Are you looking for some chapter books for Black History Month? Here are three suggestions for middle and high school students. I love to read books that spark great discussion and allow students to think beyond basic comprehension and go deeper. These books do just that!
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Copper Sun by Sharon Draper
This historical fiction novel tells the story of a young girl named Amari. Slave traders captured Amari from her African village and she lost everything, including her family and her freedom. Readers will follow Amari’s journey from her capture to being sold to slavery. Throughout the book, we see her struggles and her strength as she adjusts to her new life. I love this book because it teaches students the horrors of slavery through the eyes of a captured girl. History books fail to go into detail about slavery and this book is a great supplement to teaching about slavery.
Hidden Figures: Young Readers Edition by Margot Lee Shetterly
This book brings light to the women that played a pivotal role in NASA and the Space Race. Women and African Americans were seen as inferior during this time. However, that did not stop them from using their expertise and breaking many barriers. They are true examples of extending beyond borders. I love this book because it makes me think about how many other “hidden figures” there are in our history that we fail to recognize. I’ve learned that I can’t depend on others to teach me my history, but that I must do my own research to get the complete story. It’s my hope that my students will learn the same lesson.
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Dear Martin addresses the current Black Lives Matter Movement. Justyce McAllister is a senior at Braselton Preparatory Academy where he excels on the debate team. Though very intelligent and Ivy League Bound, Justyce learns that being black creates some barriers for him. As Justyce goes through his senior year, he writes letters to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr sharing his frustrations. The book offers many opinions on the various topics surrounding social justice and is a relevant book for teenagers to read.