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Diversity: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about diversity?

“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” ― Maya Angelou

Children’s books are a powerful way to bond with children and can teach them important lessons. These books are all about teaching and helping readers understand and appreciate diversity. Whether you’re looking for a specific book on diversity and culture, history, or family, these books will help readers celebrate the beauty and strength in diversity.

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Fur, Feather, Fin—All of Us Are Kin
Written by Diane Lang & illustrated by Stephanie Laberis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

There are so many wild and wonderful animals in our world. Some have fur, some have feathers, some have fins, but all are connected. This fact-filled rhyming exploration of the diversity of the animal kingdom celebrates mammals, birds, insects, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and more! It’s a perfect match for budding naturalists and animal enthusiasts everywhere.

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Global Babies
Written & illustrated by The Global Fund For Children
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Presents photographs of babies from all over the world in their native costume and describes how all babies are special. On board pages.

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Our Favorite Day of the Year
Written by A. E. Ali & illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Bell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A heartwarming picture book following a group of boys from different backgrounds throughout the school year as they become the best of friends.

Musa’s feeling nervous about his first day of school. He’s not used to being away from home and he doesn’t know any of the other kids in his class. And when he meets classmates Moisés, Mo, and Kevin, Musa isn’t sure they’ll have much in common. But over the course of the year, the four boys learn more about each other, the holidays they celebrate, their favorite foods, and what they like about school. The more they share with each other, the closer they become, until Musa can’t imagine any better friends.

In this charming story of friendship and celebrating differences, young readers can discover how entering a new friendship with an open mind and sharing parts of yourself brings people together. And the calendar of holidays at the end of the book will delight children as they identify special events they can celebrate with friends throughout the year.

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Playdate
Written by Maryann Macdonald & illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Bell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

A picture book with minimal text and maximum impact, as portrayed through both the well-chosen words and the fun-filled, evocative illustrations.

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Journey Through Islamic Art
Written by Nahima bint Robert & illustrated by Diana Mayo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A young girl’s imagination takes flight and carries her on a magical journey into the world of Islamic art and architecture. From colossal mosques to opulent palaces and lush ornamental gardens, she travels through Islamic world’s rich artistic heritage. A perfect way to introduce young readers to Islamic history and culture, Diana Mayo’s sumptuous illustrations bring the richness and splendour of Islamic art to life.

Some editions of this dual language book can be used with your TalkingPEN.

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  • Clive and His Art - Meet Clive - and his imagination! Clive loves all kinds of art. He likes looking at it, making it and sharing it with his friends. A gentle, affectionate book, celebrating diversity and challenging gender stereotypes.

  • Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse - A classic in the making, this heartwarming story about empathy and imagination is one that families will treasure for years to come. Adrian Simcox tells anyone who will listen that he has a horse–the best and most beautiful horse anywhere. But Chloe does NOT believe him. Adrian Simcox lives in a tiny house. Where would he keep a horse? He has holes in his shoes. How would he pay for a horse? The more Adrian talks about his horse, the angrier Chloe gets. But when she calls him out at school and even complains about him to her mom, Chloe doesn’t get the vindication she craves. She gets something far more important. Written with tenderness and poignancy and gorgeously illustrated, this book will show readers that kindness is always rewarding, understanding is sweeter than judgment, and friendship is the best gift one can give.

  • The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family - A powerful, vibrantly illustrated story about the first day of school–and two sisters on one’s first day of hijab–by Olympic medalist and social justice activist Ibtihaj Muhammad. With her new backpack and light-up shoes, Faizah knows the first day of school is going to be special. It’s the start of a brand new year and, best of all, it’s her older sister Asiya’s first day of hijab–a hijab of beautiful blue fabric, like the ocean waving to the sky. But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful, and in the face of hurtful, confusing words, Faizah will find new ways to be strong. Paired with Hatem Aly’s beautiful, whimsical art, Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad and Morris Award finalist S.K. Ali bring readers an uplifting, universal story of new experiences, the unbreakable bond between siblings, and of being proud of who you are.

  • This Little Explorer: A Pioneer Primer - Learn all about the most influential explorers who searched the world far and wide in this engaging and colorful board book perfect for pioneers-in-training! Little explorers discover a great big world. The follow up to This Little President, now even the youngest adventurers can learn about the greatest explorers in history with this bright and playful board book. Highlighting ten memorable pioneers, parents and young discoverers alike will love sharing this fun historical primer full of age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations.

