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"Children's books are one of the most effective tools to engage with young children on important issues.
To encourage conversations about race and diversity with your children, check out this list of books to read together as a family."
Books for Children
Back of the Bus by
Call Number: ECE Collection PZ7.R33213 2010
Publication Date: 2010-01-07
It seems like any other winter day in Montgomery, Alabama. Mama and child are riding where they're supposed to--way in the back of the bus. The boy passes the time by watching his marble roll up and down the aisle with the motion of the bus, until from way up front a big commotion breaks out. He can't see what's going on, but he can see the policeman arrive outside and he can see Mama's chin grow strong. "There you go, Rosa Parks," she says, "stirrin' up a nest of hornets. Tomorrow all this'll be forgot." But they both know differently. With childlike words and powerful illustrations, Aaron Reynolds and Coretta Scott King medalist Floyd Cooper recount Rosa Parks' act of defiance through the eyes of a child--who will never forget.
Henry's Freedom Box by
Call Number: ECE PZ7.L57833 Hen 2007
Publication Date: 2007-01-01
A stirring, dramatic story of a slave who mails himself to freedom by a Jane Addams Peace Award-winning author and a Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist.Henry Brown doesn't know how old he is. Nobody keeps records of slaves' birthdays. All the time he dreams about freedom, but that dream seems farther away than ever when he is torn from his family and put to work in a warehouse. Henry grows up and marries, but he is again devastated when his family is sold at the slave market. Then one day, as he lifts a crate at the warehouse, he knows exactly what he must do: He will mail himself to the North. After an arduous journey in the crate, Henry finally has a birthday -- his first day of freedom.
Shades of People by
Call Number: PZ7.R752 Shc 2009
Publication Date: 2009-09-15
A celebration of the diversity of everyday life, this exploration of one of our most noticeable physical traits pairs simple text with vibrant photographs. At school, at the beach, and in the city, diverse groups of children invite young readers both to take notice and to look beyond the obvious. Combining lively action shots and candid portraits, Shelley Rotner's photographs showcase a wide variety of kids and families--many shades, and many bright smiles.
What I Like about Me! by
Call Number: ECE Collection PZ7 .S121 2005
Publication Date: 2005-08-30
The kids inWhat I Like About Me, are as different as night and day. And, guess what? They love it. Some adore the fact that their braces dazzle and gleam, others feel distinguished when they wear their glasses. Still others wouldn't trade their big feet for a lifetime of free video games. This fun-loving book, which features entertaining flaps, pull tabs, and touch-and-feel elements such as embedded foil yarn, and more, proves to kids that, in a world where fitting in is the norm, being different is what makes us special.
Books for Teenagers
The Bluest Eye by
Call Number: PS3563.O8749 B55 2000
Publication Date: 1993-12-28
The Bluest Eye, published in 1970, is the first novel written by Toni Morrison, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature. It is the story of eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove -- a black girl in an America whose love for its blond, blue-eyed children can devastate all others -- who prays for her eyes to turn blue: so that she will be beautiful, so that people will look at her, so that her world will be different. This is the story of the nightmare at the heart of her yearning and the tragedy of its fulfillment. Although it is considered “controversial” in many schools, this is an incredible story that resonates today.
The Hate U Give by
Call Number: PZ7.1.T448 Hat 2017
Publication Date: 2017-02-28
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does--or does not--say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
All American Boys by
Call Number: QMC PZ7.R33593 Al 2015
Publication Date: 2015-09-29
Two teens--one black, one white--grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided by racial tension. Written in tandem by two award-winning authors, this four-starred reviews tour de force shares the alternating perspectives of Rashad and Quinn as the complications from that single violent moment, the type taken from the headlines, unfold and reverberate to highlight an unwelcome truth.
Resources for Parents to Raise Anti Racist Children
A Question of Race: Answers for Kids
A Question of Race: Answers for Kids
Experts in child psychology, social justice and education discuss how to talk to children about racism, current events stemming from George Floyd's death and raising the next generation to be advocates for themselves and others. (Originally aired June 5, 2020)
Duration: 27 minutes
How to Talk to Kids About Race
Sesame Street Black Lives Matter