Updated: Jan 28
As we head into the holiday season, there are and impressive number of diverse children's books coming our way. There are books that represent a variety of communities and cultures. On this list you'll find debut picture books, chapter books, some middle grade books, and a few exciting holiday books too. This resource list is a labor of love that includes publisher's descriptions along with links for more information.
Related Reading: Gigantic List of Diverse Books Published September 2022
This list doesn't include all of the books publishing November 2022. These are the books on our radar that were submitted 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 update this list to include them.
Books Published November 1, 2022
Updated as we receive submissions
A little girl learns the importance of speaking up for what she wants while at the barbershop and ends up rocking the fabulous hair style she chooses in this fun and empowering picture book.
When a little girl walks into her local barbershop, she knows she wants the flyest, freshest fade on the block! But there are so many beautiful hairstyles to choose from, and the clients and her mother suggest them all: parts, perms, frizzy fros, dye jobs, locs, and even cornrows!
But this little girl stays true to herself and makes sure she leaves the shop feeling on top with the look she picks!
Author Shauntay Grant's sweet, rhyming story encourages young girls to be self-confident and celebrates the many shapes and forms Black hair can take. Through their stunning illustrations, Kitt Thomas is able to bring life and movement to the versatile styles featured in this book.
Set in the world of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever from Marvel Studios, The Courage to Dream is an inspiring picture book about a young Wakandan finding her destiny, from two New York Times best-selling creators.
The Courage to Dream tells the story of Assata, a young Wakandan who hopes to become one of the Dora Milaje, the warriors who protect Wakanda. But because of Assata's disability, she lets go of her dream.
Assata's light shows through all the same, introducing her to surprising friends: the princess Shuri, the warrior Okoye, and the powerful M'Baku. But only Assata can give herself what she's missing: the courage to dream.
New York Times best-selling author Frederick Joseph (The Black Friend) and New York Times best-selling illustrator Nikkolas Smith (The 1619 Project: Born on the Water) bring Wakanda to life in this inspiring picture book about discovering who you can truly be.
Every year is the Year of the Cat!
A legendary race determined the order of the animals in the Chinese zodiac calendar . . . but what happened to Cat, the one animal who never received a year? Rat, Cat, and their eleven friends star in this funny animal adventure that introduces young readers to both the Chinese zodiac and the importance of apologizing. For fans of This Is Not My Hat and We Don't Eat Our Classmates.
Rat won the Great Race, which determined the order of the Chinese zodiac calendar. But he did it using trickery that left poor Cat behind. Now, Rat wants to make amends . . . or so he says. Rat, Pig, Dog, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Horse, Snake, Dragon, Tiger, Rabbit, and Ox all set off to apologize to Cat. Yet somehow, by the end of the journey, Rat is the only one left. And Cat has a special surprise for him.
Richard Ho's sly and perfectly paced text unfolds an exciting animal adventure, full of nods to the traditional Great Race tale. And watch out for an unexpected, delicious twist when Cat doesn't find Rat's apology quite sincere! Jocelyn Li Langrand's joyful and expressive illustrations bring the journey to vibrant life, full of details that reward a closer look. Together thetext and art are an homage to the traditional Great Race tale and a funny, subversive update for today's young readers.
Award-winning author Ying Compestine reimagines the classic fairy tale "Little Red Riding Hood" from a Chinese perspective
By now, you have probably heard the old folk tale about a girl in a red cape.
The truth is that the story took place here in China, there wasn't a woodsman, and I, the gentle wolf, certainly was not the one who ate them.
Here is the real story.
This is not the story you think you know. In this version of the classic fairy tale, Little Red lives in a village near the Great Wall and trains in kung fu. When she ventures to her grandmother's to deliver rice cakes and herbal medicine, she encounters something much more fearsome than a wolf--a mighty dragon. With her wits and a sword in hand, Little Red must valiantly defend herself and her grandmother in this vibrant retelling from Ying Chang Compestine and Joy Ang.
An author's note discusses how this reimagining is influenced by Chinese mythology, symbolism, traditional medicine, and other elements of Compestine's heritage.
Grammy nominated musician Valerie June's Somebody to Love: The Story of Valerie June's Sweet Little Baby Banjolele is a children's book based on the story of how June wrote the song Somebody to Love from her album Pushin' Against a Stone.