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Manjhi Moves a Mountain
Written by Nancy Churnin & illustrated by Danny Popovici
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Dashrath Manjhi used a hammer and chisel, grit, determination, and twenty years to carve a path through the mountain separating his poor village from the nearby village with schools, markets, and a hospital. Manjhi Moves a Mountain shows how everyone can make a difference if your heart is big enough.

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New Kid
Written & illustrated by Jerry Craft
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Gene Luen Yang, New Kid is a timely, honest graphic novel about starting over at a new school where diversity is low and the struggle to fit in is real, from award-winning author-illustrator Jerry Craft.

Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.

As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?

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Khalil and Mr. Hagerty and the Backyard Treasures
Written by Tricia Springstubb
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A sweet friendship spanning age and culture blooms in a shared backyard. Khalil lives in the upstairs apartment with his family, which is big and busy and noisy. Downstairs lives Mr. Hagerty, who is quiet. Khalil and Mr. Hagerty don’t appear to have a lot in common, but hot summer days have a way of bringing people together. As Khalil looks for buried treasure in the yard, Mr. Hagerty tends to his garden. Both help each other navigate language – whether it be learning new words or remembering those seemingly forgotten. Before long, an unlikely friendship is born, full of treasure, thoughtfulness, and chocolate cake. Through well-cultivated details and vibrant cut-paper collage, author Tricia Springstubb and illustrator Elaheh Taherian nurture a heart-tugging tribute to the love of good neighbors and to the strength of intergenerational and intercultural bonds.

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Stacey's Extraordinary Words
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

#1 New York Times bestseller! The debut picture book from iconic voting rights advocate and bestselling author Stacey Abrams is an inspiring tale of determination, based on her own childhood. Stacey is a little girl who loves words more than anything. She loves reading them, sounding them out, and finding comfort in them when things are hard. But when her teacher chooses her to compete in the local spelling bee, she isn’t as excited as she thought she’d be. What if she messes up? Or worse, if she can’t bring herself to speak up, like sometimes happens when facing bullies at school? Stacey will learn that win or lose . . . her words are powerful, and sometimes perseverance is the most important word of all.

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Color Our World
Written by Disney Book Group & illustrated by Disney Storybook Art Team
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

From lavender fields in France, to the blue waters of the Philippines, colors are all around. This adorable board book features sturdy pull-out pages that extend the image with extra, colorful content. Plus with all-new artwork, the vibrant images are an eye-catching delight for young readers.

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  • Let's Celebrate!: Special Days Around the World - Lyrical, sensory nonfiction text and vibrant illustrations invite readers to experience a child’s-eye view of 13 special days around the world, such as the Spring Festival, Inti Raymi, Eid al-Fitr, Día de Muertos and the New Yam Festival. Includes a global festival calendar and educational notes about why we celebrate.

  • How Do You Say I Love You? - Learn how to say “I love you” in ten different languages with this heartwarming board book. “I love you” may sound different around the world, but the meaning is the same. From China, to France, to Russia, to Brazil, and beyond, this charming board book features “I love you” in ten different languages. Tapping into the emotions that parents feel for their children, the rhyming text is accompanied by sweet artwork that depicts different cultures around the world.

  • Can't Sleep Without Sheep - Whenever Ava can’t sleep, she counts sheep. But Ava takes so long to fall asleep, it’s the sheep that are growing tired-until finally, they quit! When the sheep promise to find a replacement that Ava can count on, chaos ensues as chickens, cows, pigs, hippos, and more try their hand at jumping over Ava’s fence. Finding the perfectly peaceful replacement for sheep might not be so easy after all. With irresistibly adorable art, this delightful take on a familiar sleep tactic is sure to become a bedtime favorite.

  • Little Bitty Friends - “A cuter-than-puppies companion to Little Sleepyhead. Little bitty chipmunks, chattering all the day, Little bitty ladybug always comes to play. Marching with ants, snuggling with baby rabbits, reaching for the sun with happy buttercups-young children form special bonds with nature’s little creations. Lyrical verse and charming scenes capture an enchanted world of little bitty friends.”

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Teatime Around the World
Written by Denyse Waissbluth & illustrated by Chelsea O'Byrne
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Explore tea cultures around the world with vibrant images and sweetly simple text.

