• Diverse Young Adult Novels

    Check out these new young adult novels perfect for any high school library. These books are perfect for any high school novel study.

    Check out these new young adult novels perfect for any high school library. These books are perfect for any high school novel study.

    I wish these young adult novels were available when I was a teen. Honestly, there are so many diverse YA novels available now, I’m extremely jealous. While there is still room for improvement, finding diverse characters in young adult novels isn’t as hard as it was 20 years ago.

    Here are a few books I’m loving on! Check out the audiobook versions too, they are equally amazing. 

    I will update this list as I find more books! Follow me on Instagram to get updates and ideas for other picture books! If there’s a book you think I should add, comment below!

    Just a friendly reminder, I am an Amazon Affiliate, so if you decided to use the links below to purchase the books, I do get a commission. The price of the books does not change for you. ❤️

    Legendborn

    Just months prior, Bree’s mother dies. She jumps at an opportunity to attend the University of North Carolina-Capel Hill’s summer program for high schoolers. But instantly, it isn’t what she thought it would be. Magic is the last thing Bree expects to encounter.

    Bree finds herself in the middle of a secret society of demon hunters. Yup, demon hunters.

    Legenborn is set to be a series, and I definitely see why. It is a page-turner full of action and teenage drama!

    Felix Ever After

    Kids these days are so lucky to see so many diverse characters in their books. I know there’s still room to grow, but I’m so jealous of all the options they have!⁣⁣
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    When I was a teen, I gave up on YA novels because of the lack of diversity and jumped straight into adult novels.⁣⁣
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    Felix Ever After is about a transgender teen questioning his identity and dealing with being harassed online.⁣⁣
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    This book made me so happy that social media was not a thing when I was in high school. Whew…the drama!⁣⁣

    SLAY

    Slay is a YA novel about a Black game developer (Kiera) who wants to create a safe space for Black gamers from around the world. So she develops a virtual reality game called SLAY.

    Kiera is a senior in high school who is struggling to manage her duties as a developer, her complicated relationship with her boyfriend Malcolm, and the big decision of college.⁣

    Yall know I love it when I can make connections to a book, and I made so many in just the first few chapters.⁣

    Just like Kiera, I got accepted to the HBCU Spelman. I decided not to attend because of financial reasons. But, this book brought back memories I haven’t thought about in years. And a lot of what-ifs and wondering.⁣

    This book took me back…but in a good way.

    Parachutes

    Have you heard of a parachute? Parachutes are Asian teenagers who are sent to live in homes in the U.S. while their parents (wealthy, of course) stay in Asia. Claire Wang’s parents decide to pull her out of her school in Shanghai and ship her off to California.

    Dani De La Cruz and her mother are Claire’s Californian host family. Dani and Claire’s differences make it hard to live with each other under the same roof. Until forced, they struggle to find common ground.

    Monday’s Not Coming

    Claudia has been gone all summer. On her first day of school, she expects to see her best friend Monday. When she arrives at school, Monday is a no-show, and nobody but Claudia seems to notice. Claudia instantly knows something is wrong begins looking into her disappearance immediately. And she doesn’t stop until she finds Monday.

    With Fire on High

    I checked the book out at least three times but never had time to read it.⁣

    Omg! Once I started it, I couldn’t put it down.⁣

    Emoni is a teen mom who got pregnant her freshman year of high school. But, this doesn’t stop her from continuing school or finding her passion, cooking. Her talents in the kitchen provide her with an opportunity to go on a culinary trip to Spain.

    With Fire on High made me smile, cry, and laugh!

    It had it all!⁣

    A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

    If you’re looking for a murder mystery, then this is the book for you.

    Everyone thinks that high school senior Andie Bell was killed by her boyfriend, Sal. But Pip, a student from the same high school, doesn’t believe that’s true. So, for a school project, she decides to dig up the truth.

    I couldn’t put this book down! And, there’s a sequel, Good Girl, Bad Blood, that I can’t wait to read! Do yourself a favor and grab the audiobook; the narrators are so good!

    Dear Haiti, Love Alaine

    Alaine is a Haitian American from Miami. When she gets suspended from school, her parents ship her off to her family in Haiti.

    As part of her suspension, Alaine has to work at her aunt’s nonprofit to complete a school project,

    While in Haiti, Alaine learns a lot about herself and family secrets that were never meant to be uncovered.

    Alaine quickly learns that her time in Haiti will not be a vacation.

    The Black Kids

    I judge books by their covers.⁣⁣
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    And The Black Kids didn’t disappoint.⁣⁣
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    When The Black Kids begins, we are taken back to 1992 in LA. Tensions are high after the murder of Latasha Harlins and the beating of Rodney King.⁣⁣
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    Ashley Bennett is in the middle of two worlds, never fully belonging to either side. ⁣⁣
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    This book weaves history into the imperfect life of Ashley. Who sometimes is hard to like. But all teenagers are hard to like sometimes🤣. And really, she is just a kid trying to figure it all out. ⁣⁣
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    Some of the decisions she makes get herself and others in trouble.⁣⁣
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    I found myself saying girllll,a few times while reading. Ashley raised my pressure just a bit.🤦🏾‍♀️ ⁣⁣
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    I loved the big and tiny references. Flo-Jo and her nails were my favorite. ⁣⁣
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    The best part about references is that they pull you deeper into books.⁣⁣

    The author, Christina Hammons Reed, surely had no idea how 2020ish this book would be. ⁣⁣
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    Sadly, The Black Kids could be the same story if it took place in 2020.⁣⁣
    Just replace Latasha Harlins with Breonna Taylor and Rodney King with George Floyd.⁣⁣

    Add these young adult novels to your to-read list!  I’m reliving my teenage years through these amazing YA novels that take me back to those crazy teenage years. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

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  • Picture Books with Diverse Characters

    Check out these picture books with diverse characters! This booklist will help you add some diversity to your classroom or home library.

