Children’s Books on Race and Equity

Reading books on race and equity can both educate your child and offer opportunities for discussing how they perceive and feel about race. Books allow opportunities for your child to see themselves and develop their understanding of others. Culturally diverse books that are relevant to children’s lives can increase interest in reading, improve literacy skills, boost self-esteem, and help to develop a sense of racial and ethnic identity (American Psychological Association).

Below is a compilation of book lists suitable for young children. Note that this list is not exhaustive.

Finding Books on Race and Equity for Young Children

Tools for Reading Books on Race with Young Children

As you read books with your children, utilize this list of tips from RESilience:

Young Children

  • Read out loud and imitate separate characters to draw them into the story.
  • Focus on the positive. Stop and make comments to assess their interest before turning a page.
  • Ask questions about the characters and the story.

Elementary-Aged Children

  • Let your child set the pace while you guide and facilitate the conversation.
  • Ask questions about the characters and the story. Listen to your child and respond to their thoughts and questions.
  • Be prepared to talk about what your child sees and hears in the story.
  • Your child may become more vocal in asking questions about race, especially if they have read a book on the issue.
  • Ask your child to talk about their favorite moments in the book.
  • Help your child think critically about the book’s themes by linking them to real-world contexts.

RESilience also has a printable resource for families, “Reading and RES: Choosing and Using Books to Discuss Race and Ethnicity.

Series Navigation

The Developmentally Appropriate Parenting Series highlights several early childhood topics to support parents and caregivers who are caring for young children. Use the list below to navigate through each series topic:

Learn more about the series.

Request free printed materials from our Developmentally Appropriate Parenting Series.


Picture: A young baby looks up at the camera.
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