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)
All Aboard for the Bobo Road, by Stephen Davies. (ages 4-9). Reviewed here by Leanna on All Done Monkey.
Drop by Drop, by Peace and Human Development USCCB Dept of Justice. (ages 5-12)
The Water Princess, by Susan Verde. (ages 5-8). Reviewed here by Leanna on All Done Monkey.
Bakuru and the School on the Hill, by The Westwood Bridge to Burundi Project. (ages 6-12)
Sense Pass King: A Story from Cameroon, by
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)
Nothando’s Journey, by Jill Apperson Manly. (ages 7-9). Reviewed here by Kid World Citizen.
E is for Ethiopia, by Ashenafi Gudeta. (ages 4-10).
Tsion’s Life, by Stacy Bellward. (4-10).
The Best Beekeeper of Lalibela, by Cristina Kessler. (ages 5-11). Reviewed here by Kid World Citizen.
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)
Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti, by Gerald McDermott. (ages 4-7). Reviewed here by Kid World Citizen.
Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, by Laurie Ann Thompson and Sean Qualls. (ages 4-8)
Kwame’s Sound: An Accoustical Engineering Story, by
Grace goes to Ghana by M. Mimi Sutton. (ages 8 to 11)
Symbols (ages 8 to 11)
Seeds of Change: Planting a Path To Peace, by Sonia Lynn Sadler. (ages 7-11) Reviewed here by Kid World Citizen.
Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai, by Claire A. Nivola. (ages 5-8) Reviewed here by Kid World Citizen.
Mama Panya’s Pancakes, by Richard Chamberlin. (ages 3-8). Reviewed here by Kids Spanish Book Club.
Juma and the Honey Guide: An African Story, by Robin Bernard. (ages 5-9)
Mrs. Chicken and the Hungry Crocodile, by Won-Ldy Paye and Margaret H. Lippert. (ages 4-7). Reviewed here by Kid World Citizen.
Head, Body, Legs: A Story from Liberia, by Won-Ldy Paye and Margaret H. Lippert. (ages 4-8). Reviewed here by Kid World Citizen.
Koi and the Kola Nuts, by Verna Aardema and Joe Cepeda. (ages 3 and up). Reviewed here by Kid World Citizen.
I Love Liberia, by Wayetu Moore and Kula Moore. (ages 5-8). Reviewed here by Kid World Citizen.
Uncle Jallah will Fix It, by Augustus Y. Voahn. (ages 8-12). Reviewed here by Kid World Citizen.
Mommi Watta: Spirit of the River, by Virginia Castleman. (ages 7-10). Reviewed here by Kid World Citizen.
The Shadows of Ghadames, by Joelle Stolz. (ages 8-12). Reviewed here by Kay from A Crafty Arab.
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: Lion King of Mali, by
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).
Multiple books by Nigerian author Ifeoma Onyefulu for children about children in Nigeria. (ages 4-6).
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)
Through My Eyes, by Tammy Wilson. (ages 11 and up). Reviewed here by Kay of A Crafty Arab.
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)
Not So Fast Songololo, What’s Cooking Jamela? by Niki Daly (ages 4-10)
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)
The Soccer Fence, by Phil Bildner. (ages 6-9) Reviewed here by Leanna of All Done Monkey.
The Drum, by Ken Wilson-Max. (ages 4-8) Reviewed here by Patricia Nozell.
South Sudan and Sudan
** two separate countries, but the books here were written before they separated.
The Red Pencil, by Andrea Davis Pinkney. (ages 8-12). Reviewed here by Kid World Citizen.
Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan by
Kadisa كديسة , by Rasha Hamid. (ages 6-10) Reviewed here by Kay of A Crafty Arab.
Swaziland (see Eswatini)
Big Boy, by Tololwa M. Mollel. (ages 5-10)
Kele’s Secret, by Tololwa M. Mollel. (ages 6-10)
My Rows and Piles of Coins, by Tololwa M. Mollel. (ages 6-10) Reviewed here by Aysh of JeddahMom.com.
We All Went on Safari: A Counting Journey Through Tanzania, by Laurie Krebs. (ages 5-8) Reviewed here by Alexis Dallara-Marsh of Kids Spanish Book Club.
Arafat: A Child of Tunisia, by Mango Editions. (ages 5-9)
Benny and Omar, by Eoin Colfer (ages 11-14). Reviewed here by Kay from A Crafty Arab.
Beatrice’s Goat, by Page McBrier. (ages 4-10)
Sing to the Moon, by Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl. (ages 4-8). Reviewed here by Patricia Nozell.
Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale, by John Steptoe. (ages 5-10) Reviewed here by Kid World Citizen.
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!
Mimi Sutton says
Hello. 2 suggestions to consider. Grace goes to Ghana- short story for kids 8 to 11. Symbols – short story about west African adinkra symbols. Ages 8 to 11. Both are self published books. They can be found on the kawakokoo.com website.
Thank you!! I will check them out and add them! 🙂
Laverne B says
I’m trying to subscribe to get a list of the books and the “subscribe” button is not working for me after I type in my email. I tried my gmail & yahoo?
Oh no! Let me take a look. I see your email here, so I will manually enter you!
Check your email 🙂 It should be there! If it’s not, let me know!