7 Books to Start the Discussion on Slavery with Kids

Unfortunately the enslavement of our ancestors is a part of African-American history. This truth cannot be ignored or erased! Therefore it is important for children to learn about this harsh reality of our past so that they will be aware, informed and enlightened individuals unrestrained by the shackles of our past.

Here are seven children’s books to read and begin the discussion…

Frederick Douglass, born a slave, yet taught himself to read and write and planned his own escape to freedom! Once free Douglass traveled the world to advocate, speak and write on the rights of enslaved African-Americans in America!


Who Was Frederick Douglass (2014)

Written by: April Jones Prince

Illustrated by: Robert Squier

Did you know that quilts once held a secret map to freedom! Each pattern on the quilt holds a special meaning! Join Hannah and her papa as they rely on the quilt her mama made to lead them safely to freedom!


The Patchwork Path: A Quilt Map to Freedom (2005)

Written by: Bettye Stroud

Illustrated by: Erin Susanne Bennett

Henry fed up, beat down and overwhelmed with his enslaved life cleverly hatches a plan to mail himself to freedom!

Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story From the Underground Railroad (2007)

Written by: Ellen Levine

Illustrated by: Kadir Nelson

The lives, hopes and dreams of eleven enslaved individuals. Surpassing and living above the physical chains that bound them!


Freedom Over Me: Eleven slaves, their lives and dreams brought to life (2016)

Written & Illustrated by: Ashley Bryan

Take a journey to Africa and witness the beauty and glory of the land our ancestors were stripped from when they were enslaved!


Under the Same Sun (2014)

Written by: Sharon Robinson

Illustrated by: AG Ford

This book is an excellent resource to use when teaching children about African-American history in America. Beginning with slavery to the current day Black Lives Matter movement! Highly recommend this book for educators and those who homeschool!


A Child’s Introduction to African-American History: The Experiences, People and Events That Shaped Our Country (2018)

Written by: Jabari Asim

Illustrated by: Lynn Gaines

Lydia and her family are headed towards freedom but will someone be left behind? This is the story of comfort, hope and courage on the Underground Railroad!


Almost to Freedom (2003)

Written by: Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

Illustrated by: Colin Bootman


We hope these book recommendations are helpful and facilitate a thirst for additional knowledge! Never stop the conversation! Please leave any recommendations for additional children’s books on slavery in the comment section. We appreciate your input!!!

Published by


A Children's Book Journey!