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Sure, February is officially Black History Month, but any day on the calendar is a great day to celebrate and educate your kid about African-American history and achievements by incredible African Americans. Here are 10 superb books to educate and inspire your kids, from toddlers to teens.
We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball
by Kadir Nelson
Before Jackie Robinson and the integration of Major League Baseball, there were African-American leagues with teams of men who achieved greatness on the field. This book will tell their fascinating and not-to-be-forgotten story to your kids.
Buy It: $12.91 at Amazon
by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Ag Ford
A beautifully illustrated story of our historic president, Barack Obama's journey to become the man he is today. The tone of the book is inspirational, patriotic and a more age-appropriate way for little kids to meet "the prez" than the evening news.
Buy It: $12.23 at Amazon
Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
by Doreen Rappaport, illustrated by Bryan Collier
A biography of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life just for kids, using watercolor illustrations, original text and "Martin's big words"-many of them taken from King's historic "I Have a Dream" speech.
Buy It: $6.99 at Amazon
by Ntozake Shange, illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Poetry and paintings combine to give kids a lyrical and learning-filled portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s wife, including her history and her own crucial role in the civil rights movement.
Buy It: $14.03 at Amazon
The Sweet and Sour Animal Book
by Langston Hughes, illustrated by students of the Harlem School of the Arts
What do you do when you find 27 unpublished animal-inspired pieces of work by one of the greatest American poets ever? You get first, second and third graders to illustrate them and make one of the most beautiful picture books ever!
Buy It: $9.95 at Amazon
Hip Hop Speaks to Children
by Nikki Giovanni
A compilation of spoken-word art by African Americans through the ages, from W.E.B. DuBois to Queen Latifah. Parents and kids can learn through reading aloud how black American lyrical poetry and verse has evolved, but that the themes of empowerment have never changed. CD included.
Buy It: $13.59 at Amazon
Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins
by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue
Lunch counter sit-ins during the civil rights movement are the setting for this picture book. Show your children how young people once took a historic stand and effected racial justice.
Buy It: $5.99 at Amazon
Henry's Freedom Box
by Ellen Levine, illustrated by Kadir Nelson
This Caldecott Honor-winning book tells the true story of Henry Brown, a boy who escaped slavery by literally mailing himself to the abolitionist North and to freedom.
Buy It: $11.55 at Amazon
Poetry for Young People: Maya Angelou
by Maya Angelou, illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue
Twenty-five of Angelou's finest works-from the happy "Harlem Hopscotch" to the anthem "Still I Rise"-make for a read-aloud treasury of lyrical poetry that kids will savor.
Buy It: $10.17 at Amazon
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
by Mildred D. Taylor
This Newberry Medal-winning young adult novel tells the story of a kid from a large black family growing up in the shadow of 1930s segregation and bigotry in the American South.
Buy It: $7.99 at Amazon
Do YOU have a Black History Month book recommendation? Let us know below!
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