    Check out these picture books with diverse characters! This booklist will help you add some diversity to your classroom or home library.

     

    Diversity matters! It is important that kids not only see themselves in books but that they see others. This booklist will help add diversity to your classroom or home library.

    I will update this list as I find more books! Follow me on Instagram to get updates and ideas for other picture books! If there’s a book you think I should add, comment below!

    Just a friendly reminder, I am an Amazon Affiliate, so if you decided to use the links below to purchase the books, I do get a commission. The price of the books does not change for you. ❤️

    This is My Room! (No Tigers Allowed)

    Do you love books with unexpected endings?⁣

    I do!⁣

    I know I say this ALL the time, but this book is super cute!⁣

    I’m definitely adding it to my books as gifts list.⁣

    Jojo decides this is the night she is sleeping on her own.⁣

    But, she gets some unexpected guests that make it really hard for her to stay out of her big sister’s room!⁣

    We used this book to work on making predictions and my students had so much fun. They were shocked at the ending…literally, their mouths were open!😲⁣

    Federico and the Wolf

    I don’t know why I love different variations of Little Red Riding Hood, but I do!⁣⁣
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    Federico has to go visit his Abuelo but his grandfather looks a little strange. 

    If you have non Spanish speakers in your class, this is an excellent book to use to teach context clues. Spanish words are sprinkled throughout the book and there are great context clues to help readers figure out what those words mean.⁣⁣

    ⁣Help Wanted, Must Love Books

    Shailey loves bedtime stories with her dad. ⁣

    When her dad gets a new job and no longer has time for her, she FIRES him!🤣⁣

    And then she puts up a Help Wanted sign.🤣⁣

    She begins interviewing our favorite storybook characters to fill the position, but it doesn’t work out so well!⁣

    My students were yelling and jumping in their seats when they saw a character they knew.⁣

    They also started rolling their eyes at Shailey’s pickiness.⁣

    They loved this book! ⁣

    Of course, the book ended happily ever after!⁣

    My Rainy Day Rocket Ship

    What do you like to do on a rainy day?⁣

    That’s what I asked my students after we read this book. ⁣

    This week we are focusing on making connections and this was an excellent book to make students make text to self connections!⁣

    It was a great way to get to know my students more too!⁣

    My Rainy Day Rocket Ship is about a little boy who uses his imagination to have a blast on a rainy day!⁣

    This book reminded me of playing indoors with my brothers on rainy days. We had a gigantic playroom that we would destroy!🤣⁣

    Stella’s Stellar Hair

    When I saw the cover I immediately knew that the illustrator was the same illustrator from Honeysmoke…so I was already sold.⁣

    And I’m glad I picked it up!⁣

    Stella doesn’t know what to do with her hair!⁣

    So, Stella hops on her hoverboard to get help from her Aunties…who live on different planets in the solar system. 🌌⁣

    My favorite part of the book is the back, where we get facts about the planets and what hairstyles would be best for each planet. ⁣

    So cute!⁣

    The Paper Kingdom

    Daniel’s parents have a night job. When they are unable to find a babysitter, he has to go with them. Using his imagination, he’s able to turn a boring office into his very own kingdom.

    Saturday

    Ava is super excited that it’s Saturday because she gets to spend time with her mom. Her mom works Sunday through Friday, and this is the only day of the week they can be together. Everything starts great and then BOOM, there’s one bump after another in their plans. I mean, their day was jacked y’all.⁣⁣
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    But, Ava realizes that the most important thing was that they got to spend time together. They recognize that although the day was not what they wanted, it was still a good day. ⁣⁣
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    The Boy From the Dragon Palace

    The Boy From the Dragon Palace is a Japanese folktale and it’s really good!

    One day a flower seller receives a gift from the Dragon King, it’s a snot-nosed boy. 😂⁣

    The snot-nosed 🤧 boy brings the man everything he needs and wants until he crosses the line!⁣

    After I read this book with my students we talked about needs vs. wants. I read it around Christmas and a lot of my students talked about making their lists just a little bit shorter lol.

    Lucia the Luchadora

    When Lucia is told that girls can’t be a luchador (wrestler), she proves that girls are not just made of sugar and spice.⁣⁣⁣
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    This book is full of figurative language and gives plenty of opportunities to teach context clues. ⁣⁣⁣

    If you like this collection of books, check out my Ultimate List of Diverse Picture books! You’ll never run out of books to read!

    Are you looking for diverse picture books to add to your classroom or home library? Do you want to add diverse picture books to your collection, but you don’t have time to search for them? Are you a teacher that wants to use more diverse texts but are unsure how they will fit in with your units or curriculum? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need this list! #diversepicturebooks #diverseclassroomlibraries #diversebooksforkids

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  • Diverse Middle Grade Novels

    Are you looking for diverse middle grade books? Then, this list is perfect. It has a great selection of books for students in upper elementary and middle school. Check them out!

    DIVERSE MIDDLE GRADE NOVELS

    If you’re looking for a diverse group of middle-grade books (books geared for kids in upper elementary to middle school), then this is the list for you!

    The characters in these books are from all around the world and allow readers to experience a variety of cultures!

    I will update this list as I find more books! Follow me on Instagram to get updates and ideas for other picture books! If there’s a book you think I should add, comment below!

    Just a friendly reminder, I am an Amazon Affiliate, so if you decided to use the links below to purchase the books, I do get a commission. The price of the books does not change for you. ❤️

    Front Desk

    Mia and her family have recently moved to the United States from China.⁣

    ⁣An opportunity arises for her family to manage a motel in Anaheim, California, where Mia decides to run the front desk. The front desk isn’t exactly Mia’s first job, but it the first job she keeps longer than a few hours.⁣

    ⁣What I enjoyed most about this book is that it encourages the reader to stand up for what is right. If I had fifth graders this school year, this would be our first novel of the year. ⁣

    ⁣Mia’s job at the front desk is a nonstop adventure!

