Over the course of the past few months, I had additional time at my disposal for reflection. For me, as a lover of children’s books, this has meant taking the time to really consider whether or not I am doing a good enough job of ensuring that the children in my classroom are reflected on my classroom bookshelves.
What I started to realise, on the other hand, was that it was more difficult than I had anticipated to locate literature that reflected my students. As a result, the purpose of this list is to serve as a resource for other educators working toward the same goal. I do not claim to be an authority on diversity because I am not one, and I also do not pretend to be one. I am a classroom teacher who has made it her mission to educate herself as much as she possibly can in order to become the version of herself that her students deserve.
A few of these books were presented to me as gifts for the purpose of inclusion, while others were ones that I already had and kept on my shelves. Some of them are novels that I have read in the classroom, some are ones that have been well received by my students, and still others are ones that I am looking forward to discussing with you all as the year progresses. Even as I type this, the list is still undergoing changes, and I intend to do all in my power to keep it as up to date as possible when I come across new books to read.
Without doubt one of the most empowering books for young children I have ever read. This easy to access book shows children that they can make a difference to their world and shows them exactly how to do so.
Dave Eggers is an experienced social entrepreneur, and his book is full of inspiring stories of people who have used their talents and resources to make a difference. He offers readers practical advice on how to get started, and provides resources for further reading.
What Can a Citizen Do? is an important book for anyone who wants to make a difference in the world. It is a call to action for children to get involved in the issues they care about, and provides a roadmap for how to make change happen.
This amazing book walks children through the writing process in a step-by-step fashion, making it the ideal stimulus for kids who feel anxious when contemplating putting pen to paper. Children’s written work can unquestionably be improved by reading a book like this one, which comes complete with drawings that can serve as a source of inspiration for them. Overall, this is an excellent book that is full of helpful information and tips for children who want to improve their writing skills.
A narrative about two young girls and their hero, Wilma Rudolph, who share a passion for the sport of running. It is a story that examines poverty, but more than that, it is a story about friendship that transcends that, and about how two young girls come to understand what is truly essential in life.
A wonderful book that investigates and enjoys playing about with language. Ideal for classroom activities in which you want to encourage youngsters to utilise their imaginations. This is the ideal resource for discussing the meanings of words in a classroom setting because it has both fabricated words and stunning visuals.
This wonderful and entertaining tale delves into the mind of a little boy as he tries to make sense of his typically pristine and regular family’s sudden unusual behavior. In the beginning, Daddy’s hair is pink, but before he knows it, Grandma is in space and Mummy is a witch. He is relieved to learn that it is all in good humor, and that they are not as insane as he had anticipated.
A young girl has a lot of options to choose from when it comes to getting her hair done for her birthday in this amazing picture book. The book depicts a wide array of black hairstyles. Before deciding on her own hairstyle, she observes the many different ways that her family members style their hair and comes to the conclusion that an Afro is the best option for her. The author is also of African descent.
A book packed of life lessons that are just as applicable when you’re 90 as when you were 4. It features a diverse cast of people, all of whom are inspired to pursue their goals, realise their ambitions, and take control of their world. This is a book that both adults and children will enjoy reading because it contains uplifting words and graphics that are captivating.
Errol has a passion for gardening, but given that he lives in a high-rise, he probably won’t be able to have a regular garden. Until such time as his neighbours offer their assistance in developing a lovely rooftop garden that can be enjoyed by all, this won’t happen. The main character and his family are people of African descent. The novel also has a cast of people from a variety of backgrounds.
A wonderful tale illustrating how migration can have a good influence on the lives of other students in the classroom. A book that demonstrates how children are children no matter where they are from or what language they speak. This is a realisation that can be found throughout the entire book.
The perfect tale for young readers who are fascinated by enchantment. The three young witches Veronica, Figgy, and Pru are also the best of friends, and they are on a mission to save Double-Bubble. Ideal for young readers who are ready to graduate to their very first book with chapters. Pru is black.
This lovely poetic novel, which is written in part in creole, would be an excellent supplement to a poetry study for children of any age, as it offers a fantastically broad range of perspectives. It is a celebration of the difference that playing football can make in the lives of youngsters, and it is cleverly written and presented. The author was born in Saint Lucia, which serves as the setting for the novel.
A delightful story depicting daily life in the traveller community which contains fabulous links between learning that happens at school and at home. Beautiful pictures and a story which children can’t fail to enjoy.
A traditional Romani tale which inspires hope. This is a wonderful story for showing children the power of their imagination and encouraging them to dream big dreams about their futures. It offers a fascinating insight into travelling lifestyles.
A story about a girl who follows her dream. Determined to be a musician but unable to afford an instrument, Ossiri makes her own. Encouraged by her grandparents she continues to practice, until that is her playing is discovered by an Ogre… The characters and author are Romani.
A lovely book about a grandfather’s travels with his granddaughter, in which he tries to reassure her that it’s normal to feel anxious while venturing into the unknown. A heartwarming tale that follows a group of individuals with Sri Lankan ancestry as they travel across the globe.
A story of leaving home, sadness and hope. The Journey tells the story of a mother and her two children who escape their war torn home and begin a journey to a new life. Equally appropriate for use in lower KS2.
This lovely little book, discusses ex-pat life through the eyes of a young child. Set in Nepal, it covers leaving home, moving to a new country and leaving again three years later. A good book for sharing with those beginning a new life in this country or moving elsewhere.
A book with stunning illustrations that deals with the subject of bereavement in a manner that is both realistic and sensitive. The author does a really good job in the book of detailing the grieving process. The protagonist is depicted as having white skin, but the other members of his or her family have a variety of different complexions.
This is the ideal book to read aloud to younger children who are struggling to cope with the weight of their concerns, and Elephants in the Custard is the perfect choice. This is a book that is both sensitive and humorous, and it really reflects how worries grow when you don’t talk about them. A happy ending that demonstrates how beneficial it can be to talk about one’s fears. Although the book’s protagonist is white, it also includes a member of the family who is black and a member of the family who uses a wheelchair.
A beautiful book which talks about how our thoughts can slip, slide and move away as well as how they can make us feel. Simple yet thought provoking, this colourful book features characters who are a range of different ethnicities.
A story of kindness and hope. In art class, one little girl can never draw anything – she seems to have a black cloud above her head. Until that is a friend starts to draw with her. Every week the friend draws alongside her, until the whole class are drawing together and the little girl’s black cloud disappears.
Alfred is scared of everything, especially speaking in front of his class. Until that is he starts to learn about Blue Whale. Despite wanting to run away and hide, he amazes his teacher and classmates with all the incredible things he has discovered, but most of all he realises he can also be proud of himself. The author is Norwegian.