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Best Books to Get Your Kids Aware About Race

Children’s books are great for many things.

They entertain a child, help them learn right and wrong and proper morals, and teach children about family/friend love and understanding. Some children’s books can even teach a child about important social issues, such as race. In fact, there are many books that do just that:

  1. Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler, Illus. by David Lee Csicsko

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This is a great book to teach children how every one is unique in how they look. It teaches children that we may be different races and different colored skins, but we are all beautiful and interesting humans.

  1. This Is the Rope: A Story From the Great Migration By Jacqueline Woodson, Illus. by James Ransome

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Every reader who loves amazing books about race, knows Jacqueline Woodson. This book follows a jump rope that is passed throughout a generation of an African American family. It helps children read a story about history while understanding how race was dealt with in the past and how we can fix how it is dealt with in the future.

  1. Thunder Boy Junior By Sherman Alexie. Illus. by Yuyi Morales

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Sherman Alexie is another famous writer, known for his book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. This book follows a boy who doesn’t want to share a name with his father, so instead goes through the Native American tradition of choosing his own. The book helps children learn about the importance of tradition in culture, and recognition and understanding of race.

  1. Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote By Duncan Tonatiuh

This is an interesting twist on a fable-style story about a rabbit family who migrates north after their lettuce fields dry up. It’s an important story that talks about race and alludes to the struggles that immigrant, such as Mexicans, are facing when trying to migrate to American for a better life. By using animals, the illustrator shows differences between people while still showing everyone’s own importance. This book won the Pura Belpre award in 2013.

  1. American Born Chinese By Gene Luen Yang

This book was the first graphic novel to be a finalist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. It’s the story of a Chinese-American boy who struggles with his identity in America. The story splits between a Chinese-American boy named Danny, growing up in San Francisco, and the confessions of a white boy who tries to disavow his embarrassing Chinese cousin. There is a surprising twist at the end that shows children the negative affects of not feeling accepted in American because of one’s race. It is an important book for children to read and understand race.

  1. Ambassador By William Alexander

Another graphic novel, this book follows an undocumented family set in a fantasy, outer space setting. It shows the different meanings of the word “alien” and how it tends to be labeled negatively on people, particularly ones of races currently immigrating in today’s society. The national award-winning author of Goblin Secrets is a Cuban-American author who really portrays the role of race in society today.

  1. Lailah’s Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story by Reem Faruqi, Illus. By Lea Lyon

This is the story about a girl who has just moved to her new country and is excited to celebrate Ramadan in her new home and neighborhood. Though she is apprehensive at first to whether she thinks her classmates will understand and appreciate her traditions different from theirs, her supportive community helps give her the confidence to be who she truly is.

  1. Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester, Illus. by Karen Barbour

This book is very important and gets to the general understanding of why we think race is important and what it means to have a racial identity. This book leaves room for questions and conversations that children can have with each other, as well as adults. This is a number one choice in our books!

These books are just a few of the ones that teach children about race. Find books that speak to issues you think are important and spread them to the children around you. Tweet to us your choices! @bibliocrunch


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