Using Books to Talk About Race
Books can be gateways to meaningful conversation and opportunities to build empathy and expand vocabulary. When you’re reading together, take time to ask questions about the story and illustrations. Talk about skin color, acknowledge unfairness, name actions like prejudice or racism, and encourage your child’s natural sense of fairness.
Just Like Me by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
This book of vibrant, uplifting poems invites you to find yourself within its pages.
Something Happened in Our Town: a child’s story about racial injustice by Marianne Celano
After discussing the police shooting of a local Black man with their families, Emma and Josh know how to treat a new student who looks and speaks differently than his classmates. Includes guidance about addressing racism with children.
Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Peña
Milo observes strangers on the subway and draws what he imagines their lives to be. A story that explains implicit bias in a relatable way.
A Place Inside of Me by Zetta Elliott
Lyrical text and meaningful illustrations express a child's awareness of being filled with deep emotions, from joy to sorrow and anger to compassion, but above all, love.
Eyes that Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho
A self-confident and strong young girl recounts how she shares her eyes--and so much more--with her mother, her amah and her little sister
The Antiracist Kid: a book about identity, justice and activism by Tiffany Jewel
This guide explains: IDENTITY: What it is and what it means for you. JUSTICE: What it is, what racism has to do with it, and how to fight injustice. ACTIVISM: How to be the best antiracist kid you can be.
Brown: the many shades of love by Nancy Johnson James
In this loving ode to the color brown, a boy describes the many hues of his family.
Some Bodies by Sophie Kennen
Through playful rhymes and colorful artwork, all the things that make our bodies special--from the texture of our hair to the color of our eyes--are celebrated.
All the Colors we are: the story of how we get our skin color by Katie Kissinger
Explains, in simple terms, the reasons for skin color, how it is determined by heredity, and how various environmental factors affect it
Let's Talk about Race by Julius Lester
The author introduces the concept of race as only one component in an individual's or nation's story.
Our Skin: a first conversation about race by Megan Madison
An age-appropriate introduction to the concept of race that combines clear text with engaging artwork to help the youngest children recognize and confront unjust actions.
The Proudest Blue: a story of hijab and family by Ibtihaj Muhammad
Faizah relates how she feels on the first day her sister, sixth-grader Asiya, wears a hijab to school.
Families by Shelley Rotner
This inclusive look at many varieties of families will help young readers see beyond their own immediate experiences
Shades of People by Shelley Rotner
Explores the many different shades of human skin, and points out that skin is just a covering that does not reveal what someone is like inside.
That's Not my Name by Anoosha Syed
Mirha questions her name after her classmates continually pronounce it wrong on the first day of school so her mother helps her to learn the significance of her name and to be proud of it.
Your Name is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
Saddened by her classmates' and teacher's mispronunciations of her name, a girl is empowered by her discovery that names are like songs
The Talk by Alicia Williams
As a little boy grows into a bigger boy, he first must have the difficult conversation Black families have with their sons, warning them about the challenges they face due to racism.