    Clean Getaway

    Scoob and his Grandma go on an unforgettable road trip that doesn’t end as expected.⁣

    ⁣Scoob learns that his Grandma and Grandpa took the same road trip years earlier with the help of The Green Book.⁣

    ⁣I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It had excellent historical references that could lead to more research and discussions with your students or children. There are so many things you could do with this book. If I still had 5th graders.

    The night diary

    The Night Diary takes place in 1947 right after India was free from Britain’s rule. India is divided, and part of the country becomes Pakistan. Nisha is half Hindu and half Muslim and must leave her home because it has become too dangerous for Muslims. ⁣

    ⁣We follow Nisha and her family, who are now refugees as they make the dangerous trip to their new home. This is another book on this list with historical references that will leave kids wanting to learn more. 

    New Kid

    Class Act

    Jordan Banks and Drew Ellis are just a few of the Black students at RAD Middle School. Some days they fit right in, while other days they feel like outcasts. Through the ups and downs, they learn how to build friendships and survive middle school. 

    Save Me a Seat


    Most of my students LOVE Save Me a Seat. Ravi. who is a star student back home struggles is new to the United States and Joe is misunderstood. Both are outcasts, but find that they have a lot more in common than they think.  I pair physical copies of the book with the audiobook.

     

    The Only Black Girls In Town

    Alberta is a true California girl who loves to surf. She’s also the only Black girl in her class. That is until a new family moves into the bed and breakfast next door. Edie and her mother move to the small beach town for a fresh start. Alberta and Edie don’t have much in common but connect instantly. 

    While hanging out in the B&B, they find some old journals that contain a mystery that they have to solve!

     

    Becoming Muhammad Ali

    In Becoming Muhammad Ali, young Ali and his best friend Lucky take turns telling the story about how one of the greatest boxers in the world came to be. ⁣

    ⁣One of my former students is a boxer and would LOVE this book. I’m emailed his parents to let them know about this book!

    ⁣Although this book takes us back to the 50s, Ali’s childhood experiences are easily relatable to kids today.⁣

    ⁣Also included are moments in history like the murder of Emmitt Till and the integration of schools.⁣

    ⁣We also learn how Ali struggled in school because he was dyslexic.⁣

    ⁣Becoming Muhammad Ali is written in prose and verse. It was fitting that Ali’s voice is written as poetry, making his voice stand out. ⁣

    Isaiah Dunn is My Hero

    This is such a sweet story about 10 year Isaiah who is learning how to navigate life without his dad. ⁣

    I loved how so many adults in his life supported his interests and looked out for his well-being.⁣

    His relationship with the barber is soooooo sweet. I may or may not have teared up reading one of their interactions. 

    These middle grade novels will make a perfect addition to any home or classroom library!

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  • Picture Books for Women’s History Month

    Check out these picture books perfect for Women's History Month.
    Check out these picture books perfect for Women's History Month.

    Are you looking for picture books for Women’s History Month? Then, this list of diverse picture books is perfect for you! What makes this list special is that many of these women aren’t well known and their stories need to be shared. 

    Many of us currently benefit from their hard work and sacrifices. These women are incredible!

    I will update this list as I find more books! Follow me on Instagram to get updates and ideas for other picture books! If there’s a book you think I should add, comment below!

    Just a friendly reminder, I am an Amazon Affiliate, so if you decided to use the links below to purchase the books, I do get a commission. The price of the books does not change for you. ❤️

     


     

    She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story

    Effa Manley (1897-1981)  was a civil rights activist and the owner of the Negro League Team, the Newark Eagles. ⁣

    Effa took good care of her players and made sure they got the respect and recognition they deserved long after they left her team. ⁣

    Effa was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.⁣

    As someone who grew up in a city that loves baseball (St. Louis), I enjoyed this book.⁣

    I also loved this book because it is illustrated by my favorite illustrator, Don Tate. My school actually owns a copy of this book signed by him! How cool is that?

     

    Mother Jones and Her Army of Mill Children

    Mary G. Harris Jones, better known as Mother Jones (?-1930) is furious that children are working in factories to help their families make ends meet. ⁣

    She is disgusted that children are getting hurt and sometimes disabled because of the back-breaking work they are doing. ⁣

    In 1903, Mother Jones decided that enough is enough, so she and 100 children begin marching to Theodore Roosevelt’s summer home to protest child labor laws. ⁣

    Although this protest did not end child labor, it did help bring awareness and, of course, child labor became illegal eventually.⁣

    This book is written in first person, and you feel the wrath of Jones. That’s what makes it so good! My students really enjoyed this book!⁣

    Ready to Fly: How Sylvia Townsend Became the Bookmobile Ballerina

    Sylvia Townsend taught herself how to dance with books from a bookmobile!🩰⁣⁣
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    Growing up in the 1950s, Sylvia faced many obstacles, but it didn’t keep her from dancing.⁣⁣
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    Ready to Fly is a great story, and the illustrations are gorgeous!⁣⁣
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    The back of the book has a brief history of bookmobiles and pictures of how they’ve changed over time. ⁣⁣

     

     

    Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines

    Maya Lin (1959-) is the architect who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. ⁣

    Maya won the national contest that decided who would create the memorial. Although she won the contest, when others found out that Maya created the design, they were not happy that she won. They like that an Asian woman had won. Critics also said they didn’t understand her design. 

    Maya proved her unique design had meaning and was a perfect way to honor Vietnam Veterans.

    I loved that there are tons of figurative language in this book; it gave us plenty of opportunities to practice!