In the book, Valerie is a child given a toy banjolele. A banjolele is a very unique four-stringed musical instrument. It has a body like a small banjo, and the neck is like a ukulele. At the beginning, the baby banjolele dreams that its voice will soar and be heard all throughout the world, but very soon its musical journey meets with challenges and doubts. The little banjolele just could not play through a whole song! Valerie and banjolele want to play with the other instruments at school, but the others make fun of the banjolele saying You're just a toy. Embarrassed the banjolele, once more, can not finish the song. But "I have a dream, and I want to sing," the toy banjolele stubbornly refuses to give up. Finally, the toy finds the courage, and belief, and love it needs, coughs out a last bit of dust, and belts out a gorgeous a song. Valerie names the banjolele Baby and both go on to perform all over the world together forever.
Valerie June the adult says of her banjolele: "As I traveled the world telling the story of my banjolele, I always knew it would make an uplifting children's book. It wasn't until I got a call from the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities that I was encouraged to sit down and write it out. One of the nation's most historical dreamers is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As a black female artist, his message taught me the power of dreams at an early age. He was a light for me. Each time I've shared this story with students, I watch as their eyes light up with wonder. It's been thrilling to witness that same light awakening within them. Believing you can achieve your dream is a way to be an inspiration for your community, like a great Nigerian proverb teaches us, 'Thoughts and dreams are the foundation of our being.
Inspired by Mariah Carey's childhood, The Christmas Princess is an unforgettable holiday story, told by the Queen of Christmas herself with Michaela Angela Davis and featuring beautiful illustrations by Fuuji Takashi.
The Queen of Christmas introduces . . . Little Mariah!
There was one time unlike any other,
when everyone pitched in and helped one another . . . CHRISTMAS TIME!
Mariah Carey, lovingly and aptly known as the Queen of Christmas, has brought forth a unique, heartwarming, and modern fairy tale with The Christmas Princess, starring Little Mariah! Like her historic, globally adored song "All I Want for Christmas Is You," this story is an instant and inclusive family holiday classic. While firmly placed in the tradition of Christmas storytelling, The Christmas Princess is infused with her one-of-a-kind festive Mariah magic and musicality.
Little Mariah doesn't have much and doesn't want a lot, but there is just one thing she longs for: a peaceful and joyous holiday season. Feeling outcast and alone, Little Mariah sets off on a wintry, wondrous journey, ultimately discovering the healing power of her voice to spread the spirit of Christmas at home and all around the world.
Shirley Chisholm was a natural-born fighter. She didn't like to be bossed and she wanted things to be fair.
Brooklyn-born Shirley Chisholm was smart and ambitious. She poured her energy into whatever she did--from teaching young children to becoming Brooklyn's first Black assemblywoman. Not afraid to blaze a trail, she became the first Black woman elected to Congress and the first woman to seriously run for US president. With a vision of liberty and justice for all, she worked for equal rights, for the environment, for children, and for health care. Even now, her legacy lives on and inspires others to continue her work . . . which is not done yet.
Stirring free verse by Tameka Fryer Brown and evocative illustrations by Nina Crews provide an inspirational look at changemaker Shirley Chisholm.
Boisterous and buzzing, A Bear, a Bee, and a Honey Tree is destined to be an instant classic . . . with delightfully funny illustrations and clever, fun-to-read text, from the acclaimed author of One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree.
When a hungry, fuzzy brown bear and a hive of angry bees come face to face, everybody's abuzz! Award-winning author Daniel Bernstrom and critically acclaimed illustrator Brandon James Scott have created a rowdy, rhythmic read-aloud that's also perfect for beginning readers. This epic chase story features Bernstrom's signature alliterative wordplay and verbal pizzazz, along with Scott's expressive characters that jump off the pages. A Bear, a Bee, and a Honey Tree has the kind of high-energy, uninhibited playfulness that makes kids want to run, chase, find out something about bear and bee behavior--and learn to read!
This children's book from the author of Color-Courageous Discipleship makes the God-inspired dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., accessible to all, helping kids and parents answer God's call to move from being color-blind to color-brave.
God created a world filled with vibrant variety—and called it good! From flamingos and crows to shooting stars and rainbows—to all our different shades of hair, eyes, and skin—God declared it all very good. Now God calls us to resist racism and proclaim with him how precious all people really are.
