6 New Children's Books Celebrating Juneteenth!

By Monica C. RSS Mon, June 12, 2023

We have some new books about Juneteenth to recommend! Last year our similar blog post suggested new titles that had been published and added to our collection. Here are some more to add to your reading list!

A Flag for Juneteenth by Kim Taylor

This book depicts a close-knit community of enslaved African Americans on a plantation in Texas the day before the announcement is to be made that all enslaved people are free. Young Huldah, who is preparing to celebrate her tenth birthday, can’t possibly anticipate how much her life will change that Juneteenth morning. The story follows Huldah and her community as they process the news of their freedom and celebrate together by creating a community freedom flag. Debut author and artist Kim Taylor sets this story apart by applying her skills as an expert quilter. Each of the illustrations has been lovingly hand sewn and quilted, giving the book a homespun, tactile quality that is altogether unique.

The Night Before Freedom: A Juneteenth Story by Glenda Armand; illustrated by Corey Barksdale

Eight-year-old David and his family gather at Grandma’s house in Galveston, Texas for a cherished family tradition: Grandma’s annual retelling of the story of Juneteenth, the holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. The signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln meant that all enslaved persons within the rebellious states would be free as of January 1, 1863. However, people in Texas did not receive the news of their emancipation until two and a half years later — on June 19, 1865. Grandma tells the story of anticipation, emancipation, and jubilation just as it was told to her many years before by her own grandmother, Mom Bess. As a six-year-old, Bess experienced the very first Juneteenth. Before that day, she could only imagine what liberty would look like. But once freedom arrived, would it live up to a little girl’s dreams?

Build A House by Rhiannon Giddens; illustrated by Monica Mikai

Written as a song to commemorate the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth — which was originally performed with famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma — and paired here with bold illustrations by painter Monica Mikai, Build a House tells the moving story of a people who would not be moved and the music that sustained them. Steeped in sorrow and joy, resilience and resolve, turmoil and transcendence, this dramatic debut offers a proud view of history and a vital message for readers of all ages: honor your heritage, express your truth, and let your voice soar, even — or perhaps especially — when your heart is heaviest.

Juneteenth by Van G. Garrett; illustrated by Reginald C. Adams and Samson Bimbo Adenugba

A young Black child experiences the magic of the Juneteenth parade for the first time with their family as they come to understand the purpose of the party that happens every year, and why they celebrate their African American history!

All Good in the Hood by Dwayne Reed; illustrated by Gladys Jose

Today is June 19th — Juneteenth’s what they say — and for my family, it’s a very special day. But sometimes the hood feels scary when we’re walking around. I wish I could stay home where it’s safe and sound. Where the dogs aren’t BARKING, and the cars aren’t HONKING, and the streetlights aren’t FLICKERING. But when Big Bro tells me it will all be okay, I know the noises can’t hurt me and ruin my day.

Let's Celebrate Juneteenth by Tonya Abari; illustrated by Tabitha Brown

This book is a wonderful introduction to the celebration of Juneteenth for babies and toddlers!

Be sure to check our catalog and Overdrive Kids eReading Room for these titles and many more being added.

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