Children's Reading List
Children's Books That Celebrate Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Children's books are a beautiful way for everyone, young and old, to connect. They entertain of course, but also teach us new things, foster reflection, celebrate our differences, and we hope, inspire change.
On social media, HTEI will often publish children's literature reading lists to compliment heritage months, holidays, and events throughout the year. You can also find these lists right here. Each cover image below is linked directly to CamCat, the Camden County Library System's online catalog.
Check back often for updates, feel free to send us suggestions, and be sure to support your local public libraries and independent book stores. Happy reading!
National Native American Heritage Month, November 1-30
Fry Bread, A Native American Family Story
Written by Kevin Noble Maillard, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
My Heart Fills With Happiness
Written by Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Julie Flett
This beautiful, heartwarming board book is dedicated to "former Indian Residential School Students and their Families." In each sunny page, children share things that make their heart happy--holding a loved-one's hand, the grass on bare feet, singing and dancing. It's impossible to read this one without smiling and feeling happy yourself, and the preschool set will no doubt want to share all the things that make their hearts happy, too.
We Are Still Here: Native American Truths Everyone Should Know
Written by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Frané Lessac
Notable Native People: 50 Indigenous Leaders, Dreamers, and Changemakers from Past to Present
By Adrienne Keene
Collective biographies, like the Little Legends series or Rad American Women A to Z, make great read alouds, and this one is no exception! Notable Native People celebrates the contributions and stories of 50 Native Americans artists, athletes, scientists, and activists. Kids can learn about changemakers from the past, like Wilma Mankiller, and present, like NBA Star Kyrie Irving.
LGBTQIA+ History Month, October 1 to October 31
Rainbow: A First Book of Pride
By Michael Genhart, illustrated by Anne Passchier
Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag
By Rob Sanders, illustrated by Steven Salerno
Young readers will learn about this history of the rainbow flag and activist and leader Harvey Milk in this moving, inspirational nonfiction picture book.
Stonewall: A Building, An Uprising, A Revolution
By Rob Sanders, illustrated by Jamey Christoph
Queer Heroes: Meet 53 LGBTQ Heroes From Past and Present
By Arabelle Sicardi, illustrated by Sarah Tanat-Jones
This collective biography is sure to inspire, with illustrated entries on 53 heroes from LGBTQ history, from ancient times to present day, including artists, musicians, athletes, writers, activists, and change makers.
Indigenous People's Day: October 11, 2021
We Are Water Protectors
By Carole Lindstrom, illustrated by Michaela Goade
We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga
By Traci Sorrell, illustrated by Frané Lessac
Another award winning book, one that School Library Journal calls "an informative and authentic introduction to a thriving ancestral and ceremonial way of life." We Are Grateful is a beautiful look at contemporary Cherokee culture and celebrations, with an emphasis on gratitude--for one another, for all living things, and for the world around us. Sorrell is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and lives in Northeastern Oklahoma, where her tribe is located.
National Hispanic American Heritage Month, September 15 to October 15
Written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales
Alma and How She Got Her Name
Written and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
When little Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela tells her Daddy that she has too many names, he explains the beautiful story behind each one, connecting her to her ancestors and helping her see just how special her name really is. Martinez-Neal, a Peruvian American author and illustrator, tells the story of her own name, too, in the back of this lovely book, which also won the Caldecott Honor in 2019.