This poetic picture book takes children of all ages on an adventure around the world to discover new cultures and friends through tea. Did you know that po cha, the traditional tea in Tibet, is thick and salty like soup? Or that in Iran, tea is served with a rock? (A rock candy, that is!) Or that afternoon tea was dreamed up in England by a duchess who complained of being hungry between lunch and dinner? Teatime Around the World welcomes the youngest of readers with simple, vivid poetry complemented by unique facts about different tea cultures. Vibrant, detailed pictures by Chelsea O’Byrne bring to life debut author Denyse Waissbluth’s joyous celebration of diversity and deliciousness.

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The Way Back Home
Written & illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the illustrator of the #1 smash hit The Day the Crayons Quit comes an imaginative tale of friendship in a world where what makes us different isn’t nearly as important as what makes us the same.

When a boy discovers a single-propeller airplane in his closet, he does what any young adventurer would do: He flies it into outer space! Millions of miles from Earth, the plane begins to sputter and quake, its fuel tank on empty. The boy executes a daring landing on the moon . . . but there’s no telling what kind of slimy, slithering, tentacled, fangtoothed monsters lurk in the darkness! (Plus, it’s dark and lonely out there.) Coincidentally, engine trouble has stranded a young Martian on the other side of the moon, and he’s just as frightened and alone. Martian, Earthling—it’s all the same when you’re in need of a friend.

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Les & Ronnie Step Out
Written & illustrated by Andrew Kolb
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Meet a left and right foot who are a pair of complete opposites! Full of clever, giggle-inducing details, this lively odd-couple tale celebrates what makes us all unique, as well as the power of friendship to bring us together despite our differences.

Feet come in twos, so they need to step out together. But Les and Ronnie often find it hard to cooperate. Les likes having a clean sock and being responsible. Ronnie is fine with a dirty sock and loves letting loose. Les is straight-laced while Ronnie doesn’t even care about laces. What’s a duo to do?

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Where Wonder Grows
Written by Xelena Gonzalez & illustrated by Adriana M. Garcia
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A children’s picture book about a grandmother bonding with her granddaughters as she teaches them how much they can learn from nature just by being curious. Grandma knows that there is wondrous knowledge to be found everywhere you can think to look. She takes her girls to their special garden, and asks them to look over their collection of rocks, crystals, seashells, and meteorites to see what marvels they have to show. “They were here long before us and know so much more about our world than we ever will,” Grandma says. So they are called grandfathers. By taking a close look with an open mind, they see the strength of rocks shaped by volcanoes, the cleansing power of beautiful crystals, the oceans that housed their shells and shapes its environment, and the long journey meteorites took to find their way to them. Gathered together, Grandma and the girls let their surroundings spark their imaginations. This is a wonderful book to foster a loving intergenerational family bond. With its dazzling illustrations and poetic text, it’s also the perfect book to encourage the curiosity of little ones and cultivate an enthusiastic approach to learning.

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Grandmama's Pride
Written by Becky Birtha & illustrated by Colin Bootman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

While on a trip in 1956 to visit her grandmother in the South, six-year-old Sarah Marie experiences segregation for the first time, but discovers that things have changed by the time she returns the following year.

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  • The Crayon Box That Talked - Although they are many different colors, the crayons in a box discover that when they get together they can appreciate each other and make a complete picture.

  • Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut - Named one of the best books of 2017 by NPR, the Huffington Post , Publishers Weekly , Kirkus Reviews , the Los Angeles Times , the Boston Globe , the Horn Book Magazine , the News & Observer , BookPage , Chicago Public Library, and more The barbershop is where the magic happens. Boys go in as lumps of clay and, with princely robes draped around their shoulders, a dab of cool shaving cream on their foreheads, and a slow, steady cut, they become royalty. That crisp yet subtle line makes boys sharper, more visible, more aware of every great thing that could happen to them when they look good: lesser grades turn into As; girls take notice; even a mother’s hug gets a little tighter. Everyone notices. A fresh cut makes boys fly. This rhythmic, read-aloud title is an unbridled celebration of the self-esteem, confidence, and swagger boys feel when they leave the barber’s chair—a tradition that places on their heads a figurative crown, beaming with jewels, that confirms their brilliance and worth and helps them not only love and accept themselves but also take a giant step toward caring how they present themselves to the world. The fresh cuts. That’s where it all begins. Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut is a high-spirited, engaging salute to the beautiful, raw, assured humanity of black boys and how they see themselves when they approve of their reflections in the mirror.

