Focus on Race/Racism

Here are links to books/posts speaking to racism, civil rights, and social justice that I have reviewed and recommended over the years. Nearly all of these books address racism in the U.S. although a few titles are about the treatment of First Peoples in Canada.

Picture books on the concept of race and the beauty of racial diversity:

All the Colors We Are
Happy in Our Skin
Let’s Talk About Race
Shades of People
Skin Again

Picture books celebrating Black American culture/identity:

All Because You Matter
Bedtime Bonnet
Blue Sky White Stars
Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
Happy to be Nappy
Hey Black Child
I Am Every Good Thing
I Love My Hair
In Your Hands
Magnificent Homespun Brown: A Celebration
My People
Princess Hair
Shades of Black
When We Say Black Lives Matter

Picture books about systemic racism:

Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness
Something Happened in Our Town

Middle Grade books addressing systemic racism in general:

We Are the Change: Words of Inspiration from Civil Rights Leaders

Middle Grade books addressing systemic racism and Black Americans:

Black Brother Black Brother
From the Desk of Zoe Washington
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You

Teen and Adult books addressing systemic racism and Black Americans:

All American Boys
Dragon Hoops (addresses racism impacting Asian-Americans and Sikh-Americans as well)
Just Mercy
Naught for Your Comfort (this is about white supremacy in apartheid South Africa)
The New Jim Crow
Race Against Time: The Untold Story of Scipio Jones and the Battle to Save Twelve Innocent Men
Separate No More: The Long Road to Brown v. Board of Education
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You
Stolen Justice: The Struggle for African American Voting Rights
They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group
They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement
Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy
Why We Can’t Wait

Find dozens of books about Civil Rights on my Black History page here.

Posts discussing anti-Black racism/antiracism:

Let’s Talk About Race
Black is Beautiful
Representation Matters
Justice for George Floyd
Know Justice, Know Peace

Picture books addressing racism affecting Asian Americans:

Barbed Wire Baseball
I Am an American: The Wong Kim Ark Story
Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story
Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds: The Sammy Lee Story

Middle grade and teen books addressing racism affecting Asian Americans:

Inside Out & Back Again
Journey to Topaz
Prairie Lotus
Superman Smashes the Klan

Picture books addressing racism affecting Latinx Americans:

Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers
Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez
Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré
Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation
Todos iguales: un corrido de Lemon Grove/ All Equal: A Ballad of Lemon Grove
Where Are You From

Middle grade books addressing racism affecting the Latinx community and asylum-seekers

Efrén Divided
Journey of Dreams
Land of the Cranes
The Only Road

Picture books addressing racism affecting Muslim Americans:

The Arabic Quilt
The Proudest Blue

Middle grade books addressing racism against Muslim Americans:

The Eleventh Trade
It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel

Find more books set in Muslim cultures here.

Picture books addressing racism against Native American/First Peoples:

As Long as the Rivers Flow
Chester Nez and the Unbreakable Code: A Navajo Code Talker’s Story
Fatty Legs
I Am Not a Number
Kiki’s Journey
Louis Sockalexis: Native American Baseball Pioneer
The Navajo Code Talkers
Red Cloud: A Lakota Story of War and Surrender
Shin-chi’s Canoe
We Are Water Protectors
When We Were Alone

Middle grade books addressing racism against Native American/First Peoples

In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse
Saga of the Sioux

Adult books addressing racism against Native American/First Peoples

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee

Find more books about Native Americans and First Peoples here
Musings post about racism towards Native Americans – Thoughts on Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Picture books about the Holocaust:

Always Remember Me
Anne Frank
Bartali’s Bicycle: The True Story of Gino Bartali, Italy’s Secret Hero
The Butterfly
The Grand Mosque of Paris: A Story of How Muslims Rescued Jews During the Holocaust
Irena Sendler and the Children of the Warsaw Ghetto
Irena’s Jars of Secrets
Miep and the Most Famous Diary: The Woman who Rescued Anne Frank’s Diary
Nicky & Vera: A Quiet Hero of the Holocaust and the Children He Rescued
Passage to Freedom: The Sugihara Story
Terrible Things: An Allegory

Chapter/Middle grade books about the Holocaust:

Catherine’s War
Chance: Escape from the Holocaust
The Faithful Spy
His Name was Raoul Wallenberg: Courage, Rescue, and Mystery During World War II
Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow
The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler
Odette’s Secrets
The Plot to Kill Hitler: Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Spy, Unlikely Hero
Twenty and Ten
We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler

see also my post: Defeating Hitler