LS Books Page

Sometimes, the most important topics can also be the most difficult. A book and a talk can be just the thing to get curious young minds thinking, asking, engaging, identifying, understanding. We invite you to explore these resources, books, and conversation starters meant to support family discussions about identity, diversity, and social justice. We’ll post a new book, along with resources and talking points every month, and of course the archive remains. All featured books are available in GA’s LS library.

Ideas? Questions? Just want to say hi? Email us!

Michelle Kennedy (PC) & Paige Morley (II)


Say Something!

by Peter Reynolds

Themes: using your voice, being an upstander

SynopsisSay Something! by Peter Reynolds, is a call to action for kids to speak up and stand up—when they see injustice, when they have something to say, when they are feeling emotions or grateful. The key point is that every voice counts, not just the loud ones, and there are many ways to say something—through art or poetry, on a protest sign, in a private message to the universe, or by a kind, compassionate act. It's a great message delivered via accessible, cartoony art featuring diverse, enthusiastic kids.


Really Helpful & Interesting Sites

Unless otherwise noted, all resources and ideas are from’s Diverse Books Matter, where you can learn more and see their complete collection of books that address issues of identity, bias, and social justice.


The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

There are lots of reasons to feel different. Maybe it’s how you look or talk, or where you're from; maybe it's what you eat or something else just as random. It's not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it. This book reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.


Equality’s Call: The Story of Voting Rights in America by Deborah Diesen

When our country was founded in 1776, part of the plan was to include the voice of the people. But this ideal was not fully achieved at that time. Some people were left out due to their gender, race, or economic status. 

Equality’s Call: The Story of Voting Rights in America explains how voting rights were gradually extended to more and more people, including formerly enslaved people, women, and 18 year olds. And while there is still more to be done to include all voices in our country, this book acknowledges and celebrates the progress our country has made. 

Deborah Diesen’s rhyming text briefly explains the history of voting rights in America. The recurring refrains about equality’s call throughout the book emphasize the movement toward greater and greater representation. For example: “But we heard in the distance Equality’s call: A right isn’t right Till it’s granted to all.”


Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester

I am a story.
So are you. 
So is everyone.
Julius Lester says, “I write because our lives are stories. If enough of those stories are told, then perhaps we will begin to see that our lives are the same story. The differences are merely in the details.” Now Mr. Lester shares his own story as he explores what makes each of us special. Karen Barbour’s dramatic, vibrant paintings speak to the heart of Lester’s unique vision, truly a celebration of all of us.


The Great Big Book of Families
by Mary Hoffman

This book showcases diverse families and their lives together. It provides mirrors for many students while providing a window for others into many kinds of families expanding their understanding of the world. The Great Big Book of Families provides a rich tool to include and celebrate the broad scope of human experience with family across differences including race, ethnicity, economic class and family structure. 


The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family
by Ibtihaj Muhammad

With her new backpack and light-up shoes, Faizah knows the first day of school is going to be special. It’s the start of a brand new year and, best of all, it's her older sister Asiya’s first day of hijab—a hijab of beautiful blue fabric, like the ocean waving to the sky. But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful, and in the face of hurtful, confusing words, Faizah will find new ways to be strong. Paired with Hatem Aly’s beautiful, whimsical art, Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad and Morris Award finalist S.K. Ali brings readers an uplifting, universal story of new experiences, the unbreakable bond between siblings, and of being proud of who you are. 


Juneteenth for Mazie
by Floyd Cooper

Mazie is ready to celebrate liberty. She is ready to celebrate freedom. She is ready to celebrate a great day in American history—the day her ancestors were no longer slaves. She learns that each generation carries the dream to improve their lives. Now it’s Mazie’s turn to celebrate who she is and to remember the accomplishments of her ancestors. Mazie remembers the struggles and the triumph as she gets ready to celebrate Juneteenth.


She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton

Throughout U.S. history, there have always been women who have spoken out for what’s right, even when they have to fight to be heard. This book celebrates thirteen U.S. women who helped shape our country through their tenacity, sometimes through speaking out, sometimes by staying seated, sometimes by captivating an audience. They all certainly persisted. This book features: Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Virginia Apgar, Maria Tallchief, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, and Sonia Sotomayor.


Maddi’s Fridge
by Lois Brant

Best friends Sofia and Maddi live in the same neighborhood, go to the same school, and play in the same park, but while Sofia’s fridge at home is full of nutritious food, the fridge at Maddi’s house is empty. Sofia learns that Maddi’s family doesn’t have enough money to fill their fridge and promises Maddi she’ll keep this discovery a secret. But because Sofia wants to help her friend, she’s faced with a difficult decision: to keep her promise or tell her parents about Maddi’s empty fridge. This story addresses issues of poverty with honesty and sensitivity while instilling important lessons about friendship, empathy, trust, and helping others. 


Just Like Me by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Themes: friendship, diversity, and self-esteem through poetry

From the author of Grandma’s Purse, this collection of poetry is filled with engaging mini-stories about girls of all kinds: girls who feel happy, sad, scared, powerful; girls who love their bodies and girls who don’t; country girls, city girls; girls who love their mother and girls who wish they had a father. With bright portraits in Brantley-Newton’s signature style of vibrant colors and unique patterns and fabrics, this book invites readers to find themselves and each other within its pages.

The poems are simple, upbeat, and affirming—a great reminder of what is to be gained when girls appreciate their own uniqueness and that of others.

A quote from the author: “I chose poetry for this project because it’s such a powerful vehicle to teach children. My desire is to empower them through the written word. Poetry allows children to put language to use to make it serve a deep internal purpose. It allows them to break the rules of grammar, punctuation and capitalization, and help find their voice. It gives them their own representation. It also helps to develop creative writing skills, self-expression and natural rhythm. I want this book to empower girls. Poetry is powerful.”