21 Books to Help Parents Discuss Race and Current Events with Their Children

June 2, 2020

Books help children find meaning in what is happening around them, reflect on their feelings, and learn and grow. Dr. Cynthia A. Tyson is a Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at The Ohio State University and an expert in teaching about social justice, multiculturalism, and race. Dr. Tyson’s research analyzes how children organize their world through story and how literature can be an important conduit for constructively engaging with children on important topics. For parents and caregivers looking for support during this time in discussing race and current events with their children, Dr. Tyson has curated the following list of books for 5 to 10 years olds. We hope you find these stories helpful.

We recommend you preview the books and make selections based on what you are comfortable with, as no one knows your child better than you. Also, we recognize that books cost money, therefore want to make you aware that you can access some of the books on this list for free within our ReadingIQ product. Simply go to and enter the code LOVEBOOKS.


Birmingham, 1963 by Carole Boston Weatherford | Available on …


The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael López


It’s Ok to Be Different by Todd Parr


A Kids Book About Racism by Jelani Memory


Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson, illustrated by Frank Morrison


Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Kadir Nelson


My Hair Is a Garden by Cozbi A. Cabrera | Available on …


The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis


Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis by Jabari Asim, illustrated by E.B. Lewis


Rosa by Nikki Giovanni, illustrated by Bryan Collier


Say Something by Peter H. Reynolds


Sing a Song: How Lift Every Voice and Sing Inspired Generations by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Keith Mallett


Something Happened in Our Town by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin


Struttin’ with Some Barbecue by Patricia Hruby Powell, illustrated by Rachel Himes | Available on …


That’s Not Fair! Emma Tenayuca’s Struggle for Justice by Carmen Tafolla and Sharyll Tenayuca, illustrated by Terry Ybáñez


Touch the Sky: Alice Coachman, Olympic High Jumper by Ann Malaspina, illustrated by Eric Velasquez | Available on …


The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson | Available on …


Viola Desmund Won’t Be Budged! by Jody Nyasha Warner, illustrated by Richard Rudnicki


Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Ekua Holmes


White Socks Only by Evelyn Coleman, illustrated by Tyrone Geter | Available on …

The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton