Celebrate Black History Month with Johnson County Library’s recommended reads for children and teens

Johnson County Library has recommended more than 120 children's and teen books in celebration of Black History Month. Above, Monya Franklin, a library staff member, holds a few of the recommended reads, including "Freedom Soup" by Tami Charles and " March Forward, Girl: From Young Warrior to Little Rock Nine" by Melba Beals. Photo courtesy Johnson County Library.

As part of an ongoing celebration of Black History Month, Johnson County Library has provided local readers with more than 120 recommended reads that uplift, celebrate and teach children and teens.

“Knowing these stories, these experiences from history, helps readers see themselves more clearly in the situations, thoughts, and feelings they can identify with and see their peers, neighbors, and community more clearly in the ones that are new,” said Chris Koppenhaver, youth services librarian. “It makes us all more connected to each other.”

“Antiracist Baby” by Ibram X. Kendi. Photo via Ibram X. Kendi’s Facebook page.

Here’s the Johnson County Library’s complete list of recommended books for preschoolers. Below is a list of preschool-age books that were published in 2020:

  • “Sometimes People March” by Tessa Allen
  • “All Because You Matter” by Tami Charles
  • “Equality’s Call” by Deborah Diesen
  • “Antiracist Baby” by Ibram X. Kendi

Here’s the Johnson County Library’s complete list of recommended books for elementary students. Below is a list of elementary-level books that were published in 2020:

  • “Northbound” by Michael S. Bandy
  • “Overground Railroad” by Lesa Cline-Ransome
  • “The ABCs of Black History” by Rio Cortez
  • “The Teachers March! How Selma’s Teachers Changed History” by Sandra Neil Wallace

Here’s the Johnson County Library’s complete list of recommended books for middle schoolers. Below is a list of pre-teen and adolescent books that were published in 2020:

  • “The Only Black Girls in Town” by Brandy Colbert
  • “Lifting as We Climb: Black Women’s Battle for the Ballot Box” by Evette Dionne
  • “More Than A Game: Race, Gender, and Politics in Sports” by Matt Doeden
“Equality’s Call” by Deborah Diesen. Photo via Deborah Diesen’s Facebook page.

Here’s the Johnson County Library’s complete list of recommended books for high school students. Below is a list of teen books that were published in 2020:

  • “Daughters of Jubilation” by Kara Lee Corthron
  • “Stolen Justice: The Struggle for African-American Voting Rights” by Lawrence Goldstone
  • “The Black Kids” by Christina Hammonds Reed
  • “This Is My America” by Kim Johnson
  • “The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones” by Daven McQueen
  • “Sing and Shout: The Mighty Voice of Paul Robeson” by Susan Goldman Rubin
  • “Freedom Summer for Young People: The Violent Season That Made Mississippi Burn and Made America A Democracy” by Bruce Watson
  • “Punching the Air” by Ibi Aanu Zoboi