Books have proven to be an amazing way to start a difficult conversation, solve a challenge or explain something I may not have an answer for.
I use literature to introduce topics like race, religious differences, segregation, discrimination, slavery, feminism, activism, socio-economic differences, learning differences, the environment, grief and much more.
I look forward to sharing titles that have helped prompt important dialogue in my home. To provide some context for you, I've written a brief description, included a quote that I love or addressed the topic the title helped cover in my own home.
I hope you find as much value in these as I have! Please check back. The list will grow!
By: Lesa Cline-Ransome
The story of how Frederick Douglas learned to read and ultimately, write his own ticket to freedom.
This one is a great way to talk about history, slavery, perseverance and the privilege of being afforded an education.
By: Jacqueline Woodson
"There will be times when the world feels like a place that you're standing all the way outside of..."
This book is such a beautiful acknowledgment of the fear we feel when we are different. It's also an incredible celebration of what happens when we have the courage to show the world how beautiful our differences are.
By: John Duggleby
"The paintings of Jacob Lawrence tell stories. Stories of enslavement and freedom, of human migration and renaissance, of struggle and of triumph. "
"With over twenty-five full-color reproductions, not only is this an easy to read, engaging biography, it's also an excellent starting point for discussions about American history."
By: Jacqueline Woodson
A beautiful commentary on forbidden friendship, hope and innocence, that proves sometimes the rules are meant to be broken.
By: Carole Lindstrom
"We fight for those
Who cannot fight for themselves:
The winged ones,
The crawling ones."
"The Earth. We are all related."
By: Doreen Rappaport
This is raw and honest.
It's not always easy to read but history shouldn't be. It's accurate, upsetting and inspiring.
By: Eve Bunting
These two beautiful stories have prompted conversations about compassion, understanding and empathy in my home.
(Good luck getting through them without tears!)
By: Mary Nhin
The anxious feelings that create doubt in all of us are present at every age. There's a Ninja Life Hacks book for, well, everything.
From emotions, to growth mindset, to leadership - I'm sure there is a Ninja to help your child sort out whatever he or she may be struggling with.
By: Rebecca Ventre
Some days are longer than others...
This is a sweet and honest read that helps make sense of those moments that can mess with mama's mood!
By: Julie Merberg
This adorable ABC's of all things Jewish is a favorite in our house.
It's funny, its informative and it rhymes!
By: Lois Brandt
Maddi's Fridge is a thoughtful story that covers an incredibly important topic - child hunger and food insecurity.
At a moment when so many may be struggling silently, this kindly addresses ways we can all help.
By: Whitney Roban, Ph.D.
Sometimes a little comparison is constructive!
This book shows how the different sleep patterns of twin brothers sets them each up to have very different days.
By: Peter H. Reynolds
"You don't have to be loud.
Powerful words can be a whisper.
You can say something in so many ways.
With words, with action, with creativity."
By: Shane W. Evans
It is a simple, yet impactful depiction of a family's participation in the March on Washington, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic "I have a dream" speech.
By: F.N. Monjo
A story that educates about the Underground Railroad while highlighting bravery, collaboration and the willingness to do what is right.
By: Duncan Tonatiuh
This is the story of Sylvia Mendez, an American citizen of Mexican decent who was forced to attend an inferior school because of her ethnicity.
She and her family ultimately helped end segregated schooling in California years before Brown v. Board of Education.
By: Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins
and Ann Hazzard
A powerful, poignant, thoughtful and incredibly timely book about racial injustice, police violence, bad patterns and having the courage to start better ones.
By: Ellen Levine
This is a truly remarkable story about risking everything and enduring the unthinkable to gain freedom.
If this wasn't a true story, it would absolutely be unbelievable.
By: Jacqueline Woodson
"This book is dedicated to the more than 6 million African Americans who left the unjust conditions of the South for a better life in the North from the early 1900s until the 1970s. My mother and grandmother were among them."
By: Vuanda Micheaux
"Moms says he started out with five books. Five books and a mission. She says he had something in his heart he believe in so much that he'd do just about anything to make it happen"
"Don't get took! Read a book!"
By: Sherley Anne Williams
This book is somber and sad but incredibly historically important.
"Our shame as a nation is not that so many children work the fields but that so few of them have other options..."
– Sherley Anne Williams
By: Sandra L. Pinkney
"I am Black. I am unique."
This is a favorite in my home. It very simply and beautifully celebrates the vast range of the physical manifestations of our Blackness.
It is a book every family should have, not just Black families.