Resources For Talking to your Kids about Race

Here are some resources for your consideration, to use on your own or with your children:

Anti-Defamation League: lessons, table talks, and books:



      Social Justice Books book lists


      Book List:

      Board Books: Ages 0 to 4

      A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara
      A bestselling ABC book that uses alliteration, rhyming and vibrant illustrations to introduce young children to activism, including civil rights, community, equality and justice.
      Antiracist Baby by Ibram X Kendi and illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky
      This timely board book (out on June 16) outlines nine steps for building a more equitable world. It is bold and direct, with thoughtful text and bright illustrations, and is a great introduction to racism for toddlers.

      An ABC of Equality by Chana Ginelle Ewing and illustrated by Paulina Morgan
      A chunky board book that is structured around the letters of the alphabet and aims to introduce young children to complicated concepts in an accessible way.

      Picture Books: Ages 3 to 7

      A Kids Book About Racism by Jelani Memory
      This book gives a clear description of what racism is, how it makes people feel when they experience it, and how to spot it when it happens.
      Enough! 20 Protestors Who Changed America by Emily Easton and illustrated by Ziyue Chen
      This compilation of influential Americans who stood up and demanded change also includes more recent protestors. Its simple text works as a great primer to deeper discussions.
      The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander and illustrated by Kadir Nelson
      This multi-award winning book is powerful, vital, and exquisitely and stunningly illustrated. It is a poem, an inspirational love letter to Black life in America, that covers historic trauma and accomplishments and present perseverance.

      Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o and illustrated by Vashti Harrison
      Sulwe is a powerful and magical celebration of Black girls that addresses colorism with emotional depth and empowerment, inspiring children to see their own unique beauty. The illustrations are breathtaking, and the book as a whole is whimsical and just gorgeous.
      Something Happened in Our Town by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins and Ann Hazzard and illustrated by Jennifer Zivion
      This book follows two families—one white, one Black—as they discuss a police shooting of a Black man in their community. Written by three psychologists, this is a great educational resource for parents. The back matter provides extensive notes about how to talk to children about race and racism and trauma, how to identify and counter racial injustice. It even includes sample dialogues.

      Ages 8 to 12

      Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice by Mahogany L Browne with Elizabeth Acevedo and Olivia Gatwood and illustrated by Theodore Taylor III

      This collection of poems by women of color covers topics relating to social justice, activism, discrimination and empathy, focusing on the need to speak out and inspiring middle-graders.

      We Rise We Resist We Raise Our Voices edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson

      This collection is a mix of poems, letters, personal essays, art and other works from 52 diverse children’s authors and illustrators. It features authors such as Jason Reynolds, Jacqueline Woodson and Kwame Alexander, all answering the question: In this divisive world, what shall we tell our children? It is heartfelt, inspirational and empowering.

      One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

      This multi-award winning historical novel follows three children who travel to Oakland, California, in 1968, during the early days of the Black Panther Party. It is funny and painful and just brilliant, with an engaging cast of characters and an important context and message.

      Ages 10 and up

      Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams

      This truly powerful novel delves deep into issues of colorism. It is often painful to read, as Genesis struggles with self-loathing, internalized racism, poverty and a verbally abusive family. Raw, honest and emotional, older middle-grade readers will fall in love with Genesis as they follow her battles and she finally learns to love herself.

      A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramée

      This novel follows a young Black girl as she learns to navigate the world around her, investigating issues of race, racism, police brutality and racial injustice. It delves into the Black Lives Matter movement and the importance of protest as its twelve-year-old protagonist grows up and learns to find her voice.

      Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

      Twelve-year-old Jerome is shot by a police officer who mistakes his toy gun for a real threat. Dead, he chronicles the aftermath of this injustice in a haunting, heartbreaking and powerful read.


      Teen: Ages 12 and up

      Say Her Name by Zetta Elliot

      This collection of boldly illustrated poems pays tribute to victims of police brutality as well as the activists insisting that Black Lives Matter. It encompasses a range of styles and includes notes and back matter that details the inspiration and references for the poems.

      Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X Kendi

      This powerful reimagining of Dr. Ibram X Kendi’s National Book Award-winning Stamped From the Beginning is balanced perfectly between the educational and the hopeful as it covers the deep-seated history of racist ideas in America, and also helps readers to identify and eradicate racist thoughts in their daily lives. Beloved award-winner Jason Reynolds brings an energizing narrative to Kendi’s work, and also lends his voice to the audiobook (highly recommend a listen, available on

      The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

      The story of Starr Carter, a 16-year-old who sees her childhood best friend fatally shot by a police officer, has quickly become a staple on book lists like this one, designed to facilitate a conversation with young readers about police brutality and systemic racism in America. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Angie Thomas’s gripping debut is an absolute must-read.

      Dear Martin by Nic Stone

      Justyce McAllister is a good kid, an honor student, and always there to help a friend—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. This gut-wrenching portrait of a young man reckoning with the persistent violence of social injustice is unapologetic in its spotlighting of historical and present racism in America. The highly anticipated sequel, Dear Justyce, comes out this fall and delivers an unflinching look into the flawed practices and silenced voices in the American juvenile justice system.

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