We’ve gathered some recent stellar children’s literature by Black authors, from early readers to chapter books. How about celebrating Black History Month by reading a title by a Black author that is new to you? And, keep reading Black books all year long! Black books matter. From learning to read to reading to learn, all kids need books that reflect their own lived experience, as well as books that depict a multiplicity of cultures, skin colors, and points of view.
We are finally seeing some early reader series being published that feature culturally authentic Black protagonists. We share a few great new series, plus a fun stand alone from the Elephant & Piggie Like Reading series.
From fantasy to humor to realistic fiction, something for every reader! So many great writers here! The first row on the list are just right for early elementary age readers.
From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks
Aspiring baker Zoe receives an unexpected letter on her twelfth birthday from her imprisoned father; the letter sends Zoe on a quest to solve the mystery of the crime for which her father was convicted.
Ophies’s Ghosts by Justina Ireland
Discovering her ability to see ghosts when a cruel act ends her father’s life and forces her to move in with relatives in 1920s Pittsburgh, young Ophelia forges a helpful bond with a spirit whose own life ended suddenly and unjustly.
Loretta Little Looks Back: Three Voices Go Tell It by by Andrea Davis Pinkney; illustrated by Brian Pinkney.
Loretta, Roly, and Aggie B. Little relate their Mississippi family’s struggles and triumphs from 1927 to 1968 while living as sharecroppers under Jim Crow, and fighting for Civil Rights.
Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston
Thirteen-year-old Amari gets an invitation from her missing brother to join the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs and join in the fight against an evil magician.
Clean Getaway by Nic Stone
Join William “Scoob” Lamar on a wild road trip through The South with his unconventional grandma, along the way he learns about the history of the Jim Crow South and starts to wonder about just what G-ma is up to on this unplanned adventure.
Middle school stories . . . exploring identity, confronting injustice, embarking on otherworldly adventures, surviving school and friendship drama and more.
New Kid by Jerry Craft.
Jordan Banks has transferred from public school to an elite, predominantly White private school and must contend not only with typical middle school challenges but also with microaggressions and code-switching.
Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramée.
After attending a powerful protest, Shayla starts wearing an armband to school to support the Black Lives Matter movement, but when the school gives her an ultimatum, she is forced to choose between her education and her identity.
The only Black Girls in Town by Brandy Colbert
In a predominately white California beach town, the only two black seventh-graders, Alberta and Edie, find hidden journals that uncover family secrets and speak to race relations in the past.
What Lane? by Torrey Maldonado.
Biracial sixth-grader Stephen questions the limitations society puts on him after he notices the way strangers treat him and learns about the Black Lives Matter movement.