BookmarkBookmarkTickBookmarkAddCheckBoxFilledCheckBoxCircleBumpCheckedFilledMedical

10 Children’s Books That Celebrate Juneteenth

These books help teach young readers about the history and significance of the holiday in meaningful ways.
save article
profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
By Nehal Aggarwal, Editor
Updated June 14, 2022
juneteenth children's books 2022

On June 19, 1865—two years after the Emancipation Proclamation—Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas to inform enslaved African-Americans that they were free and that the Civil War had ended. Since then, communities across the country have celebrated Juneteenth (which is derived from June and 19), with parades, speeches, music and more, as an annual holiday commemorating the end of slavery in America.

While the holiday has been celebrated every year since the late 1800s, in the past few years there’s been a resurgence around the day as more people speak out against systematic racism in America. In 2021, President Biden officially made Juneteenth a federal holiday. To celebrate this year, take the day to reflect on the past and learn about the history of Juneteenth and racial injustice in America. Then, make a plan on ways you can help to create equality for all.

One big way to help? Raising good, kind humans who spot injustice and stand up for equality. These books about Juneteenth, all available at Black-owned bookstores, are a great way to kick off the conversations with your little ones.

Image: Mahogany Books

The Story of Juneteenth by Dorena Williamson, Markia Jenai (Illustrator)

This board book introduces toddlers and preschoolers to the events of June 19, 1865 in an age-appropriate and engaging way. Using colorful illustrations, the book helps teach little ones how those events connect to modern day Juneteenth celebrations.

Age range: 2-5
Buy it: $8, Mahogany Books

Image: African Bookstore

The Juneteenth Story by Alliah L. Agostini, Sawyer Cloud (Illustrator)

In her picture book, Agostini details an illustrated history of Juneteenth and its evolution, starting from the first celebration in 1865 all the way to 2021, when it was made a federal holiday. The book teaches about why it took so long for enslaved people in Galveston, Texas to get the news and how Juneteenth has grown over the years.

Age range: 6-9
Buy it: $22, African Bookstore

Image: Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books

All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson, E.B. Lewis (Illustrator)

Told through the eyes of a little girl in free-verse poetry, the book tells the story of the first Juneteenth. The picture book also includes notes from the author and illustrator, a timeline of important dates, and a glossary of relevant terms.

Age range: 5 to 9 years old
Buy it: $17, Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books

Image: Mahogany Books

Juneteenth for Mazie by Floyd Cooper

Cooper tells the story of a young girl named Mazie, as she talks to her father about the meaning of Juneteenth. Together, they remember the struggles and the triumphs of their ancestors and get ready to celebrate freedom.

Age range: 6 to 9 years old
Buy it: $16, Mahogany Books

Image: Buy Black Authors

Juneteenth Jamboree by Carole Boston Weatherford, Yvonne Buchanan (Illustrator)

Written with powerful text and illustrations, the book tells the story of a young girl named Cassandra and her family, who have just moved to Texas. Together they celebrate Juneteenth for the first time, with lots of delicious food, friends and fun.

Age range: 6 to 9 years old
Buy it: $14, BuyBlackAuthors.com

Image: Loving Me Books

Juneteenth by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and Drew Nelson, Mark Schroder (Illustrator)

The book paints a picture of what life was like on June 19, 1865 in Texas. The story presents easy-to-digest information for young readers and teaches about the history and importance of the holiday.

Age range: 6 to 12 years old
Buy it: $7, Loving Me Books

Image: Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books

Juneteenth by Rachel Grack

This engaging book teaches children the origins and traditions of Juneteenth, all while honoring the freedom of Black Americans. It includes photo labels, glossary of terms and vocabulary and maps to show where Juneteenth began and is celebrated most. Plus, it also offers activity pages full of crafts and recipes to help you celebrate.

Age range: 4-8
Buy it: $8, Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books

Image: Loving Me Books

Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free by Alice Faye Duncan, Keturah A. Bobo (Illustrator)

Duncan and Bobo tell the true story of Opal Lee, a Black activist commonly referred to as “the grandmother of Juneteenth,” who has spent her life working to spread awareness about the holiday and its significance. The book inspires kids to follow their dreams and teaches the power of bravery and speaking up for change, all while celebrating Black joy.

