Charis Books and More Logo

Juneteenth Reading List

June 19th, also known as Juneteenth, is the day that commemorates the June 19th, 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas (two and a half years after slavery was abolished more broadly in the United States through the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, and six months before the 13th Amendment in December 1865 made slavery unconstitutional.)  It is a day to celebrate freedom and also to remember the genocide of enslaved Africans and African Americans. This year we partnered with the Atlanta History Center to create a reading list of titles for adults, teens, and children that help bring context to the history of Juneteenth.

All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom Cover Image
By Angela Johnson, E.B. Lewis (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780689873768
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - May 6th, 2014

Experience the joy of Juneteenth in this celebration of freedom from the award-winning team of Angela Johnson and E.B. Lewis.

Through the eyes of one little girl, All Different Now tells the story of the first Juneteenth, the day freedom finally came to the last of the slaves in the South.

Juneteenth for Mazie (Fiction Picture Books) Cover Image
By Floyd Cooper, Floyd Cooper (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781479558209
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picture Window Books - January 1st, 2016

Mazie is ready to celebrate liberty. She is ready to celebrate freedom. She is ready to celebrate 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.

Lift Every Voice and Sing Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9781681199559
Availability: Backordered
Published: Bloomsbury Children's Books - January 8th, 2019

Freedom Bird: A Tale of Hope and Courage Cover Image
By Jerdine Nolen, James E. Ransome (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780689871672
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books - January 14th, 2020

“Powerful storytelling and immersive art.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Vibrant writing and magical realism lift this story to one of triumph.” —Publishers Weekly
“Nolen's lively prose style recalls the richness of the oral tradition in this tale of triumphant courage and abiding hope.” —The Horn B

The Story of Harriet Tubman: A Biography Book for New Readers Cover Image
ISBN: 9781646111091
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Rockridge Press - April 7th, 2020

Help kids ages 6 to 9 discover the life of Harriet Tubman--a story about courage, bravery, and freedom

A Child's Introduction to African American History: The Experiences, People, and Events That Shaped Our Country (A Child's Introduction Series) Cover Image
By Jabari Asim, Lynn Gaines (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780316436427
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Black Dog & Leventhal - January 2nd, 2018

A comprehensive, entertaining look at heroes, heroines, and critical moments from African American history -- from the slave trade to the Black Lives Matter movement -- by award-winning author Jabari Asim.

BOX: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780763691561
Availability: Backordered
Published: Candlewick - April 14th, 2020

A 2021 Newbery Honor Book

In a moving, lyrical tale about the cost and fragility of freedom, a New York Times best-selling author and an acclaimed artist follow the life of a man who courageously shipped himself out of slavery.

What have I to fear?
My master broke every promise to me.
I lost my beloved wife and our dear children.

Facing Frederick: The Life of Frederick Douglass, a Monumental American Man Cover Image
ISBN: 9781419737596
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Abrams Books for Young Readers - March 10th, 2020

From award-winning author Tonya Bolden comes the fascinating story of one of America’s most influential African American voices

Teacher. Self-emancipator. Orator. Author. Man. Frederick Douglass (1818–1895) is one of the most important African American figures in US history, best known, perhaps, for his own emancipation.

Remembering Slavery: African Americans Talk about Their Personal Experiences of Slavery and Emancipation Cover Image
By Ira Berlin (Editor), Marc Favreau (Editor), Steven F. Miller (Editor)
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9781565845879
Availability: Backordered
Published: New Press - April 1st, 2000

In 1998, The New Press published Remembering Slavery, a book-and-tape set that offered a startling first-person history of slavery.

The Underground Railroad Records: Narrating the Hardships, Hairbreadth Escapes, and Death Struggles of Slaves in Their Efforts for Freedom Cover Image
By William Still, Ta-Nehisi Coates (Introduction by), Quincy T. Mills (Editor)
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9781984855053
Availability: Special Order
Published: Modern Library - September 24th, 2019

A riveting collection of the hardships, hairbreadth escapes, and mortal struggles of enslaved people seeking freedom: These are the true stories of the Underground Railroad.

