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Diverse Books For All Ages

Books That Celebrate Every Story, Every Voice, Every Child

15 Fabulous Children's Books Published in September 2023 (+ Video)


This resource list is a labor of love that includes publisher's descriptions along with links for more information. Publishing dates may change for a variety of reasons. These books were submitted to us by publishers, authors, and the Helping Kids Rise community.


If you notice a book that fits our mission that is not featured here, please send us an email to let us know. We'll be happy to add them to our Bookshop.


Related Reading: Check out our previous lists here: Gigantic List of Diverse Books Published

 
Diverse Childrens Book Cover

New York Times bestselling author Joanna Ho, of Eyes That Kiss in the Corners, creates a meaningful and diverse picture book about how names define us.


Names reveal generational ties and histories, weaving an intricate tale of the past. Names--and correctly saying them--are important. Each one carries the hopes, dreams, and traditions of those who came before us.


Six children connect with the reader and proudly celebrate their names and backgrounds: Hé Xiao-Guang, Ofa Kivaha Tupoumalohi, Bijan Hosseini, Nizhoni Yazzie, Xóchitl Luna, and Akosua Acheampong. These captivating kids of Chinese, Tongan, Persian, Navajo, Mexican, and Ghanaian descent also honor their ancestors and cultural histories.


Joanna Ho's lyrical story, with gorgeous illustrations by Khoa Le, explains how saying a person's name is the only way we can truly know another.



Diverse Childrens Book Cover

The picture bookSnowy Mittens: A Winter Adventure is a celebration of Black joy and the simple pleasures of a day in the snow from award-winning poet and picture book author Shauntay Grant.


Follow along as a young boy spends the day sledding and ice skating with his family in this spare and poetic picture book. With a simple story--and simply stunning color illustrations from Candice Bradley--Snowy Mittens is an ode to celebrating winter's coziest wonders, big and small.



The stunning new picture book by presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman and Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator Christian Robinson


You're told that

This won't work,

But how will you know

If you never try?


Presidential inaugural poet and #1 New York Times bestselling author Amanda Gorman and Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Honor winner Christian Robinson have created a timeless message of hope.


Sometimes the world feels broken. And problems seem too big to fix. But somehow, we all have the power to make a difference. With a little faith, and maybe the help of a friend, together we can find beauty and create change.


With intimate and inspiring text and powerfully stunning illustrations, Something, Someday reveals how even the smallest gesture can have a lasting impact.



From New York Times bestselling picture book author Carole Lindstrom and illustrator Bridget George comes Autumn Peltier, Water Warrior, an inspiring picture book biography about two Indigenous Rights Activists, Josephine Mandamin and Autumn Peltier.


The seventh generation is creating

A sea of change.


It was a soft voice, at first.

Like a ripple.

But with practice it grew louder.


Indigenous women have always worked tirelessly to protect our water--keeping it pure and clean for the generations to come. Yet there was a time when their voices and teachings were nearly drowned out, leaving entire communities and environments in danger and without clean water.


But then came Grandma Josephine and her great-niece, Autumn Peltier.


Featuring a foreword from water advocate and Indigenous Rights Activist Autumn Peltier herself, this stunning picture book from New York Times-bestselling author Carole Lindstrom and illustrator Bridget George gives voice to the water and asks young readers to join the tidal wave of change.



From award-winning creators Winsome Bingham and E.B. Lewis, TheWalk (A Stroll to the Poll) is a powerful, full-color picture book story celebrating a journey crucial to our democracy: the walk to vote--a perfect read aloud.


My granny is taking me on THE WALK.

"Because leaders are not born," she says. "They're made through molding and modeling."

"What's the walk?" I ask.

"You'll see. And there's a few treasured souls coming too."


Granny and her granddaughter are going on a walk. But this is not just any walk. It's a walk that must not be missed; one that is more important than ever but has been made increasingly difficult for many to participate in. It's a walk that joins together a community; that lifts voices; that allows us to speak up, stand up, and say what's on our minds. It's a walk for hope.


Where are all these treasured souls going? Just WALK ON and find out.



