Books with Characters of Color

While people of color are still underrepresented in books for kids and teens, we've found lots of great reads with diverse main and supporting characters in all sorts of genres, including mystery, fantasy, romance, adventure, sci-fi, graphic novels, historical fiction, novels in verse -- you name it! In fact, we've gathered well over 100 books to recommend for readers of all ages. These fantastic books promote diversity and inclusion and teach readers about different cultures. And on top of that, they offer tons of positive roles models, especially for kids of color. For more great reads, check out our Books About Racism and Social Justice and Latino Books.

Bright Brown Baby Poster Image
BOOK

Bright Brown Baby

age 2+

Fun, bright celebration of Brown babies and their beauty.

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BOOK

Corduroy

age 2+

Sweet, heartwarming picture-book classic.

By: Don Freeman (1968)
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BOOK

The Snowy Day

age 2+

Classic captures a kid's delight in freshly fallen snow.

By: Ezra Jack Keats (1962)
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Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music Poster Image
BOOK

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music

age 3+

Gorgeous, magical story of a girl with music in her heart.

By: Margarita Engle (2015)
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BOOK

Last Stop on Market Street

age 3+

Tender story of Nana showing grandson city beauty via bus.

By: Matt de la Peña (2015)
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BOOK

We Are Water Protectors

age 3+

Powerful words, vibrant images inspire care for the earth.

By: Carole Lindstrom (2020)
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BOOK

When's My Birthday?

age 3+

Jubilant book conveys giddy anticipation of a birthday.

By: Julie Fogliano (2017)
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BOOK

Whistle for Willie

age 3+

In charming classic, a boy learns to whistle for his pup.

By: Ezra Jack Keats (1964)
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BOOK

The Airport Book

age 4+

Fun account of family's travel day tells all about airports.

By: Lisa Brown (2016)
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BOOK

Ambitious Girl

age 4+

Motivating words and pictures reinforce drive, big goals.

By: Meena Harris (2021)
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BOOK

Beautifully Me

age 4+

Family remembers what beauty really is in kind, joyful tale.

By: Nabela Noor (2021)
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BOOK

Eyes That Kiss in the Corners

age 4+

Lovely picture book celebrates family identity, heritage.

By: Joanna Ho (2021)
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Hello, Star Poster Image
BOOK

Hello, Star

age 4+

Beautifully illustrated, empathetic story about space.

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I Am Enough Poster Image
BOOK

I Am Enough

age 4+

Girl celebrates herself in poetic picture book.

By: Grace Byers (2019)
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BOOK

In Plain Sight

age 4+

Playful, loving relationship shines in sweet grandpa tale.

By: Richard Jackson (2017)
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BOOK

Kamala and Maya's Big Idea

age 4+

Sisters organize to build a playground in charming tale.

By: Meena Harris (2020)
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The Little Mermaid Poster Image
BOOK

The Little Mermaid

age 4+

Fresh fairy tale twist focuses on friendship, not romance.

By: Jerry Pinkney (2020)
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BOOK

The Me I Choose To Be

age 4+

Empowering celebration of kids and their potential.

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BOOK

Millions of Maxes

age 4+

Funny, uplifting picture book about what makes us unique.

By: Meg Wolitzer (2022)
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Mixed Me! Poster Image
BOOK

Mixed Me!

age 4+

Boy embraces his uniqueness in exuberant identity tale.

By: Taye Diggs (2015)
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