With lively rhyming text, this book takes young readers on a biblical and historical journey to discover more about beloved community. Drawing on the biblical vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it explores how we can create communities filled with God’s love as we delight in our differences, stand up to bullying and unfair rules, and declare with our lives and our love that everyone matters to God.
Discover the story behind Michael Jordan's incredible triumph in the 1997 Flu Game in this powerful graphic novel written by Murder Ballads' Gabe Soria and illustrated by award-winning artist Brittney Williams.
Presenting Who HQ Graphic Novels: an exciting new addition to the #1 New York Times Best-Selling Who Was? series!
Explore the relentless grit of Michael Jordan, as he powers through a mysterious illness in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA finals against the Utah Jazz, infamously known as The Flu Game. A story of athleticism, willpower, and triumph, this graphic novel invites readers to immerse themselves into the unyielding drive of the one of the greatest basketball players of all time -- brought to life by gripping narrative and vivid full-color illustrations that jump off the page.
An original middle-grade graphic novel from Graphix starring Miles Morales, by bestselling author Justin A. Reynolds and Eisner nominee Pablo Leon!
Join MIles Morales in his most epic adventure yet!
Miles Morales has just about gotten used to this being Spider-Man thing. Keeping Brooklyn safe, taking down bad guys, and finishing his homework--he's got this! But when Spider-Man is invited to a launch for a brand-new video game, things go sideways fast. Anyone who plays the game is frozen, and it's all because of a villain named the Stranger. He's judged humanity and found it lacking, and his idea of justice is extreme.
Left with the fate of the world in his hands, and the clock is ticking on Miles. Can he turn old foes to friends and find the answers he needs in time?
What do you know about the Underground Railroad?
What if you lived in a different time and place? What would you wear? What would you eat? How would your daily life be different?
Scholastic's If You Lived... series answers all of kids' most important questions about events in American history. With a question and answer format, kid-friendly artwork, and engaging information, this series is the perfect partner for the classroom and for history-loving readers.
How did the Underground Railroad get its name? Why is it called a railroad? How did people find it? Who operated it?
Ebony Joy Wilkins answers all these questions and more in this comprehensive guide to the Underground Railroad. A great choice for Civil War units, and for teaching children about this important part of American history.
Books Published November 8, 2022
Updated as we receive submissions
In this picture book written by Doyin Richards and illustrated by Robert Paul Jr., You Matter to Me, a dog describes what it's like to go on walks with his Black owner and wishes that people would see his human as he does: with love.
Biscuit the dog is adopted from the shelter and loves his new home and his new human family. The dad, especially, takes good care of Biscuit and is the person who walks him the most.
But Biscuit soon realizes that not everyone shares his feelings about his human. His human is Black, and some people in the neighborhood are scared by that. Some people hold their purses closer, or tighten their grip on their children's hands.
With honest, age-appropriate storytelling, Doyin Richards starts a conversation about racism that is more important than ever. Here is a book that should be in every home, school, and library as a reminder that everyone matters.
A picture book biography about M.S. Subbulakshmi, a powerful Indian singer who advocated for justice and peace through song.
Before M.S. Subbulakshmi was a famous Carnatic singer and the first Indian woman to perform at the United Nations, she was a young girl with a prodigious voice.
But Subbulakshmi was not free to sing everywhere. In early 1900s India, girls were not allowed to perform for the public. So Subbulakshmi busted barriers to sing at small festivals. Eventually, she broke tradition to record her first album. She did not stop here. At Gandhi's request, Subbulakshmi sang for India’s freedom. Her fascinating odyssey stretched across borders, and soon she was no longer just a young prodigy. She was a woman who changed the world.
A new edition for a new world of one of literary legend Toni Morrison's first picture books with her son, Slade Morrison. With an afterword by the inimitable Jewell Parker Rhodes.
"This is a book about mean people. Some mean people are big. Some little people are mean."
In Toni Morrison's second illustrated book collaboration with her son Slade, she offers a humorous and insightful look at how children experience meanness and anger in our world. The Morrisons recognized that the world and its language can be confusing to young people. To a child, meanness can have many shapes, sizes, and sounds. The wise young narrator shows that meanness can be a whisper or a shout, a smile or a frown as the list of mean people grows to include parents, siblings, and bullies of several varieties.
Today's young readers certainly know about meanness and will feel satisfied by having their perspective championed in The Book of Mean People as well as heartened by the book's message of embracing optimism, kindness, and joy despite any meanness they encounter. And adult readers will no doubt recognize some of these situations from their own life.
