Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Ten Children's Books That Celebrate African-American Diversity

If you grow up as an insider, it's hard to see the world from the point of view of an outsider. Books do that for us.

I read a book about a person from a culture outside my own and---whammy!---I am thrust into the shoes of that world, I am in the body of that world, I am in the head of that world. I can't climb into those shoes, that body, that head without feeling the pain of that world, the cruelties of exclusion, the longing to join the larger culture, along with the joys of being part of a rich culture....it's a mixed ride. It's a ride that changes me.

Here are ten children's books that allow me into the African-American experience for a little while.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Bud, Not Buddy

The Watsons Go to Birmingham

Amazing Grace

Uncle Jed's Barber Shop

Tar Beach

The Other Side

Goin' Someplace Special

White Water

More Than Anything Else

Those Shoes

Something Beautiful

The Coretta Scott King Book Award celebrates African-American authors and illustrators of books for children and young people. This is a great place to start if you are looking for good children's books by African-Americans.

Update: Here's a link to an 11-year-old girl who is attempting to collect 1000 books featuring a main character who is an African-American girl.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

The Multicultural Children's Book Day team’s mission is to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along the fun book reviews, author visits, event details, a multicultural children’s book linky and via our hashtag (#ReadYourWorld) on Twitter and other social media.


  1. Dont think i have heard about any of the books you listed. might give them a look. thanks for visiting my blog.

  2. This is such a fantastic TTT! I haven't read any of these but I'm going to go read up on them now. Thank you for sharing.x

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  4. This is amazing!!! I loved Bud, Not Buddy and Rolling Thunder, Hear My Cry growing up! Such a wonderful list that just made me so incredibly happy!

    -Jamie @ TheRebelliousReader

  5. Great list Deb, and I really love your intro- it's so true.

  6. A great idea for TTT. I've not heard of any of these books, but I am hoping to read at least a few books this year by some indigenous authors in Australia. And we should all read more diverse books! :)

  7. A great idea for TTT. I've not heard of any of these books, but I am hoping to read at least a few books this year by some indigenous authors in Australia. And we should all read more diverse books! :)

  8. Yes for reading diversely :)
    Hope to pick a few from your list in the near future.

  9. Wonderful topic! Will have to look into stone of these.

  10. What a great list! I'll have to share it with my son's teachers. Even though his school has African-American students as the majority they still seem to have a white-washed reading list some years.

  11. I remember reading Roll of Thunder Hear Me Cry growing up and enjoying it. The others are new to me but I will have to look for them at the library. They'd be great to read to my son.

  12. Beautiful! I love the poem/story by Jacqueline Woodson.
    My TTT is about books set in surprise? Paris! lol: http://wordsandpeace.com/2016/01/26/top-ten-books-set-in-france/

  13. Great list, very unique! Thanks for sharing these titles with us :)

    My TTT

  14. Wonderful list, I've added to read more diversely to my TTT list and Bud, Not Buddy sounds like one I should start with. My TTT

  15. Ten Points to your Harry Potter House of Choice for this topic this week! I think this is SUCH a great idea for this week's topic! It's funny (well not so much) but growing up our schools almost NEVER picked books for the reading curriculums that featured protagonists of a minority and it's such a shame because I went to an inner city school too! I'm so glad to see librarians and teachers today picking more diverse books for their classes! and hopefully one day we wont' even need to call them diverse books anymore. they'll just be the norm!
    great post this week! i really enjoyed reading it and finding your blog! this is my first time stopping by!
    Emily @ www.rabbitholereviews.com

  16. That's a great topic that promotes diversity, what a great idea! I'll keep these books in mind for my future children ;)

  17. Great topic to explore, promoting diversity is so important.

  18. OOoh nice topic!! And picks!! Amazing Grace looks really familiar! I think we read this in grade school ie: the teacher or librarian read it to us!

    Here's my Tuesday Post

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

  19. I've heard of quite a few of these books, but I'm already in the middle of looking up the ones that I haven't. You've picked an absolutely brilliant topic, I think you win freebie week!

  20. This is a great idea to help spread the word on diverse and multicultural books. I admit to having never heard of any of these titles before now. Great pick for a freebie!

  21. Not being American, I didn't know about these children's books, but it's wonderful to know that they exist! I agree with you that reading allows us to experience someone else's life for a moment, and as such diversity in children's literature is important. Excellent topic!

  22. Great topic! I remember reading Bud, Not Buddy in school and really liking it. I'll have to look into the rest of these. Thanks for stopping by my blog!


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