Black History Month Recommended Reading

Black History Month recommended reading list with books for children, teens, and adults.

Montessori schools strive to be inclusive and diverse in teaching children an understanding of the many different people, established and new, who have contributed to our country as we know it today. Books featuring diverse characters are read and made available to all children from Infant & Toddler classrooms through Secondary programs. Different age groups need different subject matter while learning about racial and ethnic issues. Older children are discussing the historical facts of racism and social injustice in the United States and debating ways to prevent such problems currently; at the same time young children are observing differences between themselves and other children. They are learning that even with differences, we are human. We have similar wants and needs.

To help parents choose age-appropriate books for Black History Month, we’ve divided title suggestions into the corresponding Montessori classroom groups. Before reading a book aloud with your child, please review the story on your own. You will know if the storyline is too advanced and does not match the emotional maturity level of your child. The list below is a sampling from the many books available at local libraries and bookstores. For more title suggestions to share with your child, check book lists from PBS Kids and the Coretta Scott King Book Awards. And when looking for book titles, consider purchasing from Black owned bookstores. Look here for a directory with stores listed by state.

Infant & Toddler

(ages birth – 18 months)

Children at this age are beginning to explore the world through their senses. They are learning how to interact with their environment. Long biographies about famous Black Americans or topics surrounding social justice will not be understood. Look for books that explore diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Board Books for Infants

Picture Books for Toddlers

Early Childhood

(ages 3 – 6)

More context can be understood by preschool-aged children. Look for stories that your child can relate to somehow. For instance, if your child is drawn to music, share a book featuring a famous Black musician.

Picture Books

Lower Elementary

(ages 6 – 9)

There is a wide range of reading ability in this age group. Most of the picture books listed are best for shared reading which can lead to discussion.

Note: if your child enjoys biographies look for titles in these series:

  • A Biography for New Readers
  • Ordinary People Change the World
  • Who Was?
  • She Persisted

Picture Books (with advanced text and story content)


Upper Elementary and Secondary

(ages 9 – 12 and 12 – 18)

Again, there is a wide range of reading ability as children move into their tween and teen years. They also might have strong opinions about what they will or will not read.



For Parents

Note: For more titles check the Chicago Public Library’s list here.

About the Author

V.Kulikow Montessori Life Blog Author

V. Kulikow is a former Montessori teacher and youth services librarian. She currently works as a UX designer and enjoys content creation both with words and images.

Interested in writing a guest post for our blog? Let us know!

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