The other day, River came home excitedly telling me about a civil rights story she read at school. She intimately knew the main character, Henry, and everything he went through. When explaining the story to me, she seemed at ease, confident, not just in her ability to relay a story, but that the history she was recounting is now over.
While I find it difficult to swallow as she speaks optimistically about the America we now have, these stories are an easy beginning—or continuum, in our generation’s case—to the difficult discussion of equal rights and rightful praise for black people this month….
1. We March
2. Henry’s Freedom Box
3. Martin’s Big Words
4. The Story Of Ruby Bridges
7. 100 African-Americans Who Shaped History
10. Wilma Unlimited
Have you read any of these books with your children?
I want to add, I think now, more than ever, we need to be honest with our kids about our difference, while filling them up with kindness and love for everyone. River sees differences between herself and her friends, and these obvious, normally physical dissimilarities, make her love them even more intensely. She still has childlike joy and innocence in her heart, but she is carrying this with a more mature confidence.
I want to always be the one who teaches my children the tough things about life. It’s our duty as parents, and is the highest honor, to raise capable, smart, joyful, accepting, and loving humans. None of that comes from silence. When we talk about hard things, they get it. They always will.
I read the Barrack Obama book to my students and they loved it! I was amazed at how they sat and listened. Very cute book.
That is a fantastic list! I'm a reading teacher and know the value of having a diverse collection and you picked some of the best!
Hi Meg, I'm so happy you liked them! It's always good to hear from a reading teacher!
Yes! It's such a beautiful and easy ready! xo
Thank you for this. Ordering some now for my boys.
We own Henry's Freedom Box and I am Rosa Parks. My two and a half year old daughter loves them. We also have I am Jackie Robinson from the same series, which she also loves. I'm going to check out some of the other books you listed!
Thanks for writing this. It's good to be reminded to trust our kids and their abilities to understand and to be encouraged in speaking up and teaching them the hard stuff. Definitely here right now with our four year old and, loving her innocence, I have found that navigating it is harder than I thought it would be for me. Thanks again!