Great Books for All Ages
Published: January 29, 2021
Black History Month is a great time to stock up on lots of great books for little ones all the way to young adults. This selection includes books on a variety of subjects that help teach the stories of Black people who molded history and culture, from athletes to scientists to activists.
- A Place Inside of Me by Zetta Elliott, illustrated by Noa Denmon. A TODAY.com Best Book for the Holidays, NCTE Notable Poetry Book, and Evanston Public Library’s Great Book for Kids, A Place Inside of Me by award-winning author Zetta Elliot explores the nuances of a Black child’s experiences following a police shooting – through grief and protests, healing and community.
- Stella’s Stellar Hair by Yesenia Moises. Black girl magic takes the solar system in this celebration of hair, family, and self-love in this debut book.
- Baseball’s Leading Lady by Andrea Williams. For fans of Hidden Figures and Steve Sheinkin’s Undefeated, this is the powerful true story of Effa Manley, the first and only woman inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
- Watch Me by Doyin Richards, illustrated by Joe Cepeda. A picture book about immigration, based on the author’s father’s own story of coming to America from Africa.
- Runaway by Ray Anthony Shepard; illustrated by Keith Mallett. Runaway is a powerful, lyrical OwnVoices picture book about the enslavement of Ona Judge and her self-emancipation from George Washington’s household.
- Flying High: The Story of Gymnastics Champion Simone Biles by Michelle Meadows, illustrated by Ebony Glenn. From her early competitions to the height of her success as an Olympic champion, this is the story of the world’s greatest gymnast. For fans of She’s Got This by Laurie Hernandez and Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn’t Sit Still.
- I Want to Ride the Tap Tap by Danielle Joseph, illustrated by Olivier Ganthier. A day-of-the-week picture book about a young boy and his parents who ride the taxi-bus service – called a tap tap – in Haiti, and the fascinating people they meet along the way.
- My Friend! by Taye Diggs, illustrated by Shane W. Evans. With rhythm kids will relate to, Taye’s text and Shane’s art offer a feast of emotions and joy, and aren’t didactic or message-heavy – the perfect book to celebrate Black joy!
- Mighty Justice (Young Readers Edition) by Dovey Johnson Roundtree and Katie McCabe; adapted by Jabari Asim. A young reader’s adaptation of Mighty Justice: My Life in Civil Rights, the memoir of activist and trailblazer Dovey Johnson Roundtree.
- The Burning (Young Readers Edition) by Tim Madigan. A hundred years after the event, this is a powerful middle-grade adaptation of the true story of Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Massacre.
- The Awakening of Malcolm X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Tiffany D. Jackson. A powerful narrative account of the activist’s adolescent years in jail, written by his daughter Ilyasah Shabazz along with YA powerhouse Tiffany D. Jackson.
- Angel of Greenwood by Randi Pink. A historical YA novel that follows two Black teens in the days leading up, during, and after the Tulsa Race Massacre, one of the most violent racist acts of our history recently brought into the spotlight. 2021 marks the 100-year anniversary.