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We already have a Juneteenth blog post with some great articles about the history of Juneteenth, book and movie suggestions, and also some local events, but the Youth Services department wanted to provide resources specifically for young readers and families with young children. Below, we’ve listed books about Juneteenth for kids in 7th grade and below, as well as some fun crafts you can do as a family.

Fiction:

Juneteenth for Mazie by Floyd Cooper

Little Mazie wants the freedom to stay up late, but her father explains what freedom really means in the story of Juneteenth, and how her ancestors celebrated their true freedom.

Juneteenth Jamboree by Carole Boston Weatherford and Yvonne Buchanan

Cassandra and her family have moved to her parents’ hometown in Texas, but it doesn’t feel like home to Cassandra until she experiences Juneteenth, a Texas tradition celebrating the end of slavery.

Come Juneteenth by Ann Rinaldi

Sis Goose is a beloved member of Luli’s family, despite the fact that she was born a slave. But the family is harboring a terrible secret. And when Union soldiers arrive on their Texas plantation to announce that slaves have been declared free for nearly two years, Sis Goose is horrified to learn that the people she called family have lied to her for so long. She runs away–but her newly found freedom has tragic consequences. How could the state of Texas keep the news of the Emancipation Proclamation from reaching slaves? In this riveting Great Episodes historical drama, Ann Rinaldi sheds light on the events that led to the creation of Juneteenth, a celebration of freedom that continues today. Includes an author’s note

Nonfiction:

Juneteenth (Holiday Histories) by Denise Jordan

Describes the holiday known as Juneteenth Day, which has roots in Texas and which celebrates the end of slavery in the United States.

Juneteenth: The Story of Our Holiday by Joanna Ponto

In Texas, all slaves found out they were free on June 19, 1865. This day is known as Juneteenth. At first, it was a holiday in Texas, but now people celebrate Juneteenth all across the United States. Readers will learn about the history of the holiday as well as how it is celebrated today. In addition, they can prepare a delicious recipe for corn muffins and construct Juneteenth flag pinwheels to place in a garden, yard, or window.

Juneteenth (Celebrations in my World) by Lynn Peppas

Every year on June 19th, people of all backgrounds celebrate the day that African Americans were freed from slavery in the United States. The occasion is marked by picnics and even rodeos that celebrate famous black cowboys! Young readers will be fascinated to learn about the history of the Civil War and the law that freed the slaves.

Juneteenth (Holidays) by R.J. Bailey

You will learn about this American holiday and the ways people celebrate it. Vibrant, full-color photos and carefully leveled text will engage emergent readers as they explore this unique holiday.

Juneteenth (Holidays) by Julie Murray

Easy-to-read text paired with colorful photos and informative captions introduces readers to a meaningful holiday, Juneteenth. Readers will learn the history of Juneteenth, including slavery in the United States, the American Civil War, and the birth of Juneteenth as a Texas state holiday. Associated symbols such as the color red and the Juneteenth flag are described, as well as traditions including parades and picnics, music and games, and special foods and drinks. This title concludes with a full page explaining the fight for freedom and equality for African Americans in the United States. Features include a table of contents, a glossary with phonetic spellings, and an index. Buddy BOOKS is an imprint of ABDO Publishing Company.

Juneteenth (First Step Nonfiction: American Holidays) by Robin Nelson

A basic overview of Juneteenth for emergent readers. Color photographs reflect the short, easy-to-understand sentences that improve vocabulary and comprehension.

Juneteenth (On My Own: Holidays) by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and Drew Nelson; illustrated by Mark Schroder

Learn about how freedom came to the slaves in June 1865.

Crafts:

Create the Juneteenth flag using construction paper and the free template available at the African American Museum of Iowa website

Or you want more of a challenge, you can craft the Juneteenth flag out of cardboard, paints, and cardstock (no template) using instructions at the website: Crafting a Fun Life

If your family is feeling particularly festive and doesn’t mind a bit of mess, these confetti poppers for Juneteenth from Crafting a Fun Life look like so much fun!

Finally, if you’re looking for free printable activities for your kids, check out the coloring pages and paper dolls at DLTK’s Crafts for Kids and stationery and coloring pages at Primary Treasure Chest.

Happy Juneteenth!