It is crucial to inform and motivate the younger generation about this significant historical event as Juneteenth becomes more and more well-known and significant on a global scale. Books can be effective engagement tools for kids and teenagers, giving them a deeper appreciation of Juneteenth and its significance. In this blog post, we’ll look at a list of Juneteenth-themed books for kids and teens that are highly recommended. These books provide engrossing tales, potent arguments, and significant insights into the background and celebration of Juneteenth.
Why Juneteenth Matters
Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. It celebrates the day when news of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached enslaved individuals in Texas on June 19, 1865. Juneteenth reminds us of the ongoing fight for equality and books can be an amazing resource for young readers to learn about the event.
Juneteenth Picture Books for Young Readers
These books use engaging illustrations and accessible language to educate young readers about the significance of Juneteenth and its historical context.
Juneteenth for Mazie
Juneteenth for Mazie is a beautiful story by award-winning author and illustrator Floyd Cooper. It tells the story of Mazie, who is ready to celebrate liberty, freedom, and a great day in American history — the day her ancestors were no longer slaves. Mazie remembers the struggles and the triumph as she gets ready to celebrate Juneteenth.
All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom
All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom celebrates the joy of Juneteenth. Written by Angela Johnson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis, it tells the story of the first Juneteenth through the eyes of one little girl.
Freedom’s Gifts: A Juneteenth Story
Freedom’s Gifts: A Juneteenth Story is a picture book by Valerie Wilson Wesley and illustrated by Sharon Wilson. It tells the story of June and her cousin Lillie who celebrate Juneteenth with the help of their elderly Aunt Marshall. Lillie belittles Juneteenth as a holiday until their great-great-aunt Marshall, once a slave, helps her understand the importance of “freedom’s gifts”.
Juneteenth Novels and Nonfiction for Young Readers
These books tackle complex themes, providing older readers with a deeper understanding of the legacy of slavery, racial injustice, and the ongoing pursuit of freedom.
One Crazy Summer
One Crazy Summer is a historical fiction novel by Rita Williams-Garcia. The book narrates the story of three sisters, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern, travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California in 1968 to spend a month with their mother; a woman they barely know. Upon arrival, they discover that this woman is resentful of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.
Brown Girl Dreaming
Brown Girl Dreaming is a memoir by Jacqueline Woodson that narrates her childhood in mesmerizing verse. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.
The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963
The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 is a historical-fiction novel by Christopher Paul Curtis. It tells the story of the Watsons, a lower-middle-class African American family living in Flint, Michigan in the early 1960s from the perspective of Kenny Watson, the middle child of three.
In conclusion, Juneteenth offers a priceless chance to teach young people about the challenges, victories, and ongoing pursuit of freedom and equality. Young readers can become engrossed in gripping narratives, learn about the past, and gain a deeper understanding of the significance of Juneteenth through the Juneteenth books for kids and teens that are highly recommended. We can inspire the following generation to honor Juneteenth and other days of justice and equality by telling these stories, having conversations, and using interactive resources.