Celebrating the Books of Black History Month

February 6, 2023

United Through Reading celebrates the achievements and contributions of African Americans all year long, but during February’s Black History Month there is no better time to check out some of our most loved and treasured stories centered around the historic and cultural influence African Americans have had in the United States. 

If you haven’t already, download the United Through Reading App to get access to these titles today and start your own journey through reading about the sacrifices, adversities, triumphs, and cultural heritage of some of our nation’s most revered heroes. 

Chasing Space

By Leland Melvin

(Recommended Ages: 8-12 years)

Features: Leland Melvin’s inspirational story of being drafted by the Detroit Lions and his journey to orbiting the planet in the International Space Station

Escape North!: The Story of Harriet Tubman 

By Monica Kulling

(Recommended Ages: 7-9 years)

Features: An account of Harriet Tubman’s life–from her childhood in slavery to her years as a conductor on the Underground Railroad to her later work as a suffragette and as a spy in the Civil War.

Follow Your Dreams, Little One

By Vashti Harrison

(Recommended Ages: 0 months – 4 years)

Features: Stories of Aaron Douglas, John Lewis, Alvin Ailey, Bass Reeves, Arthur Ashe, and James Baldwin

Hidden Figures (Young Reader’s Edition)

By Margot Lee Shetterly

(Recommended Ages: 8-12 years)

Features: The story of four African-American female mathematicians at NASA who helped achieve some of the greatest moments in our space program. This book showcases the lives of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden.

I Am Jackie Robinson 

By Brad Meltzer

(Recommended Ages: 4-8 years)

Features: Robinson’s story as he became the first Black player in Major League Baseball, and how his bravery changed American history and led the way to equality in all sports in America.

I Am Martin Luther King, Jr. 

By Brad Meltzer

(Recommended Ages: 4-8 years)

Features: King’s ideals for helping gather people together for nonviolent protests and marches and his love for other human beings and doing what’s right.

I Am Rosa Parks 

By Brad Meltzer

(Recommended Ages: 4-8 years)

Features: Rosa Parks’ bravery to help end public bus segregation and launch the country’s Civil Rights Movement.

Jackie Robinson: He Led the Way

By April Jones Prince and Robert Casilla

(Recommended Ages: 6-8 years)

Features: Jackie Robinson’s childhood through his career as an MVP-award winning baseball player and a hero of the civil rights movement.

Reaching for the Moon: The Autobiography of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson

By Katherine Johnson

(Recommended Ages: 10-14+ years)

Features: The story of Katherine as an African American girl growing up in an era of brutal racism and sexism, who lived her life with her father’s words in mind: “You are no better than anyone else, and nobody else is better than you.”

Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream

By Deloris Jordan and Roslyn M. Jordan

(Recommended Ages: 5-10 years)

Features: Michael Jordan’s invaluable lesson of what really goes into the making of a champion—patience, determination, and hard work.

VIP: Dr. Mae Jemison, Brave Rocketeer

By Heather Alexander

(Recommended Ages: 8-12 years) 

Features: Mae Jemison as the first African American woman to travel to space. She is also a medical doctor who once joined the Peace Corps.

Who Were the Tuskegee Airmen?

By Sherri L. Smith

(Recommended Ages: 8-12 years)

Features: Details of the thrilling flight missions and the grueling training sessions the Tuskegee Airmen underwent. This story shines a light on the lives of these brave men who helped pave the way for the integration of the US armed forces.

You Should Meet Mae Jemison

By Laurie Calkhoven

(Recommended Ages: 6-9 years)

Features: The story of Mae Jemison, the first African-American female astronaut and the themes of making history and following your dreams.