Kwanzaa is a celebration that honors African heritage. It is observed from December 26th to January 1st, including a feast on December 31st called Karamu. Kwanzaa celebrations include singing, dancing, storytelling and African drums. To learn more about Kwanzaa's roots in ancient African customs and how it is celebrated, watch this PBS Learning Media video All About the Holidays: Kwanzaa. Then watch this Sesame Street video during which a family shares how they celebrate Kwanzaa together.

This year, there is a new book out called The People Remember. It uses the seven principles of Kwanzaa called Nguzo Saba, to share the history of African descendants in America from the time their ancestors arrived in America to the present day. The seven principles are:

1. Umoja (Unity)
2. Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
3. Ujima (Responsibility)
4. Ujamaa (Cooperative economics)
5. Nia (Purpose)
6. Kuumba (Creativity)
7. Imani (Faith)

Listen as author Ibi Zoboi reads aloud, The People Remember, with illustrations by Loveis Wise.

You can use your IndyPL library card to check out e-books, audiobooks, and other streaming content about Kwanzaa from home, right to your device. See our digital Kwanzaa collection from Axis 360 Kids or OverDrive Kids, or come visit us! Below is a selection of Kwanzaa books for kids to help you get started.

Need help? Ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or call, text or email Ask-a-Librarian.

Books for Kids to Celebrate Kwanzaa and Nguzo Saba

Kwanzaa is a celebration in the U.S. that honors African heritage. It is observed from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, ending with gifts and a feast. Kwanzaa features customs from different traditional African celebrations that include singing, dancing, storytelling and African drums. #indyplkids

The People Remember

Zoboi, Ibi Aanu

Tells the journey of African descendants in America. They had to learn one common language and create a culture that combined their memories of home with new traditions that enabled them to thrive in this new land. "By turns powerful and revealing, this is a lyrical narrative that tells the story of survival, as well as the many moments of joy, celebration, and innovation of Black people in America."


Dittmer, Lori

A beginning introduction to Kwanzaa, about the holiday's history, popular traditions, and symbols.

Seven Spools of Thread

A Kwanzaa Story

Medearis, Angela Shelf

When they are given the impossible task of turning thread into gold, seven Ashanti brothers put aside their differences, learn to get along, and use the principles of Kwanzaa to complete their task.