Black history may not always seem like a “pleasant” topic to read about, but it is necessary education. In my experience reading and writing about books for children, I have found Black authors and Black history to be relatively missing from the genre of historical fiction. Fortunately, more contemporary authors are writing about this topic, and not just about slavery, but also about Black joy.
The books on this list include stories about segregation, slavery, and poverty, but also about Black kids who play music, tap-dance, enter beauty pageants, love outer space, and investigate mysteries. These kids are also grappling with regular tween issues like first crushes, sibling squabbles, and strained friendships.