Slavery and Resistance

Below are more than 60 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. Contact us if you have recommended titles to add. We also offer lessons and other resources for teaching about slavery and resistance on our Zinn Education Project website.

Before sharing these books with children, read Considerations for Early Childhood and Early Elementary Educators on Slavery and Resistance. Also see the Chicago Tribune article "Slavery in children's books: What works?." Read about a grassroots protest by librarians, #BlackLivesMatter activists, journalists, authors, and more of a new, stereotypical children's book about slavery. (Find a compilation of articles about the protest at American Indians in Children's Literature.)

 EARLY ELEMENTARY TO MID-ELEMENTARY

     

 

UPPER ELEMENTARY

Some of these titles could also be shared with early to mid-elementary.

 

MIDDLE SCHOOL/JUNIOR HIGH

     
 

 

HIGH SCHOOL - FICTION

Most of these texts are books of historical fiction.

     

 

HIGH SCHOOL - NON FICTION 

     
   

 

ADULT - NON FICTION and FICTION

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."

     

Your purchases from Teaching for Change's non-profit online bookstore allows us to continue to build our lists of multicultural and social justice children's books. We encourage you to support indie bookstores (like ours) and boycott Amazon.