Books to Support Equity and Racial Dialogue with Children

Thank you to our amazing team for curating this list of books that can help support conversations with young children around racial equity.

Books for Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers & Elementary Learners 

  • A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara
    A is for Activist is an ABC board 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. (Review from NoveList K-8 Plus)
  • All I Want to be is Me by Phyllis Rothblatt
    “Eloquent and insightful! Finally an affirming voice speaks to children outside imposed gender categories. All I Want To Be Is Me is about freedom, love and respect for all, and celebrating the search for one’s identity.” (Review from Edgardo Menvielle, MD, Co-director Outreach Program for Children with Gender-variant Behaviors and their Families, Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, DC.)
  • Backwards Day by S. Bear Bergman
    For one day every year on the planet Tenalp, everything is backwards. Everything. So why didn’t Andrea turn into a boy on Backwards Day this year? and why did she turn into a boy the very next day? (Review from NoveList K-8 Plus)
  • Be Who You Are by Jennifer Carr
    Nick’s family supports him when he says he no longer wants to be called a boy or dress like a boy; “Always remember to be who you are Nick. Remember that we love you, and we are so proud of you.” (Review from Google books)
  • Goblinheart by Brett Axel
    Using “fairy” and “goblin” in lieu of female and male, the author has created a timely symbolic fairy tale. A youngster named Julep, who lives in a forest tribe, insists on growing up to be a goblin rather than a fairy. The tribe learns to accept that Julep is a goblin at heart, eventually coming around to support the physical transition that must be made for Julep to live as a goblin (Review from Amazon editor)
  •  I am Jazz by Jessica Herthel
    An autobiographical picture book describes trans-youth activist Jazz Jennings’ story of embracing and asserting her transgender identity. Ultimately, Jazz’s self-acceptance, bolstered by her family’s support and advocacy, acts as a beacon for readers, trans- and cisgender alike. An empowering, timely story with the power to help readers proclaim, in the words of Jazz’s parents, “We understand now.” 
  • Jacob’s New Dress by Sarah and Ian Hoffman
    This heartwarming story speaks to the unique challenges faced by boys who don’t identify with traditional gender roles. (Review from Google books)
  • King & King by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland
    You are cordially invited to join the merriest, most unexpected wedding of the year. King & King is a contemporary tale about finding true love and living happily ever after, sure to woo readers of any age. (Review from Google books)
  • Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino
    With warm, dreamy illustrations Isabelle Malenfant perfectly captures Morris’s vulnerability and the vibrancy of his imagination. This is a sweetly told story about the courage and creativity it takes to be different. (Review from Google books)
  • My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis
    He’s a Princess Boy. Inspired by the author’s son, and by her own initial struggles to understand, this is a heart-warming book about unconditional love and one remarkable family. (Review from Google books)
  • Princess Smartypants by Babett Cole
    Not wishing to marry any of her royal suitors, Princess Smartypants devises difficult tasks at which they all fail, until the multitalented Prince Swashbuckle appears. (Review from Google books)
  • Pugdog by Andrea U’Ren
    When Mike discovers that his rough-and-tumble new puppy is a female, he tries to make her into a dainty dog. (Review from Google books)
  • Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall
    Red’s factory-applied label clearly says that he is red, but despite the best efforts of his teacher, fellow crayons and art supplies, and family members, he cannot seem to do anything right until a new friend offers a fresh perspective. (Review from Google books)
  • Ronald Humphrey is Wearing a What? by Eileen Kiernan-Johnson
    Roland Humphrey is a little boy who likes sparkly things and bright colors. He likes both sports and ballet, and doesn’t understand why girls can like both but not boys. Will he bow to peer pressure, or follow his heart and be the authentic Roland Humphrey? (Review from Google books)
  • Rough, Tough Charley by Verta Kay
    Rhyming text tells how Charley became one of the best stagecoach drivers in the West, joined a men’s club, and voted in a presidential election, all while disguising the fact that she was a woman. 
  • When Kayla was Kyle by Amy Fabrikant
    When Kayla Was Kyle is a picture book children of all ages will want to read because it addresses the increasingly emerging ideas around Gender Diversity. Amy Fabrikant is a writer, literacy coach, and LGBTQ safe school consultant. (Review from Google books)
  • When Kathy is Keith by Wallace Wong
    A sensitive portrayal of a young girl who identifies as a boy. (Review from Google books)
  • Who Are You? The Kid’s Guide to Gender Identity by Brook Pessin-Whedbee
    This is a one-of-a-kind resource for understanding and celebrating the gender diversity that surrounds us. (Review from Google books)
  • 10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert
    Every night, Bailey dreams about magical dresses: dresses made of crystals and rainbows, dresses made of flowers, dresses made of windows. (Review from Google books)

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