Notes from the Stacks

Print
Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Here's the latest from your library!

#LibrariesRespond: Books About Racism for Children and Teens

Recommended reads from the Youth Services department for understanding and fighting racism
Post Date:06/04/2020 10:00 AM

by the Youth Services Department

Black lives matter, and Black stories matter for readers of all ages. Social science research has consistently shown that children can have racial biases as young as 3 to 5 years old. Literature has the power to show readers what the world looks like from someone else's point of view and improve relationships. These age-appropriate, anti-racist books can help inspire meaningful conversations with young people about racism to begin addressing and countering the inequity present in our society today.

For more resources, caregivers and educators can visit:

For Preschoolers and Elementary Schoolers

BLM book covers

AntiRacist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi

From the publisher: Take your first steps with Antiracist Baby! Or rather, follow Antiracist Baby's nine easy steps for building a more equitable world. With bold art and thoughtful yet playful text, Antiracist Baby introduces the youngest readers and the grown-ups in their lives to the concept and power of antiracism. Providing the language necessary to begin critical conversations at the earliest age, Antiracist Baby is the perfect gift for readers of all ages dedicated to forming a just society.

Available online starting June 16 from cloudLibrary 

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

From the publisher: Other students laugh when Rigoberto, an immigrant from Venezuela, introduces himself, but later, he meets Angelina and discovers that he is not the only one who feels like an outsider.

Available online as an audiobook from cloudLibrary

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison

From the publisher: Among these women, you'll find heroes, role models, and everyday women who did extraordinary things - bold women whose actions and beliefs contributed to making the world better for generations of girls and women to come. Whether they were putting pen to paper, soaring through the air or speaking up for the rights of others, the women profiled in these pages were all taking a stand against a world that didn't always accept them. The leaders in this book may be little, but they all did something big and amazing, inspiring generations to come.

Available online an an e-book and audiobook from cloudLibrary

A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara

From the publisher: An ABC board book written and illustrated for the next generation of activists. The alliteration, rhyming, and vibrant illustrations make the book exciting for children, while the issues it brings up resonate with values of community, equality, and justice. This engaging little book carries huge messages as it inspires hope for the future and calls children to action.

Available at the library

Be a King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Dream and You by Carole Boston Weatherford

From the publisher: You can be a King. Stamp out hatred. Put your foot down and walk tall. You can be a King. Beat the drum for justice. March to your own conscience. See a class of young students as they begin a school project inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and learn to follow his example, as he dealt with adversity and never lost hope that a future of equality and justice would soon be a reality. As times change, Dr. King's example remains, encouraging a new generation of children to take charge and change the world ... to be a King.

Available at the library

That Is My Dream!: A Picture Book of Langston Hughes's "Dream Variation" by Langston Hughes (author) and Daniel Miyares (illustrator)

From the publisher: Langston Hughes's inspiring and timeless message of pride, joy, and the dream of a better life is brilliantly and beautifully interpreted in Daniel Miyares's gorgeous artwork. Follow one African-American boy through the course of his day as the harsh reality of segregation and racial prejudice comes into vivid focus. But the boy dreams of a different life—one full of freedom, hope, and wild possibility, where he can fling his arms wide in the face of the sun.

Available at the library and online as an e-book from cloudLibrary

I, Too, Am America by Langston Hughes (author), Bryan Collier (illustrator)

From the publisher: Winner of the Coretta Scott King illustrator award, I, Too, Am America blends the poetic wisdom of Langston Hughes with visionary illustrations from Bryan Collier in this inspirational picture book that carries the promise of equality.

Available at the library

For Elementary Schoolers

BLM book covers

Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness by Anastasia Higginbotham

From the publisher: A white child sees a news report of a white police officer shooting and killing a person with brown skin who had their hands up. “We don’t see color,” the child’s mother says, but the child senses a deeper truth. An afternoon in the library uncovers the reality of white supremacy in America. The child connects to the opportunity and their responsibility to dismantle white supremacy–for the sake of their own liberation out of ignorance and injustice.

