42 Poetry & Nonfiction Titles To Celebrate the Legacy of Black Creators & Historical Figures

In anticipation of our coverage of Black History Month, add these selections about historical figures with big dreams, from board books to YA memoirs, to your collection and display year-round.

In anticipation of our coverage of Black History Month, here are 42 nonfiction and poetry titles from 2018—and a few spring 2019 books, too. Add these selections, from board books to YA memoirs, to your collection and display year-round.


Brave Ballerina: The Story of Janet Collins by Michelle Meadows, illus. by Ebony Glenn. Holt. 2019. ISBN 9781250127730.

Carter Reads the Newspaper by Deborah Hopkinson, illus. by Don Tate. Peachtree. 2019. ISBN 9781561459346.

Dream Big Dreams: Photographs from Barack Obama’s Inspiring and Historic Presidency by Pete Souza, photos by author. Little, Brown. 2017. ISBN 9780316514392.

Dream Big, Little One by Vashti Harrison, illus. by author. Little, Brown. 2018. ISBN 9780316475099.

Fearless Mary: The True Adventures of Mary Fields, American Stagecoach Driver by Tami Charles, illus. by Claire Almon. Albert Whitman. 2019. ISBN 9780807523056.

Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illus. by James Ransome. S. & S./Beach Lane. 2018. ISBN 9781481476843.

The Girl with a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague by Julia Finley Mosca, illus. by Daniel Rieley. Innovation Pr. 2018. ISBN 9781943147427.

Grandpa Stops a War: A Paul Robeson Story by Susan Robeson, illus. by Rod Brown. Triangle Square. 2019. ISBN 9781609808822.

Hammering for Freedom: The William Lewis Story by Rita Lorraine Hubbard, illus. by John Holyfield. Lee & Low. 2018. ISBN 9781600609695.

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly with Winifred Conkling, illus. by Laura Freeman. HarperCollins/Harper. 2018. ISBN 9780062742469.

The Journey of York by Hasan Davis, illus. by Alleanna Harris. Capstone. 2019. ISBN 9781543512823.

Let ’Er Buck! George Fletcher, the People’s Champion by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illus. by Gordon C. James. Carolrhoda. 2019. ISBN 9781512498080.

Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968 by Alice Faye Duncan, illus. by R. Gregory Christie. Calkins Creek. 2018. ISBN 9781629797182.

No Small Potatoes: Junius G. Groves and His Kingdom in Kansas by Tonya Bolden, illus. by Don Tate. Knopf. 2018. ISBN 9780385752763.

Reach Higher: An Inspiring Photo Celebration of First Lady Michelle Obama by Amanda Lucidon, photos by author. Random. 2018. ISBN 9780525644002.

The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip-Hop by Carole Boston Weatherford, illus. by Frank Morrison. little bee. 2019. ISBN 9781499804119.

Sisters and Champions: The True Story of Venus and Serena Williams by Howard Bryant, illus. by Floyd Cooper. Philomel. 2018. ISBN 9780399169069.

Someday Is Now: Clara Luper and the 1958 Oklahoma City Sit-Ins by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, illus. by Jade Johnson. Seagrass. 2018. ISBN 9781633224988.

The Story of Civil Rights Hero John Lewis by Jim Haskins & Kathleen Benson, illus. by Aaron Boyd. Lee & Low. 2019. ISBN 9781620148549.

The Story of Tennis Champion Arthur Ashe by Crystal Hubbard, illus. by Kevin Belford. Lee & Low. 2018. ISBN 9781620147894.

The United States v. Jackie Robinson by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, illus. by R. Gregory Christie. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. 2018. ISBN 9780062287847.

The Vast Wonder of the World: Biologist Ernest Everett Just by Mélina Mangal, illus. by Luisa Uribe. Lerner. 2018. ISBN 9781512483758.

What Do You Do with a Voice Like That?: The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan by Chris Barton, illus. by Ekua Holmes. S. & S./Beach Lane. 2018. ISBN 9781481465618.

Young, Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present by Jamia Wilson, illus. by Andrea Pippins. Wide Eyed Editions. 2018. ISBN 9781786031587.


Middle to High School

Biddy Mason Speaks Up by Arisa White & Laura Atkins, illus. by Laura Freeman. Heyday. 2019. ISBN 9781597144032.

Black Women Who Daredby Naomi M. Moyer, illus. by author. Second Story. 2018. ISBN 9781772600711.

Dark Sky Rising: Reconstruction and the Dawn of Jim Crow by Henry Gates Jr. with Tonya Bolden. Scholastic Focus. 2019. ISBN 9781338262049.

Facing Frederick: The Life of Frederick Douglass, a Monumental American Man by Tonya Bolden. Abrams. 2018. ISBN 9781419725463.

Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You by Marley Dias. Scholastic. 2018. ISBN 9781338136890.

Proud by Ibtihaj Muhammad. Little, Brown. 2018. ISBN 9780316477000.

This Promise of Change: One Girl’s Story in the Fight for School Equality by Jo Ann Allen Boyce & Debbie Levy. Bloomsbury. 2019. ISBN 9781681198521.

Graphic Novels

Grand Theft Horse by G. Neri, illus. by Corban Wilkin. Lee & Low/Tu Bks. 2018. ISBN 9781620148556.

Run by John Lewis & Andrew Aydin, illus. by Afua Richardson & Nate Powell. Abrams ComicArts. 2019. ISBN 9781419730696.

Strange Fruit: Vol. 2; More Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History by Joel Christian Gill, illus. by author. Fulcrum. 2018. ISBN 9781938486579.



Black Girl Magic by Mahogany L. Browne, illus. by Jess X. Snow. Roaring Brook. 2018. ISBN 9781250173720.

For Every One by Jason Reynolds. S. & S./Atheneum. 2018. ISBN 9781481486248.

I Am Loved by Nikki Giovanni, illus. by Ashley Bryan. S. & S./Atheneum. 2018. ISBN 9781534404922.

Martin Rising: Requiem for a King by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illus. by Brian Pinkney. Scholastic. 2018. ISBN 9780545702539.

Seeing into Tomorrow by Richard Wright, photos by Nina Crews. Millbrook. 2018. ISBN 9781512418651.

A Song for Gwendolyn Brooks by Alice Faye Duncan, illus. by Xia Gordon. Sterling. 2019. ISBN 9781454930884.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy by Tony Medina, illus. by various. Penny Candy. 2018. ISBN 9780998799940.

The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander, illus. by Kadir Nelson. Versify. 2019. ISBN 9781328780966.

Della Farrell is the former nonfiction and poetry editor at SLJ.

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