Black Lives Matter: Books for Young Readers and Their Families

Black Lives Matter. Stories to share with young readers birth through second grade.

Bedtime bonnet

Nancy Amanda Redd

Picture Books, Black Lives Matter, Diverse Characters

As family members braid, brush, twirl, roll, and tighten their hair before bedtime, putting on kerchiefs, wave caps, and other protective items, the little sister cannot find her bonnet.

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I can't wait to see this one when it gets in!
- Casey

Crown : an ode to the fresh cut

Derrick D. Barnes

jE Barnes
Picture Books, Black Lives Matter

Celebrates the magnificent feeling that comes from walking out of a barber shop with newly-cut hair.

The roots of rap : 16 bars on the 4 pillars of hip-hop

Carole Boston Weatherford

jE Weatherford
Picture Books, Black Lives Matter, Black History

Presents the history of hip-hop including how it evolved from folktales, spirituals, and poetry, to the showmanship of James Brown, to the culture of graffiti art and breakdancing that formed around the art form.

Black is a rainbow color

Angela Joy

jE Joy
Picture Books, Black Lives Matter

"A child reflects on the meaning of being Black in this anthem about a people, a culture, a history, and a legacy that lives on"--

Hey black child

Useni Eugene Perkins

jE Perkins
Picture Books, Black Lives Matter

"A lyrical, empowering poem that celebrates black children and seeks to inspire all young ones to dream big and achieve their goals"--

That is my dream! : a picture book of Langston Hughes's "Dream variation"

Langston Hughes

jE Hughes
Picture Books, Black Lives Matter

"Dream Variation," one of Langston Hughes's most celebrated poems, about the dream of a world free of discrimination and racial prejudice, is now a picture book stunningly illustrated by Daniel Miyares...An African-American boy faces the harsh reality of segregation and racial prejudice, but he dreams of a different life--one full of freedom, hope, and wild possibility, where he can fling his arms wide in the face of the sun"--

In your hands

Carole Boston Weatherford

jE Weatherf
Picture Books, Black Lives Matter

"A prayer from mother to son that he will always in safe hands"--

The youngest marcher : the story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a young civil rights activist

Cynthia Levinson

jE Levinson
Picture Books, Black History, Black Lives Matter

Presents the life of nine-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks who became the youngest known child to be arrested for picketing against Birmingham segregation practices in 1963.

Overground railroad

Lesa Cline-Ransome

jE Cline-Ransome
Picture Books, Black History, Black Lives Matter

"A girl named Ruth Anne tells the story of her family's train journey from North Carolina to New York City as part of the Great Migration"--

A girl like me

Angela Johnson

jE Johnson
Picture Books, Black Lives Matter

"Empower young readers to embrace their individuality, reject societal limitations, and follow their dreams. This inspiring picture book brings together a poem by acclaimed author Angela Johnson and Nina Crews's distinctive photocollage illustrations to celebrate girls of color" --

I am enough

Grace Byers

jE Byers
Picture Books, Black Lives Matter

Shares a story of loving who you are, respecting others and being kind to one another.

The undefeated

Kwame Alexander

Picture Books, Black Lives Matter, Black History

"The Newbery Award-winning author of The Crossover pens an ode to black American triumph and tribulation, with art from a two-time Caldecott Honoree"--

Magnificent homespun brown : a celebration

Samara Cole Doyon

jE Doyon
Picture Books, Black Lives Matter

Joyful young narrators celebrate feeling at home in one's own skin.

Cool cuts

Mechal Renee Roe

jE Roe
Picture Books, Black Lives Matter

"An illustrated, joyful celebration of African-American boys' hairstyles"--

Tallulah the Tooth Fairy CEO

Tamara Pizzoli

jE Pizzoli
Picture Books

Tallulah the Tooth Fairy, a black businesswoman who runs one of the most successful tooth collecting organizations in the world, finds herself unexpectedly stumped when six-year-old Ballard Burchell leaves a note instead of his tooth under his pillow.

Lift every voice and sing : a celebration of the African American national anthem

James Weldon Johnson

jE Johnson
Picture Books, Black Lives Matter, Black History

An illustrated version of the song written by civil rights leader and poet James Weldon Johnson in 1899 that has come to be considered the African American national anthem.

Baby says

John Steptoe

Picture Books, Black Lives Matter

A baby and big brother figure out how to get along.

This is the rope : a story from the Great Migration

Jacqueline Woodson

jE Woodson
Picture Books, Black Lives Matter, Black History

A rope passed down through the generations frames an African American family's story as they journey north during the time of the Great Migration.

Hair, it's a family affair!

Mylo Freeman

jE Freeman
Picture Books, Black Lives Matter

Join Macy as she describes her family and their hairstyles, from Afros to purple hair.

Brown baby lullaby

Tameka Fryer Brown

Picture Books, Black Lives Matter

An illustrated lullaby featuring a busy, independent, beloved brown baby being prepared for bedtime.

I am a super girl!

Kelly Greenawalt

Early Readers

In rhyming text Princess Truly, super girl, uses her super powers to help her friend Lizzie celebrate her cat's first birthday, and when things go a little wrong, she gives Lizzie the confidence to believe that she too is a super girl.

Don't touch my hair!

Sharee Miller

Picture Books, Black Lives Matter

Aria loves her soft and bouncy hair, but must go to extremes to avoid people who touch it without permission until, finally, she speaks up. Includes author's note.

Lola gets a cat

Anna McQuinn

jE Mcquinn
Picture Books, Black Lives Matter, Diverse Characters, Animals

More than anything Lola would like a cat, but first she must learn how to care for it.

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I love the Lola and Leo books by Anna McQuinn and Rosalind Beardshaw. The books in these two series are always the perfect size and length for lap or small group sharing with toddlers.
- Casey

Big Papa and the time machine

Daniel Bernstrom

jE Bernstro
Picture Books, Black Lives Matter

Discover the true meaning of being brave in this tender and whimsical picture book from Daniel Bernstrom (One Day in the Eucalytus, Eucalyptus Tree) and Shane Evans (Chocolate Me!) that follows a grandfather and grandson who travel through time in a beloved 1952 Ford.

Benny doesn't like to be hugged

Zetta Elliott

jE Elliott
Picture Books, Black Lives Matter

"A little girl uses rhyming verse to describe the unique traits of her autistic friend."--Back cover.


Misty Copeland

jE Copeland
Picture Books, Black Lives Matter

American Ballet Theater soloist Misty Copeland encourages a young ballet student, with brown skin like her own, by telling her that she, too, had to learn basic steps and how to be graceful when she was starting out, and that some day, with practice and dedication, the little girl will become a firebird, too. Includes author's note about dancers who led her to find her voice.

Knock knock : my dad's dream for me

Daniel Beaty

jE Beaty
Picture Books, Black Lives Matter

"A boy wakes up one morning to find his father gone. At first, he feels lost. But his father has left him a letter filled with advice to guide him through the times he cannot be there"--

Farmer Will Allen and the growing table

Jacqueline Briggs Martin

jE Martin
Picture Books, Black Lives Matter

The story of former basketball star and current urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, whose vision of gardening from abandoned urban sites led to a grassroots feeding craze.

Max and the tag-along moon

Floyd Cooper

jE Cooper
Picture Books, Black Lives Matter

When Max leaves his grandfather's house, the moon follows him all the way home, just as Grandpa promised it would.


Lupita Nyong'o

jE Nyongo
Picture Books, Black Lives Matter

When five-year-old Sulwe's classmates make fun of her dark skin, she tries lightening herself to no avail, but her encounter with a shooting star helps her understand there is beauty in every shade.