Available at the library and as a free PDF download on Dottir Press through June 16

We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson; foreword by Ashley Bryan

From the publisher: What do we tell our children when the world seems bleak, and prejudice and racism run rampant? With 96 lavishly designed pages of original art, poetry, and prose, fifty diverse creators lend voice and comfort to young activists.

Available at the library and online as an e-book and audiobook from cloudLibrary

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison

From the publisher: Among these women, you'll find heroes, role models, and everyday women who did extraordinary things - bold women whose actions and beliefs contributed to making the world better for generations of girls and women to come. Whether they were putting pen to paper, soaring through the air or speaking up for the rights of others, the women profiled in these pages were all taking a stand against a world that didn't always accept them. The leaders in this book may be little, but they all did something big and amazing, inspiring generations to come.

Available at the library and online as an e-book and audiobook from cloudLibrary

Malcolm Little by Ilyasah Shabazz

From the publisher: Malcolm X grew to be one of America's most influential figures. But first, he was a boy named Malcolm Little. Written by his daughter, this picture book biography celebrates a vision of freedom.

Available at the library

Marley Dias Gets it Done and So Can You! by Marley Dias

From the publisher: In this accessible "keep-it-real" guide, Marley, founder of #1000blackgirlbooks explores activism, social justice, volunteerism, equity and inclusion, and using social media for good. Drawing from her experience, Marley shows kids how they can galvanize their strengths to make positive changes in their communities, while getting support from parents, teachers, and friends to turn dreams into reality.

Available at the library and online as an e-book and audiobook from cloudLibrary and audiobook from hoopla digital

Be a King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Dream and You by Carole Boston Weatherford

From the publisher: You can be a King. Stamp out hatred. Put your foot down and walk tall. You can be a King. Beat the drum for justice. March to your own conscience. See a class of young students as they begin a school project inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and learn to follow his example, as he dealt with adversity and never lost hope that a future of equality and justice would soon be a reality. As times change, Dr. King's example remains, encouraging a new generation of children to take charge and change the world ... to be a King.

Available at the library

Clean Getaway by Nic Stone

From the publisher: A middle-grade road-trip story through American race relations past and present. Set against the backdrop of the segregation history of the American South, take a trip with an eleven-year-old boy who is about to discover that the world hasn't always been a welcoming place for kids like him, and things aren't always what they seem--his G'ma included.

Available at the library and online as an e-book and audiobook from cloudLibrary

My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Martin Luther King III

From the publisher: What was it like growing up as a son of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? This memoir by Martin Luther King III provides insight into one of history's most fascinating families and into a special bond between father and son.

Available online as an audiobook from cloudLibrary and audiobook from hoopla digital

Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson, Frank Morrison

From the publisher: 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. Frank Morrison's emotive oil-on-canvas paintings bring this historical event to life, while Monica Clark-Robinson's moving and poetic words document this remarkable time.

Available at the library and online as an e-book and audiobook from cloudLibrary and movie, read-along movie, and audiobook from hoopla digital

Box by Carole Boston Weatherford

From the publisher: Henry Brown wrote that long before he came to be known as Box; he "entered the world a slave”. He was put to work as a child and passed down from one generation to the next—as property. When he was an adult, his wife and children were sold away from him out of spite. Henry Brown watched as his family left bound in chains, headed to the deeper South. What more could be taken from him? But then hope—and help—came in the form of the Underground Railroad. Escape!

Available online as an audiobook from cloudLibrary

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer by Carole Boston Weatherford

From the publisher: Despite fierce prejudice and abuse, even being beaten to within an inch of her life, Fannie Lou Hamer was a champion of civil rights from the 1950s until her death in 1977. Integral to the Freedom Summer of 1964, Ms. Hamer gave a speech at the Democratic National Convention that - despite President Johnson's interference - aired on national TV news and spurred the nation to support the Freedom Democrats. Based on the critically acclaimed 2016 Caldecott and Sibert Honor Book and winner of the Boston Globe Horn Book Honor Award, Voice of Freedom celebrates Fannie Lou Hamer's life and legacy with a message of hope, determination, and strength.