     

    Fearless Mary: Mary Fields, American Stagecoach Driver

    Do you know the story of the first Black woman to become a mail carrier?⁣

    In 1895, Mary Fields (1832-1914) took the job of driving a stagecoach in the Wild West!⁣

    Mary would do whatever it took to make sure her cargo was delivered safely. She fought off wolves and thieves. And she had no problem traveling the dangerous mountain trails.⁣

    She even had a pet eagle to help protect her and her packages!⁣

    We had a great time learning about this unsung hero!

     

    All the Way to the Top: How One Girl’s Fight for Americans with Disabilities Changed Everything 

    Do you know a little girl helped convince Congress to pass the American with Disabilities Act (ADA)?⁣

    That disability activist is Jennifer Keelan (1981-).⁣

    Jennifer Keelan was born with cerebral palsy and found out very quickly that it was not easy to get around in a wheelchair.⁣

    In 1987, when Jennifer was only six years old, she joined her first protest. This would be her first of many.⁣

    She was arrested at a protest in 1988.😲⁣

    All the Way to the Top is an excellent story about a courageous little girl that helped pass a law that made sure people with disabilities have access to the world.⁣

     

    Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers

    Many people know Cesar Chavez, but they don’t know the woman behind the scenes that made everything happen.  Dolores Huerta (1930-) is the little known civil rights activist who fought for the safety of migrant workers. 

    PBS produced an incredible documentary about her if you want to learn more.

     

    Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees

    Wangari Maathai (1940-2011) is known as the woman who planted 30 million trees and the FIRST African woman to win the Noble Peace Prize.⁣

    Wangari Maathai earned a scholarship to attend college in the U.S., along with hundreds of other Africans from then-Senator John F. Kennedy. When she returned to Kenya, Wangari noticed that the trees were gone. Animals were becoming endangered and the soil wasn’t good for crops. ⁣

    When Britain colonized Kenya, they cut down a lot of their trees to sell and use Kenya’s resources. The deforestation continued after Britain was overthrown so, Wangari began her fight to return Kenya to the beautiful country it once was by organizing the planting of millions of trees. 

     

    Ice Breaker: How Mabel Fairbanks Changed Figure Skating

    Mabel Fairbanks (1915-2001) was a Black and Native American figure skater. Mabel was denied opportunities to compete in competitions and qualifying events for the Olympics because of the color of her skin.

    She found ways to keep skating by performing in shows and she eventually became a coach to little-known and well-known (Scott Hamilton and Kristi Yamaguchi) figure skaters.  

    In 1997, she would become the first Black woman inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame. 

     

    Lizzie Demands a Seat!: Elizabeth Jennings Fights for Streetcar Rights

    Everyone has heard of Rosa Parks, but have you heard of Elizabeth Jennings (1827-1901)?⁣⁣
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    In 1854, Elizabeth Jennings lived in New York City and tried boarding a streetcar but was brutally denied. ⁣⁣
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    Lizzie Demands a Seat, takes us through Elizabeth’s fight for equal rights on public transportation.⁣⁣

     

    Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom

    Wu Chien Shiung (1912-1997) was a Chinese physicist. ⁣

    Her parents made sure she was adequately educated, even if that meant she had to live far away from them. Chien Shiung developed a passion for math and eventually, physics very quickly! She would sneak and read her friends’ textbooks to learn everything she could. ⁣

    Chien Shiung means courageous hero, and it was fitting. She would lead an underground group to fight against the Chinese government even though she could have been punished or killed. ⁣

    She eventually moved to the United States, where she continued her study of physics. Chien Shiung helped many scientists with their research that earned them Nobel Prizes. She never got credit for her work. ⁣

    Although Chien Shiung never got the appropriate recognition, she definitely was a trailblazer.⁣

    She was the first female instructor at Princeton University.⁣
    She was the first female president of The American Physical Society.⁣
    She was the first person to receive the Wolf Prize in Physics. ⁣

    She rightfully earned the nickname Queen of Physics.⁣

     

    Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement 

    Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977) was a civil rights leader who was determined to make a change. Her story is heartbreaking, but it was why she constantly fought for equal rights for the Black community.

    This is an excellent book that I highly recommend for parents and teachers to read. This book contains content and language that is more appropriate for older elementary/middle school students. You should use your best judgment if you’re reading this to your students.

    Fun fact, my cousin is related to her!

     

    Althea Gibson: The Story of Tennis’ Fleet-of-Foot Girl

    Althea Gibson was the first Black tennis player to win Wimbledon, the French and U.S. Open title. 🎾⁣

    Althea was known to be strong on and off the court, which made her the perfect person to tear down barriers in the game of tennis.⁣

    She also would become the first Black golfer in the Ladies Professional Golf Association! 🏌️‍♀️⁣

     

    What Do You Do with a Voice Like That?: The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan 

    Barbara Jordan (1936-1996) was a former congresswoman who began her career as a lawyer and ended it as an educator.⁣

    She is known for her powerful voice; her most well-known speech was probably her opening speech for Richard Nixon’s impeachment investigation.⁣

    In Texas, you can find many schools named in her honor. ⁣

    The illustrations in this book are gorgeous, and it’s written by one of my favorite authors! ⁣

     

    Ruth Objects: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020) was a lawyer and a Supreme Court Justice (1993-2020)

    Isn’t the cover dope?⁣

    Ruth Objects takes us back to her childhood. We learn how she earned her position in the highest court in the U.S.

    If you like this list of diverse books, you’ll love The Ultimate List of Diverse Picture Books. There are over 250 books to use in the classroom and home libraries.

