Anti Racism books
This optional resource page for parents was posted in July 2020 as a response to the events surrounding the death of George Floyd and the protests that were gripping our country. At that time, Lancaster Mennonite desired to show compassion to those who were hurting and to reflect our commitment to our faith practice statements (particularly #3, #4, and #5). We also chose to reflect the message of the greater Mennonite church, who has identified undoing racism as one of the core components of peacebuilding. 
We recognized that at that time many families were struggling with how to discuss these sensitive issues with their children. This list was intended as a varied resource for parents. We value the input that parents have in choosing resources for their own children. We believe that parents are partners in faith formation and should be empowered to have conversations with their children regarding difficult topics of faith and current events, as families represent a variety of beliefs and positions on sensitive topics. This is not a list for school use, library inclusion, nor required reading of the curriculum of LM. Rather we intended for these resources to be seen as options for parents, if they choose. 


Anti-Racism Resources for Kids and Parents:

As followers of Jesus, our school values and is committed to anti-racism. Cultivating anti-racist attitudes and practices starts at home, and we are glad to partner with you in this important work. Here are a few resources you may want to dive into this summer:


Children’s Book List from LM’s Anti-Racism Task Force:

This is a list of children’s books centered around topics of race and antiracist activism or featuring Black and Indigenous People and People of Color (BIPOC). The list was compiled with insight and recommendations from various resources including the platforms of prominent BIPOC scholars and organizations such as Teaching Tolerance, EmbraceRace, and The Conscious Kid. While exposing children to diverse literature is only one step in supporting positive racialized identity development, these books can help to build language, provide visual examples, and spark important discussions about difference and race. It is never too early to begin talking about race with children, and books can be used to both educate children about human diversity as well as build an environment in which children feel safe discussing these topics. We believe that children need to read books that provide an honest reflection of the world they live in, and that representation of diverse characters and stories in literature matters deeply and is beneficial to every child.


Elementary Anti-Racism Book List:

Books specifically about Anti-Racism, Race, and Activism:

Picture Books:

  • The Little Book of Little Activists, by Penguin Young Readers
  • One Big Heart: A Celebration of Being More Alike than Different, by Linsey Davis
  • Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice, by Cellano, Collins, and Hazzard
  • Praying with our Feet, by Lisa D. Weaver
  • A Kids Book about Racism, by Jelani Memory
  • Sulwe, by Lupita Nyong’o and Vashti Harrison
  • Separate is Never Equal, by Duncan Tonatiah
  • The Other Side, by Jaqueline Woodson
  • Show Way, by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Skin Like Mine, by LaTashia M. Perry
  • Let the Children March, by Monica Clark-Robinson
  • We’re Different, We’re the Same (Sesame Street), by Bobbi Kates
  • When We Were Alone, by David A. Robertson
  • Mixed: A Colorful Story, by Aree Chung
  • Mississippi Morning, by Ruth Vander Zee
  • All Because You Matter, by Tami Charles
  • I am Every Good Thing, by Derrick Barnes
  • Black, White, Just Right, by Marguerite W. Davol
  • The Colors of Us, by Karen Katz
  • Not My Idea: A Book about Whiteness, by Anastasia Higginbotham
  • Antiracist Baby Board Book, by Ibram X. Kendi
  • A is for Activist, by Innosanto Navarro
  • No! My First Book of Protest, by Julie Merberg

Chapter Books:

  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds
  • The Watsons go to Birmingham, by Christopher Paul Curtis

 Diverse Fiction Books to build Anti-Racist Attitudes and Intercultural Competency

