The Juneteenth holiday is celebrated on June 19th, commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. We put together a list of our favorite Children’s Books to Celebrate Juneteenth we think are valuable to add to your bookshelf all year long. These own voices stories will engage kids at home or in the classroom with important stories of Black joy and Black resistance.
Mazie is ready to celebrate liberty. She is ready to celebrate freedom. She is ready to celebrate a great day in American history. The day her ancestors were no longer slaves. Mazie remembers the struggles and the triumph, as she gets ready to celebrate Juneteenth.
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.
Celebrating the End of Slavery in the United States
JWith colorful illustrations and a timeline, this introductory history of Juneteenth for kids details the evolution of the holiday commemorating the date the enslaved people of Texas first learned of their freedom.
On June 19, 1865–more than two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation–the enslaved people of Texas first learned of their freedom. That day became a day of remembrance and celebration that changed and grew from year to year.
Learn about the events that led to emancipation and why it took so long for the enslaved people in Texas to hear the news. The first Juneteenth began as “Jubilee Day,” where families celebrated and learned of their new rights as citizens. As Black Texans moved to other parts of the country, they brought their traditions along with them, and Juneteenth continued to grow and develop.
Today, Juneteenth’s powerful spirit has endured through the centuries to become an official holiday in the United States in 2021. The Juneteenth Story provides an accessible introduction for kids to learn about this important American holiday.
Expert quilter Kim Taylor shares a unique and powerful story of the celebration of the first Juneteenth, from the perspective of a young girl. A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
On June 19, 1865, in Galveston, General Gordon Granger of the Union Army delivered the message that African Americans in Texas were free. Since then, Juneteenth, as the day has come to be known, has steadily gained recognition throughout the United States. ln 2020, a powerful wave of protests and demonstrations calling for racial justice and equality brought new awareness to the significance of the holiday.
A Flag for Juneteenth depicts a close-knit community of enslaved African Americans on a plantation in Texas, the day before the announcement is to be made that all enslaved people are free. Young Huldah, who is preparing to celebrate her tenth birthday, can’t possibly anticipate how much her life will change that Juneteenth morning. The story follows Huldah and her community as they process the news of their freedom and celebrate together by creating a community freedom flag.
Debut author and artist Kim Taylor sets this story apart by applying her skills as an expert quilter. Each of the illustrations has been lovingly hand sewn and quilted, giving the book a homespun, tactile quality that is altogether unique.
A lyrical picture book about our newest national holiday, Juneteenth follows the annual celebration in Galveston, Texas–birthplace of Juneteenth–through the eyes of a boy coming to understand his place in Black American history in a story from three Texan creators.
A young Black child experiences the magic of the Juneteenth parade for the first time with their family as they come to understand the purpose of the party that happens every year–and why they celebrate their African American history!
The poetic text includes selected lyrics from “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the unofficial Black National Anthem, and the vibrant art illuminates the beauty of this moment of Black joy, celebrated across the nation. This vibrant adventure through the city streets invites young readers to make a joyful noise about freedom for all.
JUNETEENTH: A Picture Book for Kids Celebrating Black Joy
Written by Van G. Garrett
Illustrated by Reginald C. Adams and Samson Bimbo Adenugba
Published by Versify Books/ HarperCollins
Bethany Edwards is an elementary educator as well as a reading and literacy
specialist. On Biracial Bookworms, she focuses on multiracial and multicultural resources for teaching literacy skills using reading, travel, and learning multiple languages. Additionally, she offers online and self-paced courses for parents and caregivers on Biracial Bookworms Academy.
“My Dad’s a King” aims to provide comfort, reassurance, and understanding to children affected by parental incarceration, reminding them that they are not alone in their experiences. It encourages them to cherish the love shared with their parents and find strength in the power of family, ultimately inspiring a sense of hope and optimism for the future.