Black History Month 2019

Read and celebrate all year long!

Here are titles to read and discuss throughout Black History Month and the entire year. And on Pinterest, we’re sharing books, bulletin boards, and classroom ideas for celebrating Black History Month!

What Is Given from the Heart

What Is Given from the Heart By Patricia C. McKissack; illustrated by April Harrison

CORETTA SCOTT KING – JOHN STEPTOE ILLUSTRATOR AWARD FOR NEW TALENT WINNER

This final, magnificent picture book from three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner and Newbery Honor author Patricia McKissack is a poignant and uplifting celebration of the joy of giving.


"Misery loves company," Mama says to James Otis. It's been a rough couple of months for them, but Mama says as long as they have their health and strength, they're blessed. One Sunday before Valentine's Day, Reverend Dennis makes an announcement during the service-- the Temples have lost everything in a fire, and the church is collecting anything that might be useful to them. James thinks hard about what he can add to the Temple's "love box," but what does he have worth giving? With her extraordinary gift for storytelling, McKissack--with stunning illustrations by Harrison--delivers a touching, powerful tale of compassion and reminds us all that what is given from the heart, reaches the heart.

No Small Potatoes: Junius G. Groves and His Kingdom in Kansas

No Small Potatoes: Junius G. Groves and His Kingdom in Kansas By Tonya Bolden; illustrated by Don Tate

Discover the incredible true story of how one of history's most successful potato farmers began life as a slave and worked until he was named the "Potato King of the World"!

Junius G. Groves came from humble beginnings in the Bluegrass State. Born in Kentucky into slavery, freedom came when he was still a young man and he intended to make a name for himself. Along with thousands of other African Americans who migrated from the South, Junius walked west and stopped in Kansas. Working for a pittance on a small potato farm was no reason to feel sorry for himself, especially when he's made foreman. But Junius did dream of owning his own farm, so he did the next best thing. He rented the land and worked hard! As he built his empire, he also built a family, and he built them both on tons and tons and tons of potatoes. He never quit working hard, even as the naysayers doubted him, and soon he was declared Potato King of the World and had five hundred acres and a castle to call his own.

From award winning author Tonya Bolden and talented illustrator Don Tate comes a tale of perseverance that reminds us no matter where you begin, as long as you work hard, your creation can never be called small potatoes.

Starstruck

Starstruck By Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer; illustrated by Frank Morrison

A picture-book biography about science superstar Neil deGrasse Tyson, the groundbreaking American astrophysicist whose work has inspired a generation of young scientists and astronomers to reach for the stars! Perfect for STEM curricula and readers of all ages.

Young Neil deGrasse Tyson was starstruck when he first visited the sky theater at the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. He couldn't believe the crowded, glittering night sky at the planetarium was real--until a visit to the country years later revealed the impossible.

     That discovery was like rocket fuel for Neil's passion about space. His quest for knowledge took him from the roof of his apartment building to a science expedition in northwest Africa, to a summer astronomy camp beneath a desert sky, and finally back home to become the director of the Hayden Planetarium, where it all began. Before long, Neil became America's favorite guide to the cosmos.

     This story of how one boy's quest for knowledge about space leads him to become a star astrophysicist is perfect for young readers who are fascinated by the universe, aspiring scientists, and the dreamer in all of us. It will ignite your own sense of wonder.

That Is My Dream!

That Is My Dream! By Langston Hughes; illustrated by Daniel Miyares

“Dream Variation,” one of Langston Hughes's most celebrated poems, about the dream of a world free of discrimination and racial prejudice, is now a picture book stunningly illustrated by Daniel Miyares, the acclaimed creator of Float.

To fling my arms wide
In some place of the sun,
To whirl and to dance
Till the white day is done….

Langston Hughes's inspiring and timeless message of pride, joy, and the dream of a better life is brilliantly and beautifully interpreted in Daniel Miyares's gorgeous artwork.
 
Follow one African-American boy through the course of his day as the harsh reality of segregation and racial prejudice comes into vivid focus. But the boy dreams of a different life—one full of freedom, hope, and wild possibility, where he can fling his arms wide in the face of the sun.

Hughes's powerful vision, brought joyously to life by Daniel Miyares, is as relevant—and necessary—today as when it was first written.

More Black History Month Titles!