Join Peachtree in celebrating Black history this February and every day of the year by stocking your shelves full of the stories of Black men and women who changed their worlds and times for the better. Take a trip through time with our award-winning collection of books that begins with the birth of George Moses Horton in 1798 and ends with a modern-day celebration of Black families.
First Published African American Poet (1798-1884)
George loved words, but he was also enslaved. Determined to learn, he taught himself to read and composed poetry in his head. Before long, George had customers for his poems, but he 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.
Stories of the Underground Railroad (1800’s)
“A plausible, powerful vision of ingenuity and daring in action.” ―Publishers Weekly
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. This powerful story of rhythm and craft in nineteenth century America features beautiful oil paintings and back matter that includes more information about the Underground Railroad.
Father of the Underground Railroad (1821-1902)
★ “An illuminating picture book biography of a lesser-known hero.” —Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
The son of former slaves, William Still was motivated by his own family’s experience to collect the stories of thousands of other freedom seekers. As a result, he was able to reunite other families and build a remarkable source of information. Award-winning author-illustrator Don Tate brings to life the incredible true story of William Still. Tate’s powerful words and artwork are sure to inspire young readers in this first-ever picture book biography of the Father of the Underground Railroad.
Journalist and Civil Rights Activist (1862-1931)
★ “Alcorn’s striking, symbol-infused hand-colored prints on creamy vellum get star billing… Author notes, a timeline and more enhance this age-appropriate introduction to difficult issues and the woman who educated the world about them.” ―Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
Blessed with a strong will, an eager mind, and a deep belief in America’s promise of “freedom and justice for all,” Ida B. Wells held her family together, defied society’s conventions, and spoke against injustice. But 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.
Stories of the Civil War (1864)
“At the core of this stirring historical novel is the question of what freedom means…The boy’s first-person, present-tense narrative brings close the thrilling horse racing—on the plantation, at the race course, and in the war—and the African American history in all its complexity.” ―Booklist
Twelve-year-old Gabriel loves to help his father care for the thoroughbred racehorses on Master Giles’s farm. But when Gabriel’s father enlists in a Colored Battalion, it is up to Gabriel to protect the horses and keep them safely out of the clutches of Confederate raiders. Alison Hart mines the complex relationships of the Civil War in this gripping work of historical fiction. Young readers will experience the danger and drama of a time when war split the country and human beings were segregated into owner and owned based on the color of their skin.
Founder of Black History Month (1875-1950)
“An important and inspiring tale well told.” ―Kirkus Reviews
Carter G. Woodson’s father believed in being an informed citizen, so Carter read the newspaper to him every day. As a teenager, Carter read to other workers in the coal mines and researched and found more information on the subjects that interested him. “My interest in penetrating the past of my people was deepened,” Carter wrote. His journey would take him many more years, traveling around the world and transforming the way people thought about history. This first-ever picture book biography of Carter G. Woodson emphasizes the importance of pursuing curiosity and encouraging a hunger for knowledge of stories and histories that have not been told.
Discovery of the North Pole (1909)
“Henson’s story is dramatic, although the narrative voice is soft as velvet, while Stephen Alcorn’s artwork appears both washed in bitter cold and defrosted by its hand-tinted quality.” ―Kirkus Reviews
Matthew Henson was born just after the Civil War, a time when slavery had been abolished, but few opportunities were available for black people despite Henson’s yearning for adventure. But in 1909, Admiral Robert Peary invited Henson to join an expedition to the North Pole, and on April 1, Peary, Henson, and four Inuit men began the final 133-mile push to the Pole. Award-winning author Deborah Hopkinson pays tribute to a great but under-recognized figure from America’s past in this remarkable story. Excerpts from Henson’s expedition diaries, a time line, and an epilogue place the story in its historical context.
Civil Rights Activists (1939)
“Brings deserved attention to Chapman and underscores the very worthwhile message that one does not need to be a star to make a difference.” ―Kirkus Reviews
On Easter Sunday 1939, thanks to Oscar Chapman, Marian Anderson performed at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial for a crowd of over 75,000 people. Chapman had helped produce a landmark concert that―for at least one evening―bridged the color divide to bring a city and much of the nation together. Author Deborah Hopkinson tells the inspirational story of Oscar Chapman’s lifelong commitment to ending bigotry, and Leonard Jenkins’s remarkable illustrations recreate a bygone era and pay tribute to a magical, little-known moment in modern history. An author’s note provides additional historical context.
Tribute to First Black Player in Major League Baseball (1947)
“An affecting tribute to Robinson, to a dedicated son and to a thoughtful, deep-feeling father. And, of course, to baseball.” ―Publishers Weekly
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 until one day, his father delivers some big news: they are going to Ebbets Field to watch Jackie play! Author Myron Uhlberg and illustrator Colin Bootman offer a nostalgic look back at 1947 and capture 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.
Civil Rights Activists (1963)
★ “A moving record of young people rising at a pivotal historical moment, based on original interviews and archival research as well as published sources.” ―Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
We’ve Got a Job tells the little-known story of the 4,000 Black elementary, middle, and high school students who answered Dr. Martin Luther King’s call to “fill the jails.” Between May 2 and May 11, 1963, these young people voluntarily went to jail, drawing national attention to the cause, helping bring about the repeal of segregation laws, and inspiring thousands of other young people to demand their rights. Combining extensive research and in-depth interviews with protesters, award-winning author Cynthia Levinson recreates the events of the Birmingham Children’s March from a new and very personal perspective. Archival photography and informational sidebars throughout. Backmatter includes an afterword, author’s note, timeline, map, and bibliography.
A Celebration of Black Families (2000’s)
★ “A warm, loving, necessary reminder of the power in families coming together.” —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
Down home is Granny’s house. Down home is where Lil Alan and his parents and sister will gather with great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Down home is where Lil Alan will hear stories of the ancestors and visit the land that has meant so much to all of them. And down home is where all of the children will find their special way to pay tribute to their family history, but what will Lil Alan do? Kelly Starling Lyons’ eloquent text explores the power of history and family traditions, and stunning illustrations by Coretta Scott King Honor- and Caldecott Honor-winner Daniel Minter reveal the motion and connections in a large, multi-generational family.