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Black History Month books

Kids’ book picks for Black History Month

Explore meaningful journeys through both the authors’ and illustrators’ eyes

Black History Month books:

I am excited to share these six standout titles to enjoy and learn from. With beautiful illustrations, each book offers an opportunity to explore meaningful journeys through both the authors’ and illustrators’ eyes. They are not to be missed!

Big by Vashti Harrison

by Vashti Harrison

The first picture book written and illustrated by award-winning creator Vashti Harrison traces a child’s journey to self-love and shows the power of words to both hurt and heal. With spare text and exquisite illustrations, this emotional exploration of being big in a world that prizes small is a tender portrayal of how you can stand out and feel invisible at the same time.


How Do You Spell Unfair by

 by Carole Boston Weatherford

An American Story by Kwame Alexander

by Kwame Alexander; illustrated by Dare Coulter

From the fireside tales in an African village, through the unspeakable passage across the Atlantic, to the backbreaking work in the fields of the South, this is a story of a people’s struggle and strength, horror and hope. This is the story of American slavery, a story that needs to be told and understood by all of us. A testament to the resilience of the African American community, this book honors what has been and envisions what is to be.


Holding Her Own: The Exceptional Life of Jackie Ormes

by Traci N. Todd; illustrated by Shannon Wright

Jackie Ormes made history. She was the first Black woman cartoonist nationally syndicated in the United States. She was also a journalist, fashionista, philanthropist, and activist, and she used her incredible talent and artistry to bring joy and hope to people everywhere. But in post-World War II America, Black people were still being denied their civil rights, and Jackie found herself in a dilemma: How could her art stay true to her signature “Jackie joy” while remaining honest about the inequalities Black people had been fighting?



There Was a Party for Langston by Jason Reynolds

by Jason Reynolds; illustrated by Jerome Pumphery and Jarrett Pumphrey

Back in the day, there was a heckuva party, a jam, for a word-making man. The King of Letters. Langston Hughes. His ABCs became drums, bumping jumping thumping like a heart the size of the whole country. They sent some people yelling and others, his word-children, to write their own glory.


The Last Stand by Antwan Eady

by Antwan Eady; illustrated by Jerome Pumphery and Jarrett Pumphrey

Saturday is for harvesting. One little boy is excited to work alongside his Papa as they collect eggs, plums, peppers, and pumpkins to sell at their stand in the farmer’s market. Of course, it’s more than a farmer’s market. Papa knows each customer’s order, from Ms. Rosa’s pumpkins to Mr. Johnny’s peppers. And when Papa can’t make it to the stand, his community gathers around him with dishes made of his produce.


Thank you to Rene Holderman from Third Place Books for these recommendations.

Read more:

Celebrate Black History Month at these events around the Puget Sound

Read these books and their accompanying outing

About the Author

Rene Holderman, Children’s Book Buyer, Third Place Books