Best New Children’s Books to Celebrate Black History Month

Here are 5 of the Best New Children’s Books to Celebrate Black History Month we think are valuable to add to your bookshelf this year. These own voices stories will engage kids at home or in the classroom with important stories of Black joy and Black resistance.

Best New Children’s Books to Celebrate Black History Month


CHANGE SINGS: A Children’s Anthem

Photo Description: Book Cover of Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem

A lyrical picture book debut from #1 New York Times bestselling author andpresidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman and #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator Loren Long

I can hear change humming
In its loudest, proudest song.
I don’t fear change coming,
And so I sing along.

In this stirring, much-anticipated picture book by presidential inaugural poet and activist Amanda Gorman, anything is possible when our voices join together. As a young girl leads a cast of characters on a musical journey, they learn that they have the power to make changes–big or small–in the world, in their communities, and in most importantly, in themselves.

With lyrical text and rhythmic illustrations that build to a dazzling crescendo by #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator Loren Long, Change Sings is a triumphant call to action for everyone to use their abilities to make a difference.

CHANGE SINGS: A Children’s Album
Written by Amanda Goreman and Illustrated by Loren Long
Published by Viking Books for Young Readers


OPAL LEE AND WHAT IT MEANS TO BE FREE

The True Story of the Grandmother of Juneteenth

Photo Description: Book Cover of Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free
Black activist Opal Lee had a vision of Juneteenth as a holiday for everyone. This true story celebrates Black joy and inspires children to see their dreams blossom. Growing up in Texas, Opal knew the history of Juneteenth, but she soon discovered that many Americans had never heard of the holiday. Join Opal on her historic journey to recognize and celebrate “freedom for all.”

Every year, Opal looked forward to the Juneteenth picnic–a drumming, dancing, delicious party. She knew from Granddaddy Zak’s stories that Juneteenth celebrated the day the freedom news of President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation finally sailed into Texas in 1865–over two years after the president had declared it! But Opal didn’t always see freedom in her Texas town. Then one Juneteenth day when Opal was twelve years old, an angry crowd burned down her brand-new home. This wasn’t freedom at all. She had to do something! But could one person’s voice make a difference? Could Opal bring about national recognition of Juneteenth? Follow Opal Lee as she fights to improve the future by honoring the past.

Through the story of Opal Lee’s determination and persistence, children ages 4 to 8 will learn:

  • all people are created equal
  • the power of bravery and using your voice for change
  • the history of Juneteenth, or Freedom Day, and what it means today
  • no one is free unless everyone is free
  • fighting for a dream is worth the difficulty experienced along the way

Featuring the illustrations of New York Times bestselling illustrator Keturah A. Bobo (I am Enough), Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free by Alice Faye Duncan celebrates the life and legacy of a modern-day Black leader while sharing a message of hope, unity, joy, and strength.

OPAL LEE AND WHAT IT MEANS TO BE FREE: The True Story of the Grandmother of Juneteenth
Written by Alice Faye Duncan and Illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo
Published by Thomas Nelson Publishing


THE YEAR WE LEARNED TO FLY

Photo Description: Book Cover of THE YEAR WE LEARNED TO FLY

Published by HarperCollins

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