Black History Month is Here

As you probably already know, February is Black History Month. Check out the display by the Youth Services desk for a variety of great books about Black history! Plus, kids can test their knowledge with weekly quizzes about prominent Black Americans for the chance to win a cool prize.

There were lots of great books published in 2015 by that featured Black characters. Here are a few of our favorites.

For storytime with little kids:

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson

This book isn’t exactly about Black history, but because of the awards it won, it’s a part of it! You might already know that the picture book Last Stop on Market Street, which tells the story of an African American boy and his grandmother, won both a Newbery Medal and a Caldecott Honor. This is the first time a picture book has won the Newbery! But did you know that it is also a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book for the pictures drawn by Black illustrator Christian Robinson? The Coretta Scott King Award is given out every year to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. Check out this year’s other winners! If you’re just looking for Last Stop on Market Street, check our catalog to see which copy is available. We keep one with the Newbery Award winners and one in Coco’s Cove, when they’re not checked out.

For independent readers looking for something fun:

The Underground Abductor: An Abolitionist Tale by Nathan Hale

The Underground Abductor: An Abolitionist Tale by Nathan Hale

My personal favorite book about Black history that was published last year is Underground Abductor: An Abolitionist Tale. This graphic novel is all about Harriet Tubman, a familiar face during Black History Month. But do you really know all of her story? I knew that she had helped slaves escape through the Underground Railroad, but not that she had narcolepsy and would sometimes fall asleep during her very dangerous missions! There is even more to discover in this fascinating, funny biography. You can find it on our shelves in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section, under the call number J GN HALE.

For older readers who want stories they haven’t heard a million times before:

Strange Fruit by Joel Christian Gill

Strange Fruit: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History by Joel Christian Gill

I was curious about this graphic novel for teens the moment I heard about it. The subtitle of Strange Fruit, Volume 1 is Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History — and they definitely are uncelebrated. I had never heard of any of the people featured. Joel Christian Gill, the author and illustrator, chose obscure but important stories to pack this book chock full of enthralling tales. I bet at least one story will make each reader say “Wow, why haven’t I heard about this before?” This book is shelved in The Vault under TEEN GN GILL. Its complexity makes it a better fit for kids in 6th grade or higher, but younger kids with a keen interest in Black history will still enjoy this collection of anecdotes.

We have even more great books where those came from — if you can’t find something you like on our display, please drop by the Youth Services desk to ask for more recommendations!