The new school year is up and running. Many children haven’t set foot in a brick and mortar school on a daily basis for a while now as a result of switching between online and in-person due to the pandemic. As a result, some kids may have a little anxiety about being back in the classroom. No fear, the experts have curated a list of books by Black authors to help. Here are five books by Black authors to help kids continue to navigate the new school year like a pro!

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“The King of Kindergarten” by Derrick Barnes (Recommended for ages 3-6)


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Starting Kindergarten can be a little scary for mom, dad, and the little ones. In this New York Times bestseller, by Newbery Honor-winning author Derrick Barnes, a confident little boy takes pride in his first day of school and makes his mark, showing other kindergartners that they can do the same.

“The Day You Begin” by Jacqueline Woodson (Recommended for ages 5-8)

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Available in both English and Spanish, this New York Time bestseller not only encourages kids to open up and get to know others, while letting others get to know them, it was also featured in its own Netflix episode of the original show, Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices!

“Your Name is a Song” by Jamilah Thomkins-Bigelow (Recommended for ages 5-10)

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Sometimes, adults don’t quite get names right when they pronounce them in the classroom. This can be a frustrating experience for children. In this book, a mother teachers her daughter about the beauty of names through a lyrical walk through the city. It also contains a “Glossary of Names” lists each name’s meaning, origin, and pronunciation.

“New Kid” by Jerry Craft (Recommended for ages 8-12)

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It’s hard being the new kid in school. Whether it is a new school all together because of a move or because of going from elementary to middle school to high school, it never gets easy. “New Kid” is perfect for Middle Schoolers who may be struggling with transition the most. This book has received lots of praise and awards. It is the winner of the Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Author Award, and Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature.

“Everything a Band-Aid Can’t Fix: A Teen’s Guide to Healing and Dealing With Life” by Nicole Russell (Recommended for Teens)

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The teen years come with a whole set of ups and downs. “Everything a Band-Aid Can’t Fix” is a great resource that can help teens navigate this difficult, but exciting time in their lives.

These books will help keep the conversation going and encourage kids to look at the new school year in a different light!

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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