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Talking to our kids about topics that include hate, violence, and injustice can be difficult. Thankfully, there are several books out there written by intelligent and thoughtful authors that illustrate not only what is going on in the world today, but also show them how they can help spread messages of love, equality, and community as they grow. Here are 5 children’s books that will broaden your child’s environment, perspective, and ensure a better understanding of diversity, inclusion, and empathy.
1. A Is For Activist by Innosanto Nagara
A book written and illustrated for the next generation of progressives: families who want their kids to grow up in a space that is unapologetic about activism, environmental justice, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and everything else that activists believe in and fight for.
2. All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold
Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where students from all backgrounds learn from and celebrate each other’s traditions. A school that shows the world as we will make it to be.
3. Something Happened In Our Town: A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard
This book, written by three child psychologists, helps teach children about police shootings. It follows two classmates, one white and one black, and reveals important messages about racism, black resistance to racism, and countering racism.
4. It’s Okay To Be Different by Todd Parr
Featuring the author’s trademark bold, bright colors and silly scenes, this book embraces differences in a unique way. Deceptively simple in appearance, It’s Okay to Be Different cleverly delivers its important messages of acceptance, understanding, and confidence in a child-friendly package.
5. Last Stop On Market Street by Matt de la Peña
Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them.
Looking for more reading for you? See our quarantine reading list here for some good books to read year round.