Below are books we recommend for the classroom and as background reading for parents and teachers on the history of slavery and resistance in the United States. Before sharing these books with children, read Considerations for Early Childhood and Early Elementary Educators on Slavery and Resistance.
We also offer lessons and other resources for teaching about slavery and resistance on our Zinn Education Project website.
Titles that we recommend are featured below with cover images. The ones with reviews are noted with an asterisk (*). Some titles are recommended with a caveat. At the end of this page, we provide a list of titles on this theme, with reviews, that we do not recommend.
There is nothing more important than deepening our own knowledge on this topic before we figure out how to teach and read to children. Edith Campbell said, we need "authors [and teachers and parents] to ask themselves how well they know the information, which has to be 'over-learned' and then distilled for young readers." As the saying goes, you can't teach what you don't know. The titles below are recommended for our "over-learning."
- A Birthday Cake for George Washington by Ramin Ganeshram
- If You Lived In Colonial Times by Ann McGovern
- Master George's People by Marfe Ferguson Delano
Most of the books on these lists are linked for more information or purchase to Bookshop (an indie bookstore platform) and / or Powells.com (an independent, unionized bookstore). A small percentage from book sales through these links goes to Teaching for Change.