The Ultimate List of Children’s Books about Mississippi
Note: This page of children’s books about Mississippi and Mississippi picture books contains affiliate links for which I may earn income at no cost to you.
Welcome to Mississippi, the Magnolia State. Mississippi’s history is as rich and deep as the clay that runs through its soil, and as long as the river that bears its name. Here are two dozen books set in Mississippi that will bring that local history to life.
Mississippi Children’s Books: Playing the Blues
Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters, by Michael James Mahin and Evan Turk
This Muddy Waters picture book tells the story of the Blues, a musical style that came from Mississippi
Daddy Played the Blues, by Michael Garland
In this book, Daddy played the blues. Tells the story of music in the Mississippi delta.
Swing Sisters: The Story of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, by Karen Deans and Joe Cepeda
When Grandmama Sings, by Margaree King Mitchell, Illustrated by James Ransome
Mississippi Leaders: Strong and Resilient
Midnight Teacher, by Janet Halfmann and London Ladd.
Learning in Mississippi after the Civil War is a dangerous thing. This book about Mississippi shows the efforts that were went to in order to open Reconstruction era schools and keep them safe for children.
The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch, by Chris Barton and Don Tate.
His mom was enslaved, his dad was Irish, and he was a member of Congress. Learn more about John Roy Lynch – a Black Congressman representing Mississippi in the 1800s.
Oprah: The Little Speaker, by Carole Boston Weatherford
This little girl from Mississippi became the first Black female billionaire.
Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Ekua Holmes
This book about Mississippi great Fannie Lou Hamer, from Rueville MS. Sick and tired of being sick and tired, Mrs. Hamer was fired from her job for the simple act of trying to vote in 1962. She wasn’t allowed to register, she lost her job, had her home taken from her, and she was still determined to make a difference. By 3 years later, it was legal for everyone to register to vote in her state and nationwide.
Mississippi Books: Progress Fights Oppression
Crossing Bok Chitto, by Tim Tingle and Jeanne Rorex Bridges
Mississippi Morning, by Ruth Vander Zee and Floyd Cooper
Granddaddy’s Gift, by Margaree King Mitchell and Larry Johnson.
A Mississippi farmer takes his granddaughter with him to register to vote.
Summer of 1969: The Story of Cozett Juanita Gambrel, by Sara W. Berry, Juanita G. Floyd and Tracy Applewhite
Medgar Evers – US veteran, state NAACP secretary, died working for integration
James Meredith – US veteran, first person to attend University of Mississippi, took 2,000 troops to allow it
Emmett Till – died too soon, victim of violence, became known around the globe
Medgar Evers: He Taught His Kids To Crawl So We Could Stand, by Katina Rankin
Medgar Evers was a NAACP leading figure in the work for the right to vote.
March On Children!: The Story Of James Meredith’s March Against Fear, by Katina Rankin
James Meredith enrolled in the University of Mississippi law school in 1962. To get to classes, he needed a few thousand guards letting him enter.
Emmett Till: Sometimes Good Can Come Out of A Bad Situation, by Katina Rankin
Emmett Till was 14 years old when he became a national and international figure. His story sparked a movement seeking justice and equality, in Mississippi and beyond. This book is designed to tell this story to an elementary student, such as 3rd grade up.
Mississippi Books for Older Students
This book about Mississippi delta flooding ia a thicker counterpart book to the “I Survived” series. Survivors: Flood, Mississippi 1927 would work well for 4th to 6th graders. It discusses the Mississippi Delta and a historic flood that happened in that region of Mississippi.
Mildred D. Taylor Books – Read them all!
These books about Mississippi, beginning with the award-winning Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry are amazing and in-depth. They are highly recommended.
This series of books about Mississippi is set mostly in 1937 and the decade that follows, during the Great Depression, to a sharecropping family. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry shows how the justice system works, how the water fountains work, and how the textbooks of 1930s Mississippi work. The Logan family – with Cassie Logan in the lead, and her father and uncle as memorable characters – are worth a multibook venture down South. This series would work well for 5th to 8th grade.
The series spans several decades, with The Gold Cadillac happening while Cassie is a young woman (about to be of marriagable age). Her uncle drives into town with a shiny new Cadillac, a car so nice it is bound to annoy the neighbors. While Daddy is more of a “keep your head down, don’t make trouble” type, Uncle sees what trouble comes following with him as he spins those chrome wheels into town.
A Wreath for Emmett Till, written by Marilyn Nelson, illustrated by Philippe Lardy, is a book of complex poems in different forms, going through the life of Emmett Till. This poetry collection is for 9th grade and up.
Here is B.B. King playing the blues, with the song “Sweet Sixteen.” B.B. King was born in 1925, on a cotton plantation in Itta Bena, Mississippi. B.B. King passed away in 2015. He is famous for saying that blues is “the mother of American music.”
Mississippi Vocabulary to Highlight:
Hiram Rhodes Revels
Biloxi, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Natchez
Mississippi Band of Choctaw
James Meredith – U.S. veteran, Mississippi law school, changed a state
Fanny Lou Hammer
Gulf of Mexico
Gulf Coastal Plain
Holly Springs National Forest
Gulf Island National Seashore
Children’s Books about Mississippi and all 50 states. Which state will you read about next!
Here you will find books about Mississippi and all 50 states.