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Build a More Diverse Home-library for Your Kids

Amber Brandt  |  January 23, 2023
Everyone knows that reading is “good” for children, but you may not know that reading books together:
  • Creates strong parent-child bonds
  • Promotes healthy brain development
  • Boosts cognition, listening, and language skills
  • Improves memory, focus, sleep, and communication
  • Builds a lifelong love of reading
Not only do kids grow from reading books on topics they’re naturally interested in or by seeing their culture and story reflected to them, but they can also gain a robust capacity for empathy by reading about the stories and experiences of others (who may be different than them). That’s why it’s important to stock their shelves with titles from authors of all different nationalities, skin colors, and voices. Here is a collection of children’s’ books with diverse main characters:
At the Mountain’s Base A family waits for a loved one to return home and celebrates the bonds of a Cherokee family.
Ages 4-8

Grace for President When Grace learns the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides she’ll be the first. Recommended for grades 6-9
Mango, Abuela, and Me A sweet story of one family learning to communicate across languages and generations. Ages 6-8
Alvin Ho Perfect for Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans, this first book in a series features Asian American second grader Alvin, as he tackles anxiety in a fun, kid-friendly way. Ages 7-9
Dragons in a Bag This first in a series (and many award-winning) fantasy book puts a young black boy squarely into a magical world only he can save. Ages 8-12
Return to Sender An award-winning and timely story about the families of undocumented workers, and how one boy reconciles his values with an unexpected friendship. Ages 9-12
Stand Up, Yumi Chung! An inspiring funny story about how one lie can snow ball into a full-blown double life. Ages 9-12
Clean Getaway An unexpected trip with his grandmother takes an 11-year old boy on a journey through segregation in the deep south and helps him realize it hasn’t always been a welcoming place for boys like him. Ages 9-12
Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish When eight grader Marcus is facing suspension, his mom hopes for a family intervention and takes him on a trip to Puerto Rico – and a search for his father. Ages 10-13
Who Put This Song On? A YA novel that features one teenage girl brave enough to face her depression and live life on her own terms. Ages 15+
New Kid A timely graphic novel about starting over at a new school where diversity is low and the struggle to fit in is real. Ages 14+
Inside Out and Back Again Inspired by the author’s childhood experience as a Vietnamese refugee immigrated to Alabama, this YA novel is a touching look at family and immigration. Ages 14+