If you are looking for books about Africa for kids, this is the list!!! Whether you want to show kids contemporary stories about every day life in different countries, to teach kids about folktales and legends that have been passed down, to learn about African heroes, or even if you’re just looking for multicultural literature to share with your students- it’s all here. I worked with a group of other bloggers to review these books about Africa, organized by country (and we will continue to add reviews!). Whenever possible, we have included local artists from the countries they are writing about!
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The List: Books about Africa for Kids
The Compassionate Warrior: Abd el-Kader of Algeria, by Elsa Marston (chapter book, ages 11+). Reviewed here by Kay on A Crafty Arab.
Nzingha: Warrior of Queen of Matamba, Angola, Africa, 1595, by Patricia C. McKissack. (ages 9-12)
The Adventures of Obi and Titi: The Great Walls of Benin, by Mr O T Begho. (chapter book, ages 10-13).
Ostrich and Lark, by Marilyn Nelson. (ages 4-8)
The Great Cake Mystery, by Alexander McCall Smith. (ages 7-10)
The Red Bicycle: The Extraordinary Story of One Ordinary Bicycle, by Jude Isabella. (ages 8-12)
Drop by Drop, by Peace and Human Development USCCB Dept of Justice. (ages 5-12)
Bakuru and the School on the Hill, by The Westwood Bridge to Burundi Project. (ages 6-12)
El león Kandinga – The Lion Kandinga, by Boniface Ofogo. (ages 6-8). Reviewed here by Kali from For the Love of Spanish.
Central African Republic
Rain School, by James Rumford. (ages 4-7)
Akissi: Tales of Mischief, by Marguerite Abouet. (ages 6-9) Reviewed here by Kali from For the Love of Spanish.
Lord of the Dance, by Véronique Tadjo. (ages 8-10)
Democratic Republic of the Congo
A Refugee’s Journey from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, by Ellen Rodger. (ages 9-12)
Cinderella of the Nile, by Beverly Naidoo. (ages 7-11). Reviewed here by Patricia Nozell of Wander, Ponder, Write.
When Love Walked the Earth: An African Myth Retold, by Eva Harley Chiphe and Bernadine Okoro. (ages 7-11)
A Messob’s Gift to Lula’s friend, by Kiazpora. (Eritrea and Ethiopia; ages 5-8)
Hamid’s Story, by Andy Glynne. (ages 5-11)
Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)
E is for Ethiopia, by Ashenafi Gudeta. (ages 4-10).
Tsion’s Life, by Stacy Bellward. (4-10).
Gabon: Philippe Ngome’s Painting: “My Family Goes to Market,” by Jacquiline Touba. (7-11)
One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia, by Miranda Paul. (ages 5-9) Reviewed here by Kid World Citizen.
Sosu’s Call, by Mashack Asare. (ages 8-12). Reviewed here by Kali from For the Love of Spanish.
One Hen, by Katie Smith Milway. (ages 7-12)
Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, by Laurie Ann Thompson and Sean Qualls. (ages 4-8)
Grace goes to Ghana by M. Mimi Sutton. (ages 8 to 11)
Symbols (ages 8 to 11)
Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai, by Claire A. Nivola. (ages 5-8) Reviewed here by Kid World Citizen.
Juma and the Honey Guide: An African Story, by Robin Bernard. (ages 5-9)
Thank You, Baobab Tree! by Mi-Hwa Joo. (ages 6-10).
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, by William Kamkwamba. (ages 8-11). Reviewed here by Becky on Multicultural Kid Blogs.
Galimoto, by Karen Lynne Williams. (ages 4-8). Reviewed here by Becky on Multicultural Kid Blogs.
The Mean Hyena: A Folktale from Malawi, by Judy Sierra. (ages 5-8). Reviewed here by Becky on Multicultural Kid Blogs.
Jamari’s Drum, Eboni Bynum and Roland Jackson. (ages 5-8)
Sundiata: A Legend of Africa, by Will Eisner. (ages 9-13).
Never Forgotten by Patricia C. McKissack. (ages 9 and up).
Deep in the Sahara, by Kelly Cunnane. (ages 4-8)
Don’t Spill the Milk, by Stephen Davies. (ages 4-7).
Bitter Bananas, by Isaac Olaleye. (ages 5-9)
Lost in the African Forest of Zuki, by Onyeka Opara (ages 7-10)
Republic of the Congo
Sebgugugu the Glutton: A Bantu Tale from Rwanda, Verna Aardema. (ages 5-8)
São Tomé and Príncipe
Senegal: On the Way to School, by Anna Obiols. (ages 7-10)
One Shadow on the Wall, by Leah Henderson. (ages 10-13)
Mami Wata, by Leila Vrhel. (ages 9-12)
Tamba and the Chief: A Temne Tale, by Melinda Lilly. (ages 8-10)
Be Patient, Abdul, by Dolores Sandoval. (ages 5-10)
The Colour of Home, by Mary Hoffman. (ages 7-10)
All of the South African books are reviewed here in a fabulous post that features diverse South African settings and themes.
Halala Means Welcome! by Ken Wilson-Max. (age 4-10)
Somewhere in Africa, by Ingrid Mennen and Niki Daly. (ages 4-8)
Armien’s Fishing Trip, by Catherine Stock. (ages 5-10)
At the Crossroads, by Rachel Isadora. (ages 4-8)
Charlie’s House, by Reviva Schermbrucker and Niki Daly. (ages 3-8)
Goal! by Mina Javaherbin (ages 6-9)
The Gift of the Sun by Dianne Stewart (ages 4-8)
Elsina’s Clouds by Jeanette Winter (ages 4-8)
Shaka King of the Zulus by Diane Stanley and Peter Vennema (ages 4-8)
South Sudan and Sudan
** two separate countries, but the books here were written before they separated.
Swaziland (see Eswatini)
Big Boy, by Tololwa M. Mollel. (ages 5-10)
Kele’s Secret, by Tololwa M. Mollel. (ages 6-10)
Arafat: A Child of Tunisia, by Mango Editions. (ages 5-9)
Beatrice’s Goat, by Page McBrier. (ages 4-10)
What a list!!!! Now get out your library card and start checking these out with your kids! Download this Africa map (scroll down), and color in the countries as you their stories. Let me know in the comments if you have additional books to add to our list!