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#2 Blog 2020

An Anti-Racist Reading List for Children and Adults

June 22, 2020 | 4 comments

An Anti-Racist Reading List for Children and Adults

 #2 Top Blog of 2020 Here is an anti-racist reading list for children in grades preK-12, as well as for adults, that can help us all become more kind, caring, and empathetic.


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An Anti-Racist Reading List for Children and Adults

A return to school this fall will be far different from other back-to-school seasons of the past. In the midst of a global pandemic, and the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks and many others, the systemic inequities that face BIPOC (Black and Indigenous and People of Color) individuals daily are being pushed to the forefront in many conversations among non-BIPOC parents, teachers, co-workers and neighbors.

If you are like me and want resources to keep this conversation going with students and adults, we created an anti-racist reading list for children in grades preK-12, as well as for adults, that can help us all become more kind, caring, and empathetic. The list will be updated as we learn about and read more texts. Do you have additional recommendations for our anti-racist reading list? Please let us know in the comments below.

Something Happened in Our Town

anti-racist reading list: something happened in our town

By Marianne Celano, PhD, ABPP, Marietta Collins, PhD, and Ann Hazzard, PhD, ABPP

Ages 4-8

Two families, one Black and one White, discuss a police shooting of a Black man in their neighborhood. This story aims to answer many questions that children have about traumatic events and racial injustice.


anti-racist reading list: sulwe

By Lupita Nyong'o (author) and Vashti Harrison (illustrator)

Ages 4-8

This picture book is a story about a Black girl who learns to love herself despite having darker skin than the rest of her family.

Hair Love

anti-racist reading list: hair love

By Matthew A. Cherry (author) and Vashti Harrison (illustrator)

Ages 4-8

This book is a celebration of natural, Black hair.

Under My Hijab

anti-racist reading list: under my hijab

By Hena Khan (author) and Aaliya Jaleel (illustrator)

Ages 4-8

As a young girl observes six very different women in her life who each wear the hijab in a unique way, she also dreams of the rich possibilities of her own future, and how she will express her own personality through her hijab.

Race Cars

By Jenny Devenny

Ages 4-8

A story of 2 best friends, a white car and a black car, that have different experiences and face different rules while entering the same race.

Little Leaders: Bold Black Women in History

anti-racist reading list: little leaders

By Vashti Harrison

Ages 8-12

The biographies of 40 Black women are brought to life in this text that not only educates, but also inspires.

Garvey’s Choice

anti-racist reading list: garvey's choice

By Nikki Grimes

Ages 8-12

This story is about a boy, Garvey, who is bullied until he finds a passion that helps him learn to accept himself.

Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness

anti-racist reading list: not my idea

By Anastasia Higginbotham

Ages 8-12

This book offers an honest and open explanation about how White privilege factors into the lives of White children.

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

By Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

Ages 12+

This book about race helps students learn about how racist ideas have permeated the American culture, and what they can do to become anti-racist.

All American Boys

By Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

Ages 12+

This novel, written in two parts by two authors—one Black and one White—explores the repercussions of a violent act on a racially divided town.

I’m Not Dying With You Tonight

By Gilly Segal and Kimberly Jones

Ages 12+

When violence erupts at a football game, two girls from different racial backgrounds only have each other to rely on to survive.

The Hate U Give

By Angie Thomas

Ages 12+

The uneasy balance between Starr’s school world and home world is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. 

Dear Martin

anti-racism reading list: dear martin

By Nic Stone

Ages 12+

The story of an Ivy League-bound African-American student named Justyce who becomes a victim of racial profiling. He struggles to reconcile the fact that he's a "good kid" with suddenly being in police handcuffs

Do you have more resources or ideas for our anti-racist reading list? Please comment below.

Ami Turner DelAguila
Ami Turner DelAguila earned her B.A. in English from SUNY Buffalo and received an M.A in the Teaching of English from Teachers College, Columbia University. She spent several years teaching middle and high school English in New York City and Fairfax, Virginia, as well as pre-service teachers in an... See More

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clproducts_3658651 June 26, 2020, 2:56 pm

Wonderful choices. Our organization has created a list of over 700 books that speak to diversity, peace, social justice and the environment. We offer them to our local teachers in southern Arizona. The list is available on our website, http//

gottular June 29, 2020, 1:40 pm

Double! Not Half., winner of the 2019 High Plains Book Award, also addresses children of mixed race and bilingual kids, with it's focus on diversity and inclusion.

I am a retired member of the Montana Federation of Public Employees, whose teacher members are dual affiliates of AFT & NEA. I wrote Double! Not Half. for my own biracial children. Autographed (and personalized) copies can be purchased through my website, I hope you'll enjoy it!

Mell Morgan
Mell Morgan November 5, 2020, 4:26 pm

The Hate You Give is an excellent book. Reading the book and watching the film helped initiate productive conversations about racism, policing and ways the police and citizens can better communicate with each other.