February is Black History Month and while I encourage readers to add diversity to their reading list all year long, this is a good month to start!
This week I’d like to high light books by black authors that my kids and I have greatly enjoyed and a few that I’m planning to read aloud to them in the coming months.
Please note: These books may be classified as children’s literature, but every single one is great for adult readers too.
Jesus Power by Tonja Lynae-Gofoe Moyer and illustrated by Piper Adonya is a beautifully realized picture book about about the abilities we have through the Holy Spirit. Uplifting, hopeful, and artistic, this book makes for a great gift.
I have three words for lovers of middle grade fiction. Christopher. Paul. Curtis. Easily one of my favorite living authors, Curtis gives us some of the most vividly written characters in kids’ lit. Readers don’t even know that they’re getting a history lesson as they read the stories. CPC writes true, tender, and tenacious. My favorite? All of them. You cannot go wrong with Curtis.
You may have read Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry when you were in school. Let me encourage you to give it another read as an adult. You’ll catch so much that you missed the first time. You’ll remember images that you’d forgotten when you were younger. I plan to introduce this classic to my kids this year. And I know that it will break my heart all over again.
Two summers ago the kids and I read One Crazy Summer. This sister story made us laugh, tear up, and really look into the history of the Civil Rights era. We hope to read the rest of the series this year some time.
I have two boys who are major sports fans so I know that Kwame Alexander’s Crossover Series is a good bet for them. And get this. They’re novels written in poetry. So…I can get my boys into POETRY! I feel like this is a major win. This series is on our list for Spring and Summer.
Recommended by a friend, Piecing Me Together is the kind of book I’m chomping at the bit to read with my kids. It’s about a girl who overcomes, which is a value I like in just about anything I read.
I love a story about how creativity can change the world for the better, and that’s the kind of true story William Kamkwamba shares in his memoir The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. Great for kids who prefer nonfiction, stories about other cultures, and for families to share. This book will make hope spring in your heart.
Have you read any of these books? Would you add any to my list? I’m always happy to take a good recommendation!
Keep your eyes open for a list of adult books to add to your list next week.
This is an amazing list! Thank you! Can’t wait to read some of these with my kids.
Hey, thanks! I hope you all enjoy them and are touched by the stories. I especially think your kiddos will like Christopher Paul Curtis. He’s extraordinary.