With whimsical yet sophisticated art by bestselling illustrator Pascal Lemaitre, The Book of Mean People is as relevant today as it was when it was originally published 20 years ago.
Features a new cover and back matter that includes an afterword by bestselling and critically acclaimed author Jewell Parker Rhodes.
An empowering picture book that invites us to explore and embrace our emotions from Karamo, talk show host and culture expert of Netflix's hit series Queer Eye, and Jason Brown, featuring illustrations by Diobelle Cerna, and expert-vetted resources.
A father and son are caught in a storm and must learn to navigate the uncertainty together in this poignant picture book by talk show host and beloved Queer Eye star Karamo Brown and his son Jason "Rachel" Brown, perfect for reassuring young readers in times of stress.
I Am Okay to Feel empowers children to talk about their emotions and anxieties, with the reassuring message that "I am okay to feel and heal." Paired with back matter and resources developed with psychologists, this picture book offers a loving framework for how to identify and express feelings in a healthy way, providing the tools to build emotional intelligence at a formative age.
Logan searches for carrots in his wheelchair-accessible greenhouse in this vibrant exploration of gardening and healthy eating, from the Where in the Garden? picture book series.
Logan is organizing a pet playdate at his greenhouse for all of his friends, and his treats won't be the same without his carrots. He's searched and searched, but his greenhouse is filled with plenty of plants and Logan needs our help to identify them. What do we know about carrots? They're long, orange, and have bushy leaves at the top--and, wait a moment, is that a carrot? No, that's a turnip. Where, oh, where could those carrots be? Can you help Logan find them in time for his playdate?
The third title in JaNay Brown-Wood and Samara Hardy's Where in the Garden? picture book series stars Logan, a young boy who uses a wheelchair and accessible tools while gardening in his greenhouse. Playful text guides young readers to hunt for visual clues and compare and contrast the unique characteristics of carrots against sweet potatoes, leeks, turnips, and other produce that grows in Logan's greenhouse.
Artist Samara Hardy brings this multi-layered story to life with vivid, cheerful illustrations created from layers of hand painted ink and watercolor texture. Back matter includes a delicious winter carrot soup recipe for little chefs and their adult helpers to try together.
A singular, richly illustrated picture book biography of Bayard Rustin, the gay Black man behind the March on Washington of 1963, by the acclaimed authors of Unspeakable: the Tulsa Race Massacre and Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag. On August 28, 1963, a quarter of a million activists and demonstrators from every corner of the United States convened for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It was there and then that they raised their voices in unison to call for racial and economic justice for all Black Americans, to call out inequities, and ultimately to advance the Civil Rights Movement.
Every movement has its unsung heroes: individuals who work in the background without praise or accolades, who toil and struggle without notice. One of those unsung heroes was at the center of some of the most important decisions and events of the Civil Rights Movement.
That hero was a quiet man, a gay African American man. He was Bayard Rustin.
Carole Boston Weatherford and Rob Sanders's A Song for the Unsung, featuring illustrations from artist Byron McCray, is an inspiring story that answers one of our nation's greatest calls to action by honoring one of the men who made it happen.
A Tamil boy explores his love for his grandmother and her colorful sari collection in this tale of expressing your true self.
Another exciting day with Paati begins with a host of fun activities done in preparation for tonight's party; threading flowers into garlands for decoration, going to the market, and helping her in the kitchen with the scent of sambar in the air.
Through it all the boy finds comfort in Paati's sari, whether he's wrapped in its colors for dress-up or clutching its folds for comfort. Each sari holds a story--ones that speak to him, but most important of all they allow him just to be.
With joyful text by Jyoti Rajan Gopal and dazzling art by Art Twink, My Paati's Sari is a commemoration of how clothing can convey tradition and individuality, and connect us to both our families and ourselves.
Boom! Snap! Whiz! Zap! The Magnificent Makers chapter book series is filled with science, adventure, and characters kids will love! Every book includes two science activities kids can do at home!
A modern-day Magic School Bus for the chapter book reader!
Pablo, Violet, and twins Devin and Skylar are zapped back to the Maker Maze for a weather-themed challenge! This time, they get to learn all about wind, the water cycle, and how storms are created. But even though the Maker Maze is as exciting as ever, Devin seems to be a little blue.
In Storm Chasers, the kids learn that sometimes our emotions can create storms inside of us, and that's okay.