    Are you looking for diverse picture books to add to your classroom or home library? Do you want to add diverse picture books to your collection, but you don’t have time to search for them? Are you a teacher that wants to use more diverse texts but are unsure how they will fit in with your units or curriculum? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need this list! #diversepicturebooks #diverseclassroomlibraries #diversebooksforkids

    Related Posts

  • Black History Books for Beginning Readers

    BLACK HISTORY BOOKS FOR BEGINNING READERS
    BLACK HISTORY BOOKS FOR BEGINNING READERS

    The 2020-2021 school year is my first year teaching first grade. I’ve always taught upper elementary or middle school. The first thing I’ve noticed is how hard it is to find nonfiction picture books for lower elementary students. Especially books that highlight leaders in Black history. If you’re here you’ve probably run into the same problem! 

    Your learners may not be ready to read these books independently, but they are simple enough that they can learn new information in one sitting. Okay, well there’s one that may take longer, but it is a necessary addition to the list!

    Do me one favor, promise me that you will incorporate Black history throughout the school year, not just in February. These stories can be told all year long!

    I will update this list as I find more books! Follow me on Instagram to get updates and ideas for other picture books! If there’s a book you think I should add, comment below!

    If you like this list of books, you’ll love The Ultimate List of Diverse Picture Books. There are over 250 books to use in the classroom and home libraries. 

    Just a friendly reminder, I am an Amazon Affiliate, so if you decided to use the links below to purchase the books, I do get a commission. The price of the books does not change for you. ❤️

    Carter Reads a Newspaper


    Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson (1875-1950) was a historian that dug for the facts. He collected information so that he could share African and Black 

    American history with the world. Dr. Woodson eventually created Negro History Week, which would ultimately become Black History Month. This book gives us a glimpse of his life and work. The illustrations are done by my favorite illustrator, Don Tate.

    This is the only book on this list that may take longer than one sitting to read. But, I felt that it was important to include it. 

    Ron’s Big Mission

    Before Ron McNair (1950-1986) became a physicist and astronaut, he was just a kid who loved to read. This story is about when Ron had enough of the discriminatory laws and did what he had to do.

    WHOOSH!: LONNIE JOHNSON’S SUPER-SOAKING STREAM OF INVENTIONS 


    If you don’t know Lonnie Johnson, I KNOW you’ve played with his invention, the Super Soaker. Lonnie Johnson (1949-) is a former NASA engineer ad has over 120 patents! This book is about how he followed his passions and ended up creating one of the most popular toys to this day! 

    Mae Among The Stars

    Mae Jemison (1956-) is an engineer, a physicist, and is the first African-American woman to travel to space. This book tells a story about how her dream of becoming an astronaut began as a little girl. Although her parents are supportive, her teacher and classmates are not. She sure did prove them wrong!

    A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put American on the Moon


    Katherine Johnson (1918-2020) This book is all about Katherine Johnson’s journey to become the mathematician that helped the United States win the space race and saved Apollo 13.

    Trombone Shorty


    Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews (1986-) is a New Orleans musician, known for playing the trombone and trumpet. As a child, he wanted to be in a band so bad he started one with his neighborhood friends. In this book, we learn how he got his big break!

    Ice Breaker: How Mabel Fairbanks Changed Figure Skating


    Mabel Fairbanks (1915-2001) was a figure skater denied the right to compete in many competitions including the Olympics because she was Black. Although she was unable to compete to show the world her talent, Fairbanks took up coaching to help children of all backgrounds.

    Ready to Fly: How Sylvia Townsend Became the Bookmobile Ballerina


    After watching Swan Lake on t.v., Sylvia Townsend decides she wanted to learn ballet. Getting lessons wasn’t easy so she taught herself how to dance with books from a bookmobile! I LOVE this book! 

    Fearless Mary: Mary Fields, American Stagecoach Driver

    Do you know the story of the first Black woman to become a mail carrier?⁣

    In 1895, Mary Fields (1832-1914)  took the job of driving a stagecoach in the Wild West!⁣

    Mary would do whatever it took to make sure her cargo was delivered safely. She fought off wolves and thieves. And she had no problem traveling the dangerous mountain trails.⁣

    She even had a pet eagle to help protect her and her packages!⁣

     

     

    Want more diverse books to add to your library? Check out this list below.

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  • Diverse Social-Emotional Picture Books

    Check out these diverse social emotional picture books.

    Check out these diverse social emotional picture books.

    I love social-emotional picture books. They are a great way to get kids talking about their feelings. What I love about this list of books is that all kids can see themselves represented in these books.

    I will update this list as I find more books! Follow me on Instagram to get updates and ideas for other books to read at home or at school! If there’s a book you think I should add, comment below!

    Just a friendly reminder, I am an Amazon Affiliate, so if you decided to use the links below to purchase the books, I do get a commission. The price of the books does not change for you. ❤️

     

    The Problem With Problems by Rachel Rooney

    Who doesn’t need help solving their problems?⁣

    The Problem with Problems helps kids recognize problems and share how to work through them.⁣

    A Little Space for Me by Jennifer Gray Olson

    We all need space sometimes. Even kids.⁣

    A Little Space For Me helps kids figure out what to do when they just want to be alone.⁣

    Allie All Along by Sarah Lynne Reul

    This book is so cute!!!⁣

    Allie breaks her crayon and is furious!⁣

    She’s so mad she’s unrecognizable.⁣ I can relate!😂

    Allie’s brother gives her different strategies to work through her anger and she eventually is herself again.⁣

    This is a great book to teach kiddos how to calm down when they are mad.⁣

    Being Frank by Donna W. Earnhardt

    THIS BOOK IS HILARIOUS!⁣⁣
    ⁣⁣
    Frank is too frank and is offending everyone with his honesty. ⁣⁣
    ⁣⁣
    Frank has zero tact. Zero chill. Frank is off the chain. ⁣⁣
    ⁣⁣
    With him offending everyone, he of course ends up alone.⁣⁣
    ⁣⁣
    One day he has a talk with his grandpa and learns how to kindly tell the truth. ⁣⁣⁣

    I’m Gonna Push Through by Jasmyn Wright

    This book is all about teaching perseverance.

