Schools across the United States are embracing Black History Month. While fewer than 25 percent of all children’s books have a main character that is black, Hispanic or Native American, there are some wonderful books that parents and teachers may want to consider reading to their students this month.
Tiny Stitches is a full-color picture book telling the story of Vivien Thomas who was a pioneer in surgical techniques. This book that is most appropriate for grades three to five holds children’s attention with its heartwarming story of how Vivien pioneered open-heart surgery for infants but had to wait years to be recognized for her accomplishments. Author Gwendolyn Hooks closes the book with a substantial bibliography for students who want to learn even more.
Look What Brown Can Do
While T. Marie Harris aims this book to inspire three to five-year-olds black students that they can do anything that they set their mind to when they grow up, this inspirational book will be enjoyed by all young children. Most pages have a history lesson on the side of the page about a person of color who grew up to do something impressive in the world. Children will come away with the message that they can make important contributions in many different fields.
I Have a Dream
Kadir Nelson has created stunning photos to accompany the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “I Have a Dream” speech. The words on each page deliver the message while being rewritten for young readers. The original speech is printed in the back of the book, and it can be heard by listening to the accompanying recording. This book is appropriate for all ages as a way to introduce King’s iconic message to new listeners.
Reading these three books to young children is a wonderful way to introduce them to Black History month.