's The Undefeated, this poem is a love letter to Black life in the United States.
This book chronicles the story of Bessie Coleman, who became the first African American to earn a pilot's license.
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.
A glowing picture book biography of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.
A visit to Washington, D.C.’s National Portrait Gallery forever alters Parker Curry’s young life when she views First Lady Michelle Obama’s portrait.
A 2022 addition to the Little People, Big Dreams collection, this story celebrates presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman.
Have a little explorer who adores science and discovery? They’ll have so much fun accompanying Ty and Corey as they dive into experiments and study the earth’s many creatures and curiosities. Spotlighting Black boys and geared toward emerging readers, it’s an empowering story to share with your child during your next read-along together.
This book tells the story of the inspiring true story of singer, performer, and activist, Florence Mills.
Discover the remarkable true story of NFL star Ernie Barnes: a boy who followed his dreams and became one of the most influential artists of his generation.
This poetic book is a resounding tribute to Tubman's strength, humility, and devotion.
An inspiring picture book sports biography about two of the greatest female tennis players of all-time! Venus and Serena Williams: best friends, sisters, and champions.