    The Thank You Letter by Jane Cabrera

    This book was definitely an easy read for my 5th graders, but it was a great book to teach them about showing gratitude.⁣⁣
    ⁣⁣
    When we got done reading, I had the students write thank you notes for people they’re thankful for and gifts they received over the winter break.⁣⁣

    The Proudest Blue by  Ibtihaj Muhammad

    “Don’t carry around the hurtful words that others say. Drop them. They are not your words to keep. They belong only to those who said them.”⁣

    This is my favorite quote in this book. What a beautiful message that we ALL need to hear. ⁣

    It is the first day of school for sisters, Asiya and Faizah. What makes this day even more special is that it is Asiya’s first day wearing her hijab. ⁣

    Proudest Blue was a great book that is written by Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad.⁣

    Mindful Day by Deborah Hopkinson

    Mindful Day is a great book to remind us all to slow down and be thankful. ⁣⁣

    Check out The Ultimate List of Diverse Picture Books if you are looking to add more diverse picture books to your classroom or home library!

    Are you looking for diverse picture books to add to your classroom or home library? Do you want to add diverse picture books to your collection, but you don’t have time to search for them? Are you a teacher that wants to use more diverse texts but are unsure how they will fit in with your units or curriculum? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need this list! #diversepicturebooks #diverseclassroomlibraries #diversebooksforkids

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  • Nonfiction Books Perfect for Kindergarten to Second Grade

    Are you looking for nonfiction books for primary grades? Check out these informational texts perfect for kindergarten to second grade. These books are perfect for teaching text features too.
    Are you looking for nonfiction books for primary grades? Check out these informational texts perfect for kindergarten to second grade. These books are perfect for teaching text features too.

    Are you looking for non-fiction texts for lower elementary students?

    Well, I have a solution for you!

    Red Chair Press has a fantastic collection of diverse biographies that are perfect for beginning readers.

    Some of the subjects are well-known, while others not so much. There are a few I didn’t know, like Prima Ballerina, Maria Tallchief, and Senator Daniel Inouye. 

    Oh, and I LOVE how the Cesar Chavez book didn’t leave out Dolores Huerta. I think she needs her own book (wink, wink). 

    Over the last few years, the amount of diverse biographies and literary non-fiction available on bookshelves has exploded. Unfortunately, they often leave out the little guys. Many of the books are too long or too complicated for younger readers. 

    This is what makes these beginner biographies a perfect choice. 

    They are bite-sized, but FULL of information!

    What I  also appreciate about these books is that they are full of text features. Having age-appropriate books to model what non-fiction text features look like is so bomb to me!

    Don’t believe me? Check them out below!

    I already have tons of ideas of how I can use them in my classroom! I’ll share a few of those ideas with you soon!

    Go check out this amazing collection from Red Chair Press!

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  • Books to Help Kids Learn About Hurricane Katrina

    The easiest way to share information about a topic is by reading books. Hurricane Katrina is a natural disaster that all kids should know about. These books about Hurricane Katrina are a great way to encourage discussions and research about this violent storm. #stembooksforkids #hurricanebooks #hurricanekatrinabooksforkids

    The easiest way to share information about a topic is by reading books. Hurricane Katrina is a natural disaster that all kids should know about. These books about Hurricane Katrina are a great way to encourage discussions and research about this violent storm. #stembooksforkids #hurricanebooks #hurricanekatrinabooksforkids

    In August of 2005, one of the deadliest hurricanes hit New Orleans and other parts of  the Gulf Coast. I remember being in college, watching it on the news. I remember my college taking in other college students who were displaced by the storm. I remember Kanye West’s unforgettable quote. Hurricane Katrina killed almost 2,000 people; over 700 people were never found.

    In just three years, we will be able to say, none of our students were alive when it happened. That makes me feel a little old, but it makes it even more important to me to make sure I share what happened to my students every year. 

    This list contains books to read to any school-aged child. Use these books to build connections, but don’t stop there. Have your child or students research more information. For the younger students, share age-appropriate information. We cannot forget what happened before and after Katrina hit.

    I will update this list as I find more books! Follow me on Instagram to get updates and ideas for other books to read at home or at school! If there’s a book you think I should add, comment below!

    Just a friendly reminder, I am an Amazon Affiliate, so if you decided to use the links below to purchase the books, I do get a commission. The price of the books does not change for you. ❤️

    Also, for complete transparency, there are some books on this list that I have not read. When I make book lists I always read the books before posting. Since there are several chapter books/novels on this list I have not had time to read them all just yet, but I will! This is the only book list on my website with books I haven’t read. 

    A Storm Called Katrina by Myron Uhlberg

    A Storm Called Katrina is a picture book that follows Louis Daniel and his family as they abandoned their home in search for higher ground. This may be a longer book for a kindergartner or first grader, but it could be broken up and read over a few days. 

    Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans by Phil Bildner

    In this picture book we learn about the sanitation worker who begins cleaning up after Katrina just like it was an ordinary day. His spirit encourages neighbors and volunteers to help with cleaning up the city. Being that I’m not for New Orleans, I really appreciated the pronunciation guide in the back of the book.

    Hurricane Katrina Rescue (Ranger in Time #8) by Kate Messner 

    Hurricane Katrina Rescue is a beginner chapter book that I think is meant for second and third graders (just a suggestion). Ranger is a time traveling dog who helps Clare find  her family. I have not read any of the other books in this series, but I thought that this was a good book to help students relate to the those impacted by the store. I also liked that they included real pictures from the storm so that the reader can see the damage.

    Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes

    The Ninth Ward is a novel geared toward middle schoolers. There’s actually an excerpt of this book in our 6th grade textbooks. 

    In this novel, we meet 12 year-old Lanesha who lives with Mama Ya-Ya. The Ninth Ward gives the reader a more realistic version of what happened once the hurricane hit. 

    Zane and the Hurricane: A Story of Katrina by Rodman Philbrick

    Zane and the Hurricane is one of the books on this list I haven’t read, but it was recommended by my former teammate! She reads tons of books and picks great ones to read to her students, so I completely trust her recommendation.

    In this book, we follow Zane and his dog, Bandit as they try to survive Hurricane Katrina. This novel is perfect for upper elementary and middle school students. 

    A Place Where Hurricanes Happen by Renee Watson

    A Place Where Hurricanes Happen follows four friends in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina. Once Katrina hits, each family has their own experience with the arrival of the storm. This is a great book to show how everyone who was affected by Hurricane Katrina had a different experience.

    Saint Louis Armstrong Beach By Brenda Woods

    Here’s another novel I haven’t read…yet. I’ve started the book (read two chapters) and I think it’s going to be really good. According to the reviews, it’s a good book!

    Saint Louis Armstrong Beach is not a place but a boy who lives in Treme. Saint tells the story of his life before, during, and after Katrina with his best friend, the neighborhood dog Shadow. Upper elementary and middle school students would enjoy this book. I’ll update the post once I’m done reading!

    There are a couple more books I want to at least have in my possession before I put them on the list! I will update the list once I get a chance to read them. Follow me on Instagram to look for updates!

    Check out The Ultimate List of Diverse Picture Books if you are looking to add more diverse picture books to classroom or home library!

    Are you looking for diverse picture books to add to your classroom or home library? This list of diverse picture books is perfect for you! #diversepicturebooks

  • A Sparkly List Of Unicorn Picture Books

    Are you looking for unicorn picture books? Then this list is for you! These Unicorn books are perfect addition to your home and classroom library.

    Are you looking for unicorn picture books? Then this list is for you! These Unicorn books are perfect addition to your home and classroom library.

    I think it is safe to say that just about everyone loves unicorns! These books are all excellent choices to check out from the library or buy!

    I will update this list as I find more books! Follow me on Instagram to get updates and ideas for other picture books! If there’s a book you think I should add, comment below!

    Just a friendly reminder, I am an Amazon Affiliate, so if you decided to use the links below to purchase the books, I do get a commission. The price of the books does not change for you. ❤️

    Unicorns 101 by Cale Atkinson

    Unicorns 101 gives you everything you need to know about these mythical creatures!⁣ If your kiddo or students love unicorns, this is a book they must read!

    It’s Okay to Be a Unicorn! by Jason Tharp

     
    Believe it or not, some unicorns, don’t want to be unicorns! In It’s Okay to Be a Unicorn, Cornelius J. Sparklesteed doesn’t want people to know that he is a unicorn, so he pretends to be a horse. Cornelius just wants to fit in, but he learns that he shouldn’t hide who he is and that you should always be yourself!
     
     

    You Don’t Want a Unicorn by Ame Dyckman

     
    So everybody thinks unicorns are cool, but have you ever owned one? In You Don’t Want a Unicorn, we learn why owning one might not be a good idea. 
     
     

    Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea

    Goat had a great life until Unicorn showed up. Goat was confident until Unicorn showed up. Compared to Unicorn, nothing he does is cool. Goat eventually meets Unicorn and finds out that Unicorn isn’t as confident as he thinks he is.

    Little Unicorn feels different emotions, sometimes he is shy. This book is great to read to kids who sometimes feel uncomfortable being the center of attention.

    Unicorn is Maybe Not So Great After All by Bob Shea

    It’s the first day of school and Unicorn is expecting to get everyone’s attention. When he arrives at school something else has everyone’s attention. Nobody notices him! So, Unicorn tries to find a way to make people love him again.

    A Unicorn Named Sparkle by Amy Young

    Lucy orders a unicorn for 25 cents. When the unicorn arrives, he is not what she expected. This book is hilarious! It’s definitely in my top 3 of books on this list!

    Sophie Johnson, Unicorn Expert by Morag Hood

    Sophie has the important job of training Unicorns. Even though she is an expert, she still has some learning to do.

    Unicorn (and Horse) by David Miles

    Unicorn and Horse are completely different. Unicorn can do so many things that Horse cannot. Horse doesn’t think he’s all that special until he has to do something that nobody else can do.

    Little Unicorn Is Scared by Aurélie Chien Chow Chin

    Little Unicorn gets scared like everyone else. Sometimes his fears keep him up at night. When Little Unicorn gets really bad he does breathing exercises to tame his fears. Little Unicorn shares the techniques in hopes that the reader will use them to whenever they feel frightened.

    Kevin the Unicorn:It’s Not All Rainbows by Jessika von Innerebner

    Out of all of the social emotional books on this list, this one is my favorite!

    Kevin usually always has good days, but today for the first time something feels different. Kevin goes through the day trying to be positive but it’s not working. By the middle of the day he can no longer pretend that he is doing okay and he learns it is okay to have a bad day. 

    Unicorns are the bomb! Add these books to your classroom or home library today.

    If you are looking for diverse picture books, I have an amazing list with over 250 books! Check out The Ultimate List of Diverse Picture Books, to add some amazing books to your library!

