Celebrating Black Authors & Characters: A Reading List for Children and Families
It is so important that children grow up seeing all different types of people – both in their communities and in literature. It’s never too early to start conversations about empathy, equality, and good citizenship. For this post, we focus specifically on elevating black voices and characters in children’s literature.
We’ve rounded up a list of books by black authors or illustrators, as well as books featuring black leading characters. We hope these books will help you cultivate a diverse library for your children, and will help encourage respect, awareness, inclusivity, and racial equality from a young age.
7 Children’s Books by Black Authors/Illustrators
- Brothers and Sisters: Family Poems by Eloise Greenfield (Kindergarten – Gr. 6)
- Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena and illustrated by Christian Robinson (Ages 3-5)
- Whose Toes are Those? by Jabari Asim (Baby – 3 years)
- Saturday by Oge Mora (Ages 4-8)
- The Roots of Rap by Carole Boston Weatherford, Art by Frank Morrison (Ages 4+)
- Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra by Andrea Pinkney (Ages 6-8)
- New Kid by Jerry Craft (Ages 8-12)
6 Children’s Books Featuring Black Characters
- Flower Garden by Eve Bunting (Ages 4-7)
- Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport (Ages 6-8)
- George Baker by Amy Hest (Ages 5-8)
- My Family Plays Music by Judy Cox (Ages 4-8)
- Pet Show by Ezra Jack Keats (Ages 3-7)
- The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (Ages 2-5)
More on Celebrating Diversity and Fostering Empathy
- Visit Doing Good Together’s growing library of resources that will help give children opportunities to think deeply and talk openly about justice, inequity, and humanity from a young age.
- Even if you don’t live in an obviously diverse area, there are still ways you can ensure that you and your family remain socially aware. Here are five ideas for seeking out and celebrating diversity in and out of your community.
- Children have natural empathy tendencies that parents can foster by setting good examples. Here are 5 empathy-building service activities to do with your children.