February is Black History Month and while we think it’s great to celebrate the accomplishments and contributions made by African Americans, we also believe that Black history is American history and should be celebrated and taught all year long. But this month can be a great time to shine a spotlight on favorite books or freshen up a dated collection with new titles. Here are ten of our favorite Black History Month Books for third grade through sixth grade:
- As Fast As Words Could Fly, by Pamela M. Tuck and illustrated by Eric Velasquez: Mason Steele, an African American boy in 1960s Greenville, North Carolina, relies on his inner confidence and his typing skills to face challenges and break racial barriers. See the Teacher’s Guide.
- Catching the Moon, by Crystal Hubbard and illustrated by Randy DuBurke: Catching the Moon is the story of Marcenia Lyle who grew up to become the first woman to play for an all-male professional baseball team. See the Teacher’s Guide.
- George Crum and the Saratoga Chip, by Gaylia Taylor and illustrated by Frank Morrison: A spirited story of the invention of the potato chip — one of America’s favorite snack foods. See the Teacher’s Guide.
- In Her Hands, by Alan Schroeder and illustrated by JaeMe Bereal: A compelling portrait of Augusta Savage, the unique Harlem Renaissance sculptor whose struggles and resilience carved out her own special place in art history. See the Teacher’s Guide.
- Ira’s Shakespeare Dream, by Glenda Armand and illustrated by Floyd Cooper: A captivating tribute to the inspiring life of Ira Aldridge, and to the renowned works of William Shakespeare. See the Teacher’s Guide.
- Little Melba and Her Big Trombone, by Katheryn Russell-Brown and illustrated by Frank Morrison: A fitting tribute to the trailblazing musician and the great unsung hero of jazz, Melba Doretta Liston. See the Teacher’s Guide.
- Seeds of Change, by Jen Johnson and illustrated by Sonia Sadler: Here’s the empowering story of Wangari Maathai, the first African woman, and environmentalist, to win a Nobel Peace Prize. See the Teacher’s Guide.
- Ray Charles, by Sharon Bell Mathis and illustrated by George Ford: Readers follow Ray Charles from his boyhood, when he lost his sight completely, until the age of 40, when he had become a world-renowned jazz and blues musician. See the Teacher’s Guide.
- Tiny Stitches, by Gwendolyn Hooks and illustrated by Colin Bootman: The incredible story of Vivien Thomas, who overcame racism and resistance from his colleagues to usher in a new era of medicine—children’s heart surgery. See the Teacher’s Guide.
- Step Right Up, by Donna Janell Bowman and illustrated by Daniel Minter: Here is the true story of an extraordinary horse named Jim Key and the remarkable man who nurtured the horse’s natural abilities to promote a message of kindness. See the Teacher’s Guide.
Purchase the full collection here.