    Are you looking for diverse picture books to add to your classroom or home library? This list of diverse picture books is perfect for you! #diversepicturebooks

  • Diverse Picture Books for Art and Music Teachers

    Music and Art Teachers should definitely join in the fun of reading to students. There are tons of books that can be read in those classes that work effortlessly! All teachers should have a diverse classroom library! Check out this list to use in your classroom now! #musicteacher #artteacher #diverseclassroomlibrary

    Music and Art Teachers should definitely join in the fun of reading to students. There are tons of books that can be read in those classes that work effortlessly! All teachers should have a diverse classroom library! Check out this list to use in your classroom now! #musicteacher #artteacher #diverseclassroomlibrary

    Books can be and should be read in every classroom! I really wanted to make this list for music and art teachers to help encourage literacy in your classroom. I can see your creative minds using these books to create engaging lessons!

    I will update this list as I find more books! Follow me on Instagram to get updates and ideas for other picture books! If there’s a book you think I should add, comment below!

    If you like this list of diverse books, you’ll love The Ultimate List of Diverse Picture Books. There are over 250 books to use in the classroom and home libraries. 

    Are you looking for diverse picture books to add to your classroom or home library? This list of diverse picture books is perfect for you! #diversepicturebooks

    Just a friendly reminder, I am an Amazon Affiliate, so if you decided to use the links below to purchase the books, I do get a commission. The price of the books does not change for you. ❤️

    Too Much Glue by Jason Lefebvre

    Matty LOVES glue, like most kids do, but his love is a little extreme. One day in art class he goes overboard and he finds himself in a sticky mess. 

    I know art and classroom teachers can relate to this one. Why must they use so much glue???!!!

    When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop by Laban Carrick Hill

    DJ Kool Herc, one of the grandfather’s of Hip-Hop. A lot of the music that students enjoy today can be traced back to DJ Kool Herc. Use this book to teach students how the music they love today got started. 

    Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery by Sandra Neil Wallace

    This is an excellent book to show students that it is okay to have multiple interests. 

    Ernie Barnes always wanted to become an artist, but his art career got sidetracked when he was drafted to play in the NFL.⁣

    My students loved how he was a football player and an artist, especially my boys!⁣

    How Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz by Jonah Winter

    Jelly Roll Morton was one of the early jazz composers that helped make jazz well known. If you let him tell it, he invented jazz. ⁣

    Whether or not he is credited as the inventor of jazz, ⁣his contributions, of course, laid the foundation for other jazz musicians.

    Who Stole Mona Lisa? by Ruthie Knapp

    What I loved about Who Stole Mona Lisa? is that the author tells the story from Mona Lisa’s point of view! ⁣

    In 1911 she was stolen, and we learn about what she goes through those two years she was missing!⁣

    My students and I were not expecting how fun this book would be, add this to your list!!⁣

    Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa by Veronica Chambers

    Cuban singer Celia Cruz was known for her amazing voice as a child. People would often stop outside her house to hear her sing. ⁣

    My students didn’t know who she was when I read the book, but when I played a few of her songs many students were able to recognize her voice.

    In Her Hands: The Story of Sculptor Augusta Savage by Alan Schroeder

    Augusta Savage was a sculptor from Florida who moved to New York City to attend art school.⁣⁣

    ⁣⁣She was so talented she completed two years of school in 6 weeks!⁣⁣

    ⁣⁣Augusta eventually shared her love of art and became an art teacher. In Harlem, she opened an art studio where she would help children discover their love of art.⁣⁣

    ⁣⁣Augusta made busts of W.E.B. Du Bois and Marcus Garvey! Her most famous art piece was Gamin, a bust of an African American boy. ⁣⁣

    Pocket Full of Colors: The Magical World of Mary Blair, Disney Artist Extraordinaire by Amy Guglielmo and Jacqueline Tourville

    Did you know that Mary Blair was the lead designer for Disney World’s It’s a Small World boat ride?⁣

    She also did some design work for Disney movies, Cinderella and Peter Pan. ⁣

    Do you remember Little Golden Books? Well, she illustrated some of those as well!⁣

    A Voice Named Aretha by Katheryn Russell-Brown

    A Voice Named Aretha starts when the Queen of Soul was a child. The reader learns she always had a powerful voice, and even as a child her voice drew crowds.

    When she was young, you could find tons of celebrities enjoying the company of her family. Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr were frequent visitors of the Franklin home.

    My students thought they didn’t know who Aretha was until I played RESPECT. 

    Queen of Tejano Music: Selena by Silvia Lopez

    Selena takes us through Selena’s life, starting with her childhood. ⁣I could see music and art teachers using this book because Selena also designed her own clothes. 

    This is a long book, but luckily there are great starting and stopping points that make it easy to take your time. ⁣

    A is for Audra: Broadway’s Leading Ladies from A to Z by John Robert Allman

    This book lists the amazing leading ladies of Broadway! All of my music and theater art teachers will appreciate this book.

    Women Artists A to Z by Melanie LaBarge

    Women Artist A to Z is another book filled with amazing women. There are brief descriptions for each woman listed in the book. 

    I only knew three artists listed; Frida Kahlo, Maya Lin, and Georgia O’Keefe.⁣

    Anywhere Artist by Nikki Slade Robinson

    This book is all about a little girl who can make art anywhere and out of anything! I can see art teachers using this book at the beginning of the year to show students that anyone can be an artist. 

    Music and art teachers should read to their students frequently, especially since there is an abundance of amazing art and music themed picture books in school libraries! I’ve heard numerous principals say  “all teachers are reading teachers” and I agree.

    The books listed above should be a great starting point to help build your classroom library. If you need more, check out The Ultimate List of Diverse Picture Books, there is special section full of books about the arts, that is perfect for theatre, music, and art teachers. Check it out!

    I love read alouds, so ⁣if you need help implementing or planning read alouds, grab the Free Interactive Read Aloud Guide!

    Are you looking for a way to organize your interactive read alouds? If you're having trouble planning read alouds or asking the right questions, then you need this freebie. Grab your free Interactive Read Aloud Guide now.!

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