One of the most incredible things about reading is how books can transport us to different places, different time periods, different characters, and different identities. By spending time in other people’s lives, it becomes easier to understand what they’re going through, and how their struggles and triumphs may differ from our own. This is part of Diverstories’ mission—by amplifying the voices of diverse authors, they’re also diversifying the kinds of stories that get told. Which, in turn, provides young readers with greater imagination and empathy.
Since a new school year is a great time to recommit to our values and goals, we’ve partnered with Diverstories to bring our community a Back to School Reading List. Diverstories has curated 10 books that celebrate diversity and empower Black voices. Perfect for kids aged 5-10+, these books will help kids learn confidence, compassion, and to find their own way. Sarah Kamya, founder of Diverstories, says, “"Books have the power to inspire us, start a conversation, and create significant change! Together, we can amplify and empower Black voices, one book at a time!"
See below for the list of books she thinks you should be adding to your classrooms, home libraries, and bedtime story routines…
- What Are Your Words? by Katherine Locke
- Becoming Vanessa by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
- What Will You Be? by Yamile Saled Mendez
- Your Name is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
- El Cucuy Is Scared, Too! by Donna Barba Higuera
- Schools First Day of School by Adam Rex
- What the Road Said by Cleo Wade
- Big Feelings by Alexandra Penfold and illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman
- Evelyn del Rey Is Moving Away by Meg Medina and illustrated by Sonia Sanchez
- The Paper Kingdom by Helena Ku Rhee and illustrated by Pascal Campion
Super Smalls continues to support our friends at Diverstories, and you can too! Visit the organization’s NEW website to learn more and directly support, or follow along on Instagram at @littlefreediverselibraries to join and support Sarah as she amplifies Black voices and Black stories!