10 Black History Books for Kids Under 10
We know that it’s never too early to start teaching children about Black history. Doing so at an early age not only broadens their horizons but also lays the foundation for a more inclusive society. Of course, it has to be done in an interesting way and not feel like it’s forced. These 10 carefully selected books serve as good catalysts to spark some interest, offering insights into the struggles and achievements of black individuals throughout history. These books combine captivating narratives with stunning illustrations, making history come alive for young readers.
Hidden Figure Margot Lee Shetterly
Based on a true story, this book celebrates the achievements of four brilliant African American women mathematicians who played a pivotal role in NASA’s success during the Space Race. Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were good at math…really good.
They participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes, like providing the calculations for America’s first journeys into space. And they did so when being black and a woman limited what they could do. But they worked hard. They persisted. And they used their genius minds to change the world.
Little Leaders – Vashti Harrison
This beautifully illustrated book introduces young readers to 40 trailblazing Black women who have contributed significantly to various fields, including politics, arts, and science. They’re brave. They’re bold. They changed the world. Did you know the treatment for leprosy was developed by a young scientist called Alice Ball?
And Josephine Baker- world-famous cabaret singer and dancer- was also a spy for the French resistance? Featuring 40 trailblazing black women in the world’s history, this book educates and inspires as it relates true stories of women who broke boundaries and exceeded all expectations.
The Undefeated – Kwame Alexander
Through powerful poems, this book honors the strength, resilience, and achievements of Black Americans throughout history. This is for the unforgettable. The unafraid. The undefeated.
From New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander comes this powerful and important ode to black history: the strength and bravery of everyday people and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world’s greatest artists, athletes, and activists.
The Story of Ruby Bridges – Robert Coles
This moving account tells the story of Ruby Bridges, a young Black girl who played a pivotal role in the desegregation of schools. Ruby Bridges’ story is one of courage and determination. As the first black child to integrate an all-white elementary school in the South, Ruby’s experience opens conversations about racial segregation and social change.
Ruby’s unwavering courage shines brightly throughout the book. Her willingness to enter a previously all-white school despite threats and hostility showcases the strength of her character.
Ron’s Big Mission – Rose Blue and Corinne Naden
Based on a true story, this book follows young Ron McNair, who dreams of checking out books from the library. Set during the segregation era, Ron’s determination to change the rules is both heartwarming and inspiring. Nine-year-old Ron loves going to the Lake City Public Library to look through all the books on airplanes and flight. Today, Ron is ready to take out books by himself.
But in the segregated world of South Carolina in the 1950s, Ron’s obtaining his own library card is not just a small rite of passage-it is a young man’s first courageous mission. Here is an inspiring story, based on Ron McNair’s life, of how a little boy, future scientist, and Challenger astronaut desegregated his library through peaceful resistance.
Mae Among The Stars – Roda Ahmed
“Mae Among the Stars” introduces us to a young girl named Mae who dreams of becoming an astronaut. Inspired by real-life astronaut Mae Jemison, the book invites readers to step into Mae’s shoes and share in her aspirations.
As Mae faces challenges and doubts from those around her, readers witness her determination and resolve to follow her dreams. The book beautifully captures the importance of perseverance and the strength that comes from believing in oneself.
Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library – Carole Boston Weatherford
“Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library” introduces readers to Arturo Schomburg, a Puerto Rican scholar and bibliophile whose lifelong mission was to uncover and celebrate the achievements of Black people throughout history. The book provides insight into Schomburg’s passion and the obstacles he overcame to create a rich collection of historical documents.
As readers follow Schomburg’s journey to amass a vast collection of books, manuscripts, and artifacts, they witness the library he built becoming a beacon of knowledge and empowerment. The book underscores the importance of preserving marginalized histories and celebrating the contributions of diverse cultures.
The Youngest Marcher – Cynthia Levinson
Audrey Faye Hendricks was just nine years old when she became the youngest known child to be arrested for a civil rights protest. Her story highlights the power of young voices in the fight for justice. Nine-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks intended to go places and do things like anybody else.
So when she heard grown-ups talk about wiping out Birmingham’s segregation laws, she spoke up. As she listened to the preacher’s words, smooth as glass, she sat up tall. And when she heard the plan-picket those white stores! March to protest those unfair laws! Fill the jails!-she stepped right up and said, I’ll do it!
Henry’s Freedom Box – Ellen Levine
“Henry’s Freedom Box” tells the true story of Henry Brown, an enslaved man who mailed himself to freedom. This gripping tale showcases the resilience and ingenuity of those who sought to escape slavery. Henry Brown doesn’t know how old he is. Nobody keeps records of slaves’ birthdays. All the time he dreams about freedom, but that dream seems farther away than ever when he is torn from his family and put to work in a warehouse. Henry grows up and marries, but he is again devastated when his family is sold at the slave market. Then one day, as he lifts a crate at the warehouse, he knows exactly what he must do: He will mail himself to the North.
Let The Children March – Monica Clark-Robinson
“Let the Children March” portrays the inspiring story of the Children’s Crusade in Birmingham, Alabama, during the Civil Rights Movement. Young readers will learn about the bravery of children who stood up against injustice. This book features the African American children who marched in the Children’s Crusade, protests against segregation, in 1963 Birmingham, Alabama. I couldn’t play on the same playground as the white kids. I couldn’t go to their schools. I couldn’t drink from their water fountains. There were so many things I couldn’t do. In 1963 Birmingham, Alabama, thousands of African American children volunteered to march for their civil rights after hearing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak.