Books About Racism and Social Justice

When your kids see demonstrations in the street or on the news as a response to racially charged incidents, you can help them understand what's going on by giving them some historical context. Sometimes such actions reflect a healthy democracy. Sometimes they lead to changing laws. Some movements are peaceful, others turn violent. These books tell stories of people's experiences of racism and of those who put their bodies on the line for the cause of equality under the law and social justice. For more great reads for kids and teens, check out our Civil Rights Books and Coretta Scott King Book Award Winners.

Antiracist Baby Poster Image
BOOK

Antiracist Baby

age 2+

Meaningful how-to for raising equity-conscious kids.

By: Ibram X. Kendi (2020)
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The Day You Begin Poster Image
BOOK

The Day You Begin

age 4+

Encouraging advice for kids who feel excluded or less than.

By: Jacqueline Woodson (2018)
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Don't Touch My Hair! Poster Image
BOOK

Don't Touch My Hair!

age 4+

Girl speaks up, sets boundaries in funny picture book.

By: Sharee Miller (2019)
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Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race Poster Image
BOOK

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race

age 4+

Picture book intro to important, inspirational story.

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Jazz Age Josephine Poster Image
BOOK

Jazz Age Josephine

age 4+

Jazzy bio of Josephine Baker inspiring, bittersweet.

By: Jonah Winter (2012)
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Rosa Poster Image
BOOK

Rosa

age 4+

Spectacular illustrations spotlight Parks' historic protest.

By: Nikki Giovanni (2006)
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Something Happened in Our Town: A Child's Story About Racial Injustice Poster Image
BOOK

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

age 4+

Powerful story helps guide talk of bias, shootings.

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Goodnight Racism
BOOK

Goodnight Racism

age 5+

Beautiful bedtime book dreams of a world that's safe, fair.

By: Ibram X. Kendi (2022)
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Saving American Beach Poster Image
BOOK

Saving American Beach

age 5+

Impressive true tale of woman who protected inclusive beach.

By: Heidi Tyline King (2021)
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Why?: A Conversation About Race Poster Image
BOOK

Why?: A Conversation About Race

age 5+

Bold picture book sparks timely conversations on injustice.

By: Taye Diggs (2022)
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Your Legacy: A Bold Reclaiming of Our Enslaved History Poster Image
BOOK

Your Legacy: A Bold Reclaiming of Our Enslaved History

age 5+

Vibrant celebration of heroes in African American history.

By: Schele Williams (2021)
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All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom Poster Image
BOOK

All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom

age 6+

Poignant imagining of enslaved people learning of freedom.

By: Angela Johnson (2014)
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The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial Poster Image
BOOK

The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial

age 6+

Inspiring, educational story of 1800s civil rights heroes.

By: Susan E. Goodman (2016)
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Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan Poster Image
BOOK

Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan

age 6+

Document inspires vivid, moving portraits of enslaved lives.

By: Ashley Bryan (2016)
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Let the Children March Poster Image
BOOK

Let the Children March

age 6+

Powerful art amplifies inspiring civil rights protest tale.

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Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X Poster Image
BOOK

Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X

age 6+

Malcolm X's daughter portrays his childhood in earnest bio.

By: Ilyasah Shabazz (2014)
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Nelson Mandela Poster Image
BOOK

Nelson Mandela

age 6+

Stellar art portrays key aspects of Mandela's life for kids.

By: Kadir Nelson (2013)
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The Undefeated Poster Image
BOOK

The Undefeated

age 6+

Poetic tribute to African American heroes and struggles.

By: Kwame Alexander (2019)
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The Youngest Marcher: The True Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Right Activist Poster Image
BOOK

The Youngest Marcher: The True Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Right Activist

age 6+

Charming, inspiring tale of 9-year-old protester.

By: Cynthia Levinson (2017)
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The History of Juneteenth: A History Book for New Readers Cover
BOOK

The History of Juneteenth: A History Book for New Readers

age 7+

Powerful account of the holiday's roots and celebrations.

By: Arlisha Norwood (2022)
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