15 Books for Kids of All Ages About Diversity & Race That Every Family Needs

Deborah Cruz | Jun 5, 2020 Big Kid
15 Books for Kids of All Ages About Diversity & Race That Every Family Needs

In a world where the need for us to march in the streets for equality still exists, it's more important than ever to teach our children to be better and to do better. It's time that we have the important conversations with our children about race, diversity, and human kindness. It's time we get uncomfortable in the name of the greater good.

Change starts at home, and it starts young. People of color know that they need to have these conversations with their children when they are young but all kids need to be raised with empathy and love. All children need to be taught to embrace diversity. Racism and prejudice are not something we are born with -- they're something children learn from watching the people around them.

These books are great tools for parents to start a conversation and guide their children on how to live in the world with all people -- not just those who look, sound, and think like them.

  • 'Antiracist Baby'

    1

    Bold and beautiful. Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi is an illustrated introduction to nine principals of anti-racism for children, including opening our eyes to all colors, embracing differences, celebrating diversity, and protesting policies, not people.

  • 'What If We Were All The Same!'

    2

    What If We Were All The Same!: A Children's Book About Ethnic Diversity and Inclusion by C.M. Harris and Eric Everett teaches our children to embrace all of our differences. Those differences are what makes us all special and why would we want to be like anyone else? 

  • 'The Skin You Live In'

    3

    Written specifically for little kids, The Skin You Live In, is a great rhyming book about race for children. It celebrates all different skin colors from “butterscotch gold” to “cookie dough rolled.” The Skin You Live In reminds children that the person within is what matters, not how someone looks on the outside.

  • 'You Matter'

    4

    You Matter is for very young children. It's a great conversation starter for little kids about why sometimes we feel less-than but discusses why each and every one of us matters and is special, no matter what the world might make us feel like.

  • 'It's Okay to Be Different'

    5

    A great book about diversity for toddlers, It's Okay to be Different, is beautifully whimsical while tackling serious issues like embracing diversity and loving yourself for who you are.

  • 'Skin Again'

    6

    Want to talk to your child about race but not sure how to bring it up? Skin Again uses poetry as a gentle way to introduce young kids to the topics of race and identity.

  • 'A is for Activist'

    7

    This is my type of ABC book. With A Is for Activist, parents can teach children about protest, activism, and equality all while the little ones learn their ABC's.

  • 'This Book Is Anti-Racist'

    8

    In the voice of an educator, Tiffany Jewell discusses the concept of race and openly discusses the history of oppression of black and Indigenous people in our country. She then outlines clear actionable items we can all do to stop racism starting with ourselves and our children. This one is best to use as a read-aloud with older kids to foster important discussions.

  • 'The Hate U Give'

    9

    This YA novel is timely and perfect for teaching your child to stand up for the right things and to get a better understanding what it feels like to be black in America. The Hate U Give tells the story of a young girl whose best friend is killed by police in an act of racial injustice -- a timely topic given current events.

  • 'All American Boys'

    10

    All American Boys is the perspective of two teen boys, one white and one black, same situation. The novel is co-written by authors of both races so they can give the perspective of police brutality as it applies by each individual to give the reader insight into how differently two races are treated for the same crimes.

  • 'The Undefeated'

    11

    The Undefeated is a strong book that is a testament to achievements throughout black history while sharing the horrors that still need to be overcome to achieve racial equality in the US.

  • 'The Colors of Us'

    12

    The Colors of Us is about a little girl named Lena who wants to paint a picture of herself using brown paint for her skin. As she and her mom walk the neighborhood, Lena sees all the different shades of brown and begins to feel a greater sense of belonging in the world. This book is a beautiful affirmation on the beauty of brown skin.

  • 'All Are Welcome'

    13

    All Are Welcome celebrates diversity and inclusiveness. The story is about a school where all children are welcome. A beautiful story of children of all races, religions, and orientations playing side by side in harmony, free of the prejudices of the world.

  • 'Children in Our World'

    14

    Children in Our World: Racism and Intolerance is the perfect picture book for the entire family to read together. Beautiful pictures help children explore and learn what racism and intolerance are and how they affect children everywhere.

  • 'Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You'

    15

    The concepts of Ibram X. Kendi's Stamped from the Beginning as Jason Reynolds explains racism to kids by exploring where racist ideas come from while teaching kids how to refuse to accept those ideas in their lives.

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