  • The Day Saida Arrived - Two girls forge a forever-friendship by learning each other’s language. The Day Saida Arrived demonstrates the power of language to build bonds beyond borders. What happens when a new friend arrives who doesn’t speak your language? A young girl searches for the words to help her friend feel welcome and happy in her new home, and along the way learns about differences and similarities in countries and words. The two forge a strong bond while they each learn the other’s language, exploring the world around them. A joyous, lyrical text–including English translations and pronunciations and the complete Arabic alphabet–offers an accessible, fresh approach to talking about immigration. Paired with lushly vivid illustrations, The Day Saida Arrived demonstrates the power of language to build bonds beyond borders. Printed on FSC-certified paper with vegetable-based inks.

  • The Spelling Bee Before Recess - The students were squirming but none made a sound, as the spelling bee entered its championship round. It’s right before recess, and the annual school spelling bee is down to just three spellers: Cornelius the Genius, Smart Ruby, and The Slugger, who never strikes out. Round after round, the words whizz at them, but with one minute left until recess, there’s still no winner. Who will triumph? It all comes down to one final word, and a curveball that no one sees coming! Deborah Lee Rose’s clever rhyming text packs a laugh-out-loud wallop with words that young readers will enjoy spelling and reading aloud again and again. Fun and whimsical illustrations by Carey F. Armstrong-Ellis provide the perfect balance of humor and suspense as readers find out whether The Slugger will hit a grand slam or finally strike out. The book includes three spelling lists that can be used for spelling bees at home, in school, at the library, or for community events. An author’s note describes why and how words were chosen.

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Josephine
Written by Patricia Hruby Powell & illustrated by Christian Robinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

In exuberant verse and stirring pictures, Patricia Hruby Powell and Christian Robinson create an extraordinary portrait for young people of the passionate performer and civil rights advocate Josephine Baker, the woman who worked her way from the slums of St. Louis to the grandest stages in the world. Meticulously researched by both author and artist, Josephine’s powerful story of struggle and triumph is an inspiration and a spectacle, just like the legend herself.

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Like the Moon Loves the Sky
Written by Hena Khan & illustrated by Saffa Khan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A lyrical and heartwarming celebration of a mother’s love for her children by the award-winning author of Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns.

In this moving picture book, author Hena Khan shares her wishes for her children: “Inshallah you find wonder in birds as they fly. Inshallah you are loved, like the moon loves the sky.” With vibrant illustrations and prose inspired by the Quran, this charming picture book is a heartfelt and universal celebration of a parent’s unconditional love.

• A reassuring bedtime read-aloud for mothers and their children. • A perfect book for sharing Muslim family traditions and for families teaching diversity and religious acceptance. • Hena Khan’s books have been widely acclaimed, winning awards and honors from the ALA, Parent’s Choice, and many others.

For families who have read and loved Under My Hijab, Yo Soy Muslim, and Mommy’s Khimar.

A sweet and lovely bedtime book to help let children know they are loved and precious.

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Music Is . . .
Written by Brandon Stosuy & illustrated by Amy Martin
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

From music writer and The Creative Independent/Kickstarter Editor in Chief Brandon Stosuy, comes an entertaining new board book that introduces the many moods, styles, and senses of music to the youngest audiophiles—because music is for everyone, and music is for you. Featuring Amy Martin’s dynamic art style, Music Is… explains music through our eyes and ears so that the sense of hearing is transformed into a visual experience. A pitch-perfect board book that is sure to strike a chord with readers of all ages.

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I Am Human: A Book of Empathy
Written by Susan Verde & illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A child recognizes his own humanity, his capacity for doing harm and being harmed, his ability to feel joy and sadness, and his belief in hope and promise to keep learning.

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The Right One for Roderic
Written & illustrated by Violeta Noy
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

What happens when one little ghost wants to stand out? All ghosts wear white sheets. That’s just what ghosts do. White sheets are good for haunting people, and they make the ghosts feel like part of one big family. But one little ghost named Roderic wants to wear something different. He tries all sorts of things: a bag, a rug, a boot. Can he find the right one for him? Find out in this colorful picture book from debut author-illustrator Violeta Noy.

