Books that Explore Racial Identity and Racial Equity – Ages 9-12

Talking to your younger kids about racism can be challenging. How do you put it into words so they can understand it? How can you help them develop empathy? How can you help them see the world through an equity lens? Here are some books to help get them thinking about it. 
Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes 

In the story Ghost Boys twelve-year-old Jerome is shot by a police officer who mistakes his toy gun for a real threat. As a ghost, he observes the devastation that’s been unleashed on his family and community in the wake of what they see as an unjust and brutal killing.




Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice  by Mahogany L. Browne (Author), Elizabeth Acevedo (Author), Theodore Taylor III (Illustrator)

Woke is 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. With Theodore Taylor’s bright, emotional art, and writing from Mahogany L. Browne, Elizabeth Acevedo and Olivia Gatwood, kids will be inspired to create their own art and poems to express how they see justice and injustice.




Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness by Anastasia Higginbotham (Author)

Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness is a picture book about racism and racial justice, inviting white children and parents to become curious about racism, accept that it’s real, and cultivate justice.



Look What Brown Can Do by T. Marie Harris (Author), Neda Ivanova (Illustrator)

This book is a perfect conversational tool for parents, teachers, caretakers, and anyone looking to help lovely Brown children understand the greatness that can be achieved in every shade of Brown. No matter the child’s interest’s, be it painting, dancing, science, music, writing, athletics … “Look What Brown Can Do!” captures an array of accomplishments from yesterday’s and today’s Black heroes.




Why Are They Kneeling by Lauren J Coleman (Author), Bryan Brown (Illustrator)

See what happens when Kendrick, our very first Courageous Kid, decides to ask a very important question. Kendrick thinks this Sunday will be like any other Sunday but is in for a surprise when he notices some of his favorite football players take a knee during our National Anthem. Kendrick finds the courage to ask a question and his family and friends find the courage to answer it. Kendrick learns so much and we hope you will too!