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Must-Read African-American Culture Books for Elementary Students

No matter your kids’ racial heritage, stories with African-American leads deserve a prominent place in their libraries. Diverse picture books honor African-American culture and people by embracing their journey and truth. Encourage your elementary kids to explore the selections below, or read and discuss them as a family.

1. Celebrating Me and My Family

Every kid is amazing and deserves to be celebrated. These books are designed for helping Black children love their looks, discover their potential, and embrace their heritage. Kids of other racial backgrounds will be enriched by these stories, too.

Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship
Don't Call Me Grandma
Hair Story
I Am Brown
Looking Like Me
My Family Celebrates Kwanzaa

2. American History

United States history is rich with remarkable tales about amazing African-Americans and their incredible contributions. It’s also full of sad stories about mistreatment and discrimination. Historical books will introduce your children to both types of stories in gentle, kid-friendly ways.  Try some of these popular selections:

Almost to Freedom
Bad News for Outlaws
The Book Itch
Game Changer
Hey, Charleston!
Let 'Er Buck!

Mumbet's Declaration of Independence
Ruth and the Green Book

Something to Prove


3. Famous People

America is home to many well-known African-Americans who have accomplished big things. Reading stories about some of today’s most prominent figures may inspire your kids to reach for greatness.  It also helps kids of mixed race see themselves reflected in the literature of our time.  Try these biographies to see power and strength reflected in this culture:

An American Icon: Oprah Winfrey
Basketball Superstar LeBron James

Colin Kaepernick: Athletes Who Made a Difference
Gabby Douglas
Gymnastics Superstar Simone Biles
Mae Jemison: Space Pioneer

Venus & Serena Williams, 3rd Edition

These reading lists should keep your kids busy for a while! Even still, they only scratch the surface of the African-American culture books on LightSail. From celebratory picture books to elementary biographies and tales of American history, LightSail can be the key to helping your kids understand and appreciate African-American culture.

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Posted on 1.Jan.22 in Book Recommendations

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