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  • Not Quite Black and White - Silly animals star in this lively board book that introduces colors in a unique and catchy way. Have you ever seen a zebra wearing pink polka dots? Or a penguin with bright yellow boots? Brother and sister team Jonathan and Victoria Ying present these surprisingly colorful animals and more in this clever celebration of colors.

  • Are Your Stars Like My Stars? - “We look at the world every day. You and me. Do we see the same things? Do you see what I see?” In beautiful, evocative rhyme, this lovely picture book helps children consider the colors of their everyday lives . . . and imagine how others around the world experience the very same things. No matter where they live, all children gaze at the blue sky, bask in the warmth of the golden sun, dig in the rich dirt, and watch clouds grow soft and rosy at end of day. Through the eyes of one inquisitive and thoughtful young narrator, young readers explore the idea of perspective, and come to realize that all of us, everywhere, share the colors of the world. The gentle, poetic text and gorgeous collaged illustrations make this just right to say goodnight.

  • Papa, Daddy, and Riley - Riley is Papa’s princess and Daddy’s dragon. She loves her two fathers! When Riley’s classmate asks her which dad is her real one, Riley is confused. She doesn’t want to have to pick one or the other. Families are made of love in this heartwarming story that shows there are lots of ways to be part of one.

  • I Am Brown - I am brown. I am beautiful. I am perfect. I designed this computer. I ran this race. I won this prize. I wrote this book. A joyful celebration of the skin you’re in–of being brown, of being amazing, of being you.– “Journal”

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Love Grows Everywhere
Written by Barry Timms & illustrated by Tisha Lee
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Meet a green-fingered family whose diverse community is bursting with love in this lushly illustrated and lyrical picture book. This beautiful and warmly-told story teaches us that love really does grow everywhere, in all shapes, forms, and sizes. Through gentle, rhyming text and vibrant illustrations, feel the love in a close-knit family who grow plants and sell them in their local market, and discover the types of love that exist in the many homes of their diverse community. There are kisses from Dad, songs with Grandma, charity from neighbours and playtime with friends. There’s old love, new love and everything in between! But there’s a new kid who is not quite so sure… Can the gardeners’ daughter be brave and extend the love to him? Beautiful and characterful illustrations from the exceptionally talented Tisha Lee help bring this book to life, and the gentle rhyming text from Barry Timms helps underscore the message of kindness, charity, and love. This warm and charming tale, perfect for Valentine’s Day and beyond, celebrates the many different ways love grows to make a brighter world.

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All the Ways to Be Smart
Written by Davina Bell & illustrated by Allison Colpoys
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Celebrates the myriad ways for kids to be smart–being empathic, artistic, athletic, and inquisitive. A tender, funny, and exquisitely illustrated picture book celebrating all the unique and wonderful qualities that make children who they are. With heartwarming rhyming text all about knowing what makes you special, All the Ways to Be Smart is a wonderful introduction to conversations about self-esteem.

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Accidental Trouble Magnet
Written by Zanib Mian & illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

An exciting #OwnVoices middle-grade debut starring a Muslim boy with a huge imagination Welcome to the imaginative brain of Omar! Omar and his family have just moved, and he is NOT excited about starting at a new school. What if the work is too hard or the kids are mean or the teacher is a zombie alien?! But when Omar makes a new best friend, things start looking up. That is, until a Big Mean Bully named Daniel makes every day a nightmare! Daniel even tells Omar that all Muslims are going to be kicked out of the country . . . Could that possibly be true? Luckily, Omar’s enormous imagination and goofy family help him get through life’s ups and downs. Omar’s funny, relatable narrative is the perfect answer to the call for both mirrors and windows to fill bookshelves with diverse stories.

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Everything Naomi Loved
Written by Ian Lendler and Katie Yamasaki & illustrated by Katie Yamasaki
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Honking cars, pizza by the slice, Hair by Carmen, the corner bodega–and Naomi’s best friend, Ada. But 11th Street begins to change. Shops close, buildings are torn down, and signs promise something new. One by one, Naomi’s neighbors are forced to move. Faced with the transformation of her city block, Naomi picks up a paintbrush. When something we love goes away we paint it on the wall so it’s always with us, her neighbor Mister Ray tells her. Naomi turns her 11th Street memories into a great mural–and discovers that where she finds people to love, she will have a place to love.Internationally acclaimed muralist Katie Yamasaki’s paintings are at once monumental and heartfelt. Everything Naomi Loved entwines a celebration of community and friendship with a vision of social justice in this lyrical and universal story about home.

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The 1619 Project: Born on the Water
Written by Renée Watson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

The 1619 Project’s lyrical picture book in verse chronicles the consequences of slavery and the history of Black resistance in the United States, thoughtfully rendered by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and Newbery honor-winning author Renée Watson. A young student receives a family tree assignment in school, but she can only trace back three generations. Grandma gathers the whole family, and the student learns that 400 years ago, in 1619, their ancestors were stolen and brought to America by white slave traders. But before that, they had a home, a land, a language. She learns how the people said to be born on the water survived. And the people planted dreams and hope, willed themselves to keepliving, living. And the people learned new wordsfor lovefor friendfor family for joyfor growfor home. With powerful verse and striking illustrations by Nikkolas Smith, Born on the Water provides a pathway for readers of all ages to reflect on the origins of American identity.

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  • The Marvellers - Dhonielle Clayton makes her middle-grade debut with a fantasy adventure set in a global magic school in the sky –an instant New York Times and #1 Indie Bestseller! The Marvellers deserves the highest compliment I can give a book: I want to live in this world. –Rick Riordan, #1 New York Times bestselling-author Eleven-year-old Ella Durand is the first Conjuror to attend the Arcanum Training Institute, a magic school in the clouds where Marvellers from around the world practice their cultural arts, like brewing Indian spice elixirs and bartering with pesky Irish pixies. Despite her excitement, Ella discovers that being the first isn’t easy–some Marvellers mistrust her magic, which they deem “bad and unnatural.” But eventually, she finds friends in elixirs teacher, Masterji Thakur, and fellow misfits Brigit, a girl who hates magic, and Jason, a boy with a fondness for magical creatures. When a dangerous criminal known as the Ace of Anarchy escapes prison, supposedly with a Conjuror’s aid, tensions grow in the Marvellian world and Ella becomes the target of suspicion. Worse, Masterji Thakur mysteriously disappears while away on a research trip. With the help of her friends and her own growing powers, Ella must find a way to clear her family’s name and track down her mentor before it’s too late. A marvelous gift of a novel! With fantastical twists at every turn, Clayton has created a world that readers won’t want to leave.” –Angie Thomas, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Hate U Give and Concrete Rose

  • A Galaxy of Sea Stars - In this heartfelt middle-grade novel, Izzy’s quiet beach town life is upended when a new friendship with a Muslim girl teaches her about acceptance, respect, and being true to what is right. Izzy is starting sixth grade, and she wants her dad to act like he did before he was deployed to Afghanistan. She wants her mom to move back to the marina where they live. Most of all, she wants Piper, Zelda, and herself—the Sea Star Posse—to stay best friends. But everything changes when Izzy’s father invites his former interpreter’s family, including twelve- year-old Sitara, to move in. Izzy doesn’t know what to make of Sitara, with her hijab and refusal to eat cafeteria food, and her presence disrupts the Sea Star Posse. But as Izzy and Sitara grow closer, Izzy must make a choice: stay in her comfort zone and risk betraying her new friend, or speak up and lose the Sea Star Posse forever. A Galaxy of Sea Stars is about family, loyalty, and the hard choices we face in the name of friendship.

  • When Charley Met Emma -

  • For Black Girls Like Me - I am a girl but most days I feel like a question mark. Makeda June Kirkland is eleven-years-old, adopted, and black. Her parents and big sister are white, and even though she loves her family very much, Makeda often feels left out. When Makeda’s family moves from Maryland to New Mexico, she leaves behind her best friend, Lena- the only other adopted black girl she knows- for a new life. In New Mexico, everything is different. At home, Makeda’s sister is too cool to hang out with her anymore and at school, she can’t seem to find one true friend. Through it all, Makeda can’t help wondering: What would it feel like to grow up with a family that looks like me? Through singing, dreaming, and writing secret messages back and forth with Lena, Makeda might just carve a small place for herself in the world.

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Chester Nez and the Unbreakable Code
Written by Joseph Bruchac & illustrated by Liz Amini-Holmes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

As a young Navajo boy, Chester Nez had to leave the reservation and attend boarding school, where he was taught that his native language and culture were useless. But Chester refused to give up his heritage. Years later, during World War II, Chester—and other Navajo men like him—was recruited by the US Marines to use the Navajo language to create an unbreakable military code. Suddenly the language he had been told to forget was needed to fight a war. This powerful picture book biography contains backmatter including a timeline and a portion of the Navajo code, and also depicts the life of an original Navajo code talker while capturing the importance of heritage.

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Charlie Takes His Shot
Written by Nancy Churnin & illustrated by John Joven
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Charlie Sifford loved golf, but in the 1930’s only white people were allowed to play in the Professional Golf Association. Sifford had won plenty of black tournaments, but he was determined to break the color barrier in the PGA. In 1960 he did, only to face discrimination from hotels that wouldn’t rent him rooms and clubs that wouldn’t let him use the same locker as the white players. But Sifford kept playing, becoming the first black golfer to win a PGA tournament and eventually ranking among the greats in golf.

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Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History
Written by Vashti Harrison
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Author-illustrator Vashti Harrison shines a bold, joyous light on black men through history in this #1 New York Times bestseller. An important book for readers of all ages, this beautifully illustrated and engagingly written volume brings to life true stories of black men in history. Among these biographies, readers will find aviators and artists, politicians and pop stars, athletes and activists. The exceptional men featured include writer James Baldwin, artist Aaron Douglas, filmmaker Oscar Devereaux Micheaux, lawman Bass Reeves, civil rights leader John Lewis, dancer Alvin Ailey, and musician Prince.The legends in Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History span centuries and continents, but each one has blazed a trail for generations to come.

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The Other Half of Happy
Written by Rebecca Balcárcel
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

2020 Pura Belpré Honor Book
A Junior Library Guild Selection
ALSC Notable Children’s Book
2020 Jean Flynn Award for Best Middle Grade Book
2020 Spirit of Texas Reading Program Recommended Title

This immersive and beautifully written novel follows the story of Quijana, a girl in pieces.

Quijana must figure out which parts of herself are most important, and which pieces come together to make her whole.

This is a heartfelt poetic portrayal of a girl growing up, fitting in, and learning what it means to belong.

Lyrical middle grade debut from author Rebecca Balcárcel

A diverse and family-centered story that resonates with anyone who remembers, or is going through, growing pains

Inclusively embraces real life experiences with biracial, autistic, and gay characters

One-half Guatemalan, one-half American: When Quijana’s Guatemalan cousins move to town, her dad seems ashamed that she doesn’t know more about her family’s heritage.

One-half crush, one-half buddy: When Quijana meets Zuri and Jayden, she knows she’s found true friends. But she can’t help the growing feelings she has for Jayden.

One-half kid, one-half grown-up: Quijana spends her nights Skyping with her ailing grandma and trying to figure out what’s going on with her increasingly hard-to-reach brother.

A wonderful gift for bilingual and bicultural readers, introspective tweens and teens, and parents and educators

Perfect for those who love the heart of Matt de la Peña, the honesty of Meg Medina, and the poetry of Kate DiCamillo

Add it to the shelf with books like We Were Here by Matt de la Peña, Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina, and I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez

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Intersectionallies: We Make Room for All
Written by Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council, and Carolyn Choi & illustrated by Ashley Seil Smith
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-12

[A] celebration of solidarity, allyship, and community…A welcoming resource for conversations about equality and social justice that shows readers how identities are made up of myriad influences.–PUBLISHERS WEEKLY The brainchild of three women-of-color sociologists, IntersectionAllies is a smooth, gleeful entry into intersectional feminism. The nine interconnected characters proudly describe themselves and their backgrounds, involving topics that range from a physical disability to language brokering, offering an opportunity to take pride in a personal story and connect to collective struggle for justice. The group bond grounds the message of allyship and equality. When things get hard, the kids support each other for who they are: Parker defends Kate, a genderfluid character who eschews skirts for a superhero cape; Heejung welcomes Yuri, a refugee escaping war, into their community; and Alejandra’s family cares for Parker after school while her mother works. Advocating respect and inclusion, IntersectionAllies is a necessary tool for learning to embrace, rather than shy away from, difference. Featuring gorgeous illustrations on every page by Ashley Seil Smith, as well as powerful introductions by activist and law professor Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw, who coined the term “intersectionality,” and Dr. Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro, author of Intersectionality: An Intellectual History.

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