Parents' Guide to

Something Happened in Our Town: A Child's Story About Racial Injustice

By Carrie Kingsley, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Powerful story helps guide talk of bias, shootings.

Something Happened in Our Town: A Child's Story About Racial Injustice Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 1 parent review

age 7+

A difficult topic handled gracefully

Please ignore the one-star reviews from the angry, defensive blowhards; they're not an accurate assessment of the book, at all. We watched a Youtube video of this book, since they didn't have it at our local library and I didn't necessarily want to buy it. It's a difficult and necessary subject that kids need to know, and the book serves as a sort of parents' starting point to talking about racial injustice in America. I say "starting point" because objectively, it still has problems--namely, the language of the book simplifies systemic racism into more personal bias--it is described as a pattern of "being nice to white people and mean to Black people." Which, I mean, that simplification is necessary when writing a book directed at children, but adults should be aware of the shortcomings of this (understandable) simplification, and be ready to correct/clarify/expand.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (2 ):

The simple, direct language the authors use in the story and the appendix of resources makes this a phenomenally good resource for families to talk about racial bias. Something Happened in Our Town offers a gentle, age-appropriate account of a troubling, all-too-real situation kids may hear about in their community or on the news. Clear language about the police killing of a Black man provides the terminology, discussion questions, and children's perspective on the impact of racial bias. The clarity of ideas and the emphasis on growth and responsibility, coupled with the tools to start and continue important discussions, make this book an essential read.

Book Details

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