Did you know that having at least 20 age-appropriate books in the home can improve a child’s educational success? The Greater Austin Reading Coalition and Success By Six Coalition – convened by United Way for Greater Austin – work to make sure that all local children and families have access to books, especially books that illustrate the diversity of our community and that children can see themselves, their families, and their culture depicted in.
In honor of Black History Month, here are 10 age-appropriate books that reflect the Black experience, share stories about historical figures, and promote inclusivity. Many of these titles are available to check out at your local library or in audio form on YouTube.
Looking for book recommendations for adults? Check out this list!
Five board books for babies to toddlers (ages 0-4)
Baby Young, Gifted, and Black” by Jamia Wilson and Andrea Pippins
“Dream Big, Little One” by Vashati Harrison
“I Am Smart, I Am Blessed, I Can Do Anything!” by Alissa Holder and Zulekha Holder-Young; Illustrated by Nneka Myers
“Please, Baby, Please” by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee; Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
“B is for Baby” by Atinuke; Illustrated by Angela Brooksbank
Five books for young readers (ages 5-9)
“The ABCs of Black History” by Rio Cortez; Illustrated by Lauren Semmer
“Little Leaders: Bold Black Women in History” by Vashti Harrison
“Hair Love” by Matthew A. Cherry; Illustrated by Vashti Harrison
“Equality’s Call: The Story of Voting Rights in America” by Deborah Diesen; Illustrated by Magdalena Mora
“The 1619 Project: Born on the Water” by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renee Watson; Illustrated by Nikkolas Smith
Ensuring that all kids are happy, healthy, and ready to succeed in school and beyond is critical to breaking the cycle of poverty in our community. We know that getting more books in the hands of young readers will help. Learn more about how the Success By Six Coalition and the Greater Austin Reading Coalition are bringing together people, ideas, and resources to do just that!