Over the past week, we have been having some amazing conversations with our boys. We’ve brought them up to not see color – to treat each and everyone they meet as they would like to be treated – as equal.
My husband and I love that they come to us with any curiosities without hesitation; our answers straightforward and forthcoming.
Below are a collection of children’s books I recommend to encourage diversity and inclusion. I’ve noted recommended age ranges for each book.
Children’s Books to Encourage Acceptance and Inclusion
What’s the Difference? by Doyin Richards
With bright pictures and engaging language, this book introduces children to diversity by teaching them that seeing and accepting our differences — instead of ignoring them or pretending they don’t exist — is the best way to love each other. For ages 3–5.
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.
All Are Welcome lets young children know that no matter what, they have a place, they have a space, they are welcome in their school. For ages 4 – 8.
Rosa by Nikki Giovanni
Fifty years after her refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus, Mrs. Rosa Parks is still one of the most important figures in the American civil rights movement. This tribute to Mrs. Parks is a celebration of her courageous action and the events that followed. For ages 4–8.
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it’s how you look or talk, or where you’re from; maybe it’s what you eat, or something just as random. It’s not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it.
Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical text and Rafael López’s dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway. For ages 5–8.
Ghost by Jason Reynolds
When Ghost is chosen to join his elite middle school track team, it could mean a chance at the Junior Olympics. But he and his teammates couldn’t be more different, and they can’t stop clashing on and off the track. Worse, even though Ghost is incredibly talented, he’s not running to win — he’s running to escape. This beloved National Book Award finalist is a good discussion starter for parents and middle schoolers. For ages 10–13.
The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore
After his brother is killed in gang violence, Lolly is just trying to survive. But a gift of Legos and an offer to build something in the community center may open up a different future — and soon Lolly stands at a crossroads that will shape his life. For ages 10 and up.
This Book Is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell
Where does racism come from? What does it look like? And how can we step in when we see it? In 20 unique lessons that span the scope of history and current events, This Book Is Anti-Racist challenges readers to confront their own biases and gives them the tools they need to make positive change. Brimming with true stories of courage and compassion and complemented by activities to help you bring the lessons into your own life, this book is a vital resource for teaching kids to build a better world. For ages 10 and up.
Have you read any of these children’s books? If you have others you’d like to recommend, I would love to hear about them in the comments below!