Blog

Black History Month


In recognition of Black History Month, here is a list of wonderful books to share with your children, this month and every month. Stories of real people and historical events, evocative tales of everyday life, many with beautiful illustrations – these stories are meaningful, thought provoking, and entertaining; and all of them are great read-alouds.

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena

This Newbery Award Medal winning book captures the diversity of city life as a young boy travels on a city bus with his grandmother. She teaches him that poverty can be more about attitude than material wealth. This is a book about both real life experiences and counting one’s blessings.

 

I Am Rosa Parks by Brad Meltzer

Part of the Ordinary People Change the World series, this book tells the story of Rosa Parks, and her fight to change the world. This tells her story, her experiences in the segregated South, and her fight for civil rights, all brought to life in a way that children can understand.

 

Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine

This is the true story of a slave who mailed himself in a crate to freedom. The illustrations powerfully convey his arduous journey.

 

Firebird by Misty Copeland

The story of a young girl who questions her ability to be a dancer and reach the heights that her hero has reached. Encouraged by her hero, she discovers that through faith in herself and hard work, she too can become Firebird. Author and ballerina Misty Copeland was the PCHP’s 2014 Literacy Champion.

 

This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt

A jazz version of “This Old Man”, what a wonderful way to make an old children’s song new! This book features swinging, rhythmic text, and introduces jazz greats such as Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker.

 

Tar Beach by Faith Reingold

This allegorical tale features a young girl who imagines flying from her rooftop over 1939 Harlem. Rich culture and history permeate the text and illustrations of this book.

 

A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams

This classic award-winning book tells the story of a young girl, her mother, and her grandmother, saving up their coins to buy a comfortable chair for all of them to enjoy. Written by the late Vera Williams, who gave a wonderful talk at the PCHP Annual conference a number of years ago.

 

Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman

Grace loves all sorts of stories, and dreams of playing the part of Peter Pan in the school play. But all the other children at school tell her she cannot play the part because she is a girl and she isn’t white. But with family support and the opportunity to watch a ballet that features a Trinidadian dancer, she pursues her dream – and shines through her audition.

 

Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti by Gerald McDermott

This Caldecott Honor Book is based on an Ashanti folktale. Its illustrations include traditional African motifs, and the text is based on authentic Ashanti language rhythms.

 

The Quilt by Ann Jonas

A magical tale of a girl’s quilt, in which every square tells its own story. The quilt comes to life through beautiful, brightly colored illustrations.

 

Bigmama’s by Donald Crews

This lovely story is told through the lens of memory. Four children take a 3-day train journey with their mother to spend the summer at their grandmother’s house in rural Florida – “Not that she was big, but she was Mama’s mama.”

 

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Doreen Rappaport

This is a great first biography of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for children. The text has his own words woven throughout, accompanied by beautiful watercolor illustrations.

 

The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles

Six-year-old Ruby Bridges is off to school as part of an effort to desegregate schools in the South. This true story has vivid pictures and recounts the bravery and perseverance of Ruby and her peers.

SHARE

Related Resources

August 27, 2020

ParentChild+ MA Virtual Site Visits...

Take look at what ParentChild+ Massachusetts has been doing during these unprecedented times to keep connected with the families they work with:

August 4, 2020

Read’s Initiative 2019-20...

The Reads Initiative has been helping to make significant impacts for families in South Jamaica, Queens and East New York, Brooklyn since 2014. Reads helps to serve the literacy needs of children and families in targeted low-income neighborhoods and ParentChild+ is honored to be a partner. Below you…

July 29, 2020

ParentChild+ featured in The Junior League of Charlotte presents The CRIER Spring/Summer 2020 ...

PARENTCHILD+ by Tammy Stanard ParentChild+ uses education to break the cycle of poverty for low-income families. The organization engages early in life and helps toddlers, their parents, and their family child care providers access a path to possibility. For families living in underserved communities, ParentChild+ is a first…

July 20, 2020

United Way of Central Carolinas and Foundation For The Carolinas Awards ParentChild+ COVID-19 ...

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA JULY 2020 – Since the COVID-19 crisis began in March, ParentChild+, a leading school readiness organization working in communities furthest from opportunity has rapidly adapted its model to meet the emergent needs of the families hardest hit by the crisis.  ParentChild+’s primary focus is eliminating…

July 9, 2020

Home Schooling: The ParentChild+ program has boosted high school graduation among Philly’s most ...

Malkia Singleton Ofori-Agyekum believes that the messenger makes a difference. “You’re going to take what you hear from someone you don’t identify with versus a person you do identify with in a very different way,” she says. As the Pennsylvania state director of ParentChild+, an early literacy, school-readiness…

April 29, 2020

Laid Off and Stressed: What Do I Do With My Two-Year-Old?...

Tipping Point’s Early Childhood portfolio invests in organizations that provide literacy and parenting support to families with children ages 0-3. Under shelter-in-place, many of these low-income families have endured lost wages, lack of internet access, and overcrowded homes leading to an increase in parental stress. On top of…

April 21, 2020

Financial hardships abound amid the COVID-19 crisis – but it’s important to remember the ...

(Philly Voice) – Parents during the COVID-19 crisis are exhausted. They are struggling to stay safe and work essential jobs, while finding care for their children. They are struggling to maintain normalcy while working from home and juggling child care, home schooling and Zoom circle time. The burnout…

April 20, 2020

Home Visiting Continues — At a Distance...

(Education Dive) – Virtual visits can reach “families when nobody else is,” but experts say it’s necessary to have first established strong in-person relationships. Along the border with Nevada, home visitors in Mono County, California, are parking near the homes of their clients and using hotspots to connect…

March 10, 2020

New Charlotte Group Hopes Books, Toys And Toddlers Can Break Cycle Of Poverty...

(WFAE) – Mecklenburg County is expanding pre-K to get 4-year-olds ready for kindergarten – but what about getting younger children ready for pre-K? A national program that’s moving into Charlotte does just that. Nerys Centeno is one of the local pioneers. On a recent February afternoon, she arrived at…

March 1, 2020

The Best Children’s Books To Celebrate National Read Across America Day 2020...

(Forbes) – March 2 is National Read Across America Day, which encourages students of all ages—especially those without access to books and libraries—to read more. Luckily, there are organizations committed to this initiative year-round. For instance, the New York City-based Pajama Program promotes comforting bedtime routines for children…

February 14, 2020

Malden Family Welcomes Mayor Christenson for his first ParentChild+ Home Visit...

Malden ParentChild+ started in Fall 2019, with support from the Wellington Management Foundation and sponsored by the Malden Public Schools.  Now in its second year, the program is working with 20 families and their two- and three-year-old children, and plans to enroll up to 30 families by the…

February 7, 2020

With Home Visits, Charlotte Effort Boosts School Readiness in a Familiar Setting...

(EdNC) – Natasha Curry didn’t know her 3-year-old son knew what a stop sign was. “He can barely see over his car seat,” Curry said. “It was kind of shocking.” Since Curry signed up for ParentChild+, she has had four visits from an early learning specialist who brings toys,…