Cover Image: The ABCs of Black History

The ABCs of Black History

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Member Reviews

The eye-catching and vibrant artwork in Rio Cortez’s The ABCs of Black History weaves both Black history and current events from signs stating, “I am a man” to “I am Travon” to “Stop Global Warming”. Including recent incidents and achievements makes this more than a regurgitation of Black History. The blending of the past and present illustrates how we stand on the shoulders of those before us.

The book’s writing and artwork celebrate the diversity of the Black community from the beginning with B calling the reader as well as their hair and hue beautiful to acknowledging roots in “...Haiti, Cuba, America, and Brazil.” The blending of the historical and current narratives is seamless and very eloquent. The Terms and Figures section at the end of the book is a welcome bonus. The resources, organized by their corresponding letter of the alphabet, are a springboard for conversations and education.

I would love to use this book as a resource and bulletin board in my classroom. Yes, my high school students know the alphabet, but they do not know the vibrant and rich history of African Americans. I could also have them create pages that represent their histories and cultures while mimicking the book’s meter and rhyming. 

Read Rio Cortez’s The ABCs of Black History for its rich artwork, powerful language, and memorable retelling of African American history.

I received Rio Cortez’s The ABCs of Black History from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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A wonderful book that gives the beginning informational points of black history. With rhymes and colorful illustrations worthy of the clothing, folklore and musical history of this beautiful race it is easy to learn, and be inspired to learn more. I would absolutely purchase this for elementary school classrooms.
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The ABCs of Black History was everything I wanted. It expands to vocabulary and ideas not often shown in children's books and I appreciate it so much.
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Rio Cortez and Lauren Semmer created a gorgeous ABC book that will teach children both their ABCs and black history. Written in verse it is easy and interesting to read and understand for kids and adults alike. Semmer’s colorful illustrations add the finishing touch to this fantastic book.
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A wonderful, wonderful book suitable for all ages but especially great for a younger or middle-grade classroom. This book provides an incredible wealth of information from early Black history to the present day up to Black Lives Matter and the Obamas. It also is incredibly diverse and includes mentions of significant transgender figures and people of many different professions, experiences, and eras. Definitely a must read for kids and adults!
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I am impressed at the breadth of history covered within this ABC book.  It covered a lot of Black history within American history, including several different backgrounds (Black individuals from Latinx descent, Caribbean descent, African descent, etc.).  The text was a bit wordy, and some of the vocab was a bit more complex than I might use, but a motivated and involved caregiver could certainly work through this.  I am a big fan of this book overall and think that there are so many jumping off points for teaching kids about social justice, history, and activism.  I would recommend this book highly.
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Such a wholesome, amazing book on the history of the Black community all around the world!

This one is educational in a really fun manner with all that loud, vibrant illustrations and that powerful yet charming writing. All the way to go! 

I got to learn about the various culture and important historical insights in this amazing picture book. 

Let alone the kids, it is highly educational for whoever will read this. 

A perfect picture book for reading groups and fun activity.

Thank you #NetGalley for the ARC.
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The ABC’s of Black History is an inviting book with a number of colorful pictures that are engaging to the eye. I appreciate it because it does have pictures of black people throughout the whole book and words that show the historical significance of how black people have contributed to sciences, music, arts, history and much more. I have children who are biracial so books that have messages such as black is beautiful or intelligent are always on my list. Unfortunately, there were some underlying messages that I did not agree with nor do I want to them to be passed to my children.  The U for the United States was biased and talked about there not being true freedom because of slavery. Yes, there were slaves in the USA and still to this day, just in a different way, but I want my kids to know that in America regardless of their skin tone they can be successful and they will not be oppressed or slaves. There are way to many successful black men and women presently in the USA to make it that slavery is still an issue in the United States that keeps Black people from living out the American dream. Also under the letter Q Michelle Obama is pictured, she is not a queen. She was never a queen and she is not the closest thing we have to royalty in America, I think that is misleading. There are a number of divisive things in this book.  There are better books out there that help children understand Black history without skewing the truth to meet a narrative.
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This is an excellent primer on Black history that I cannot wait to add to our children's collection at the public library where I work. I appreciate the back matter directing readers to additional details and more information.
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Put this title on a Christmas list for a young child in your life.  The messages for each letter are inspiring and the illustrations are gorgeously detailed, vibrant and expressive.  With its rhyming text and thoughtful choices for each letter, this book is a winner.  It also includes a helpful  section on terms and figures at the end of the book. This book should have a place in school libraries and homes.


Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest  review.
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This book is fantastic!! I am so excited to share this book at story time, with library customers, and with school librarians in my district. This book should be in every school library!
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I got this on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!
A really well written book that both hightlights Black History in America, but also teachers kids important words connected to each letter of the alfabeth! I really wish we had more books similar to this on different history! I also feel like it introduced and touched upon a lot of different topics and famous people!
Would really recommend this to anyone, and especially to use this in Education in schools!
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This was a beautiful and timely illustrated book that would be a perfect way to teach children more about Black history. Both the illustrations and rhymes are simple but vibrant and profound. There’s also resources in the back of the book that would be a great starting point for additional research.
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I have a weakness for rhyming picture books in general and this one is beautiful.

It takes the familiar format of providing words for each letter of the alphabet, but provides a focus on Black America.

There is also then more information provided at the end of the book for topics and people mentioned.

I think we can all take something from it, no matter what age.
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A beautiful guide to black history told through the ABCs along with bright illustrations. I loved the use of more than one word and explanation per letter, and the extra resources in the front and back are key for educators and allies alike. I think some of the text came off a little word heavy and clunky but otherwise this book is wonderful.
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Thank you yo NetGalley and the publisher for an electronic copy to read and review. 

I cannot say enough amazing things about this book. Black history is told explored through the alphabet. The illustrations are perfect and the text provides the reader with so much information. I especially appreciate the links and suggestions for further reading. I will be getting copies of this for my classroom, my children, and my friends. It is an excellent book to any library.
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This is a fantastic book to discuss various important people in black history including past and current struggles for justice. Even though it is an ABC book, I would not recommend for primary aged kids as it wordy and would be harder for them to understand. This is perfect for 3rd grade and up.
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I really enjoyed this book.  Although I am a white woman, I am trying to bring up my kids in a world where diversity is the norm.  It is hard to do in a very white state, so I figured books from all situations is the best way I can do this.  I expected to to be focused more on more details about events or people, but I enjoyed the format that it was.
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The ABCs of Black History is a beautifully written and illustrated rhyming nonfiction book, perfect for all ages. From read alouds to individual reading and research, this book will educate and inspire students to learn even more about black history. It also includes a highly informative glossary that will continue to support student (and educator!) learning. Make sure you purchase this book for your school library!
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