  • Hair Love, by Matthew A. Cherry
  • The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats
  • Bigmama’s, by Donald Crews
  • Last Stop on Market Street, by Matt de la Peña
  • The Name Jar, by Yangsook Choi
  • Big Red Lollipop, by Rukhsana Khan
  • Mango, Abuela, and Me, by Meg Medina
  • Pecan Pie Baby, by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Carmela Full of Wishes, by Matt de la Peña
  • Thunder Boy Junior, by Sherman Alexie
  • Come On, Rain!, by Karen Hesse
  • Jabari Jumps, by Gaia Cornwall
  • Ada Twist, Scientist, by Andrea Beaty
  • I Love my Hair, by Natasha Tarpley
  • Hairs/Pellitos, by Sandra Cisneros
  • Grace for President, by Kelly Dipucchio
  • Those Shoes, by Maribeth Boelts
  • Friends from the Other Side, by Amigos del otro lado – Gloria Anzaldua
  • Upside-down Boy, by Juan Felipe Herrera
  • In My Family/En mi familia, by Carmen Lomas Garza
  • Grandfather’s Journey, by Allen Say
  • The Little Gardener, by Emily Hughes
  • Chrysanthemum, by Kevin Henkes (also in Spanish – Crisanthemo)
  • All Families are Special, by Norma Simon
  • Everybody Cooks Rice, by Norah Dooley
  • Welcome, Precious, by Nikki Grimes
  • Under My Hijab, by Hena Khan
  • Crown, an Ode the the Fresh Cut, by Derrick Barnes
  • We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, by Traci Sorell
  • The King of Kindergarten, by Derrick Barnes
  • Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story, by Kevin Noble Maillard
  • The Day You Begin, by Jaqueline Woodson

Chapter Books:

  • My Name is Maria Isabel, by Alma Flor Ada
  • Donavan’s Word Jar, by Monalisa Degross
  • Clayton Byrd Goes Underground, by Rita Williams-Garcia
  • Ghost, by Jason Reynolds
  • The Stars Beneath Our Feet, by David Barclay Moore
  • The Birchbark House, by Louise Eldrich
  • The Crossover, by Kwame Alexander
  • American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang
  • The Thing About Luck, by Cynthia Kadohata
  • Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson

Diverse Nonfiction Books to build Anti-Racist Attitudes and Intercultural Competency Biographical:

  • Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History, by Vashti Harrison
  • Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History, by Vashti Harrison
  • Be Bold! Be Brave! 11 Latinas who made U.S. History, by Naibe Reynoso
  • She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World, by Chelsea Clinton
  • She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History, by Chelsea Clinton
  • Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams, by Ashley Bryan
  • Let it Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters, by Andrea Davis Pinkney
  • Sit In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down, by Andrea Davis Pinkney
  • The Youngest Marcher, by Cynthia Levinson
  • The Story of Ruby Bridges, by Robert Coles
  • Mae Among the Stars, by Roda Ahmed
  • Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race, by Margot Lee Shetterly and Winifred Conkling
  • This is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration, by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Wangari’s Trees of Peace, by Jeanette Winter
  • Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, by Laurie Ann Thompson
  • Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music, by Margarita Engle
  • One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia, by Miranda Paul
  • Iqbal and His Ingenious Idea: How a Science Project Helps One Family and the Planet, by Liz Suneby
  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, by Bryan Mealer and William Kamkwamba
  • The Undefeated, by Kwame Alexander
  • Martin’s Big Words, by Doreen Rappaport
  • Henry’s Freedom Box, by Ellen Levine, Illustrated by Khadir Nelson
  • Coretta Scott, by Ntozake Shange
  • Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood, by Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell
  • Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré, by Anika A. Denise
  • Sisters and Champions: The True Story of Venus and Serena Williams, by Howard Bryant Bible, Poetry, and Other:
  • Shine On: A Story Bible, by MennoMedia
  • He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands, by Kadir Nelson
  • Hip Hop Speaks to Children, by Nikki Giovanni
  • Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message, by Chief Jake Swam
  • I am Enough, by Grace Byers
  • It’s Okay to be Different, by Todd Parr
  • Say Something, by Peter H. Reynold

Resources for building an anti-racist library: