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30+ Books to Educate Kids and Teens About Race

It’s never too early to talk to your kids about race—these books are a great place to start.

Speaking to children and teens about diversity might seem daunting, but it is more important than ever. Studies from Harvard University suggest that children as young as three years old, when exposed to racism and prejudice, tended to embrace and accept it, even though they might not entirely understand what they were feeling.

If you’re struggling with how to open up about these challenging subjects or clarify confusing times for the young people in your life, books are a great way to begin to tackle tough topics and expose children to different narratives. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of stories for all ages that not only discuss race, but also celebrate diversity and the differences that make us special, to help begin these crucial conversations. From babies to young adults, try gifting your child one of these important narratives.

Books are organized by the age range for which they are recommended: Baby–Age 2, Ages 3–5, Ages 6–8, Ages 9–12, and Teen & Young Adult.

Selections include:

AntiRacist Baby


Antiracist Baby teaches young readers (and their parents) nine steps to help create a more equitable world.

We’re Different, We’re the Same

The cast of Sesame Street teaches that our differences are what make us special, but that, deep down, we are very similar.

I Am Enough

I am Enough, written in the style of a poem, asks us to respect one another and shares motivating positive messages.

Hidden Figures

This picture book tells the true story of the four African American women imperative to the space race.

The Other Side

This book about the friendship between two little girls, one black and one white, gives a historical perspective on race.

Esperanza Rising

A powerful story about a Mexican family’s escape to California and facing adversity, Esperanza Rising will truly inspire young readers.

The Crossover

New York Times bestseller, this novel is written in free-verse poetry and rap follows African-American, basketball-playing twin brothers who begin to grapple with their own lives as they drift apart.

This Is What I Know About Art

This young adult book demonstrates how protest and art are inextricably intertwined.

March: Book One

Written by American civil rights icon John Lewis, March tells the story of Lewis’ life—and, by extension, the Civil Rights Movement—in the form of a graphic novel.

The Bluest Eye

Written by Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye is a sharp portrayal of our culture’s fixation on beauty, and the consequences in trying to conform.

See the full list, complete with book descriptions and purchasing information, in “30+ Books to Educate Kids and Teens About Race” on the Town & Country Magazine website.

Source: Town & Country Magazine | 30+ Books to Educate Kids and Teens About Race, https://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/arts-and-culture/g32743703/how-to-talk-to-kids-about-racism-books | ©2020 Hearst Magazine Media, Inc.

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