5 Kid’s Books to Honor and Celebrate Juneteenth

Daughter sitting on dad's lap as he reads to her and mom

On June 19, 1865, federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to alert enslaved people they were finally free. This long-overdue declaration was made more than two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. Juneteenth is now recognized as a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. These five books celebrate Black history in honor of this historic day.

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The Juneteenth Story: Celebrating the End of Slavery in the United States

The Juneteenth Story: Celebrating the End of Slavery in the United States by Alliah L. Agostini (Starting at $18.99, Becker & Mayer Kids, Ages 6–9)

This introductory history of Juneteenth for kids details the evolution of the holiday commemorating the date the enslaved people of Texas first learned of their freedom​. Complete with a timeline of events, this inspiring book highlights why it took so long for the news to get to Texas. 

The ABCs of Black History

The ABCs of Black History by Rio Cortez (Starting at $9.29, Workman Publishing Company, Ages 5+)

The poetic ABCs of Black History is a story of big ideas, significant moments, and iconic figures. B is for Beautiful, Brave, Bright, Bold, Brotherhood, and Believing. The lyrical, rhyming text takes readers on a journey through the alphabet of Black history and culture, and is complemented by bold, beautiful images of hope, love, and perseverance.

A History of Me

A History of Me by Adrea Theodore (Starting at $14.19, Neal Porter Books, Ages 4–8)

Life can be hard for a brown girl in a classroom full of white students, especially when she can feel all eyes on her when the teacher discusses slavery or civil rights. She learns that what matters most is how she sees herself. This beautiful debut picture book by Adrea Theodore is inspired by her and her daughter’s experiences in school.

Mae Makes a Way: The True Story o Mae Reeves, Hat & History Maker

Mae Makes a Way: The True Story of Mae Reeves, Hat & History Maker by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich (Starting at $18.99, Crown Books for Young Readers, Ages 7–10)

This stunning picture book biography details the story of Mae Reeves, a fashion designer and civil rights icon. Mae dreamed of making one-of-a-kind hats but the path for a Black female fashion designer was unclear, so Mae made a way—and she kept on making a way through every obstacle she faced.

Black Heroes: A Black History Book for Kids

Black Heroes: A Black History Book for Kids by Arlisha Norwood (Starting at $16.99, Rockbridge Press, Ages  8–12)

Introduce your kids to 51 inspiring Black heroes, from Ancient Egyptian rulers to modern-day scientists, musicians, and civil rights activists. Each biography details the historical figures’ lives, how they created lasting change, and more ways to explore them and their work (through another book, video, or website).