African American History Books Shared Info

Books for Kids about the Civil War Era and Slavery


Compiled by the staff at the American Civil War Museum

We know how difficult it can be to talk about issues like slavery and the Civil War with children: how do you make such a complicated topic simple enough for a 5 year old to understand–without making it seem better than it was?

One way to start a difficult conversation with young children is through stories and picture books. Not only can you expose children to the lives of real people who lived during this intense and tragic time in our nation’s past, but you can also point to examples of resilience and hope. In many cases, picture books provide more information for adults, as well as suggestions for further reading and resources.

For Black History Month, the education staff at ACWM has compiled this list of books and resources for families to start the conversation about the experience of African Americans during slavery and the Civil War.

Picture Books:

Chapter Books:

Graphic Novels:

General books that can relate:

Note: Our ACWM staff read these and like them for their content, approach, and possibilities as conversation starters between youth and adults. We have others on our radar, but want to read them first to check their content. Have suggestions or want some feedback? Send us an email at [email protected].