We are more alike than we are different. 

This selection of books and series from our premier publishing partners can help students learn about social justice, advocacy, and real-world issues like racial and gender inequality. As they come to respect and appreciate what makes us all unique, they will discover the importance of standing up for themselves and each other. This list includes large print titles, picture books, and educator resources.

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Own Voices, Own Stories
from Cherry Lake Publishing

Audience: Lower Elementary
The Own Voices, Own Stories Award recognizes books written by new authors from historically marginalized groups. By recognizing and amplifying diverse voices with underrepresented perspectives, Cherry Lake Publishing hopes to help reflect authentic experiences back to the children and families who share them – and to their readers at large.

Nadia and Nadir Book Series
from ABDO

Audience: Lower Elementary
Nadia and Nadir are young Muslim American siblings living with their parents in Houston, Texas. Like all kids, they enjoy staying busy and are quick to make learning fun in their day-to-day lives. With grandparents coming to visit and trips to Pakistan in their schedules, follow along as the kids explore their family culture and traditions.

My Powerful Hair
from Abrams Books

Audience: Lower Elementary
After generations of short hair in her family, a young girl celebrates growing her hair long to connect to her culture and honor the strength and resilience of those who came before her. This empowering picture book about family history, self-expression, and reclaiming your identity is from the award-winning and best-selling author of We Are Water Protectors.

Sunshine Picture Books
from Crabtree Publishing

Audience: Lower Elementary
Sunshine Picture Books are illustrated stories that include rhymes, fairy tales, family, magic, and more. Charming illustrations and diverse characters draw children in and spark imaginations, while writing prompts encourage creative thinking and extend learning.

Papá’s Magical Water-Jug Clock
from Penguin Young Readers Group

Audience: Lower Elementary
Can a jug really be magical? In Mexican American comedian Jesús Trejo’s debut picture book, little Jesús makes a big but funny mistake as he works alongside his landscaper papá. Together, father and son find a heartwarming solution. Perfect for Spanish and English picture book collections, this book has received multiple starred reviews.

The Shadow Sister
from Sourcebooks

Audience: Young Adult
When Casey’s sister goes missing and returns with no memory of where she was, Casey starts uncovering her secrets, despite their dislike for each other. In their starred review, Booklist commends author Lily Meade for harnessing generational and personal trauma to paint a stunning story while weaving in themes about religion, family, and privilege.

The Unlovable Alina Butt
from Orca Book Publishers

Audience: Upper Elementary
Fitting in at a new school is hard enough, but when you’re an awkward, big-nosed, nerdy Pakistani girl with a funny last name, it can seem downright impossible. Discover this insightful and endearing coming-of-age novel that helps readers understand that being different might not be so bad after all.

The Last Chance for Logan County
from Thorndike Press

Audience: Upper Elementary
In this Legendary Alston Boys Adventure from Edgar Award nominee Lamar Giles, the book’s large print makes it easy for readers to follow along with the adventures of Otto and Sheed. Youth large print is proven to help decrease reading anxiety and improve tracking and comprehension and can make a difference in reading achievement.

Tagging Freedom
from Union Square & Co.

Audience: Upper Elementary
Kareem Haddad never dreamed of becoming a graffiti artist. But when subversive slogans appear outside his school in Damascus, Syria, Kareem and his friends start tagging messages of freedom around their city. When he is sent to live with his cousin, Samira, in the United States, their worlds collide. Will Sam choose her social status or her cousin?

Sylvia Rivera (Leaders Like Us)
from Rourke Educational Media

Audience: Upper Elementary
Introduce young readers to one of the most influential LGBTQ+ activists and advocates in history with the children’s book Sylvia Rivera, part of the Leaders Like Us series. The vibrant illustrations, discussion questions, and interactive activity will help develop reading comprehension skills while keeping readers engaged.

When Clouds Touch Us
from HarperCollins Publishers

Audience: Upper Elementary
Inspired by the author’s own childhood, this stunning novel in verse is the sequel to the Newbery Honor and National Book Award winner Inside Out and Back Again. It picks up two years after Hà and her family arrive in Alabama as refugees from the Vietnam War. Follow along as Hà discovers new opportunities, friends, and a place to call home.

Breaking Through the Lines: The Marion Motley Story
from North Star Editions

Audience: Upper Elementary
Marion Motley was recognized as one of the gridiron’s most outstanding players when he was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1968. As one of four Black players to reintegrate pro football in 1946, his legacy off the field helped blaze a path for Black athletes in the highest echelons of professional sports.

Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim
from Random House Children’s Books

Audience: Young Adult
When an incident at her high school thrusts her into the spotlight, Alejandra Kim must carve out a place for herself. This provocative, laugh-out-loud read about a multicultural teen caught between different worlds shows readers what it means to belong and how to build a future for yourself. It received starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal.

Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People
from Candlewick Press

Audience: Young Adult
Now available in paperback, this inspiring and all-too-relevant history of the Black Panther Party introduces readers to the Panthers’ community activism, grounded in the concept of self-defense, which taught Black Americans how to protect and support themselves in a country that treated them like second-class citizens. It has received multiple starred reviews.

Come Home Safe: A Novel
from HarperCollins Christian

Audience: Young Adult
When two Black siblings are accused of crimes they didn’t commit, they must find a way to prove their innocence. Explore the pain, truths, and hopes that come with growing up as a person of color in America in this compelling novel that draws from real-life advice, lessons, and conversations.

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