10 Compelling Books for Tweens Exploring Black History

Civil rights history is American history, as these books show, with heroes like Frederick Douglas and Martin Luther King Jr. blazing a trail to freedom and equal protection under the law for all. Courageous stories of African American men, women, and kids who stood up for justice and overcame prejudice to excel in their fields will inspire kids and help them understand the legacy of slavery and segregation. For more exciting historical reads, check out our Civil Rights Books and Award-Winning African American Books lists. 

Browse 10 Compelling Books for Tweens Exploring Black History

I Am Martin Luther King, Jr.: Ordinary People Change the World Book Poster Image
Kid-friendly bio a strong, accessible intro to King's life.
By Brad Meltzer
(2016)
(2016)
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Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History Book Poster Image
Beautifully illustrated bio of abolition's greatest hero.
By Walter Dean Myers
(2017)
(2017)
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Hidden Figures Young Readers' Edition Book Poster Image
Powerful true story of African-American women at NASA.
By Margot Lee Shetterly
(2017)
(2016)
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Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History Book Poster Image
Inspirational bios of trailblazing African American women.
By Vashti Harrison
(2017)
(2017)
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My Name Is Truth: The Life of Sojourner Truth Book Poster Image
Inspirational and informative intro to an American hero.
By Ann Turner
(2015)
(2015)
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Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court Book Poster Image
Thoughtful memoir by basketball star and civil rights icon.
By Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Raymond Obstfeld
(2018)
(2017)
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Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March Book Poster Image
Vivid recollections of a teen girl in the Selma march.
By Lynda Blackmon Lowery, Elspeth Leacock, Susan Buckley
(2015)
(2015)
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Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961 Book Poster Image
Vivid photos, clear text bring heroic protest to life.
By Larry Dane Brimner
(2018)
(2018)
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March Forward Girl: From Young Warrior to Little Rock Nine Book Poster Image
Must-read memoir of a childhood in the segregated South.
By Melba Pattillo Beals
(2018)
(2018)
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March: Book One Book Poster Image
Powerful graphic novel captures spirit of desegregation.
By John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell
(2013)
(2013)
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