#ShareBlackStories: Books to Celebrate the Past, the Self, and Adventure

Constance Gibbs  //  Jan 25, 2023

#ShareBlackStories: Books to Celebrate the Past, the Self, and Adventure

What are you reading this Black History Month? All month long, we'll be sharing Black stories that bring Black history to the present, celebrate self-acceptance, and take us on both every day and unexpected adventures. Join us with these fantastic books.

Black History for Here and Now

I Am Ruby Bridges  

By Ruby Bridges and Illustrated By Nikkolas Smith

Ages 4-8 

Ruby Bridges tells her story of the momentous day in 1960 when she became the first Black child to integrate the all-white William Franz Elementary as a six-year-old little girl -- a personal and intimate look through a child's lens at a landmark moment in our Civil Rights history.

Stand Up! 10 Mighty Women Who Made a Change 

By Brittney Cooper and Illustrated By Cathy Ann Johnson

Ages 4-8

A powerful, groundbreaking picture book debut introducing young readers to ten revolutionary Black women—both historical and contemporary—who changed the world for the better, inspiring readers today to know their strength, to be brave, and to STAND UP!

Just Like Jesse Owens  

By Ambassador Andrew Young as told by Paula Young Shelton and Illustrated By Gordon C. James

Ages 6-8

Civil rights icon, Ambassador Andrew Young and his daughter, Paula Young Shelton, deliver a powerful oral history about a special day in Andrew’s childhood that changed him forever. This story of race relations in the 1930s South is illustrated by bestselling Caldecott Honor winner Gordon C. James.

Because of You, John Lewis  

By Andrea Davis Pinkney and Illustrated By Keith Henry Brown

Ages 7-10

An inspiring story of a friendship between Congressman John Lewis and ten-year-old Tybre Faw by New York Times bestselling and Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Andrea Davis Pinkney.

We Are Here  

By Tami Charles and Illustrated By Bryan Collier

Ages 4-8

Lyrical, affirmational, and bursting with love, We Are Here is a poignant story about Black and brown heritage and community. This follow-up to All Because You Matter offers an equally inspirational and arresting ode to all of the Black women and men throughout history.

Celebrate You

I Love My Beautiful Hair  

By Elissa Wentt

Ages 0-3 

Little EJ is so excited to join her mom and grandmommy for her first-ever trip to the hair salon. She wants to find a special hair style, but with so many options...how can she choose? I Love My Beautiful Hair celebration family tradition and natural hair in an adorable rhyming board book format!

I Color Myself Different  

By Colin Kaepernick and Illustrated By Eric Wilkerson 

Ages 4-8

From celebrated athlete and activist Colin Kaepernick comes a story of self-discovery, identity, and self-esteem based on real events in young Colin's life.


By Kacen Callender

Ages 10-12

Kacen Callender, National Book Award winner of King and the Dragonflies, delivers a stunning novel that invites readers into a child’s struggles with mental health, and their journey to wholeness.


By Akim Aliu and Greg Anderson Elysée and Illustrated By Karen De la Vega

Ages 8-12

An honest, powerful graphic novel memoir about hope, hockey, and never giving up from professional athlete and activist Akim Aliu. "With honesty and courage, Akim Aliu's Dreamer will inspire readers of all ages to move confidently in the direction of their future." - Colin Kaepernick 

More Than Peach

By Bellen Woodard and Illustrated By Fanny Liem

Ages 5-7

Penned by the very first Crayon Activist, Bellen Woodard, this picture book will tug at readers' heartstrings and inspire them to make a difference! Bellen’s wisdom and self-confidence are sure to encourage any young reader looking to use their voice to make even great spaces better!

Expect the Unexpected

The Witchery  

S. Isabelle

Ages 12 and Up

Logan is a new witch struggling to control her powers as she begins the new school year at Mesmortes Coven Academy. With the Haunting Season approaching, Wolves will soon rise from the swamp to kill. The humans and witches must work together to survive the yearly onslaught.

The Getaway  

By Lamar Giles

Ages 12 and Up

The latest page-turning thriller from Lamar Giles, author of Spin and Overturned! This speculative horror novel breaks down social justice, race in America, and capitalism.

Last Gate of the Emperor  

By Kwame Mbalia and Prince Joel Makonnen

Ages 8-12 

This amazing new book from bestselling author Kwame Mbalia and Prince Joel David Makonnen is an Afrofuturist adventure about a mythical Ethiopian empire. Sci-fi and fantasy combine in this epic journey to the stars.

Future Hero  

By Remi Blackwood

Ages 7-10 

A boy finds a portal to a legendary world in his local barbershop...and learns he's the hero they've been waiting for in this thrilling, highly-illustrated series debut. Perfect for younger fans of Black Panther and Last Gate of the Emperor!

A Girl's Guide to Love & Magic  

By Debbie Rigaud

Ages 12 and Up

Perfect for fans of The Sun Is Also a Star and Blackout, this YA novel from Debbie Rigaud is a celebration of Haitian and Caribbean culture, and a story of first love, vodou, and finding yourself, all set against the backdrop of the West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn.

(Everyday) Adventure

Leon the Extraordinary

By Jamar Nicholas

Ages 8-12

In a world full of superheroes - and supervillains - how can an ordinary kid like Leon prove he has what it takes to be a hero? Equal parts New kid and The Incredibles, Leon is the first in a new action-packed, heartfelt, and joyously funny series.

It's the End of the World and I'm in My Bathing Suit  

By Justin A. Reynolds

Ages 8-12

A hilarious new middle-grade from Justin A. Reynolds that asks: What happens when five unsupervised kids face the apocalypse under outrageously silly circumstances?

The Tyrell Show: Season One  

By Miles Grose and Illustrated By Shaz Enrico Lym

Ages 8-12

A highly illustrated, funny, and heartwarming story from the point of view of a precocious 11-year-old boy, Tyrell, who copes with his day-to-day stress by hosting an imaginary real-time podcast in his head!