Unicorn best friends Magical, Unique, and Divine embrace just how special they are--and just how special you are--in this picture book adventure. Celebrate your inner unicorn with the first Little Golden Book in the Afro Unicorn line!


Which spectacular unicorn are you?


Each Afro Unicorn has superpowers: Unique is the problem solver with the power to heal and protect; Divine cheerleads and uplifts others, possessing super strength; and Magical is the all-knowing one with the power to read minds.


Get to know these amazing Afro Unicorns and celebrate the power inside of you!


When Afro Unicorn creator April Showers realized that her favorite emoji--the unicorn!--was only available in white, she was inspired to create a more inclusive brand for children of color to celebrate how magical, unique, and divine they truly are.



Selah can't wait to show off her newly loc'd hair at school, but when she bounces off the bus, her classmates react with whispers and a word Selah hasn't heard before: dreadlocks.


The word dread makes her uneasy: is there something scary about her hair? Selah's family shares stories about standing up to hair discrimination and why they love their locs, helping Selah return to school with confidence, because there's absolutely nothing dreadful about her hair!


Written with several elements of the African American oral tradition -- LOCS, NOT DREADS celebrates the rich history and beauty of naturally loc'd styles. Perfect for readers of CROWN: An Ode to the Fresh Cut and Hair Love.



This inspiring Little Golden Book tells the story of one young boy's wish to have his whole family together for Christmas.


Jayylen is extra excited for Christmas this year. His brother Manuel, who is serving in the Army, will be home for the first time in three years!


But when Momma gets the call that Manuel won't be able to make it because he's needed on base in Alaska, Jayylen doesn't know what to do. Can he figure out a way for the whole family to be together?



This lyrical picture book explores the birth of Black America, focusing on the little-known men and women who fought for justice and for an America where freedom truly rang for all.


We're familiar with the founding fathers of white America, but who are the founding fathers (and mothers!) of Black America?


In a poetic narrative of the origins of Black America, acclaimed Black author and publisher Wade Hudson teaches us about the little-known men and women who had a profound effect on the history of the nation. Black America was built by brave pioneers--men and women taken from Africa, who suffered and struggled to build a country, a culture, and institutions. Emphasizing that freedom didn't ring for all when the United States gained its independence from Great Britain, Hudson shows the slow process by which Black Americans fought for justice over the course of many generations.


Ending with a call to consciousness and to action, Invincible is a powerful, informative, and inspiring account of a history that deserves to be better known.



Sing out! With a stunning, graphic style and a melodious text, this picture book tells the story of Latin American icon Mercedes Sosa and how she became the voice of a people from exile to triumph.


What if a voice became a symbol of justice?

I'm here to offer my heart, said that voice.


The folk rhythm of the bombo drum beats like a heart, with a resonant voice singing the truth of her people. Mercedes Sosa sang about what it means to be human, and her songs of struggle always spoke the truth of the injustice that so many workers and families in Latin America faced.


As a teen, she won a local radio contest, and as her confidence grew, so did her fame. From a folk festival to Carnegie Hall and the Sistine Chapel, Mercedes performed the world over, sharing stories through song. But not everyone loved her singing: a military dictatorship ruled over Argentina, and they saw the power of her voice. Even from exile, Mercedes Sosa was a beacon of freedom for her people, and when she returned to her homeland, she persisted in her work: to be the voice of the voiceless.


Adding a personal touch as a fellow Argentinean, Melisa Fernández Nitsche fills her debut picture book with bright and breathtaking illustrations that will surely inspire and empower young readers as they read about the impact one person's voice can have.



A stunning picture book comprising two incredible stories--the first part chronicles the adventures of a four-year-old Black girl named Harlem, while the second part describes the history of Harlem the neighborhood. From a New York Times bestselling author and a critically acclaimed illustrator.


In this beautiful picture book in two parts, meet Harlem: the girl and the neighborhood. Part one follows the adventures of a little girl named Harlem and her single father as they go on a museum "playdate" with painters Romare Bearden and Jean-Michel Basquiat, listen to John Coltrane records, and conduct science experiments in their apartment ("The volcano erupts /Red lava on Valentine's Day!").


