Teaching Black History to Children - Part 1

I'm so excited to kick off a two-part blog series on my favorite books for teaching black history to children. I was trying to narrow the books down to just a few, but there were so many great books on this subject that I ended up with 8 amazing books that I can't wait to share with you!


I think history is very hard for children to understand and relate to because it's primarily told from the perspective of adults. But author Brad Meltzer (along with illustrator Christopher Elipoulos) found a unique solution to this problem. All of the books in the Ordinary People Change the World series begin with stories from the childhoods of these future world changers before moving on to the events that made them famous. 

I think everyone has heard the story of Rosa Parks, but I actually learned a few things about her childhood that I didn't previously know! 


This book does an amazing job of covering a great deal of the events in Martin Luther King's life while still being short enough that your five-year-old could sit through it. And just like with Meltzer's book on Rosa Parks, it ends with photographs. The drawings in this book are fantastic, but I think it's important for children to also see photographs. I read somewhere that children under the age of 7 have a hard time separating fact from fiction, so I think it's important that they can see photographs and know that these aren't just stories. These events happened to real people. 


This books tells the life stories of Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, two extraordinary women who showed such courage in the face of crushing oppression. The book culminates in with the amazing day in 1864 when they met. There's also an epilogue that summarizes their lives after that fateful meeting. 


There are so many fantastic books about black history that I wasn't sure how I was going to narrow it down to the books that covered the most important moments. So I was so excited to find this book that shares 28 important moments in black history. Moment # 1 occurred in 1770 and Moment #28 happened in 2009, so there's a really wide range of historical moments in this book. But my favorite page was the most unexpected one. After moment #28, I turned the page and saw moment #29: Today. This page challenges the reader to be the next one to change history. The best books don't just inform, they inspire, and this book definitely accomplishes that!

Please join me tomorrow for Part 2 of this series. And if you have any favorite books about black history, please share them in the comments sections. I'm also looking to expand my book collection!


  1. We have a few of the Ordinary People Change The World books and they are so cute and interesting for kids and adults!

    1. They're such great books! My niece loves the Amelia Earhart one. And I really want to buy the Lucille Ball one next!

  2. My daughter and I have read the Brad Meltzer books you mention, and also the Jackie Robinson one. She had a lot of questions after we read them and I did my best to answer them. I agree that it can be hard to teach them history at such a young age. I am glad there are books like this to help make it easier. I want to check out the other books. Thank you for sharing!

    1. I'll have to check out the Jackie Robinson one. So far, my niece's favorite is the Amelia Earhart one.

  3. Was looking for books to help teach the importance of diversity to my young children, will definitely be using this as an outline!


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