With October being Black History Month, we thought it was fitting to share some of our favourite children’s books written by black authors. From stories about brave kids and great friendships to insightful memoirs, we’ve rounded up our favourite books for your children to enjoy.
Suitable For Younger Children
We’re Going to Find the Monster by Malorie Blackman & Dapo Adeola
Bestselling author Malorie Blackman has teamed up with award-winning illustrator Dapo Adeola to breathe new life into her original story Marty Monster. Adventurers Charlie and Eddie are off to hunt down the mighty monster otherwise known as their big brother- but to find him they’ll have to travel over oceans, up high mountains, and through deep, dark jungles, as well as encounter other wild creatures. This is a perfect fun book, ideal for storytime.
Sulwe by Lupita Nyong'o & Vashti Harrison
Written by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o and illustrated by Vashti Harrison, Sulwe is the tale of a little girl who has a darker skin tone than her family and school friends. All she wants is to be lighter, until one night she goes on a magical adventure, and her mind opens up to her natural beauty. It’s a beautiful tale that gently introduces children to the concepts of colourism, self-confidence, and inner beauty.
Suitable for Primary School Age
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison
From singer Ella Fitzgerald to abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman to poet Maya Angelou and so many more, this educational and inspirational book features biographies of forty black women in history. They may not have always been accepted, but with their powerful voices, extraordinary actions, and strong beliefs, each one has made the world a better place for generations to come. These brave, bold black women broke boundaries and exceeded all expectations and the stories are sure to be inspirational to any young reader.
The Dream Team: Jaz Santos vs. the World by Priscilla Mante
Priscilla Mante’s debut novel Jaz Santos vs. The World is an uplifting tale about unlikely friendships, family, and proving to the world that girls can play football. It follows Jaz helping the Bramrock Stars achieve fame and fortune, despite their differences. A wonderful story for primary school children to enjoy.
Suitable For Teens
How High the Moon by Karyn Parsons
Bullied for her light skin tone and missing her absent mother, life isn’t always sunny for 12-year-old Ella, growing up in segregated Alcolu in 1944. So, she’s ecstatic when her mother, pursuing her jazz singer dreams in Boston invites her for Christmas. However, during her visit, Ella discovers the secrets of her mother and the father she never knew and her most unexpected family history. Upon her return to the South a month later, life changes even more with the news that her classmate has been arrested for the murder of two local white girls. A beautifully written story that will be sure to keep teens hooked right until the end.
Becoming: Adapted for Younger Readers by Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama released her bestselling memoir Becoming back in 2018, and it’s now been adapted for younger readers to enjoy. Before she became a top attorney and the first African-American First Lady, Michelle Robinson came from humble beginnings in Chicago. In her inspiring memoir, teens can learn all about her childhood and family, her time at university, and how through hard work and determination, Obama was able to build a remarkable life for herself against all the odds.