Inspiring Books for Black Boys

Books can be powerful tools for inspiring kids to learn, think, and create. For Black boys, finding books that feature characters that look like them and reflect their culture and experiences can be especially meaningful. Here are 35 inspiring books that can provide Black boys with a sense of connection and pride.

1. The Watsons Go to Birmingham. 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis. A family road trip turns into a life-changing experience when they visit Alabama during the height of the civil rights movement.

2. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. A National Book Award-winning memoir is written in verse about growing up Black in the 1960s and 1970s.

3. The Crossover by Kwame Alexander. A powerful story about twin brothers, their deep love for basketball, and the struggles of growing up.

4. Hidden Figures. The True Story of Four African-American Women Who Helped Launch Our Nation into Space by Margot Lee Shetterly. An inspiring story about four African-American women who made history at NASA during the Space Race.

5. The Million Dollar Shot by Dan Gutman. A young basketball prodigy gets the chance to shoot for a million dollars, but only if he can make the shot.

6. The Boys Who Challenged Hitler. Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club by Phillip Hoose. The inspiring story of a group of Danish teens who fought against Nazi occupation during World War II.

7. The Wretched Stone by Chris Van Allsburg. A boy’s journey of discovery to a mysterious island leads to a powerful lesson about unity and respect for nature.

8. The Cello of Mr. O by Jane Cutler. A magical story about a young cellist who makes music that drives away the sadness of a nearby village.

9. The Watsons Are Coming! by Amy Ehrlich. A hilarious story of a family trip gone wrong, told from the perspective of the youngest Watson.

10. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. A thrilling adventure starring a demigod who must battle mythological creatures and gods to save the world.

11. The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson. The inspiring true story of a nine-year-old who became the youngest civil rights activist in Birmingham, Alabama.

12. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba. A true story about a young man who uses his ingenuity to build a windmill and bring electricity to his village.

13. The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney. A young girl’s courage and determination save her village during a time of conflict in Darfur, Sudan.

14. Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. A humorous and heartwarming story of a ten-year-old boy’s search for his father during the Great Depression.

15. H.O.R.S.E. A Game of Basketball and Imagination by Christopher Myers. A captivating story about a young basketball player who uses his imagination to create an imaginary game of H.O.R.S.E.

16. My Name is Not Friday by Jon Walter. A captivating story of a young slave’s escape from a plantation and his struggle to find freedom.

17. The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles. The true story of a six-year-old African-American girl who desegregated from an all-white school in New Orleans.

18. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. A powerful story of a teen’s struggle to find her voice and stand up for what is right in the face of racism and injustice.

19. The Caged Birds of Phnom Penh by Frederick Lipp. The story of a brave young Cambodian girl who risks her freedom to save the lives of hundreds of endangered birds.

20. The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy. A hilarious story about a family with two dads and four boys who have a series of unforgettable adventures.

21. Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes. A powerful story about a group of diverse teens who express themselves through poetry in a creative writing class.

22. The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer. A magical adventure about two brothers searching for a way to break a curse and save their kingdom.

23. The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore. A heartfelt story of a young man’s struggle to build a Lego city in the aftermath of his brother’s death.

24. Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes. An emotionally gripping story about a young Black boy killed by a police officer and the ghosts who help him find justice.

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