February is Black History Month, and this month’s column showcases Black History Books for girls — books by and about Black girls and women. These books are only the beginning of excellent books featuring Black girls, so get started this month and keep reading all year long!
Bee Fearless: Dream Like a Kid
When Mikhaila Ulmer was four, bees stung her twice in one week. She was terrified to go outside until she started learning more about bees. When she found out that bees are important to the environment — and endangered — she started a lemonade stand to raise money for their protection. That idea grew into her company, Me & the Bees Lemonade, which uses her grandma’s special recipe. She’s 16 years old now, balancing her activism with owning her own company and keeping up with her schoolwork!
Amari and the Night Brothers
Amari is certain her missing brother is still alive, even when the police tell her otherwise. So when she finds a briefcase in his closet with a nomination for the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she’s sure it holds the key to his disappearance. Now, she must compete for a spot with other kids who have known about magic their whole lives. And she learns that even as “the chosen one,” she must face prejudice and discrimination.
Some Places More Than Others
Black people make their marks everywhere, just “some places more than others,” as Amara learns when she visits her father’s family in Harlem for the first time. Coming from Beaverton, Oregon, she’s thrilled to be in a place where Black history is celebrated in street names, statues, and museums. But while she enjoys being surrounded by Black culture, she’s also unraveling the mystery of why her grandfather and her dad haven’t spoken since before she was born.
If you enjoy Renee Watson’s books, make sure to check out her interview with New Moon Girls.
Kids on the March: 15 Stories of Speaking Out, Protesting, and Fighting for Justice
From school integration marches to Black Lives Matter protests, kids have always been part of activist movements. This book includes 15 true stories of child and teen activists, including Shayna Avery who organized a 2020 Stand With Black Youth march in Berkeley, California.
Become a Leader Like Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama made history when she became the first Black First Lady. But that’s not her whole story. As a child, she says that she thought “being smart was cooler than anything in the world.” This illustrated book, part of the Work It, Girl, series, covers Michelle Obama’s whole life, from childhood to college to the White House and beyond.
More Black History Books for Girls
If you like Michelle Obama’s biography, check out some of the other books in the series, including Run the Show Like CEO Oprah Winfrey, Blast Off Into Space Like Mae Jemison, and Rule the Music Scene Like Queen Beyonce Knowles.
The She Persisted biography book series spotlights Harriet Tubman, who led hundreds of slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad; Claudette Colvin, a 15-year-old Black girl who refused to give up her seat on a bus before Rosa Parks made the same choice; Ruby Bridges, the first Black girl to go to an all-white school; and Florence Griffith Joyner, the fastest woman of all time.
What about you? Have you read any of the books listed above? What are your favorite books featuring Black girls and women? Let us know in the comments!
I liked “Becoming” by Michelle Obama.