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April 14, 2021

A Diverse, Anti-Racist Reading Guide for Grades PreK-2

Explore this anti-racist reading list for preK-2 students and find ways to promote and celebrate diverse books and readings in your classroom and at home.

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Anti-Racist Reading for PreK-2 Students

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 PreK-2. You can find more of our anti-racism titles in our Anti-Racism Diverse Reading List and the corresponding book collection.

a place where sunflowers grow anti-racist reading list

A Place Where Sunflowers Grow, written by Amy Lee-Tai and illustrated by Felicia Hoshino: During World War II, a young Japanese-American girl finds things to be joyful about in the Topaz concentration camp. (Bilingual English/Japanese).

Baseball Saved Us, written by Ken Mochizuki and illustrated by Dom Lee: This classic, award-winning picture book tells the story of Shorty and his family, placed in a concentration camp along with thousands of other Japanese Americans after the attack on Pearl Harbor. (Also available in Spanish)

Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match/ Marisol McDonald no combina, written by Monica Brown and illustrated by Sara Palacios: Mismatched and fabulous Marisol McDonald celebrates her Peruvian and Scottish heritage. Winner of the Pura Belpré Award Honor. (Bilingual English/Spanish)

Under My Hijab, written by Hena Khan and illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel: A young girl celebrates the many women in her life who choose to wear the hijab in this lovely book.

Black All Around, written by Patricia Hubbell and illustrated by Don Tate: “Look high, look low, look everywhere . . . The wonderful color black is there!” A young girl discovers all the marvelous things that are black — just like her!

Tan to Tamarind, written by Malathi Iyengar and illustrated by Jamel Akib: This warm and inviting poetry collection helps young readers see every shade of skin tone is beautiful.

DeShawn Days, written by Tony Medina and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie: In this uplifting story told in verse, a young boy living in the projects of the inner city speaks about his hopes, fears, and dreams.

Cooper’s Lesson, written by Sun Yung Shin and illustrated by Kim Cogan: In this story of identity and intergenerational friendship, Cooper comes to appreciate his Korean heritage through an unlikely ally. (Bilingual English/Korean)

When the Shadbush Blooms, written by Carla Messinger with Susan Katz and illustrated by David Kanietakeron Fadden: A young Lenape Indian girl observes and reflects on the small, important ways both her family and her ancestors celebrate the cycle of seasons.

Mamá the Alien/Mamá la extraterrestre, written by René Colato Laínez and illustrated by Laura Lacámara: A young girl sees the word “alien” on her mother’s Resident Alien card and worries Mamá is from another planet, until she finds out that the word has more than one meaning. (Bilingual English/Spanish)

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

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.

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