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What is your favorite book to read aloud during Black History Month?
Looking for books to read aloud for Black History Month? Check out these suggestions from educators in the First Book Community.
“I read a page each day from the ‘Little Legends/Leaders‘ series. My students are loving our ‘person of the day!'” – Mindy Fliegelman
“M is for Melanin!!! Highlights all great things about being Black & helps further letter recognition/sounds.” – Ellie Vanasek
“Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African-Americans because it tells the story so many textbooks leave out. Plus, it’s beautifully illustrated.” – Micah Wolfe
“Dancing in the Wings by @therealdebbieallen and illlustrated by @kadirnelson because it highlights the power of persistence.” – Billye Moutra
“Hair Love by Matthew Cherry and illustrated by @vashtiharrison because it talks about self-confidence and makes me love my hair even more.” – Khloe J
“The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson… young children don’t understand why the girls can’t play together and it’s a great conversation starter!” – Cailyn
“The Undefeated is, most definitely, my new favorite to read for Black History Month.” – Juliet Rodriguez
“The Story of Ruby Bridges. The kids are always shocked by her story. 😊 It really makes them realize the struggle that Black Americans have gone through.” – Donna Hafner
“Back of the Bus by Aaron Reynolds because the story is told from the perspective of a little Black boy sitting in the back of the bus watching what Rosa Parks was brave enough to not do. He is playing with a single marble as he observes this amazing moment in history. We play with a single marble as I read the story, rolling it on the floor and passing it around. At the end, the boy holds up his marble like a prize, light shining through it like a promise of hope. It is an amazingly moving and simple story. When the students leave the Library Learning Commons after reading and talking together, I give each child a marble to take home, to keep as a way of remembering that perfectly ordinary people can see and do extraordinary things that change the world. Just thinking about how powerfully responsive my young students are to this story brings me to tears of gratitude for young human hearts.” – Greta Mesics
“A Ride to Remember by @sharonlangley I love that it ties in MLK but shares an event so many people have never heard about.” – Ashley
“Love to Langston by T. Medina. The poetry does a great job of taking us through his very significant life through the Harlem Renaissance. He persevered!” – Jahgmpg
“I enjoy reading The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander & illustrated by Kadir Nelson. Not only is the artwork thought provoking and detailed – I enjoy the progression of Black history that the book infuses and the many poetic devices I can use in mini-lessons with my class. Even the foundational vocabulary components – prefixes, suffixes, base words. I love reading it with my class.” – Project LIT Las Vegas
“Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by @deborah_hopkinson b/c of the cool fact that there was a network with Quakers & others who used signals on their homes (safe houses) & items like quilts (secret maps) to communicate safe passage for travel on the Underground Railroad. Children of all ages love learning these little-known facts! ❤️ This book has been an all-time FAV of mine to share w/students, ever since it first came out in 1993.” – Paula Iannini
“My favorite book to read aloud during Black History Month is 28 Days: Moments in Black History that Changed the World by Charles R. Smith. I love this book because it features 28 days’ worth and wealth of African American historical facts, figures, and events… one designated for each day in February. I sometimes incorporate activities to go along with each day’s highlight and the kids love that.” – Dawn Hoff
“The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson. It is a book that all students can relate to being unique and different and how everyone’s differences make us stronger. A fantastic read aloud!” – Amy Paulson
“Just one? That is really hard. It is like picking a favorite child. I am a teacher, but apparently a rule breaker too. I love reading Sadiq and the Ramadan Gift because most of my students are Muslim, They can relate to Sadiq. I also love reading Amari and the Night Brothers to allow students to escape into a world of fantasy. Mae Among the Stars breaks the ceiling and lets us know that anything is possible with determination, hard work and perseverance. The True Story of Ruby Bridges reminds us that not to long ago, our classroom would not have existed with everyone learning together. It also brings tears to many of eyes. Every year at least one student speaks to Ruby’s ability to pray for those who are so mean to her. We talk about how children in other countries do not have the same opportunity to go to school for free. Students talk about fairness and equal. After really thinking about it, I guess that this book has the biggest impact.” – Shellie Bratcher Scott
Looking for more #BlackHistoryMonth Book Suggestions?
First Book adds new books to the Marketplace weekly! Visit often to see what new books we’ve added to our selection of titles about Black history, books featuring African American characters and cultures, and books by African American authors and illustrators.
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Educators can join First Book’s network — the largest and fastest growing network of educators, schools, and programs serving children in need across the United States and Canada — to bring these titles to your classroom.