Thursday, June 04, 2020

By Sarah Davis

It’s never too early to start talking to your kids about race and racism in our country. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are some books to help get you started. This list is a mix of fiction and nonfiction; follow the links to learn more and place holds. Don’t forget, this list is just a start. It’s important for children to read stories featuring characters of color experiencing joy and positivity as well.

Resources for young readers:

Something Happened in Our Town by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins and Ann Hazzard

Not My Idea: A Book about Whiteness by Anastasia Higginbotham

Black is a Rainbow Color by Angela Joy

Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi

A Ride to Remember by Sharon Langley

Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship by Irene Latham and Charles Waters

Let’s Talk about Race by Julius Lester

Hands Up! by Breanna J. McDaniel

A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara

The Skin I’m In: A First Look at Racism by Pat Thomas

The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler

The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson

Resources for middle readers:

Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice by Mahogany L. Browne and others

New Kid by Jerry Craft

Blended by Sharon M. Draper

This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March by Linda Blackmon Lowery

A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramee

Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Resources for teen readers:

Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles

In the Shadow of Liberty by Kenneth C. Davis

Because They Marched: The People’s Campaign for Voting Rights that Changed America by Russell Freedman

Dark Sky Rising: Reconstruction and the Dawn of Jim Crow by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Tonya Bolden

A Few Drops of Red: The Chicago Race Riots of 1919 by Claire Hartfield

All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson

How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

Just Mercy (Young Readers Edition) by Bryan Stevenson

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson

Sarah Davis is coordinator of the FDL Public Library Children’s and Youth Services department