Box: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom

Written by: Carole Boston Weatherford Illustrated by: Michele Wood For ages: 9 years and up Language: English Topics Covered: Historical Figures, Enslavement, Own Voices, Black Culture & Identity. Summary:  It’s Juneteenth! As white folx, today is a day for reflection and continued learning. Unfortunately, I don’t have any of the wonderful Juneteenth books that exist in the world in…

The Undefeated

Written by: Kwame Alexander Illustrated by: Kadir Nelson For ages: 7 years and up Language: English Topics Covered: Black Identity & Culture, Resilience, Trailblazers, History, Oppression, Enslavement.  Summary:  Honestly, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to review The Undefeated.  It’s beautiful and powerful and required reading.  For #sweetsandsocialjustice this week I’ve paired some baked donuts and the oh-so-trendy whipped coffee (seriously…

Enough! 20 Protestors Who Changed America

Written by: Emily Easton Illustrated by: Ziyue Chen For ages: 4 years and up Language: English Topics Covered: American History, Activism, Historical Figures, Courage, Segregation, Enslavement, Sports, Environmentalism.  Summary:  This book opens with an Author’s Note talking about her inspiration to write the book.  Emily’s young cousins had been in a school shooting a few weeks before the devastating event…

Making Our Way Home: The Great Migration and the Black American Dream

Written by: Blair Imani, Foreword by Patrisse Cullors (BLM Co-Founder) Illustrated by: Rachelle Baker For ages: YA Middle Grades, 12 years and up Language: English Topics Covered: Black Culture & Identity, American History, Enslavement, Reconstruction, Historical Figures, Family, Politics, Love. Summary:  This book is meticulously researched and fascinating!  Author Blair Imani takes readers on a journey through the American history that…

The Escape of Robert Smalls: A Daring Voyage Out of Slavery

Written by: Jehan Jones-Radgowski Illustrated by: Poppy Kang For ages: 9-13 years Language: English Topics Covered: Enslavement, Historical Figure, Historical Events, Abolition, POC-Centric Narratives, Resilience, Strength, Own Voices. Summary: This book is phenomenal.  Robert Smalls was an enslaved man that was able to hold a job away from the person that enslaved him.  Because of this, he worked on a ship…

Ona Judge Outwits the Washingtons: An Enslaved Woman Fights for Freedom

Written by: Gwendolyn Hooks Illustrated by: Simone Agoussoye  For ages: 9-12 years old Language: English Topics Covered: Enslavement, Historical Figures, Historical Events, POC-Centric Narratives, Black Culture & Identity, American History.  Summary: Ona Judge is a woman enslaved by George Washington.  Yes, that George Washington.  Ona is very intelligent, and in moving around with the Washingtons to various cities, she becomes aware that she could…

Schomburg: The Man Who Built A Library

Written by: Carole Boston Weatherford Illustrated by: Eric Velasquez For ages: 8-12 years old, or a confident reading level. Language: English Topics Covered: POC-Centric Narratives, Historical Fiction, Historic Figures, Literacy, Trailblazers, Afro-Puerto Rican Figures, Professional Life, Schomburg Library.  Summary: This book was sent to us by Candlewick Press, but all opinions are our own! This book is hefty! It is crammed with information about…

Freedom over me; Eleven slaves, their lives and dreams brought to life

Written & Illustrated by: Ashley Bryan For ages: 10-12 years (grades 4-6) Language: English Topics Covered: POC-Centric Narratives, Enslavement, Enslaved People, Historical Figures, Historical Events, Poetry, Historic Narratives, Narratives of Enslavement.  Summary: This book is comprised of poems telling the stories of 11 enslaved people.  Records of these individuals were found in a historical document owned by the author himself, who…

Henry’s Freedom Box, A True Story from the Underground Railroad

Written by: Ellen Levine Illustrated by: Kadir Nelson For ages: 7 years and up Language: English Topics Covered: POC-Centric Narratives, Enslavement, Underground Railroad, Historical  Figures, Historical Fiction, Family, Friendship, Abolition.  Summary: This book is heart wrenching.  Very little happens in this story that is positive besides gaining freedom, and it gives a very real look at Henry’s life while being enslaved.  There are…