Stories to Add to Your Child’s Bookshelf
At Little Passports, today as much as ever, we are committed to delivering on our mission of inspiring children to learn about the world around them. We each come to work every day honored to develop content and products that open children’s minds and celebrate diversity.
As a community and a nation, we are hurting, and many of us are looking for ways to talk to our kids about the realities of racism and the need for equality. At Little Passports, we believe in the power of storytelling and have come together as a team to create a list of books to help facilitate conversations with the kids in your lives.
A huge thank you to our friends and colleagues at the Oakland Public Library here in California for taking the time to share their thoughts as we put this reading list together. We encourage you to explore your local library resources, many of which include e-book lending and other ways to access titles. These books are also available online through your local independent bookstores and through indiebound.org.
To all of our Black family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors across the country, we stand with you and will continue to work diligently to share, celebrate, and honor your stories and experiences.
Together, we can make a difference.
- Another by Christian Robinson
- A Sweet Smell of Roses by Angela Johnson; Illustrated by Eric Velazquez
- Clean Your Room, Harvey Moon! by Pat Cummings
- Crown: Ode to a Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes; Illustrated by Gordon C. James
- Get Up, Stand Up adapted by Cedella Marley from the song by Bob Marley; Illustrated by John Jay Cabuay
- Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry; Illustrated by Vashti Harrison
- I Can Write the World by Joshunda Sanders; Illustrated by Charly Palmer
- Rocket Says Look Up! by Nathan Bryon; Illustrated by Dapo Adeola
- The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
- The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson; Illustrated by Rafael López
- Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison
- The Only Black Girls in Town by Brandy Colbert
- Something Happened in Our Town by Marianne Celano, PhD, Marietta Collins, PhD, and Ann Hazzard, PhD; Illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin
- The Youngest Marcher by Cynthia Levinson; Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton
- Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
- The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
- Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams
- Ghost by Jason Reynolds
- Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes (recommended for 10 and up)
- March: Books One, Two, and Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
- Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (recommended for grades 11 and 12)
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds
- Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
A Note about Age Ranges
Many of these books are wonderful for multiple age ranges; each title above is listed under the category for its lowest recommended age range but can be enjoyed by older readers as well. For example, The Only Black Girls in Town by Brandy Colbert is often recommended for 8-year-old readers but is also a great story for children ages 9-12 and beyond.
Remember, reading level guidelines are exactly that: guidelines! No one knows your child better than you, so please feel empowered to consider each suggestion carefully in order to find the best books for your young reader.
If you’re looking for additional reading resources, the Oakland Public Library offers some wonderful services on their website. Read about their online resources you can access from home, connect with a librarian online for personalized book recommendations, and find additional reading suggestions in many different categories.