It can be hard to talk about uncomfortable things with children. Books are a great way to introduce different ideas and experiences and talk about them together.
In the groundbreaking parenting book Nurtureshock, by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, the chapter, “Why White Parents Don’t Talk About Race” taught me something about myself. The section explains that white parents often think that by ignoring race we will teach our children that race is not important and everyone is equal. In fact, they write, research shows that this does not work.
I have a feeling that if Bronson and Merryman were writing this today, they might go a step further and say that white parents must actively teach children that it’s not enough to see everyone as equal. We must also see how people are not treated equally and actively work to change this inequality in our society. The following list of books for children, from toddlers to teens, goes beyond celebrations of diversity; these acclaimed books educate children about racism in our society and open conversations about social justice.