Nine Great Books for Black History Month

Black History Month or (National African American History Month) begins this Friday, February 1, 2013, so it is a perfect time to pull out some of our favorite books over the past few years to celebrate.

(Links to titles go to reviews here at Wrapped in Foil.)


The picture book biography Queen of the Track: Alice Coachman, Olympic High-Jump Champion by Heather Lang and illustrated by Floyd Cooper leaves the reader breathless. It is an amazing story of a woman who ran, ran, and ran some more to overcome poverty, racism, and gender barriers, ultimately making her mark on history as the first African American woman to win an Olympic gold medal.

It Jes’ Happened
It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw by Don Tate and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie is a fascinating picture book biography about a former slave who became a prolific folk artist after he started drawing when he was eighty-five years old.
Baby Flo: Florence Mills Lights Up the Stage by Alan Schroeder and illustrated by the husband/wife team of Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu is a picture book biography that will light up a child’s face when he or she reads it.
Africans Thought of It: Amazing Innovations by Bathseba Opini and Richard B. Lee is an overview of the interesting, useful, lively and even fun innovations developed by Africans, ranging from aloe vera to the xylophone.
Seeds of Change:  Planting a Path to Peace by Jen Cullerton and illustrated by Sonia Lynn Sadler is about the life of Wangari Maathai, a woman whose story is both uplifting and complex.
Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip
Hoose was a Sibert honor winner in 2010. This is a middle-grade level title
Henry Aaron’s Dream by Matt Travares (Candlewick Press) is an uplifting history of a man who broke barriers with quiet hard work and unquestionable talent.
Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney (Little Brown Kids), illustrated by Brian Pinkney.
Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat: Ella Fitzgeraldby Roxane Orgill (Candlewick Press) has a lot of educational potential, but it comes with a warning. Ella Fitzgerald’s early life was a difficult one. Her father wasn’t around, her mother passed away and Ella fell into the wrong sort of crowd. Some of the rough spots may make children uncomfortable.But you could do many fun tie-in activities with reading Skit-Skat:  Play some of Ella Fitzgerald’s music, learn some of the dances, explore the clothes of the time, delve into the history of the Depression, read about Ella Fitzgerald’s later life. Skit-Skat has a vibrant energy that could be a jumping off point to many discoveries. Ready, set, go.


Do you have any favorite titles in honor of Black History Month?


Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. We invite you to join us. For more information and a schedule, stop by Booktalking to see who is hosting each week.

Today’s round-up is at LauraSalas.

3 Replies to “Nine Great Books for Black History Month”

  1. I have several of these on my favorites list too. I’ll be reviewing some of these and many others in the coming weeks so I hope you’ll stop by my blog too. Thanks for these reviews!

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