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Race and Racism: Selected Books for PreK-Grade 12

© 2020 Cooperative Children's Book Center

June 2020: This is the second of two bibliographies we are creating to respond to the requests we are getting from around Wisconsin in recent days for books for children and teens about race and racism. We also encourage you to check out the CCBC bibliography Black Experiences: Affirmation and Resilience, Activism and Resistance in 45 Books for PreK-Grade 12.

When choosing books about race and racism and its impact on the lives of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), we have emphasized books by BIPOC creators. We have also included several books by white authors that can help readers, especially white readers, develop an awareness of whiteness and white privilege.

This list features both historical books (set in the past) and books set in the present day. Understanding history is critical to understanding racism; it is also critical to acknowledge and discuss the realities of racism and the ongoing legacy of systemic racism today.

We have chosen most of the books for this list from among titles we’ve recommended for our annual best-of-the-year list, CCBC Choices. Our selections are far from exhaustive--there are many books we've recommended that offer perspectives on race and racism in the past and present. Additionally, many other reading lists for children and teens about racism have been curated in recent weeks. Among those we encourage you to check out is the one created by author Jacqueline Woodson.

Finally, it's important to keep in mind that no book can take the place of ongoing, meaningful conversations about race and racism. To that end, you may also find We Need Diverse Books and Teaching Tolerance, among others, helpful as you seek out additional resources.

Click on underlined book titles to see the CCBC review of the book, and/or the cover image.
Complete list of CCBC bibliographies

PreK-Grade 5

    Atinuke. Have Fun Anna Hibiscus!. Illustrated by Lauren Tobia. U.S. edition: Kane Miller, 2011. 109 pages. Ages 4-8

    Ada, Alma Flor. My Name Is Maria Isabel. Illustrated by K. Dyble Thompson. Atheneum, 1993. 57 pages. Ages 7-9

    Britt, Paige. Why Am I Me?. Illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko. Scholastic Press, 2017. 32 pages. Ages 5-8

    Brown, India Hill. The Forgotten Girl. Scholastic Press, 2018. 250 pages. Ages 9-12

    Choi, Yansook. The Name Jar. Alfred A. Knopf, 2001. 32 pages. Ages 4 - 6

    Craft, Jerry. New Kid. Harper, 2019. 249 pages. Ages 9-13

    Grant, Shauntay. Africville. Groundwood, 2019. 32 pages. Ages 6-9

    hooks, bell. skin again. Illustrated by Chris Raschka. Hyperion, 2004. 32 pages. Ages 5 - 10

    Johnson, Varian. The Parker Inheritance. Arthur A. Levine Books / Scholastic, 2018. 331 pages. Ages 8-11

    Maldonado, Torrey. What Lane?. Nancy Paulsen Books / Penguin, 2020. 125 pages. Ages 9-13

    McManis, Charlene Willing and Traci Sorell . Indian No More. Tu Books / Lee & Low, 2019. 211 pages. Ages 9-12

    Miller, Sharee. Don't Touch My Hair. Little, Brown, 2018. 32 pages. Ages 5-9

    Park, Linda Sue. Project Mulberry. Clarion, 2005. 225 pages. Ages 9-12

    Robertson, David A.. When We Were Alone. Illustrated by Julie Flett. Highwater Press, 2016. 32 pages. 5-8

    Tonatiuh, Duncan. Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation.. Abrams, 2014. 40 pages. Ages 6-10

    Weatherford, Carole Boston. Freedom in Congo Square. Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. little bee books, 2016. 32 pages. Age 6 and older

    Williams-Garcia, Rita. One Crazy Summer. Amistad / HarperCollins, 2010. 218 pages. Ages 8-12

Grades 6-12

    Abdel-Fattah, Randa. The Lines We Cross. Scholastic Press, 2017. 400 pages pages. Age 12 and older

    Delacre, Lulu. Us, In Progress: Short Stories about Young Latinos. Harper, 2017. 242 pages. Age 11 and older

    Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne and adapted by Jean Mendoza and Debbie Reese . An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States for Young People. Beacon Press, 2019. 270 pages. Age 12 and older

    Engle, Margarita. Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots. Illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez. Atheneum, 2018. 179 pages. Age 12 and older

    Gibney, Shannon. See No Color. Carolrhoda Lab, 2015. 186 pages. Age 13 and older

    Jung, Mike. Unidentified Suburban Object. Arthur A. Levine Books / Scholastic, 2016. 272 pages. Ages 9-13

    King, A. S. . Dig. Dutton, 2019. 392 pages. Age 14 and older

    Leitich Smith, Cynthia. Hearts Unbroken. Candlewick Press, 2018. 289 pages. Age 13 and older

    Manzano, Sonia. The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano. Scholastic, 2012. 224 pages. Age 12 and older

    Morrow, editor, Bethany C.. Take the Mic: Fictional Stories of Everyday Resistance. Arthur A. Levine Books / Scholastic, 2019. 245 pages. Age 11 and older

    Petrus, Junauda. The Stars and the Blackness Between Them. Dutton, 2019. 312 pages. Age 14 and older

    Reynolds, Jason and Ibram X. Kendi . Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You. Little, Brown, 2020. 294 pages. Age 12 and older

    Reynolds, Jason and Brendan Kiely . All American Boys. Atheneum, 2015. 320 pages. Age 13 and older

    Ribay, Randy. After the Shot Drops. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018. 325 pages. Age 12 and older

    Takei, George and Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott . They Called Us Enemy. Illustrated by Harmony Becker. Top Shelf, 2019. 204 pages. Age 11 and older

    Thomas, Angie. On the Come Up. Balzer + Bray, 2019. 447 pages. Age 13 and older

    Yoon, Nicola. The Sun Is Also a Star. Delacorte Press, 2016. 348 pages. Age 13 and older

    Yoon, David. Frankly in Love. Putnam, 2019. 432 pages. Age 13 and older

This list may be reproduced and distributed by educational and/or nonprofit organizations so long as credit is given to the Cooperative Children's Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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