Dive into these 10 brand-new children’s titles to celebrate the history, present, and future of the Black Diaspora and discover notable Black activists, musicians, inventors, athletes, and poets.

Pro-tip: Track the books you & your children are reading. Download the free app The Storygraph, created and owned by Black female tech entrepreneur Nadia Odunayo.

All titles are available through the Debra S Fish Early Childhood Resource Library, a branch of the St. Paul Public Library.

Saving American Beach

Saving American Beach: The Biography of African American Environmentalist MaVynee Betsch (Age Focus: PreK – Gr. 2)

“MaVynee loved going to the beach. But in the days of Jim Crow, she couldn’t just go to any beach–most of the beaches in Jacksonville were for whites only. Knowing something must be done, her grandfather bought a beach that African American families could enjoy without being reminded they were second class citizens; he called it American Beach.” From the publisher.

Hardcover, audiobook, and e-book editions are available

Marley and the Family Band (Age Focus: PreK – Gr. 2)

“A picture book that celebrates music, love, and family from author Cedella Marley. A poetic story about a young girl who moves to a new country and learns to make friends—inspired by a childhood growing up with the musician Bob Marley as a father.” From the publisher.

Hardcover, audiobook, and e-book editions are available

Sweet Justice: Georgia Gilmore and the Montgomery Bus Boycott (Age Focus: PreK – Gr. 2)

“Young readers will find much food for thought in this inspiring profile of a lesser-known civil rights leader.” From Kirkus Reviews.

Hardcover, audiobook, and e-book editions are available

A History of Me (Age Focus: PreK – Gr. 2)

“Life can be hard for the only brown girl in a classroom full of white students. When the teacher talks about slavery, she can feel all of her classmates staring at her. When they talk about civil rights, she is the one that other kids whisper about on the playground. In those moments, she wants to slip away or seep into the ground; and she wonders, is that all you see when you look at me?
What really matters is what she sees when she looks at herself.  She is a reflection of the courage, strength, intelligence and creativity that’s been passed down from generation to generation through her ancestors.” From the publisher.

Hardcover and e-book editions are available.

Baby Young, Gifted, and Black (Age Focus: Baby – Toddler)

“Meet icons of color from past and present in this baby board book celebration of inspirational achievement. A collection of positive, yet simple, affirmations to encourage the next generation. Highlighting the talent of Black leaders and changemakers from around the world, young dreamers will develop confidence, self-assurance, and self-belief.” From the publisher.

Board book edition is available

Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem (Age Focus: PreK – Gr. 2)

“In this stirring, much-anticipated picture book by presidential inaugural poet and activist Amanda Gorman, anything is possible when our voices join together. As a young girl leads a cast of characters on a musical journey, they learn that they have the power to make changes—big or small—in the world, in their communities, and in most importantly, in themselves.” From the publisher.

Hardcover, audiobook, and e-book editions are available

Bright Brown Baby (Age Focus: Baby – PreK)

“A rhythmic, whimsically illustrated celebration of Black and brown babies and the joy, tender moments, and boundless love shared between children and their caregivers, from New York Times bestselling and award-winning duo Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney.” From the publisher.

Hardcover and e-book editions are available. Each poem will also be released as a separate board book edition, with Count to Love out now!

Michael Jordan (Little People, BIG DREAMS) (Age Focus: PreK – Gr. 2)

“Little Michael wanted to be the first at everything—especially if that meant beating his older brother. One day, he came home crying…he’d been rejected from the basketball team at school. With his mother’s message of “go out and earn it” ringing in his ears, Michael practiced all summer. Soon he was the star of the team, going from school, to college, to the Olympics.” From the publisher.

Hardcover and e-book editions are available.

Saving the Day: Garrett Morgan’s Life-Changing Invention of the Traffic Signal (Age Focus: PreK – Gr. 2)

“Before Garrett Morgan became a successful inventor and saved countless lives with his creations, he was a little boy with a head full of ideas on how to make life better for everyone.

At a tumultuous time filled with racism and discrimination, Garrett became a prominent business man and skilled inventor who produced the traffic signal, a gas mask, and others objects still used today.” From the publisher.

Hardcover and audiobook editions are available.

Who Are Your People? (Age Focus: PreK – Gr. 2)

“A tale steeped in pride, centering two Black children learning about their familial and cultural legacy. Consistently affirming.” From Publishers Weekly

Hardcover and audiobook editions are available.

Contact Jennie with any questions: librarian@thinksmall.org or (651) 641-3544 
Available through MNLINK (www.mnlink.org) or St. Paul Public Library (www.sppl.org)  
All you need is a library card.  Resources can be delivered and returned to any Minnesota public library.

By Jennie Walker Knoot