Juneteenth is the newest federal holiday. Signed into law last year, Juneteenth is now a national holiday celebrating June 19, 1865—the day a Union general arrived in Galveston, Texas, to tell the enslaved African Americans that the Civil War had ended and that they were free. Today we’re sharing a children’s book list that features a few wonderful books that your family might enjoy as you celebrate Juneteenth.

Juneteenth for Mazie

By Floyd Cooper
Picture Book

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.

All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom

By Angela Johnson
Picture Book

In 1865, members of a family start their day as slaves, working in a Texas cotton field, and end it celebrating their freedom on what came to be known as Juneteenth.

Opal Lee and What it Means to be Free: The True Story of the Grandmother of Juneteenth

By Alice Faye Duncan
Junior Nonfiction 

The true story of Black activist Opal Lee and her vision of Juneteenth as a holiday for everyone will inspire children to be brave and make a difference. Growing up in Texas, Opal knew the history of Juneteenth, but she soon discovered that most Americans had never heard of the holiday that represents the nation’s creed of “freedom for all.”


By Lisa A. Crayton
Junior Nonfiction 

Juneteenth celebrates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. Across the country, people observe the day with speeches, poetry readings, festivals, picnics, street fairs, and family reunions. It is a day for people to come together and continue working toward equality. Readers will discover how a shared holiday can have multiple traditions and be celebrated in all sorts of ways.

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