Featuring a powerful introduction by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374531157
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - January 22nd, 2008

In Lose Your Mother, Saidiya Hartman traces the history of the Atlantic slave trade by recounting a journey she took along a slave route in Ghana. Following the trail of captives from the hinterland to the Atlantic coast, she reckons with the blank slate of her own genealogy and vividly dramatizes the effects of slavery on three centuries of African and African American history.

From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century Cover Image
ISBN: 9781469654973
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of North Carolina Press - April 20th, 2020

Racism and discrimination have choked economic opportunity for African Americans at nearly every turn. At several historic moments, the trajectory of racial inequality could have been altered dramatically. Perhaps no moment was more opportune than the early days of Reconstruction, when the U.S.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave & Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (Modern Library Classics) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679783282
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Modern Library - October 10th, 2000

Introduction by Kwame Anthony Appiah
Commentary by Jean Fagan Yellin and Margaret Fuller
This Modern Library edition combines two of the most important African American slave narratives—crucial works that each illuminate and inform the other.

She Came to Slay: The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982139599
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: 37 Ink - November 5th, 2019

In the bestselling tradition of The Notorious RBG comes a lively, informative, and illustrated tribute to one of the most exceptional women in American history—Harriet Tubman—a heroine whose fearlessness and activism still resonates today.

Harriet Tubman is best known as one of the most famous conductors on the Underground Railroad.

Barracoon: The Story of the Last
By Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker (Foreword by), Deborah G. Plant (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780062748218
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Amistad - January 7th, 2020

New York Times Bestseller •  TIME Magazine’s Best Nonfiction Book of 2018 • New York Public Library’s Best Book of 2018 • NPR’s Book Concierge Best Book of 2018 • Economist Book of the Year •’s Best Books of 2018 • Audible’s Best of the Year • BookRiot’s Best Audio Boo

The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation Cover Image
ISBN: 9780807067147
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Beacon Press - December 26th, 2017

Groundbreaking look at slaves as commodities through every phase of life, from birth to death and beyond, in early America

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America Cover Image
ISBN: 9781568585987
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bold Type Books - August 15th, 2017

The National Book Award winning history of how racist ideas were created, spread, and deeply rooted in American society.

Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525559559
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - April 7th, 2020

“Stony the Road presents a bracing alternative to Trump-era white nationalism. . . . In our current politics we recognize African-American history—the spot under our country’s rug where the terrorism and injustices of white supremacy are habitually swept.

Finding Your Roots: The Official Companion to the PBS Series Cover Image
ISBN: 9781469626147
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of North Carolina Press - September 15th, 2015

Who are we, and where do we come from? The fundamental drive to answer these questions is at the heart of Finding Your Roots, the companion book to the PBS documentary series seen by 30 million people. As Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Black Reconstruction in America 1860-1880 Cover Image
By W. E. B. Du Bois, David Levering Lewis (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780684856575
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Free Press - December 1st, 1999

The pioneering work in the study of the role of Black Americans during Reconstruction by the most influential Black intellectual of his time.

This pioneering work was the first full-length study of the role black Americans played in the crucial period after the Civil War, when the slaves had been freed and the attempt was made to reconstruct American society.

The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism Cover Image
ISBN: 9780465049660
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Basic Books - October 25th, 2016

A groundbreaking history demonstrating that America's economic supremacy was built on the backs of slaves

Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America Cover Image
ISBN: 9780190846992
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Oxford University Press, USA - September 4th, 2019

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History

The unforgettable saga of one enslaved woman's fight for justice--and reparations

Freedom Road (American History Through Literature) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781563244407
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Routledge - May 31st, 1995

"Howard Fast makes superb use of his material. ... Aside from its social and historical implications, Freedom Road is a high-geared story, told with that peculiar dramatic intensity of which Fast is a master". -- Chicago Daily News.

Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation Cover Image
By Octavia E. Butler, John Jennings (Illustrator), Damian Duffy (Adapted by), Nnedi Okorafor (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781419728556
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Abrams ComicArts - July 24th, 2018

#1 New York Times Bestseller
Winner of the 2018 Eisner Award for Best Adaptation from Another Medium

Octavia E. Butler’s bestselling literary science-fiction masterpiece, Kindred, now in graphic novel format.

