Children’s Books to Celebrate Juneteenth

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.

Children’s Books to Celebrate Juneteenth


Photo Description: JUNETEENTH FOR MAZIE book cover

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.

Written and Illustrated by Floyd Cooper
Published by Picture Window Books


The True Story of the Grandmother of Juneteenth

Photo Description: OPAL LEE book cover
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.

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


Celebrating the End of Slavery in the United States

Photo Description: THE JUNETEENTH STORY book cover

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

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