The Blog of Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Black Lives Matter Book List for Young People

Posted 06/11/20 by Regina S

When I was in fifth grade, I spotted Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor on my school library shelf in small town Nebraska. I don’t know if it was because I had recently watched the Roots Mini-Series that captivated the country or if it was the shiny Newbery Medal on the cover, but I checked it out and was carried away into a different time and place, meeting people that I wouldn’t have occasion to meet in my regular life. It made an impression to read about Black people’s struggles. This is what literature does for me—connects me to people with different points-of-view and helps me to have empathy with them.

But people are more than their struggles. Books also celebrate the beauty, complexity, perseverance and joy experienced by Black people. I believe that it is important for Black children to see themselves reflected positively in literature because the messages our society sends them about themselves is, tragically, too often negative.

I offer this list of books for young people that addresses fighting racism and celebrates Black Americans. Read them and hear their voices because Black Lives Matter.

Books for Younger Children:

Cover of My Hair Is a Garden
Cover of The Undefeated
Cover of Saturday
Cover of I Am Enough
Cover of The Other Side
Cover of We March
Cover of Sulwe
Cover of Crown : An Ode to the Fresh Cut
Cover of The Day You Begin
Cover of Parker Looks Up
Cover of Let the Children March

Books for Kids 8 to 12

Cover of We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices
Cover of From the Desk of Zoe Washington
Cover of A Good Kind of Trouble
Cover of Genesis Begins Again
Cover of Blended
Cover of The New Kid
Cover of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
Cover of One Crazy Summer
Cover of Ghost Boys
Cover of Black Brother, Black Brother
Cover of Brown Girl Dreaming
Cover of Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky
Cover of Betty Before X
Cover of Clean Getaway
Cover of The Only Black Girls in Town
Cover of Finding Langston

For Young Adults

Cover of This Book is Anti-Racist
Cover of Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism and You
Cover of The Hate U Give
Cover of On the Come Up
Cover of All-American Boys
Cover of March: Book One
Cover of Piecing Me Together
Cover of Dear Martin
Cover of I Am Not Dying with You Tonight
Cover of Slay
Cover of Dread Nation
Cover of How It Went Down
Cover of All the Days Past, All the Days to Come
Cover of If You Come Softly