Children’s literature to help build a fairer World

At St. Stephen’s, we want to make sure all of our children see themselves in the learning we expose them to and are building on the qualities of respect, inclusion, reflection and determination to question and stand against the injustices in this world. Our work with the charities ‘Just Enough’ and ‘Red Card to Racism’, our learning during PSHE days and our whole school assemblies have helped us develop the conversation around discrimination and racism which in turn, has taught children to reflect on what they can do to help build a fairer world. At St. Stephen’s, we believe these conversations must not stop. Our learning in history lessons teaches our children to question our past and do better in the future and in English we study books written by authors from a variety backgrounds. We are incredibly lucky that our library is an excellent resource used by all children and we work hard to ensure that every single child in our school can see themselves in the books we present to them.

Dr Rudine Sims Bishop has said ‘Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange…when lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects back to us’.

With this in mind, we wanted to highlight some materials that we believe are great to stimulate conversation about racism and discrimination at home. This is by no means an exhaustive list but may be useful in future conversations as well as helping your child feel represented in literature.

Ages 3 – 6

Little People, Big Dreams series

The skin I’m in: A First Look at Racism by Pat Thomas

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

A Poem for Peter by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty

Look up! By Nathan Bryon

Harlem’s Little Blackbird by Renee Watson

We Are Grateful, Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell

Rosa by Nikki Giovanni

Coretta Scott by Ntozake Shange

When We Were Alone by David A. Roberton

Preaching To The Chickens by Jabari Asim

Don’t Touch My Hair! By Sharee Miller

The Day you Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

Astro Girl by Ken Wilson-Max

My Monster and Me by Nadiya Hussain and Ella Bailey

Ossiri and the Bala Mengro by Richard O’ Neill and Katharine Quarmby

Double Trouble by Sarah Dyer

A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars by Seth Fishman

Ages 6-8

Lovely by Jess Hong

Princess Hair by Sharee Miller

The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad

Let It Shine by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Freedom Over Me by Ashley Bryan

Separate Is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh

Boy Oh Boy by Cliff Leek

The Colours Of Us by Karen Katz

Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester

Race Cars by Jenny Devenny

My Hair is A Garden by Cozbi A Cabrera

When I Was Eight by Christy & Margaret Fenton

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Fredrick Douglass by Walter Dean Myers

Moses by Carole Boston Weatherford

That’s Not Fair! By Carmen Tafolla & Sharyll Teneyuca

Gordon Parks by Carole Boston Weatherford

The Legendary Miss Lena Horne by Carole Boston Weatherford

Malcom Little by Ilyasah Shabazz

Brown Boy Joy by Thomishia Booker

I Don’t Want To Be Small by Laura Ellen Anderson

The Mega Magic Hair Swap by Rochelle Humes

A book about Racism by Jelani Memory

Let The Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson

The Incredible Hotel by Kate Davies

Ages 8-12

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Schomburg by Carole Boston Weatherford

I Am Not A Number by Jenny Kay Dupuis & Kathy Kacer

Something Happened In Our Town by Ann Hazzard, Marianne Celano, and Marietta Collins

Voice of Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford

Young Gifted And Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present by Jamia Wilson

Ruth And The Green Book by Calvin Alexander Ramsey

Little Leaders by Vashti Harrison

Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story by Paula Yoo

The Whispering Town by Jennifer Elvgren

Sit –In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Andrea Davis Pinkney

The Boy And The Wall by the Aida Refugee Camp

Plnet Omar by Zainib Milan