Available at the library and online as an audiobook from cloudLibrary and movie, read-along movie and audiobook from hoopla digital

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

From the publisher: Set during one of the most tumultuous years in recent American history, One Crazy Summer is the heartbreaking, funny tale of three girls who travel to Oakland, California, in 1968 in search of the mother who abandoned them. It's an unforgettable story told by a distinguished author of books for children and teens, Rita Williams-Garcia.voice

Available at the library and online as an e-book from cloudLibrary and e-book from hoopla digital

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis

From the publisher: "We are a family on a journey to a place called wonderful" is the motto of Deza Malone's family. Deza is the smartest girl in her class in Gary, Indiana, singled out by teachers for a special path in life. But it's 1936 and the Great Depression has hit Gary hard, and there are no jobs for black men. When her beloved father leaves to find work, Deza, Mother, and her older brother, Jimmie, go in search of him, and end up in a Hooverville outside Flint, Michigan. Jimmie's beautiful voice inspires him to leave the camp to be a performer, while Deza and Mother find a new home, and cling to the hope that they will find Father. The twists and turns of their story reveal the devastation of the Depression and prove that Deza truly is the Mighty Miss Malone.

Available at the library and online as an e-book and audiobook from cloudLibrary 

Betty Before X by Renée Watson

From the publisher: In Detroit, 1945, eleven-year-old Betty's house doesn't quite feel like home. She believes her mother loves her, but she can't shake the feeling that her mother doesn't want her. Church helps those worries fade, if only for a little while. The singing, the preaching, the speeches from guest activists like Paul Robeson and Thurgood Marshall stir African Americans in her community to stand up for their rights. Betty quickly finds confidence and purpose in volunteering for the Housewives League, an organization that supports black-owned businesses. Soon, the American civil rights icon we now know as Dr. Betty Shabazz is born. Inspired by Betty's real life—but expanded upon and fictionalized through collaboration with novelist Renée Watson—Ilyasah Shabazz illuminates four poignant years in her mother’s childhood with this book, painting an inspiring portrait of a girl overcoming the challenges of self-acceptance and belonging that will resonate with young readers today.

Available at the library and online as an audiobook from cloudLibrary and audiobook from hoopla digital

For Middle Schoolers and Up

BLM book covers

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

From the publisher: The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi's National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future. It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers. It also proves that while racist ideas have always been easy to fabricate and distribute, they can also be discredited.

Available at the library and as an e-book and audiobook from cloudLibrary

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

From the publisher: It all starts when six kids have to meet for a weekly chat--by themselves, with no adults to listen in. There they discover it's safe to talk about what's bothering them--everything from Esteban's father's deportation and Haley's father's incarceration to Amari's fears of racial profiling and Ashton's adjustment to his changing family fortunes. When the six are together, they can express the feelings and fears they have to hide from the rest of the world. And together, they can grow braver and more ready for the rest of their lives.

Available at the library and as an e-book and audiobook from cloudLibrary

Marley Dias Gets it Done and So Can You! by Marley Dias

From the publisher: In this accessible "keep-it-real" guide, Marley, founder of #1000blackgirlbooks explores activism, social justice, volunteerism, equity and inclusion, and using social media for good. Drawing from her experience, Marley shows kids how they can galvanize their strengths to make positive changes in their communities, while getting support from parents, teachers, and friends to turn dreams into reality.

Available at the library and online as an e-book and audiobook from cloudLibrary and audiobook from hoopla digital

Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults) by Bryan Stevenson

From the publisher: Stevenson's story is one of working to protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society--the poor, the wrongly convicted, and those whose lives have been marked by discrimination and marginalization. Through this adaptation, young people of today will find themselves called to action and compassion in the pursuit of justice.

Available online as an audiobook from cloudLibrary

Clean Getaway by Nic Stone

From the publisher: A middle-grade road-trip story through American race relations past and present. Set against the backdrop of the segregation history of the American South, take a trip with an eleven-year-old boy who is about to discover that the world hasn't always been a welcoming place for kids like him, and things aren't always what they seem--his G'ma included.