Part two takes us back to the fourth year of the twentieth century in Harlem the neighborhood. Here, we are introduced to Philip A. Payton Jr., aka Papa Payton, whose Afro-American Realty Company gave birth to the Black housing explosion, helping to start America's Great Black Migration. Because of Papa Peyton, Black families--like Harlem and her father a century later--could move to Harlem and thrive and flourish.


This is a completely unique, absolutely gorgeous picture book by a New York Times bestselling author and a Coretta Scott King Award-winning illustrator that weaves together the lives of a modern Black family and a historically Black neighborhood in New York City.



A beautiful, empowering story about the impact of literacy in underprivileged communities, based on a real bookmobile program in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.


Luis's favorite day of the week is Monday, the day the bookmobile comes to his neighborhood. In Villa Nueva, sad stories can gather like dark, stormy clouds. But at the bookmobile, Luis hears stories that burst with life, laughter, and color. Maybe today will bring a song or a puppet show! He might even get to pick a book to read on his own. Every new Monday fills Luis and his neighbors with a joy they can't help but bring back home.


Co-written by the director of JustWorld International's bookmobile program in Tegucigalpa, Colorful Mondays is an inspiring celebration of the ways books and learning can bring joy to a community. Illustrated in captivating swirls of color, this uplifting book highlights the strength of disadvantaged children and the creativity of those who help them imagine a better future.



Newbery Honoree Rajani LaRocca, author of I'll Go and Come Back, turns her focus to a careful, deliberate grandfather and his impatient grandson in a cozy family story featuring a recipe for spiced chai.


Aarav loves his grandfather very much, but they're as different as water and molasses. Where Aarav runs and races, Thatha likes to saunter and stroll. Every day at five o'clock, Thatha makes masala chai for the family, and no matter how much Aarav urges him to hurry, Thatha insists on taking his time. "Masala chai cannot be rushed," says Thatha. "It must be made carefully." One day, when Thatha sprains his ankle and must rest on the couch, Aarav eagerly decides he'd like to make the chai himself--after all, what would make his grandfather feel better than a cup of warm, spiced sweetness? But no matter how hard Aarav tries, his rushing causes him to miss some crucial step.


Will Aarav be able to slow down and get the recipe right? With charming illustrations by Neha Rawat that are as enticing as the aroma of spiced tea, author Rajani LaRocca invites readers in for a visit with Aarav and his family--and shares her favorite masala chai recipe at the end.



Rosie is so excited to see her abuela and tell her everything that's been going on--but Abuela doesn't speak English, and Rosie doesn't speak Spanish.


They quickly learn over lunch, though, that hunger has no language--and neither does love!


Based on Rachel's own experience, this story speaks to the power to communicate outside of spoken language. Author Rachel Más Davidson is a Cuban American author-illustrator who enjoys creating positive stories and art. She previously taught K-12 art and gave private art lessons. Rachel earned a BFA from the Art Institute of Dallas. She currently lives in Texas.



This is a picture book biography of trailblazer Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman in Congress and the first woman and African American to enter the Democratic presidential race, by award-winning author Lesa Cline-Ransome.


Shirley Chisholm was born in Brooklyn, New York, where her immigrant parents scraped and saved while Shirley learned all the love in the world couldn't pay the rent. Her father encouraged her ambition early on, telling her, "God gave you a brain, use it." Shirley worked hard and landed a full scholarship to Brooklyn College where she started advocating for people like her by starting a club for Black women.


When her political science professor told her she should go into politics, Shirley paid attention. She broke new ground and heard "Go home to your husband" and "You don't belong here" when she was campaigning. But that didn't stop her; in fact, it made her work harder until she became the first African American woman in Congress in 1968, where she ended up serving seven terms, and advocated for important bills such as the Equal Rights Amendment. She even sought the nomination for president of the United States in 1972.​


Shirley Chisholm's life and legacy served as a catalyst for progress in America and changed the world.



Looking for more great read aloud ideas? Visit these fabulous book lists:

 

Afro Unicorn creator April Showers joins "CBS Mornings" to discuss her two new children's books: "We Are Afro Unicorns" and "A Magical Day."

 

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