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316453691
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - March 10th, 2020

The #1 New York Times bestseller and a USAToday bestseller!
A timely, crucial, and empowering exploration of racism--and antiracism--in America

This is NOT a history book.
This is a book about the here and now.
A book to help us better understand why we are where we are.
A book about race.

We Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding Our Racial Divide Cover Image
ISBN: 9781547602520
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury Children's Books - October 29th, 2019

This young adult adaptation of the New York Times bestselling White Rage is essential antiracist reading for teens.

An NAACP Image Award finalist

A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
A NYPL Best Book for Teens

Dark Sky Rising: Reconstruction and the Dawn of Jim Crow (Scholastic Focus) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781338262049
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Nonfiction - January 29th, 2019

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. presents a journey through America's past and our nation's attempts at renewal in this look at the Civil War's conclusion, Reconstruction, and the rise of Jim Crow segregation.

This is a story about America during and after Reconstruction, one of history's most pivotal and misunderstood chapters.

Biddy Mason Speaks Up Cover Image
ISBN: 9781597144032
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Heyday Books - February 1st, 2019

Building on the brilliance of Fred Korematsu Speaks Up, the newest installment in the Fighting for Justice series introduces young readers to another real-life champion for civil rights: Bridget "Biddy" Mason, an African American philanthropist, healer, and midwife who was born into slavery.

A Day at the Museum Cover Image
ISBN: 9781644942567
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Calico Kid - March 15th, 2019

The Undefeated Cover Image
By Kwame Alexander, Kadir Nelson (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781328780966
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Versify - April 2nd, 2019

Winner of the 2020 Caldecott Medal
A 2020 Newbery Honor Book
Winner of the 2020 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award

The Newbery Award-winning author of THE CROSSOVER pens an ode to black American triumph and tribulation, with art from a two-time Caldecott Honoree.

Originally performed for ESPN's The Undefeated, this poem is a love letter to black life in t

Overground Railroad Cover Image
ISBN: 9780823438730
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Holiday House - January 7th, 2020

A window into a child's experience of the Great Migration from the award-winning creators of Before She Was Harriet and Finding Langston.

Remember: The Journey to School Integration Cover Image
ISBN: 9780618397402
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - May 3rd, 2004

2005 Coretta Scott King Award Winner 

Toni Morrison has collected a treasure chest of archival photographs that depict the historical events surrounding school desegregation. These unforgettable images serve as the inspiration for Ms.

Like a Bird: The Art of the American Slave Song Cover Image
By Cynthia Grady, Michele Wood (Illustrator)
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9781467785501
Availability: Backordered
Published: Millbrook Press (Tm) - September 1st, 2016

Enslaved African Americans longed for freedom, and that longing took many forms--including music. Drawing on biblical imagery, slave songs both expressed the sorrow of life in bondage and offered a rallying cry for the spirit.

Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan Cover Image
By Ashley Bryan, Ashley Bryan (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781481456906
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books - September 13th, 2016

Newbery Honor Book
Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book

Using original slave auction and plantation estate documents, Ashley Bryan offers a moving and powerful picture book that contrasts the monetary value of a slave with the priceless value of life experiences and dreams that a slave owner could never take away.


The Bell Rang Cover Image
ISBN: 9781442421134
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books - January 15th, 2019

Recipient of a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award
A Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of 2019

A young slave girl witnesses the heartbreak and hopefulness of her family and their plantation community when her brother escapes for freedom in this brilliantly conceived picture book by Coretta Scott King Award winner James E.

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom Cover Image
ISBN: 9780786851751
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - September 1st, 2006

A Caldecott Honor Book

A Coretta Scott King Award Winner

In this award-winning book, acclaimed author Carole Boston Weatherford and bestselling artist Kadir Nelson offer a resounding, reverent tribute to Harriet Tubman, the woman who earned the name Moses for her heroic role in the Underground Railroad.