Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How Diverse is Your Library? Books Featuring African-American Children

In last week's post someone asked if I had a list of favorite books featuring African American characters. Many of the books that I like best are those that cover every day occurrences but the characters just happen to be of a different cultural or racial background. In my opinion, these are the type of books that unite us. If you are looking to add some African American books to your library, here are some of my favorites (There are so many and I'm sure that I'm missing a few so feel free to comment and tell me your favorites too!):

Infants and Toddlers
 Baby Dance (Harper Growing Tree)Please, Baby, PleasePeekaboo Morning

Whose Toes are Those?Whose Knees are These?Pretty Brown Face

Lola at the LibraryLola Loves StoriesPlease, Puppy, Please

 Amazing Grace (Reading Rainbow Books)Boundless Grace (Picture Puffins)Princess Grace

I Love My Hair!Bright Eyes, Brown Skin (A Feeling Good Book) (A Feeling Good Book)Dancing in the Wings

Peter's Chair (Picture Puffins)The Snowy DayA Letter to Amy (Picture Puffins)

 The Colors of UsThe Skin You Live InWhoever You Are (Reading Rainbow Books)

Feast for 10 (Read Along Book & CD)The Princess and the PeaBen's Trumpet

I haven't read many books for the older groups but many people enjoy:
Sugar Plum Ballerinas #1: Plum FantasticAll Mixed Up! (Amy Hodgepodge, No. 1)


  1. Perfect! Just what I was looking for. Thank you for putting this together so quickly.


  2. Tonya,
    Thank you for this post. I like to think I have worked hard to make my classroom library diverse. I want students to be able to see themselves in the characters that rest upon our shelves. It isn't always easy either as multicultural books are not always readily available. It is not just African-American books that can be a challenge, but finding Asian, Middle-Eastern, and Hispanic (among others) characters is often problematic.

    This week I checked out the book "Yesterday I Had the Blues" by Jeron Frame from our local library. I had it sitting on a table in our classroom as I was planning to read it soon. One of my students came in from lunch and studied the cover for quite some time. I saw him look at it. Touch the book. Consider the book for quite some time. I think he saw himself in the book, and I worry he doesn't see himself enough in children's literature. Thanks for a post that helps me to continue to add to my collection -- and reminds me how important my choices are for the students in my classroom.


  3. I teach 5th grade and read many of the preschoolers picture books to my class. Many of those books have amazing lessons as well as great mentor text for parts of a story. Thanks for sharing this list.

  4. I have three of these books. Thanks for sharing these.
    I gave you the Stylish Blogger Award. Here's a link to my post. http://beginningreadinghelp.blogspot.com/2011/02/stylish-blogger-award.html

  5. Yes i like it, pls visit my blog and share with me, thanks



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