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Broadening Your Library: Racism and Social Justice Books for Elementary and Middle School Students [downloadable]

It is never too early to talk to children about issues such as racism, diversity, and social injustice. Reading and talking about books provides an entry point to discussing these complex topics.

Sand Hill School’s Speech-Language Pathologist Andi Solochek, MS, CCC-SLP and Lower School Teacher Christie Saccomanno Ewert compiled a list of developmentally appropriate books to read with your children and to encourage your children to read on their own.

Books for Elementary School Students (grades K-5)

A Kids Book about Racism by Jelani Memory
Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal
All are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman
Desmond and the Very Mean Word by Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
I am Enough by Grace Byers
Let’s Talk about Race by Julius Lester
Resist: 35 Profiles of Ordinary People Who Rose Up against Tyranny and Injustice by Veronica Chambers
Skin Like Mine by LaTashia M. Perry
Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, PhD
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson and E.B. Lewis
The Youngest Marcher by Cynthia Levinson
We’re Different, We’re the Same (Sesame Street) by Bobbi Kates

Books for Middle School Students (grades 6-8)

Betty before X by Ilyasah Shabazz
Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America by Ibi Zoboi, Tracey Baptiste, et al.
Chains (The Seeds of America Trilogy) by Laurie Halse Anderson
Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds
March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
Not My Idea: a Book about Whiteness by Anastasia Higgenbotham
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams Garcia
Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
Stand Up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim
This Book is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on how to Wake Up, Take Action and Do the Work by Tiffany Jewell
We Rise, We Resist, We Raise our Voice by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson

Download a PDF of this book list.


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