A Diverse, Anti-Racist Reading Guide for Grades 6-8+
Explore this anti-racist reading list for students in grades 6-8 and find ways to promote diverse books and readings in your classroom and at home.
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Anti-Racist Reading List for Grades 6-8+
Are you looking to add anti-racist books to your library but don’t know where to start? Have you been thinking about how to have meaningful conversations with young people about race, but lack confidence in how to begin? The books in our Anti-Racism Reading List will help you take the first steps or continue the critical discussions about anti-racism work relevant to your setting.
In this blog post, we’ve rounded up books from our anti-racism reading list for grades 6 and up. You can find more of our anti-racism titles in our Anti-Racism Diverse Reading List and the corresponding book collection.
Ahimsa written by Supriya Kelkar: In this historical novel, Gandhi asks for one member of each family to join the fight for independence from the British, and when Anjali’s mother is jailed for doing so, Anjali must step out of her comfort zone to take over her mother’s work.
All the Stars Denied written by Guadalupe García McCall: Guadalupe García McCall tackles the hidden history of the United States’s first mass deportation event through the story of Estrella del Toro, who fights for her family’s land and citizenship during the Great Depression.
Dear Mrs. Parks written by Rosa Parks with Gregory J. Reed: On a December day in 1955, Rosa Parks changed the course of history when she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. This book pairs children’s letters to Mrs. Parks with her wise, powerful reflections on life, history, and protest.
Etched in Claywritten and illustrated by Andrea Cheng: This biography in verse offers a fascinating window into the life of Dave, an enslaved potter who inscribed his works with sayings and short poems in the years leading up to the Civil War.
I Am Alfonso Jones written by Tony Medina, illustrated by Stacey Robinson & John Jennings: Perfect for fans of The Hate U Give: An unflinching graphic novel about the afterlife of a young man killed by an off-duty police officer.
I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins: In a celebration of diversity and family, fourteen poets and sixteen illustrators of diverse backgrounds share memorable childhood experiences and reflect upon their different heritages, traditions, and beliefs.
Rise! From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou written by Bethany Hegedus, illustrated by Tonya Engel: This beautiful biography of Maya Angelou describes how she rose above a childhood of trauma and emotional pain to become one of the most inspiring voices of modern times.
The Story of Civil Rights Hero John Lewis written by Jim Haskins & Kathleen Benson, illustrated by Aaron Boyd: Meet John Lewis, a leader in the civil rights movement of the 1960s who became a revered Congressman of the present day.
The Story of Movie Star Anna May Wong written by Paula Yoo, illustrated by Lin Wang: Meet Anna May Wong, whose trailblazing career in Hollywood broke new ground for future generations of Asian American actors.
Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas written by Gwendolyn Hooks, illustrated by Colin Bootman: This thoughtful picture book reveals the life of Vivien Thomas, an African American surgical technician who developed the first procedure used to perform open heart surgery on children.
About Lee & Low Books: Founded almost thirty years ago, Lee & Low Books publishes award-winning children’s books that are “about everyone, for everyone.” The company is committed to fostering conversations about race, gender, and diversity in publishing and beyond. For more information, visit leeandlow.com.
LEE & LOW BOOKS is an independent children’s book publisher specializing in diversity. Our motto, “about everyone, for everyone,” is as urgent today as it was when we started in 1991. It is our goal to meet the need for stories that all children can identify with and enjoy.