Diversify Your Bookshelf: Books About Race for Children of all Ages

I am the first to admit that this website is NOT diverse enough. Am I doing this too late? I think I am. Am I going to change that? 100% and starting now. Since this website is based on family content, I am going to do my best to share more on diversity for your kids and for you.

Please let me know if you have anything else that you would like for us to share. I hope that this list inspires you to have a conversation with your kids, at any age. I have compiled this list from a number of sources and encourage you to follow them as I do NOT deserve credit for all of this information, I just wanted to put it in one list that was easy to digest.

Instagram Accounts to Follow for More Information on Diverse Literature + Where to Purchase:
@raisegoodkids
@booksfordiversity
@bookshop.org
@adfrntbooklist
@notability_
@nilevalleybooksto
@knowledgebookstore

AGES 0-2:

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by: Mem Fox
A celebration of baby fingers, baby toes, and the joy they-and the babies they belong to-bring to everyone, everywhere, all over the world!

A is for Activist by: Innosanto Nagara
This bestselling ABC book is written and illustrated for the next generation of progressives: families who want their kids to grow up in a space that is unapologetic about activism, environmental justice, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and everything else that activists believe in and fight for.

The Youngest Marcher by: Cynthia Levinson
Meet the youngest known child to be arrested for a civil rights protest in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963, in this moving picture book that proves you’re never too little to make a difference. Nine-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks intended to go places and do things like anybody else.

I Am Enough by: Grace Byers
This gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another comes from Empire actor and activist Grace Byers and talented newcomer artist Keturah A. Bobo. We are all here for a purpose. We are more than enough. We just need to believe it.

AGES 3-6:

Last Stop on Market Street by: Matt De La Pena
Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them.

All Are Welcome by: Alexandra Penfold
Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where kids in patkas, hijabs, and yarmulkes play side-by-side with friends in baseball caps. A school where students grow and learn from each other’s traditions and the whole community gathers to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

Something Happened in Our Town by: Marianne Celano
Something Happened in Our Town follows two families — one White, one Black — as they discuss a police shooting of a Black man in their community. The story aims to answer children’s questions about such traumatic events, and to help children identify and counter racial injustice in their own lives.

I am Enough by: Grace Byers
This gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another comes from Empire actor and activist Grace Byers and talented newcomer artist Keturah A. Bobo.

We’re Different, We’re the Same by: Sesame Street
Illustrated in full color. The colorful characters from Sesame Street teach
young children about racial harmony. Muppets, monsters, and humans compare noses, hair, and skin and realize how different we all are. But as they look further, they also discover how much we are alike.


Ages 7-14:

We March by: Shane W. Evans
We March was one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Children’s Books of 2012, and is an important story about the African American civil rights movement.

Let’s Talk About Race By: Julius Lester
In this acclaimed book, the author of the Newbery Honor Book To Be a Slave shares his own story as he explores what makes each of us special. A strong choice for sharing at home or in the classroom.

Hidden Figures by: Margot Lee Shetterly
Based on the New York Times bestselling book and the Academy Award–nominated movie, author Margot Lee Shetterly and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award winner Laura Freeman bring the incredibly inspiring true story of four black women who helped NASA launch men into space to picture book readers

Esperanza Rising by: Pam Munoz Ryan
Esperanza thought she’d always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico–she’d always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, & servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn’t ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances–Mama’s life and her own depend on it.

A Kids Book About Racism by: Jelani Memory
Yes, this really is a kids book about racism. Inside, you’ll find a clear description of what racism is, how it makes people feel when they experience it, and how to spot it when it happens. This is one conversation that’s never too early to start, and this book was written to be an introduction for kids on the topic.

One Last Note

This is not an exhaustive list. This is a place to start. For more resources on Anti-Racism, click HERE. This link was found online via the South Riverdale Child-Parent Centre and it has a number of resources for you and your family.

It includes books, toys, lesson/activity ideas, instagram accounts to follow and additional resources for adults. There is so much more learning and work to be done here. I will continue to post more educational items as I learn myself. Please share anything additional in the comments so that others can benefit as well.

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