5 Children’s Books Featuring Black Characters

Book cover images collage with text: "5 Children's Books Featuring Black Characters"

5 Children’s Books Featuring Black Characters

January 20, 2022

 

With stories highlighting everyday experiences, like solving the mystery of a missing pet or helping out in your community, to extraordinary experiences, like being an official member of superhero Max Axiom’s Society of Super Scientists (we all want to be on that team!), here are some of our favorite books that celebrate Black joy. Featuring Black primary characters, these positive stories center on Black children being their beautiful, smart, curious, creative, fun-loving selves. Check out our top 5 children’s books featuring Black characters plus get a sneak peek at a new series launching this fall!

Book cover image of Being You by Alexs Pate, illustrated by SoudBook cover image of Being You by Alexs Pate, illustrated by Soud

1. Being You by Alexs Pate, illustrated by Soud (Gr. PreK-4)

Award-winning author and professor, Alexs Pate delivers a message of hope and self-discovery in a time of uncertainty in our world. BEING YOU is a beautiful picture book celebrating every readers' individuality and talents. With an authentic voice, BEING YOU's poetic message of love and optimism for the future speaks directly to today's children. BEING YOU helps us to see the wonder and light within each of us.
(Also available in Interactive eBook.)

Book cover collage image of Azaleah Lane series by Nikki Shannon SmithBook cover collage image of Azaleah Lane series by Nikki Shannon Smith

2. Azaleah Lane series by Nikki Shannon Smith, illustrated by Mari Lobo (Gr. K-2)

Eight-year-old Azaleah Lane has an amazing life. She lives with her mom (a chef), her dad (a lawyer), and two sisters in Washington, D.C. Being the middle child isn't always easy, but Azaleah is never bored or lonely. Between life at home, adventures at her family's restaurant, and busy days at school, there are always problems and mysteries for Azaleah to solve. Full of style, charm, and spunk, this series is a must-read for adventurous young readers everywhere.
(Also available in Interactive eBook and paperback formats.)

Book cover image of Mordecai's Magic by Bryan Patrick AveryBook cover image of Mordecai's Magic by Bryan Patrick Avery

3. Mordecai's Magic by Bryan Patrick Avery, illustrated by Arief Putra (Mr. Grizley's Class series; Gr. K-2)

Mordecai is the newest student in Mr. Grizley's class. Before he even gets a chance to introduce himself, it is time for the school assembly. The class barely gets settled to watch a magic show when they get some bad news—the magician had to cancel. Can Mordecai work some of his own magic to save the school show? With a special activity created to reinforce social emotional learning skills, this early chapter book offers a fun and inviting approach to character education. Part of the Mr. Grizley's Class series.
(Also available in Interactive eBook and paperback formats.)

Book cover collage image of Sadiq series by Siman NuuraliBook cover collage image of Sadiq series by Siman Nuurali

4. Sadiq series by Siman Nuurali, illustrated by Anjan Sarkar and Christos Skaltsas (Gr. 1-3)

From author Siman Nuurali comes fun-loving third grader Sadiq and his lively Somali-American family. Sadiq has many interests, from soccer to video games to cooking (and eating!) samosas. But he's also curious about new things! In each book, Sadiq shares a hobby with friends, brainstorms with buddies to solve problems, or gives something new a try. A natural connector and friend to all, Sadiq invites readers in on the fun!
(Also available in Interactive eBook and paperback formats.)

Collage image of book covers from Max Axiom and the Society of Super ScientistsCollage image of book covers from Max Axiom and the Society of Super Scientists

5. Max Axiom and the Society of Super Scientists series (Gr. 3-9)

Readers join Max Axiom and the Society of Super Scientists as they use their superpowers and super-smarts to investigate today’s most urgent environmental and scientific issues. Through the dynamic graphic novel format, these accessible introductions break down complex topics into exciting, fact-filled STEM adventures. With Max and his team leading the way, young readers will learn about current challenges facing the world and discover actions to solve them.
(Also available in Interactive eBook and paperback formats.)

 

* BONUS SNEAK PEEK! * 

Collage image of book covers from Jalen's Big City series by Dorothy H. PriceCollage image of book covers from Jalen's Big City series by Dorothy H. Price

Jalen's Big City Life series by Dorothy Price, illustrated by Shiane Salabie (Gr. K-2)

Coming in Fall 2022! Life in the big city is full of fun for seven-year-old Jalen Corey Pierce. Between adventures with his two best friends, Amir and Vicky, and new experiences with his family, J.C. is always learning new things and exploring city life. These easy-to-read stories, featuring a glossary, discussion questions, and writing prompts, are perfect for curious young readers everywhere. Available in August 2022.

 

Book cover image collage for blog post on 5 Children's Books Featuring Black Characters Book cover image collage for blog post on 5 Children's Books Featuring Black Characters

Check out our Black History Month page for more resources.