Available at the library and online as an e-book and audiobook from cloudLibrary

A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Ramée

From the publisher: Twelve-year-old Shayla is allergic to trouble. All she wants to do is to follow the rules. Shay’s sister, Hana, is involved in Black Lives Matter, but Shay doesn't think that's for her. After experiencing a powerful protest, though, Shay decides some rules are worth breaking. She starts wearing an armband to school in support of the Black Lives movement. Soon everyone is taking sides. And she is given an ultimatum. Shay is scared to do the wrong thing (and even more scared to do the right thing), but if she doesn't face her fear, she'll be forever tripping over the next hurdle. Now that’s trouble, for real.

Available at the library and as an e-book and audiobook from cloudLibrary and audiobook from hoopla digital

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

From the publisher: After seventh-grader Jerome is shot by a white police officer, he observes the aftermath of his death and meets the ghosts of other fallen black boys including historical figure Emmett Till.

Available at the library and as an e-book from cloudLibrary

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

From the publisher: After witnessing her friend's death at the hands of a police officer, Starr Carter's life is complicated when the police and a local drug lord try to intimidate her in an effort to learn what happened the night Kahlil died.

Available at the library and as an e-book and audiobook from cloudLibrary

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely

From the publisher: When sixteen-year-old Rashad is mistakenly accused of stealing, classmate Quinn witnesses his brutal beating at the hands of a police officer who happens to be the older brother of his best friend. Told through Rashad and Quinn's alternating viewpoints.

Available at the library and as an e-book and audiobook from cloudLibrary

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

From the publisher: After being accosted by a police officer, seventeen-year-old  Justyce McAllister writes letters to the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as he struggles to face the realities of racism today.

Available at the library in print and audiobook and as an e-book and audiobook from cloudLibrary

Monster by Walter Dean Myers

From the publisher: Steve Harmon, an amateur filmmaker, is on trial for the murder of a Harlem drugstore owner and could face the death penalty. Steve copes by writing a movie script based on his trial. But despite his efforts, reality is blurred until he can no longer tell who he is or what the truth is.

Available at the library and online as an e-book and audiobook from cloudLibrary and e-book from hoopla digital. The graphic novel adaptation is also available at the library and as an e-book from hoopla digital.

Light it Up by Kekla Magoon

From the publisher: A powerful, layered story about injustice and strength following the death of a thirteen-year-old girl at the hands of a police officer, told in the vignettes of people in the community as unrest grows.

Available at the library and as an e-book from cloudLibrary

I'm Not Dying with You Tonight by Gilly Segal and Kimberly Jones

From the publisher: An NAACP Image Award Nominee, I’m Not Dying with You Tonight follows two teen girls—one black, one white—who have to confront their own assumptions about racial inequality as they rely on each other to get through the violent race riot that has set their city on fire with civil unrest.

Available online as an e-book from cloudLibrary and e-book from hoopla digital

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

From the publisher: Jade believes she must get out of her poor neighborhood if she's ever going to succeed. Her mother tells her to take advantage of every opportunity that comes her way. But some opportunities she doesn't really welcome, like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for "at-risk" girls. Just because her mentor is black and graduated from the same high school doesn't mean she understands where Jade is coming from. She's tired of being singled out as someone who needs help, someone people want to fix. Jade wants to speak, to create, to express her joys and sorrows, her pain and her hope. Maybe there are some things she could show other women about understanding the world and finding ways to be real, to make a difference.

Available at the library in print and audiobook and as an e-book from cloudLibrary

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

From the publisher: Winner of the 1977 Newbery Medal and nominated for the National Book Award, the story of Cassie Logan, an independent girl growing up relatively protected in a loving family, is culled from author Mildred Taylor's own family's life. It not only stands as an important addition to the cumulative record of the African-American experience, but crafted with astonishing verisimilitude, it stands as an important contribution to young adult literature as well.

Available at the library in print and audiobook and as an audiobook from cloudLibrary

 

*Print books will be available for check-out when the library reopens.

Return to full list >>