This month, as I'm certain you are aware, is Black History Month and in my library bag this month I found Papa's Mark, by Gwendolyn Battle-Lavert which I have nothing but the highest praise for.
This book is a little over our heads at present so we can't utilize the resource right away. However, in a few years I will definitely be seeking this book out to explain the history of African Americans to my children. Papa's Mark definitely will be at the top of my list as it tells the story of Simms' papa, who has just been granted the right to vote by the Fifteenth Amendment. Simms' papa is unable to read or write and so he is left only with the ability to make the sign of an "X" to indicate his signature. He regrets this, but has never had the time or opportunity to learn how to read or write. Simms teaches his papa to spell his name so that on voting day, papa is able to sign his name on his ballot.
Papa's Mark is wonderfully told and illustrated and there are multiple reasons to recommend it. At the back of the book there is an explanation as to the historical timeline relating to the African American fight for freedom and right to vote, explaining the Amendments that followed the Civil War. This is a truly lovely book and a great way to introduce the topic to young readers and students of history.
If you are looking for more picture books to utilize during Black History month, I recommend you over to 5 Minutes for Books where Jennifer reviewed D is for Drinking Gourd. There are a few titles for you to possibly win over at 5 Minutes for Books so go check those out and see what you think!