Black History Month: Reading for Kids

Our regular contributor and on-call children’s librarian Lisa Von Drasek sent in a few wonderful titles to share with the young person in your life to mark Black History Month. (For additional related recommendations see our Five Books list of Black History Month reading).

Wind Flyers

By Angela Johnson; Illustrated by Loren Long

Johnson tells the story of The Tuskegee Airmen, the first African Americans to fly for the United States. Johnson’s spare lyrical language is perfectly paired with Loren Long’s dramatic paintings. We witness the struggles of the airmen for training and respect as well as their bravery in the battles of World War II.

Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad

By Ellen Levine; Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Henry Brown was born a slave. He was sold away from his family as a child and was worked hard in his master’s Richmond, VA, factory. As an adult, after his family was torn from him, Henry made an ingeniously brave escape by mailing himself in a wooden box across 350 miles to conductors of the Underground Railroad in Philadelphia. Award winning fine artist Nelson, captures the details of the period, the environment and Henry’s struggles. [Ages 8 and up]

Liberty or Death: The Surprising Story of Runaway Slaves Who Sided with the British during the American Revolution

By Margaret Whitman Blair

Those who have read the fictional tale Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson will not be surprised at this non-fiction account of American Slaves who fought on the British side of the war for independence in exchange for the promise of freedom. A different point-of-view in the sea of patriot titles. [Ages 11 and up]