10 Books by Black Authors for Black History Month 2023

10 Books for Black History Month covers shown in two rows. Top row (left to right): The Electric Slide and Kai, Magic Like That, The Shadow Prince, Snitchers, Black Was the Ink
Bottom row (left to right): Marvelous Mabel, Stacey Abrams, How We Can Live, Speculation, That Summer Night on Frenchmen Street

Lee & Low is proud to publish Black authors and illustrators all year long. As Black History Month approaches, remember to center stories by Black creators in your discussions. Here are some of our recent titles to include in your celebration!

Picture Books

Book cover image for The Electric Slide and Kai

The Electric Slide and Kai

By Kelly J. Baptist, illustrated by Darnell Johnson

⭐ “Kai’s efforts to learn the electric slide are hilarious, making this story as much fun as the dance. . . The underlying messages of familial closeness and perseverance serve as a foundation for the humor of the story.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Book cover image for How We Can Live

How We Can Live: Principles of Black Lives Matter 

By Laleña Garcia, illustrated by Caryn Davidson

⭐ “Exceptionally well-written, it offers many opportunities to further the discussion of BLM from the angle of the hope that guides the movement.” —School Library Journal, starred review

Book cover image for Magic Like That

Magic Like That

By Samara Cole Doyon, illustrated by Geneva Bowers

⭐ “A fine addition to an expanding body of hair-affirming books that exude Black girl self-love and confidence.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Book cover image for Marvelous Mabel

Marvelous Mabel: Figure Skating Superstar

By Crystal Hubbard, illustrated by Alleanna Harris

Meet Mabel Fairbanks, the skating superstar who became the first Black athlete inducted into the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame.

Book cover image for Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams: Lift Every Voice

By Sarah Warren, illustrated by Monica Mikai

How do we move our country forward? Stacey Abrams has an answer in this bright and stirring biography, perfect for discussions of voting rights and how people working together can make a difference.

Middle Grade

Book cover image for The Shadow Prince

The Shadow Prince

By David Anthony Durham

Dangerous trials, devious Egyptian gods, and daring magical spells, oh my! The Shadow Prince is an action-packed middle grade adventure that masterfully takes on the solarpunk genre and keeps readers eager and engaged to the very end.

Book cover image for Speculation


By Nisi Shawl

⭐ “Shawl imaginatively winds suspense, humor, and loss in this story that shows how the past isn’t so far behind us . . . Readers see the importance of oral storytelling: The book celebrates it as a shining beacon for those of us who still have elders who can tell stories while offering space to mourn traditions and loved ones we’ve lost.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Young Adult

Book cover image for Black Was the Ink

Black Was the Ink

By Michelle Coles with illustrations by Justin Johnson

⭐ “Coles’ stunning debut celebrates forgotten heroes and better futures. . . Sensitively explores what it means to care about something, fight for something, and effect lasting change. Teens will immediately connect with Malcom’s journey and readily identify the real-life issues involving systematic oppression, social justice, and racism that Coles poignantly examines. A powerful story.” —Booklist, starred review

Book cover image for Snitchers


By Stephane Dunn

When the grownups can’t do it, three friends join together to figure out who killed a little boy in their neighborhood in this stunning debut YA by award-winning playwright Stephane Dunn.

Book cover image for That Summer Night on Frenchmen Street

That Summer Night on Frenchmen Street

By Chris Clarkson

Set in magical New Orleans, two teens from vastly different worlds discover that sharing their strengths, including the love of their friends and family, may just be the path to finding wholeness within themselves.

More Resources for Black History Month

Black History Month Book Collections:

Black History Collection, Grades K-2
Black History Collection, Grades 3-6
Black History Collection, Grades 7-12

Lee & Low Books Anti-Racism Booklist, Collection, and Resources:

Anti-Racism Shareable Booklist
Anti-Racism Book Collection for Purchase
Black Lives Matter at School
Books About Joy Booklist
Books About Joy Book Collection
What We Believe Resource and Activity Guide


The Importance of Reconstruction in Today’s Classrooms and Libraries
Children’s Books About Joy
Black Lives Matter in the Classroom

Celebrate the Launch of How We Can Live