Top 10 Books to Read This Black History Month

Hey Savvy Readers!

February is Black History Month, and we’re celebrating diversity in literature by reading these great books! We believe that it’s crucial to read books that challenge, educate and broaden your mind, so we’ve created a list of books everyone should read this month.


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Angie Thomas explores the topic of race and police brutality in this story of a 16-year-old who witnesses the death of her best friend by local police.  This highly-impactful novel is full of heart and is an absolute must-read for everyone.


The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

A classic from bestselling author Lawrence Hill, The Book of Negroes tells the story of a young girl abducted from her village in Africa and enslaved in South Carolina. It’s a sweeping historical fiction novel of race, love, loss and survival and it’s inspired by historical events.


Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan

When this novel was first published, it took the book world by storm; Half-Blood Blues won or was nominated for every literary prize in Canada! It’s that good. Sweeping across Berlin and Paris in the pre-ware era, it’s an entrancing story about jazz, race, love and loyalty, and the sacrifices we make in the name of art.


This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jenkins

This highly anticipated collection of essays just came out last week, and it’s perfect for fans of Roxane Gay and Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie. In This Will Be My Undoing, Morgan Jenkins provides insightful commentary on pop culture, feminism, black history, misogyny, and racism. She provides an in-depth look at challenges of being a black woman today, and this collection should be required reading by everyone.


Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Based on the bestselling book and the Academy Award–nominated movie, author Margot Lee Shetterly and illustrator Laura Freeman have brought the inspiring true story to picture book readers! Hidden Figures tells the incredible story of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden,  the four female mathematicians who wrote the calculations behind some the scenes of the greatest space explorations!


Steal Away Home by Karolyn Smardz Frost

Steal Away Home is the compelling novel of a 15-year-old slave who escapes to Canada while her owners holiday in Niagara Falls. Karolyn Smardz Frost shares this incredibly true story of bravery and heart, and it is a masterful novel.


American Street by Ibi Zoboi

In this stunning debut novel, Ibi Zoboi uses her own experiences as a young Haitian immigrant to tell a powerful coming-of-age-story. Set in Detroit, American Street is a moving love story about important current issues like immigration, race, and class.


The Illegal by Lawrence Hill

Winner of the CBC Canada Reads competition, The Illegal tells the story of Keita Ali, a young man in a fictional world where thousands of “illegals” must hide from police and government officials. Keita must keep running for his life, and for the lives of those he loves most. This is a compelling story that touches on race, immigration, undocumented refugees, and discrimination, and it’s highly recommended!


Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed

Inspired by the life of Mae Jemison, the first African American woman to travel in space, Mae Among the Stars is an absolutely stunning picture book. It’s sure to inspire younger readers to aim high and reach for the stars!

We hope that you read as many of these incredible and poignant novels as you can this month! What else are you reading to celebrate Black History Month?  Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @SavvyReader!

Happy Reading,


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One thought on “Top 10 Books to Read This Black History Month

  1. I highly recommend the short story collection, Children of the Night: The Best Short Stories by Black Writers, 1967 to the Present, edited by Gloria Naylor. Goodreads says,

    This landmark anthology–the companion volume to Langston Hughes’ 1967 classic, The Best Stories by Black Writers–features contributions by such outstanding African-American writers as Alice Walker, Rita Dove, Terry McMillan, Ralph Ellison, John Edgar Wideman, Edwidge Danticat, Maya Angelou, and James Baldwin.

    This collection is literally black history.

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