ADVERTISEMENT

Age range: 4-8
Buy it: $16, Loving Me Books

Image: Semicolon Bookstore

Juneteenth: A Children’s Story Special Edition by Opal Lee, Peter Viska (Illustrator)

Lee, 95, the activist who serves as the protagonist for Duncan’s book, came out with this book in March 2022. It teaches children about the history of slavery in an age-appropriate manner, with words they can understand. It also celebrates the important milestone of Juneteenth finally being recognized as a national holiday.

Age range: 5-8
Buy it: $21, Semicolon Bookstore

Image: Kizzy’s Books & More

Juneteenth by Anece Rochell, Audeva Joseph (Illustrator)

Juneteenth is part of Rochell’s Beautiful Me series, which teaches young children messages of self-love, kindness and inclusivity. The book follows Daylen, a young boy who’s excited to share his knowledge of the holiday. It teaches little ones the origins, customs and importance of June 19.

Age range: 4-7
Buy it: $13, Kizzy’s Books & More

save article
Article removed.
Name added. View Your List
ADVERTISEMENT

Next on Your Reading List

two toddlers in the bath together sharing toys
How to Teach Toddlers to Share
Medically Reviewed by Lauren Crosby, MD
Mom teaching her baby object permanence with two toys.
How and When Do Babies Develop Object Permanence?
Medically Reviewed by Lauren Crosby, MD
asian father reading book with daughter on couch at home
25 Kids Books Under $20 That Celebrate AAPI Culture
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
colin kaepernick interacting with fans during spring football game in michigan
Colin Kaepernick’s New Kids’ Book Teaches It’s Normal to Be Different
By Nehal Aggarwal
Illustration of Disney Princess from underrepresented countries.
Check Out These Reimagined Disney Princesses From Underrepresented Countries
By Nehal Aggarwal
Scene from Disney Land with colorful balloons.
Check Out Disney’s New Rainbow Collection in Honor of Pride Month
By Nehal Aggarwal
Grandfather sitting with his two grand daughters and reading a book.
16 Books That Celebrate Asian and Pacific Islander Culture
By Nehal Aggarwal
ADVERTISEMENT
mom boss, jessica rolph of lovevery with her family
The Mom Behind Lovevery Explains How to Boost Baby’s Brain Power
By Stephanie Grassullo
upset child with his head in his lap
How to Handle Bullying in Preschool
By Lisa Milbrand
parents reading a book to their toddler
Children’s Books to Help You Talk to Your Kids About Race and Racism
By Brittany Murlas
ADVERTISEMENT
stitch fix's gender neutral clothing line
Stitch Fix Is Launching a New Gender-Neutral Clothing Line for Kids
By Nehal Aggarwal
actress Kristen bell holds her new book, the world needs more purple people
Kristen Bell Says New Kids’ Book Helps Kids Navigate Political Divide
By Nehal Aggarwal
Netflix has new category dedicated to racism and the black experience
Netflix Has New Category Highlighting the Black Experience in America
By Nehal Aggarwal
ADVERTISEMENT
gender stereotype composition boy vs. girl
10 Gender Stereotype Messages Parents Are Inadvertently Sending Kids
By Yelena Moroz Alpert
dad reading to his baby girl
The 10 Most Checked-Out Books in NYPL History May Surprise You
By Nehal Aggarwal
Scene from Disney Land with colorful balloons.
Check Out Disney’s New Rainbow Collection in Honor of Pride Month
By Nehal Aggarwal
Sandbox with toys and lid
The 6 Best Kids’ Sandbox Options to Promote Development
By Emma O'Regan-Reidy
ADVERTISEMENT
parents changing newborn baby's diaper at home
What Baby's First Day Home Is Really Like
Medically Reviewed by Lauren Crosby, MD
Hero Best Gifts for One-Year-Olds
The Best Toys and Gifts for One-Year-Olds
By Martina Garvey
Why Baby Hates Tummy Time (and What You Can Do to Help)
Why Baby Hates Tummy Time (and What You Can Do to Help)
Medically Reviewed by Lauren Crosby, MD
ADVERTISEMENT
Article removed.