Whether you're looking for something for your early reader to identify with or just want to diversify your home library, these 10 chapter books with black protagonists are perfect. From heartwarming stories of overcoming adversity to tales of everyday life, these books will engage and inspire young readers. So curl up with your little one and enjoy exploring these wonderful stories together!
EllRay Jakes Is Not a Chicken by Sally Warner
EllRay Jakes Is Not a Chicken by Sally Warner is a delightful story about an 8-year-old boy striving to come into his own. EllRay has to deal with both the usual challenges of being a kid - like trouble with friends, the occasional run-in with bullies, and even the pressures from his parents - and all while trying to be himself. This book shows readers the beauty of accepting yourself for who you are and not giving into peer pressure or external expectations. It's a charming story that teaches kids at any age how important it is to be true to one's self in spite of all obstacles. Through warm humor and colorful illustrations, this book is sure to bring a smile everyone's face!
Lulu and the Duck In the Park by Hilary McKay
Lulu and the Duck In the Park, written by Hilary McKay, is a charming story about a young girl who loves animals! Lulu finds a little duck on her way to school one day and against her parents’ wishes, decides to take it under her wing. She quickly discovers that ducks aren't as easy to look after as she thought they would be! This amusing tale follows Lulu's struggles - and victories - with looking after the duck in an urban environment. It provides valuable insight into how important nature can be when it comes to child development while also being highly entertaining.
The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Brenda Woods
The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond is a novel by award-winning author Brenda Woods about an 11-year-old girl who discovers that her father is biracial. Through her coming of age journey she learns to embrace both sides of her heritage and decides to go by the name 'Violet Diamond'. With help from some siblings and friends, Violet learns how to respect different cultures, traditions and races while developing a stronger sense of self. The novel explores themes of identity, family love, personal discovery and growth in a gentle yet uplifting way. It conveys a powerful message about the beauty in embracing our differences, no matter how small or large they may be.
Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton
Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton is a great coming of age story about a young biracial girl, Mimi, living in the late 1960’s. The book follows Mimi as she navigates life and all that comes with being half-black and half-Japanese. We learn from her struggles and successes as she fights against racism and gender stereotypes to figure out where she truly fits in this time of immense change. As Mimi pushes against society’s norms, readers learn valuable lessons about perseverance, respect for one another, and standing up for what you believe in. It's an empowering story that shows no matter the difficulties one faces, they can still pursue their dreams with courage and determination.
Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke
Anna Hibiscus is a delightful children’s series by Atinuke about a young girl who lives with her large family in the tropical town of Bamteyo, Africa. All of Anna's adventures - from swimming lessons to holidays in Nigeria - will charm and captivate young readers as they follow along with the spunky heroine. Through these stories, not only do children get a taste for African culture and everyday life on the continent, but they also learn valuable lessons about resilience and being resourceful. As an added bonus, each story comes with bright illustrations that will further draw kids into Anna's world!
Brand New School, Brave New Ruby by Derrick Barnes
Brand New School, Brave New Ruby by Derrick Barnes is a delightful picture book about embracing the same kind of bravery as Ruby. It's an inspiring message that encourages young readers to not be afraid to explore their individual gifts and talents, even in the face of anything that may stand in the way. This coming-of-age story follows protagonist Ruby as she comes to terms with her fears and is reminded that anything worth having takes time and courage. She eventually musters up the strength to move forward, leaving behind all of her doubts and worries. Along with a delightful energy, the book offers gentle lessons about being brave without sacrificing who you are or compromising on your dreams. It encourages children, no matter what circumstances they're faced with, to have confidence in themselves and strive for better opportunities.
Bayou Magic by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Bayou Magic by Jewell Parker Rhodes is an amazing tale of adventures for young readers, full of memorable characters and exciting plot twists. Set in modern day Louisiana, the story follows twelve-year-old Maddy who discovers she has magic powers that connect her to the bayou's natural elements. She must learn to master these newly discovered skills as she navigates a world of danger and enchantment to protect her beloved bayou from greed and destruction. Along the way, Maddy meets fascinating characters who show her how to use her powers in a positive way, while teaching her lessons in courage, loyalty and selflessness. A truly captivating read, Bayou Magic will capture the hearts of readers young and old alike!
As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds
As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds is a powerful tale of friendship, family, and identity. The novel follows best friends Genie and Ernie as they embark on a roadtrip to discover the thing that makes each of them unique. While attempting to find courage within themselves, Genie and Ernie come face-to-face with many of the universe’s mysteries, such as time-traveling, psychic powers, and their own mortality. Through the highs and lows of the journey, one thing remains unchanged: the strength of their brotherly bond. This heartfelt story demands readers to think beyond what’s on the surface – ultimately probing questions about identity and what it truly means to be brave.
The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island by Dana Alison Levy
The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island by Dana Alison Levy is the heartwarming story of the diverse and dynamic Fletcher family. It follows Jax, Summers, Paz, Dex, Zuke, and 8-year-old twins, Trey and Lily. With their parents always busy running their business or taking care of their ancestral farm, the kids find themselves meddling in high jinks around town. From figuring out how to win a talent show competition with an eclectic dance routine to taking part in a bee keeping competition, the Fletchers are up to all kinds of fun adventures! At its core, this delightful story is about family bonds made stronger when they're exposed to different people and experiences. All ages will truly love following along with this splendid group - guaranteed!
Nikki and Deja by Karen English
Nikki and Deja by Karen English is a delightful book about the bond between two young sisters. Nikki and Deja have been close since birth, but lately, their differences have been causing them to drift apart. When Nikki's teacher assigns her a project on "black family history," the two sisters decide to discover how their ancestors experienced life in America through both research and an imaginative journey. With charming illustrations and gentle humor, this book both celebrates the special relationship between siblings while inspiring readers to explore their own heritage.Do you have any children's chapter books with black protagonists that you love? Drop them in the comments! We'd love to grow this list, as it's so important for young children to see themselves represented in the media they consume! Happy reading :)