Black History Month: Reading for Kids

Our regular contributor and on-call children's librarian Lisa Von Drasek sent in a few wonderful titles to share with the young person in your life to mark Black History Month. (For additional related recommendations see our Five Books list of Black History Month reading).






Wind Flyers

By Angela Johnson; Illustrated by Loren Long


Johnson tells the story of The Tuskegee Airmen, the first African Americans to fly for the United States. Johnson's spare lyrical language is perfectly paired with Loren Long's dramatic paintings. We witness the struggles of the airmen for training and respect as well as their bravery in the battles of World War II.




Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad

By Ellen Levine; Illustrated by Kadir Nelson


Henry Brown was born a slave. He was sold away from his family as a child and was worked hard in his master's Richmond, VA, factory. As an adult, after his family was torn from him, Henry made an ingeniously brave escape by mailing himself in a wooden box across 350 miles to conductors of the Underground Railroad in Philadelphia. Award winning fine artist Nelson, captures the details of the period, the environment and Henry's struggles. [Ages 8 and up]




Liberty or Death: The Surprising Story of Runaway Slaves Who Sided with the British during the Ameri...

By Margaret Whitman Blair


Those who have read the fictional tale Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson will not be surprised at this non-fiction account of American Slaves who fought on the British side of the war for independence in exchange for the promise of freedom. A different point-of-view in the sea of patriot titles. [Ages 11 and up]





April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The People's Platform

Why is the Internet - once touted as the democratizer of the future - ruled by a few corporate giants, while countless aspirants work for free? Astra Taylor diagnoses why the web has failed to be a utopian playing field, and offers compelling ways we can diversify the marketplace and give voice to the marginalized.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.

The Promise of Hope

Killed last year in the infamous terror attack at Nairobi's Westgate mall, Kofi Awoonor was a national treasure in his native Ghana.  His career began in 1964 with Rediscovery, and this magnum opus serves as a tribute to his entire long journey charting his beloved nation's course through his accomplished poetry.