Here’s How You Can Add Some Color to Your Child’s Summer Reading List

By Jamilah King Jun 10, 2014

There’s been lots of talk, and some meaningful interventions, in the discussion about the lack of racial diversity in children’s literature. But if you’re looking for something more direct like, say, a list of recomended children’s books by and about kids of color, you’re in luck. Aly Seidel at KQED’s MindShift blog came up with a list of 25 recommendations, some of which are listed below:

The Boy Who Didn’t Believe in Spring by Lucille Clifton

King Shabazz gets tired of everyone telling him that "spring is right around the corner," so he and his friend Tony start turning street corners to chase this elusive spring — after putting their caps on backwards to show they mean business! (Find the book here. Ages 3-5)

Bravo, Chico Canta! Bravo! by Pat Mora and Libby Martinez

A multilingual mouse and his family live upstairs in an old theater. They love to go to the plays and shout "Bravo!" when the curtain falls. But when Gato-Gato, the theater cat, finds them, Chico Canta must use his gift for languages to save his family. (Find the book here. Ages 4-7)

Bringing Asha Home by Uma Krishnaswami

Arun can’t wait for his little sister to come home — she’s been adopted all the way from India. But India is far away and Asha’s adoption frustratingly takes nearly a year. While waiting for their newest addition, Arun and his family find ways to welcome Asha into their hearts, even if she isn’t in their home. (Find the book here. Ages 4-9)

Brush of the Gods by Lenore Look

"Brush of the Gods" is about Wu Daozi, a famous seventh-century Chinese artist. The author imagines Wu Daozi as a young man trying to learn calligraphy, but when he sits down to write, he creates beautiful paintings instead! An imaginative tale that thoughtfully brings life to one of China’s master painters. (Find the book here. Ages 4-8)

The Christmas CoatMemories of My Sioux Childhood by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve

As winter comes to Virginia’s reservation, she can’t wait for the charity boxes from the East, full of coats for the winter. However, her parents expect her to put other people’s needs before her own and she is devastated when her classmate takes the rabbit fur coat that Virginia wanted. This is a story about selflessness and the spirit of Christmas. Winner of the American Indian Youth Literature Award. (Find the book here. Ages 5+)

See the entire list over at KQED’s MindShift blog