6 Books that ALL kids should read

It’s hard to listen and watch what’s happening all over the country, but we need to. We need to be listening and watching in order to bring much needed change.

Change where black mothers and fathers should not live in fear for the children. Change where black people aren’t racially profiled at every turn. Change where non-black people become allies, not bystanders.

I have a 5 and 3 year old and I just started having those hard conversations with them. Just the other day in the Panera drive-thru, they heard the radio and I had to reexplain to them what was talked about so they would understand. That poor high school girl had no idea what to do when she handed me our food and found me weeping in the driver’s seat… #keepingitreal

When we got home, I took a hard look at the books on our shelves and noticed how “un-diverse” they were. I preach about how books need to be “windows and mirrors” for the students in my school, but I was ashamed to see that the books in my home were just “mirrors”. I immediately hopped on Amazon and ordered some new pictures books to add to our collection, and then because I’m even too impatient for two-day shipping, I placed a curbside pickup order from our local library for that afternoon.

In case you’re looking for some new books to add to your collection, here are some that I ordered and will now become regulars in our daily reading time. Click on the book to go straight to Amazon, where you can purchase the book.

#blacklivesmatter

Featuring eighteen women creators, ranging from writers to inventors, artists to scientists, this board book adaptation of Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World introduces trailblazing women like Mary Blair, an American modernist painter who had a major influence on how color was used in early animated films, environmental activist Wangari Maathai, and architect Zaha Hadid.

A beautiful picture book for sharing and marking special occasions such as graduation, inspired by the life of the first African American woman to travel in space, Mae Jemison. An Amazon Best Book of the Month!

A great classroom and bedtime read-aloud, Mae Among the Stars is the perfect book for young readers who have big dreams and even bigger hearts.

A stirring, dramatic story of a slave who mails himself to freedom by a Jane Addams Peace Award-winning author and a Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist.

Henry Brown doesn’t know how old he is. Nobody keeps records of slaves’ birthdays. All the time he dreams about freedom, but that dream seems farther away than ever when he is torn from his family and put to work in a warehouse. Henry grows up and marries, but he is again devastated when his family is sold at the slave market. Then one day, as he lifts a crate at the warehouse, he knows exactly what he must do: He will mail himself to the North.

In 1963 Birmingham, Alabama, thousands of African American children volunteered to march for their civil rights after hearing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak. They protested the laws that kept black people separate from white people. Facing fear, hate, and danger, these children used their voices to change the world.

Margot Lee Shetterly and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award winner Laura Freeman bring the incredibly inspiring true story of four black women who helped NASA launch men into space to picture book readers!

This volume focuses on Harriet Tubman’s brave heroism as part of the movement to abolish slavery. As one of the key players in the Underground Railroad, she helped enslaved African Americans escape and find freedom.

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