Six books to read during Black History Month
This month is Black History Month – a time to celebrate the contribution made to our society over many years by the African and Caribbean communities.
To help you teach children about this important time, we’ve put together six books we think are essential reading – stories of courage against the odds, fascinating fact books, and accounts of truly extraordinary lives.
Inspire young children with the story of Mary Seacole’s lasting influence on nursing. This exciting look at her life is a really great way to get children reading non-fiction, and to teach them about the life of a remarkable woman.
‘Freedom’ was the first word Clotee learned to write. A slave girl on one of Virginia’s harsh cotton plantations, she can barely think of anything else. But knowing of something and knowing what it really feels like are two different things. This inspiring story is based on the true memoirs of Clotee Henley: a slave who helped thousands of other slaves escape to freedom.
In a divided world, love can be a deadly thing. The former Children’s Laureate will make you reconsider everything you take for granted in a shocking book that packs a knock-out punch. Sephy and Callum’s story will stay with you long after you’ve read the final page.
New York, 1776. As the American War of Independence rages, a slave girl pursues her own fight – for freedom. Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2010, Chains is the story of a girl who longs to be free, living in a society that refuses to let her.
The classic tale of growing up black in 1930s Mississippi. Cassie’s mother tells her that colour doesn’t matter. Nobody is better than anyone else. But outside their home in the Deep South, it’s a different story. Blacks can’t sit in the same bus seats as whites, or use the same water fountain. Worst of all: if you’re black and you speak up, chances are someone you love will die violently. How will Cassie bear the injustice she sees all around her?
The battle for civil rights is raging. However much she lies to herself, hate is what Sarah expects to find at Jefferson High: a previously all-white school. No one wants a black girl like Sarah there. Especially not Linda: the daughter of the town’s most vocal racist activist. Sarah knows she despises her. Or does she? Amid all this hate, what neither Sarah nor Linda expect to find is love…