Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Diverse Children's Literature: African American

Topic information: African American

Be careful not to box yourself into a concrete search term for your topic. Think of synonyms for your subject - broader terms, related terms, and narrower terms. Using this strategy will guarantee a wider selection of materials. Be aware, too, that some search terms may be uncomfortable to think or say out loud - but could yield possible results.

"African American" is a broad ethnonym that doesn't even begin to capture the myriad experiences and diaspora of African peoples, both here in the United States and elsewhere. Take a look at winners of the Coretta Scott King Award as an initial search and for keyword ideas. 

Possible search terms: Black, Black American, Civil Rights, Black Lives Matter, Ghana/Ghanian, Congo/Congolese, race relations, African Americans--social conditions, apartheid

Picture Books and Early Readers

Another by Christian Robinson
Black is a Rainbow Color by Angela Joy
The Blacker the Berry by Joyce Carol Thomas
A Girl Like Me by Angela Johnson
Harlem by Walter Dean Myers
I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes
Jazz on a Saturday Night by Leo & Diane Dillon
The Little Mermaid by Jerry Pinkney
My People by Langston Hughes
The Old Truck by the Pumphrey Brothers
Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson
Respect by Carole Boston Weatherford
Thunder Rose by Jerdine Nolen
Ty's Travels: All Aboard! by Kelly Starling Lyons
The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander

Middle Grade

Auma's Long Run by Eucabeth Odhiambo
brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Freedom Over Me by Ashley Bryan
From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks
The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis
King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender
Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds
Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron
New Kid by Jerry Craft
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
The Only Black Girls in Town by Brandy Colbert
Rebound by Kwame Alexander
Rhythm Ride by Andrea Davis Pinkney
The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon
Voice of Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford

Young Adult