Must-Read Books by Powerful Black Authors for Young Bookworms

Representation in writing and characterization. Check out these fantastic children’s book recommendations made by Black authors with Black characters!

Author's Corner Black Voices Graphic Novels Recommendations Young Readers
Image of various children's books in front of a library.

Where would we be without children’s books in our lives? These books shape us into who we are today and we as a society are so lucky to have such diverse voices writing these stories for our younger generations. In this article, we will look at creative and must-buy books by black authors that will be the perfect buy for your child. These are created by amazing authors who have made a difference in the children’s book community with their outstanding stories, and you will not want to miss out on these essential children’s books!

Ghost Roast by Shawneé Gibbs and Shawnelle Gibbs

In this young adult graphic novel released this January, the Gibbs sisters write a mightily adventurous tale about a girl named Chelsea and her ghost-hunting father. Though Chelsea fears her father’s ghost business will keep her from the popular crowd, she ends up befriending a crowd she doesn’t expect!

But after a crazy night with her new friends, her father must teach her a lesson by making her join his ghost-hunting business for the whole summer. It should be easy enough…until Chelsea realizes she can see the ghosts without her father’s ghost equipment. Join Chelsea while she creates new friendships you won’t expect and her sudden quest to save her father, all while possibly losing his beloved business.  

Front cover of Ghost Roast, showing a person with a machine on their back and three other characters in the background posing.

This book is perfect for your tween or teen. The storyline is unbeatable, and I imagine this book to be the best newly released YA graphic novel of 2024. The Gibbs sisters will no doubt be added to your favorite author list after you read this fantastic novel.

The King of Kindergarten by Brantley Newton

The King of Kindergarten is a must-read for any future kindergarten students! Brantley Newton will take you and your child on a wee journey of the exciting steps Kindergarten brings for every kid. The main character begins his first days of school and has the best day he can! He is so excited to return home and tell his parents about his fantastic day. The best part? He gets to do it all over again the next day!

Front cover of "The King of Kindergarten," showing a little kid with a crown on their head.

This is an adorable picture book that will help any student with the first-day jitters. We have all been there; school is a new environment that every person must go through. But with the help from Newton and his supportive story, your child will be more than excited to start their new adventure!

You Matter by Christian Robinson

front cover of "You Matter," showing various kids playing with a parachute together.

Truly an inspiring book you will NOT want to miss. Christian Robinson writes a wonderous story about the pure connections we forget we have as humans. Robinson focuses on the diverse voices across the world and how we all matter in our own unique ways. This is a beautiful book full of colorful and warm illustrations that is the perfect read for a classroom setting.

Saturday by Oge Mora

Front cover of "Saturday," showing a mother and daughter walking on the street together.

The perfect mother/daughter duo picturebook you have been waiting for. Oge Mora will bring you on a heartfelt journey in this magical book about a mother and daughter’s Saturday together. Though the two usually love their Saturday traditions, this Saturday is different. Things seem to be going wrong at every turn, but this will not stop the pure joy the two must remember: it’s the time spent together that matters.

Firebird by Misty Copeland

Front cover of "Firebird," showing a dancer in a red outfit.

In her debut children’s book, Misty Copeland dives into the essence of working hard for your own goals. The book follows a young girl and her dedication to becoming the best ballerina she can be. Though she faces difficult obstacles along the way, it will not stop her tireless effort to become a pure firebird. This is the perfect book for encouraging dedication, passion, and not giving up on a life-long dream. 

Between Two Windows by Kiesha Morris

Author and illustrator Kiesha Morris brings a wonderful story about two children and their imaginative friendship. Living across the street from each other, two kids grow a close bond by writing notes to one another through a clothesline. The two become best friends, all while creating a world of magic and friendship from their drawings and notes. But what happens when the clothesline gets taken down? Will the two continue to grow their imaginative world?

Front cover of "Between Two Windows," Showing two kids playing with eachother on the street.

This is a perfect picture book for a better understanding of what friendship truly is. Your child will love this book and all its wondrous illustrations. I recommend this to parents who want to help encourage their children to make friendships of a lifetime.

The Light She Feels Inside by Gwendolyn Wallace

In Gwendolyn Wallace’s powerful picture book The Light She Feels Inside, a young girl named Maya discovers how she can make a difference in the world herself. With the help of historical names from previous females, black activists, and her own community, Maya will discover the light inside herself. She will do anything she can to help the world around her and bring the light out of her fellow friends and family.

Front cover of "The Light she Feels Inside," showing a child with a smile and colors surrounding her.

This book is an outstanding read with well-researched and informative advice for young readers. Children who read this book will learn all about the importance of activism and standing up for what is right in their community. I strongly recommend getting this book for your child or classroom.

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