Expand your child’s viewpoint and understanding of the black experience in America with these insightful Middle School Books for Black History Month.
I have found that often fictional books grab and keep my child’s attention while also allowing them to emotionally experience what the author is trying to convey.
There is power in those written words!
You can find these books at your local library or purchase through the affiliate links provided for your convenience.
Middle School Books for Black History Month
I truly believe that by raising children aware of others and the challenges our neighbors have faced, we can help bridge the racial divide that is embroiling our country.
Saying we see each other all as equal isn’t enough… we need to understand the history of how we got here, the barriers our society can create as well as the scars and pride that can carry from generation to generation.
Yes, February is Black History Month. But don’t just wait for February to put these books for Black History in your kid’s hands. Do it now.
Middle School Reads
National Book Award Finalist. Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction.
From acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson comes this compelling, impeccably researched novel that shows the lengths we can go to cast off our chains, both physical and spiritual.
Newberry Honor Book.
Newbery Medalist and CSK Award winner Christopher Paul Curtis’s debut middle-grade/young-YA novel features his trademark humor, compelling storytelling, and unique narrative voice.
Andrea Davis Pinkney’s moving text and Stephen Alcorn’s glorious portraits celebrate the lives of ten bold women who lit the path to freedom for generations.
The lives these women led are part of an incredible story about courage in the face of oppression; about the challenges and triumphs of the battle for civil rights; and about speaking out for what you believe in–even when it feels like no one is listening.
National Book Award. Newberry Honor winner.
Touching and powerful, each poem in this book is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world.
Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.
ALA Top Ten Best Book. ALA Notable Children’s Book. IRA Young Adult’s Choice. New York Time‘s Book Review Best Book.
Enter the hilarious world of ten-year-old Kenny and his family, the Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan.
When Byron gets to be too much trouble, they head South to Birmingham to visit Grandma, the one person who can shape him up. And they happen to be in Birmingham when Grandma’s church is blown up.
Winner of the New-York Historical Society Children’s History Book Prize. New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice.
As twelve-year-old Marlee starts middle school in 1958 Little Rock, it feels like her whole world is falling apart. Until she meets Liz, the new girl at school. Liz is everything Marlee wishes she could be: she’s brave, brash and always knows the right thing to say.
But when Liz leaves school without even a good-bye, the rumor is that Liz was caught passing for white. Marlee decides that doesn’t matter. She just wants her friend back.
And to stay friends, Marlee and Liz are even willing to take on segregation and the dangers their friendship could bring to both their families.
Newbery Honor novel. Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction. Coretta Scott King Award. National Book Award Finalist.
New York Times bestselling author Rita Williams-Garcia tells the story of three sisters who travel to Oakland, California, in 1968 to meet the mother who abandoned them.
While the girls hope to go to Disneyland and meet Tinker Bell, their mother sends them to a day camp run by the Black Panthers. Unexpectedly, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern learn much about their family, their country, and themselves during one truly crazy summer.
With powerful illustrations by Shane Evans, this is a completely unique look at the importance and influence of African Americans on the history of this country.
Each day features a different influential figure in African-American history, from Crispus Attucks, the first man shot in the Boston Massacre, sparking the Revolutionary War, to Madame C. J. Walker, who after years of adversity became the wealthiest black woman in the country, as well as one of the wealthiest black Americans, to Barack Obama, the country’s first African-American president.
Augusta Scattergood has drawn on real-life events to create a memorable novel about family, friendship, and choices that aren’t always easy when a Mississippi town in 1964 gets riled when tempers flare at the segregated public pool.
As much as Gloriana June Hemphill, or Glory as everyone knows her, wants to turn twelve, there are times when Glory wishes she could turn back the clock a year. Jesslyn, her sister and former confidante, no longer has the time of day for her now that she’ll be entering high school. Then there’s her best friend, Frankie.
Things have always been so easy with Frankie, and now suddenly they aren’t. Maybe it’s the new girl from the North that’s got everyone out of sorts. Or maybe it’s the debate about whether or not the town should keep the segregated public pool open.
Winner of the Newbery Medal.
Set in Mississippi at the height of the Depression, this is the story of one family’s struggle to maintain their integrity, pride, and independence in the face of racism and social injustice.
And it is also Cassie’s story—Cassie Logan, an independent girl who discovers over the course of an important year why having land of their own is so crucial to the Logan family, even as she learns to draw strength from her own sense of dignity and self-respect.
Like these books for black history? Find more books for middle schoolers on Mommy Evolution!
Welcome to our fifth annual Black History Month series! Follow along all month long as we explore the rich history and cultures of Africa and African-Americans.