Read Woke @ Goodnow

Children’s Book Recommendations:

Social Injustice and Racism


Count Me In by Varsha Bajaj – “Told from two viewpoints, sixth-graders Karina and Chris use social media to stand up to racism in Houston, Texas, after an attack puts Karina’s Indian American grandfather in the hospital.”

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes – “After seventh-grader Jerome is shot by a white police officer, he observes the aftermath of his death and meets the ghosts of other fallen black boys including historical figure Emmett Till.”

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Biography) by Malala Yousafzai – “This book outlines Malala’s experiences as an advocate for education in Pakistan.”

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine – “In 1958 Little Rock, Arkansas, painfully shy twelve-year-old Marlee sees her city and family divided over school integration, but her friendship with Liz, a new student, helps her find her voice and fight against racism.”

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Biography) by Irin Carmon (with Kathleen Krull) – “Presents an illustrated biography of the feminist icon and legal pioneer who has changed the world, especially in the realms of gender equality and civil rights.”

Port Chicago 50 (Non-Fiction) by Steve Sheinkin – “Presents an account of the 1944 civil rights protest involving hundreds of African-American Navy servicemen who were unjustly charged with mutiny for refusing to work in unsafe conditions after the deadly Port Chicago explosion.”

The Power Book: Who Has It and Why? (Non-Fiction) by Claire Saunders – “Takes a look at different types of power, what it means to have power, and what you can do with your own power to create positive change in the world, no matter who or how old you are.”

Rise Up: Ordinary Kids with Extraordinary Stories (Non-Fiction) by Amanda Li – “Here are 29 tales of amazing young girls and boys who have achieved the unimaginable – from surviving a plane crash in the jungle to inventing creative ways to rid our oceans of plastic.”

Rise Up! the Art of Protest (Non-Fiction) by Jo Rippon – RISE UP! encourages young people to engage in peaceful protest and stand up for freedom. “

The Talk: Conversations about Race, Love & Truth (Non-Fiction) by Wade Hudson – “Thirty diverse and award-winning authors and illustrators capture frank discussions about racism, identity, and self-esteem.”

This Book is Anti-Racist (Non-Fiction) by Tiffany Jewell – “Learn about social identities, the history of racism and resistance against it, and how you can use your anti-racist lens and voice to move the world toward equity and liberation.”

This Promise of Change: One Girl’s Story in the Fight for School Equality (Biography) by Jo Ann Allen Boyce – “In 1956, one year before federal troops escorted the Little Rock 9 into Central High School, fourteen year old Jo Ann Allen was one of twelve African-American students who broke the color barrier and integrated Clinton High School in Tennessee.”

The Usual Suspects by Maurice Broaddus – “When a gun is found at a neighborhood hangout, Thelonius and his pals become instant suspects. Thelonius may be guilty of pulling crazy stunts at school, but a criminal? T isn’t about to let that label stick.”

We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices (Non-Fiction) by Wade Hudson – “What do we tell our children when the world seems bleak, and prejudice and racism run rampant? With 96 lavishly designed pages of original art, poetry, and prose, fifty diverse creators lend voice and comfort to young activists.”

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate – “A red oak tree and a crow help their human neighbors work out their differences.”

Woke: a Young Poet’s Call to Justice (Non-Fiction/Poetry) by Mahogany L. Browne – A collection of poems by women that reflects the joy and passion in the fight for social justice, tackling topics from discrimination to empathy, and acceptance to speaking out.”

Picture Books

A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara – “ABC book is written and illustrated to enable kids to grow up in a space that is unapologetic about activism, environmental justice, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and everything else that activists believe in and fight for.”

Antiracist Baby by Ibram Kendi – “Illustrations and rhyming text present nine steps Antiracist Baby can take to improve equity, such as opening our eyes to all skin colors and celebrating all our differences.”

Child of the Civil Rights Movement (Non-Fiction) by Paula Young Shelton – “Paula Young Shelton shares her memories of the civil rights movement and her involvement in the historic march from Selma to Montgomery.”

Enough! 20 Protesters Who Changed America (Non-Fiction) by Emily Easton – “From Samuel Adams to the students from Parkland, march through history with the heroic revolutionary protesters who changed America.” 

Free as a Bird: The Story of Malala (Biography) by Lina Maslo – “Simple text introduces the inspiring true story of Malala Yousafzai, human rights activist and the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.” 

Hands Up! by Breanna J. McDaniel – “A young girl lifts her hands up in a series of everyday moments before finally raising her hands in resistance at a protest march.”

Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson – “Under the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, children and teenagers march against segregation in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963.”

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Biography) by Doreen Rappaport –  “Rappaport weaves her simple and graceful text and the words of Martin Luther King Jr. into a captivating narrative, telling the story of Dr. King’s life in a way that is entirely accessible for young readers.”

No Voice Too Small: Fourteen Young Americans Making History (Non-Fiction) – “Joseph Bruchac, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, and others present poems about young activists who have stepped up to make changes in their community and in the United States.”

A Ride to Remember: a Civil Rights Story (Non-Fiction) by Sharon Langley and Amy Nathan – “When Sharon Langley was born, amusement parks were segregated, and African American families were not allowed in. This picture book tells how a community came together–both black and white–to make a change.”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Case of R.B.G. vs. Inequality (Biography) by Jonah Winter – “To become the first female Jewish Supreme Court Justice, the unsinkable Ruth Bader Ginsburg had to overcome countless injustices. Structured as a court case in which the reader is presented with evidence of the injustice that Ginsburg faced.”

Skin Again by Bell Hooks and Chris Raschka – “The skin I’m in is just a covering. If you want to know who I am, you have got to come inside and open your heart way wide. Celebrating all that makes us unique and different, Skin Again offers new ways to talk about race and identity.” 

The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler – “Vivid illustrations of children’s activities for all cultures, such as swimming in the ocean, hugging, catching butterflies, and eating birthday cake are combined with themes of friendship, acceptance, self-esteem, and diversity.”

Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice (Non-Fiction) by Marianne Celano – “After discussing the police shooting of a local Black man with their families, Emma and Josh know how to treat a new student who looks and speaks differently than his classmates.” 

The Story of Ruby Bridges (Non-Fiction) by Robert Coles – “For months six-year-old Ruby Bridges must confront the hostility of white parents when she becomes the first African American girl to integrate Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans in 1960.”

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement (Biography) by Carole Boston Weatherford – “Presents a collage-illustrated treasury of poems and spirituals inspired by the life and work of civil rights advocate Fannie Lou Hamer.”

We Are All Born Free: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Pictures (Non-Fiction) by Amnesty International – “This beautiful collection, celebrates each declaration with an illustration by an internationally-renowned artist or illustrator and is the perfect gift for children and adults alike.”

Woke Baby by Mahogany L. Browne – “Woke babies grow up to change the world. This lyrical and empowering book is a celebration of what it means to be a baby and what it means to be woke.”

You Are My Friend: The Story of Mister Rogers and His Neighborhood (Biography) by Aimee Reid – “Mister Rogers is one of the most beloved television personalities ever, but before he was the man who brought us “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”, he was just little Freddie Rogers. His parents and grandparents encouraged Fred to ask for help and explore his world. When Fred grew up he became a champion of compassion, equality, and kindness, and he realized that he could spread his message through television.”