Where to find “diverse” children’s books

Lists, Reviews and Your Recommendations

Here’s the thing about “diverse” children’s books: some of them… not so great. You know, the books about Native Americans that lump them together, idealize them, put everybody in teepees, get the history wrong, and more. Books about Asian Americans in which everyone’s an alike-looking, broken-English-speaking foreigner. And the huge disproportion of books about black and Latino families in which everyone’s poor and life’s a never-ending struggle! Many are good, quite good. But the near single-storying of black and brown people also feeds harmful stereotypes and denies the diversity of our experiences and the fullness of our humanity.

And then there’s this: many parents confirm and kids report that too many “multicultural” offerings are straight-up boring.

All to say: yep, We Need Diverse Books AND we might need help distinguishing the wheat from the chaff in what we already have. Let’s do this!

  1. Please use this link to suggest books or book lists and to submit your own race-conscious reviews to EmbraceRace. Review a book with your children or students or on your own. Use Teaching for Change’s anti-bias guide or other framework to help your analysis. You can also submit books to suggest the EmbraceRace community review.
  2. Below, find suggestions for racially and otherwise diverse children’s books to read or review among the following evolving list of resources, including the first of many EmbraceRace reviews.

Diverse Children’s Books Lists

  • We Need Diverse Books: A portal to children’s books sites featuring various categories of diversity such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religion and and culture.

EmbraceRace Children’s Book Reviews/Articles

A super short list that will grow — with your submissions!

A Black princess who saves herself and exposes princess culture? Kids and adults say “Yes!” Princeless comic book compilation series, Writer Jeremy Whitley, Illustrators Various. Recommended for ages 8 to 12

Reading Mike Jung’s Unidentified Suburban Object with My Kids, Part I. In which we talk about confronting “weird questions” (or racial microagressions) with a little help from … an alien. And Part II. In which an alien inspires reflections on transracial adoption. Unidentified Flying Object by Mike Jung. Recommended for ages 8 to 12


How to think about diversity in kids books

Looking to create an anti-bias library or evaluate/review books yourself? These articles and frameworks about evaluating representation in children’s literature can help you think about bias in children’s books and other media.

www.oyate.com

Submit your recommendation and/or review.

Sign up for the EmbraceRace newsletter.

Thank you to Nora May for all the thinking she contributed to this list!

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.