10 Must Read Books for Black Children

Representation matters. It is crucial for children to see themselves reflected in the books they read. For black children, finding books that feature characters who look like them and share their experiences can be a transformative experience. These books not only provide a sense of belonging but also offer valuable life lessons, inspire creativity, and promote empathy. In this blog post, we have curated a list of 10 must-read black children books that will inspire and empower young readers.

1. "The Undefeated" by Kwame Alexander

This powerful picture book, written in verse, celebrates the resilience and achievements of black Americans throughout history. It highlights the triumphs and struggles of black individuals, reminding young readers of their own strength and potential.

2. "Sulwe" by Lupita Nyong'o

In this beautifully illustrated book, Lupita Nyong'o tells the story of a young girl named Sulwe who embarks on a journey of self-acceptance and learns to love her dark skin. It promotes self-esteem and teaches children the importance of embracing their unique beauty.

3. "Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History" by Vashti Harrison


This book introduces young readers to 40 trailblazing black women who have made significant contributions to history. Through captivating illustrations and concise biographies, it empowers children to dream big and make a difference.

4. "The Day You Begin" by Jacqueline Woodson

In this heartwarming story, Jacqueline Woodson explores the feelings of being different and the power of empathy. It encourages children to embrace their individuality and find the courage to connect with others, even when they feel like outsiders.

5. "Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race" by Margot Lee Shetterly

This non-fiction picture book tells the incredible true story of four black women who played a vital role in NASA's space program. It celebrates their achievements and inspires young readers, especially girls, to pursue their dreams in STEM fields.

6. "Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut" by Derrick Barnes

This poetic book celebrates the experience of getting a fresh haircut and the confidence it brings. It captures the joy, pride, and self-assurance that comes from taking care of oneself and looking and feeling one's best.

7. "The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963" by Christopher Paul Curtis

Set during the civil rights movement, this historical fiction novel follows the Watson family as they embark on a road trip from Michigan to Alabama. Through their journey, young readers gain insight into the realities of racial discrimination and the importance of standing up against injustice.

8. "Tar Beach" by Faith Ringgold

In this award-winning book, Faith Ringgold tells the story of a young girl named Cassie Louise Lightfoot who dreams of flying above her Harlem rooftop. It explores themes of freedom, imagination, and the power of dreams.

9. "The Crossover" by Kwame Alexander

This Newbery Medal-winning novel combines basketball and poetry to tell the story of twin brothers, Josh and Jordan Bell. It explores themes of family, friendship, and the challenges of growing up, making it relatable to young readers of all backgrounds.

10. "Brown Girl Dreaming" by Jacqueline Woodson

In this memoir written in verse, Jacqueline Woodson shares her own experiences growing up as an African American girl in the 1960s and 1970s. It beautifully captures the power of words, the importance of family, and the resilience of the human spirit.

These 10 black kid books are just a starting point for building a diverse and inclusive library for young readers. By exposing children to stories that reflect the rich diversity of the world, we can foster empathy, promote understanding, and empower the next generation to create a more inclusive society.