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Black History Month Family Ready List
Feb 01, 2021

Black History Month Family Reading List

Celebrate Black History Month by reading together as a family! We’ve compiled a list of children’s books that honour Black history, culture, achievements, and experiences in Canada and around the world. 

1. This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt

For music lovers. “In this toe-tapping jazz tribute, the traditional ‘This Old Man’ gets a swinging makeover, and some of the era’s best musicians take centre stage…Easy on the ear and the eye, this playful introduction to nine jazz giants will teach children to count - and will give them every reason to get up and dance!”

2. Hair Love by Matthew A Cherry

For young families. “Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Zuri knows it’s beautiful. When Daddy steps in to style it for an extra special occasion, he has a lot to learn. But he LOVES his Zuri, and he’ll do anything to make her - and her hair - happy. Tender and empowering, Hair Love is an ode to loving your natural hair - and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere.”

3. Malaika’s Winter Carnival by Nadia L. Hohn

For children experiencing change. “When Malaika moves to Canada, there’s a lot to get used to, especially Carnival in the wintertime! Malaika is happy to be reunited with Mummy, but it means moving to Canada, where everything is different. It’s cold in Québec City, no one understands when she talks and Carnival is nothing like the celebration Malaika knows from home!”

4. Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison

For young leaders. “Among these women, you’ll find heroes, role models, and everyday women who did extraordinary things - bold women whose actions and beliefs contributed to making the world better for generations of girls and women to come. Whether they were putting pen to paper, soaring through the air or speaking up for the rights of others, the women profiled in these pages were all taking a stand against a world that didn’t always accept them.”

5. Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History by Vashti Harrison

For young leaders. “An important book for readers of all ages, this beautifully illustrated and engagingly written volume brings to life true stories of black men in history. Among these biographies, readers will find aviators and artists, politicians and pop stars, athletes and activists.”

6. Trailblazers: The Black Pioneers Who Have Shaped Canada by Tiyahna Ridley-Padmore

For history buffs. “Trailblazers introduces readers to Canada’s Black history through the under-told stories of over forty incredible Black change makers…With each short story carefully written in poetic form and accompanied by beautiful illustrations, this tribute brings complex topics and historical facts to life. Engaged readers will finish Trailblazers feeling enlightened, inspired, and ready to blaze their own trails.”

7. Milo’s Museum by Zetta Elliott

For museum lovers. “Milo is excited about her class trip to the museum. The docent leads them on a tour and afterward, Milo has time to look around on her own. But something doesn’t feel right, and Milo gradually realizes that the people from her community are missing from the museum. When her aunt urges her to find a solution, Milo takes matters into her own hands and opens her own museum!”

8. Mayann’s Train Ride by Mayann Francis

For young families. “Nine-year-old Mayann Francis and her family are travelling from their home in Cape Breton to New York City by train. Everything is exciting to young Mayann on the trip, but most exciting of all is the chance to show off her brand new purse. On a subway ride, she loses her treasured purse and Mayann struggles with a lesson that will make the whole trip worthwhile.”

9. The Children of Africville by Christine Welldon

For older readers. “The children of Africville, Nova Scotia, lived in a special community where everyone knew their neighbours, and all helped and cared for each other. It was the perfect place for children to play and grow up…before it was torn down and its families were forcibly relocated.”

You can curbside pick-up one of these books from your favourite local bookstore or local library. If your family has a favourite book that highlights Black voices and experiences, let us know on Facebook or Instagram! We would love to add it to this resource.