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Celebrating Black History Month with books from Peachtree

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It was this tweet that caught my eye and reminded me what an amazing publishing company Peachtree Publications is.

Peachtree is a woman-owned, independent publisher creating children’s books that educate, entertain, encourage, and endure. They also publish breathtaking and beautiful diverse for kids. Here a few that I would recommend adding to your “must read” stack in honor of #BlackHistoryMonth. Here’s a look at some of their beautiful books for kids inspired by this post about Black History Month.

Yours for Justice, Ida B. Wells

books for Black History Month

The Daring Life of a Crusading Journalist

by Philip Dray
illustrated by Stephen Alcorn

Journalist Ida B. Wells faces the greatest challenge of her life as a tireless crusader for justice and civil rights.

In 1863, when Ida B. Wells was not yet two years old, the Emancipation Proclamation freed her from the bond of slavery. Blessed with a strong will, an eager mind, and a deep belief in America’s promise of “freedom and justice for all,” young Ida held her family together, defied society’s conventions, and used her position as a journalist to speak against injustice. But Ida’s greatest challenge arose after one of her friends was lynched. How could one headstrong young woman help free America from the looming “shadow of lawlessness”?

Author Philip Dray tells the inspirational story of Ida B. Wells and her lifelong commitment to end injustice. Award-winning illustrator Stephen Alcorn’s remarkable illustrations recreate the tensions that threatened to upend a nation while paying tribute to a courageous American hero.

Dad, Jackie, and Me

by Myron Uhlberg
illustrated by Colin Bootman

books for black history month

“It was Opening Day, 1947. And every kid in Brooklyn knew this was our year. The Dodgers were going to go all the way!”

It is the summer of 1947 and a highly charged baseball season is underway in New York. Jackie Robinson is the new first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers—and the first black player in Major League Baseball. A young boy listens eagerly to the Dodgers games on the radio, each day using sign language to tell his deaf father about the games. His father begins to keep a scrapbook, clipping photos and articles about Jackie. Finally one day the father delivers some big news: they are going to Ebbets Field to watch Jackie play!

Author Myron Uhlberg offers a nostalgic look back at 1947, and pays tribute to Jackie Robinson, the legendary athlete, and hero. Illustrator Colin Bootman’s realistic, full-color illustrations capture the details of the period and the excitement of an entire city as Robinson and the Dodgers won the long-awaited pennant and brought an entire New York community together for one magical summer.

Blacksmith’s Song

by Elizabeth Van Steenwyk
illustrated by Anna Rich

books for black history month

The son of an enslaved blacksmith learns that his father is using the rhythm of his hammering to communicate with travelers on the Underground Railroad. When Pa falls ill, it is up to him to help others along the journey—and also lead his family’s escape.

Pa works hard as a blacksmith.  But he’s got another important job to do as well: using his anvil to pound out the traveling rhythm – a message to travelers on the Underground Railroad.  His son wants to help, but Pa keeps putting him off.  Then one day, Pa falls ill and the boy has to take over.

A powerful story of rhythm and craft in nineteenth-century America with beautiful oil paintings and back matter that includes more information about the Underground Railroad.

Poet:The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton

by Don Tate

books for Black History Month

George loved words. But George was enslaved.

Forced to work long hours, George was unable to attend school or learn how to read. But he was determined—he listened to the white children’s lessons and learned the alphabet. Then he taught himself to read. Soon, he began composing poetry in his head and reciting it as he sold fruits and vegetables on a nearby college campus. News of the slave poet traveled quickly among the students, and before long, George had customers for his poems. But George was still enslaved. Would he ever be free?

In this powerful biography of George Moses Horton, the first southern African-American man to be published, Don Tate tells an inspiring and moving story of talent and determination.

Gabriel’s Horses

It is 1864, and twelve-year-old Gabriel loves to help his father care of the thoroughbred racehorses on Master Giles’s farm in Kentucky. But the violence of the Civil War breaks out and Gabriel’s father leaves to enlist in a Colored Battalion, bringing the arrival of Mr. Newcastle, a white horse trainer with harsh, cruel methods for handling horses and people. Now i’ts up to Gabriel to protect the horses he loves from Mr. Newcastle and keep them safely out of the clutches of Confederate raiders. Alison Hart mines the complex relationships of the Civil War in Gabriel’s Horses, the first book in a gripping historical fiction middle grade series. Read an excerpt here and find the Teacher’s Guide here. Continue reading the Racing to Freedom Trilogy with Gabriel’s Triumph and Gabriel’s Journey.


We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March

Cynthia Levinson tells the inspiring story of one of the greatest moments in civil rights history as seen through the eyes of four young people who were at the center of the action. We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March tells how Audrey Hendricks, Wash Booker, James Stewart, Arnetta Streeter and 4,000 black elementary, middle, and high school students succeeded where adults had failed in desegregating one of the most racially violent cities in America. If you are interested in We’ve Got a Job, also check out our Teacher’s Guide here.

Keep On! The Story of Matthew Henson, Co-discoverer of the North Pole

Deborah Hopkinson brings us a stunning picture book Keep On! The Story of Matthew Henson, Co-discoverer of the North Pole which tells the story of the under-recognized Matthew Henson who joined Robert Peary’s great 1909 expedition to reach the North Pole. The team endured storms, shifting ice, wind, injuries, accidents, and unimaginable cold. Finally, on April 1, Peary, Henson, and four Inuit men began the final 133-mile push to the Pole. For more resources, check out our Teacher’s Guide for Keep On! here.

Valarie BudayrValarie Budayr is the founder of Audrey Press and author of the books, Dragon Are Real! A Year in the Secret Garden, The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden and The Ultimate Guide To Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. She is passionate about making kid’s books come alive and when she isn’t jumping into a book and creating wildly inventive adventures, she is “mom” to three uber creative children, married to a wonderfully patient man who has come to love yarn, proud owner of one adored cat, and the Fox Whisperer to lots and lots of Foxes (that come and go as they please). You can also find Valarie on Facebook or on Twitter at @JumpIntoaBook1.