Don't miss the other books in the series!
#1: How to Test a Friendship
#2: Brain Trouble
#3: Riding Sound Waves
#4: The Great Germ Hunt
#5: Race Through Space
Books Published November 15, 2022
Updated as we receive submissions
A little Black boy finds the courage to go after his dreams in this empowering and inspirational picture book by actress Kirby Howell-Baptiste (The Sandman) with actor Larry Fields.
With vivid, dimensional illustrations by Paul Davey, this encouraging and hopeful picture book celebrates the joy of being a little Black boy and their bright futures.
Fascinated by marine wildlife, a little Black boy dreams of one day swimming in the ocean alongside all the creatures that make it their home. It will take courage to move from the safety of the swimming pool to the vastness of the ocean, but as he begins his journey of discovery, he soon finds there's nothing he can't do. He realizes if he cares about the animals in the ocean, he must also care about their home and sets out to preserve the beaches he loves by picking up trash. This little boy is determined not only to reach his dream of becoming a marine biologist, but to make a difference in the world and to share his passion of environmental conservation with everyone.
Little Black Boy, Oh the things you will do.
Has anyone mentioned the world's open to you?
An empowering and joyous picture book by actress Kirby Howell-Baptiste (The Sandman) that instills confidence and encourages little Black girls to reach for their wildest dreams.
Illustrated by the talented Paul Davey, this inspiring picture book celebrates all little Black girls, the power of community, and the joy and hope of being a child.
In beautiful, lyrical text actress Kirby Howell-Baptiste tells the story of one Black girl and her limitless potential as she pursues her dream of robotics. Determined to have her robot ready for the school fair, getting everything done in time won't be easy, but this little Black girl knows she is destined to shine and is not going to let anything hold her back from achieving her dream. With bright, bold plans in mind she begins to sketch and build her robot. The joy she has pursuing her passion is infectious and she has a community of strong women around her, encouraging and supporting her as she lives out her dream.
You have sparks in your brain and fire in your heart.
You can decide where to stop and where to start.
You were born unique. None of us are the same.
Your only job: Make them remember your name.
Celebrate the Lunar New Year through a young girl's family traditions in this charming picture book featuring illustrations by New York Times bestselling artist Dung Hothat also includes a recipe for pineapple cakes!
Little Ren looks forward to the preparation for and festivities of Lunar New Year, but she is always too little to help make the delicious pineapple cakes that are her favorite. She watches family members rolling out the dough and loves the mouth-watering smell. Watching and waiting, when will Ren be old enough?
From the award-winning author of Before She Was Harriet comes another work of lyrical beauty, the story of Henry David Thoreau and businessman Frederic Tudor--and a changing world.
Thoreau and Tudor could not have been more different from each other. Yet both shared the bounties of Walden Pond and would change the course of history through their writings and innovations.
This study in opposites contrasts the austere philosopher with the consummate capitalist (whose innovations would change commercial ice harvesting and home refrigerators) to show how two seemingly conflicting American legacies could be built side by side.
Oddball/ tax dodger/ nature lover/ dreamer/ That's what they called/ Thoreau.
Bankrupt/ disgrace/ good for nothing/ dreamer/ That's what they called/ Tudor.
Celebrated author Lesa Cline-Ransome takes her magnificent talent for research and detail to plumb the depths of these two history-makers. The graceful text is paired with Ashley Benham-Yazdani's period accurate watercolor and pencil artwork. In winter, readers see Tudor's men sawing through the ice, the workhorses dragging the ice, and Thoreau observing it all; in spring, summer, and fall, the ice continues its journey across the globe with Thoreau and Tudor writing and reflecting in their respective diaries.
An Author's Note, which explores how Thoreau's writings influenced such figures as Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Frost, and Mohandas Gandhi, is included.
Award-winning author-illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh sheds light on the significance of Aztec manuscripts and culture
Our world, little brother, is an amoxtlalpan, a land of books.
In the jungles where the jaguar dwells, the Mayas make books.
In the mountains the cloud people, the Mixtecs, make them as well. So do others in the coast and in the forests.
And we the Mexica of the mighty Aztec empire, who dwell in the valley of the volcanoes, make them too.
A young Aztec girl tells her little brother how their parents create beautiful painted manuscripts, or codices. She explains to him how paper is made from local plants and how the long paper is folded into a book. Her parents and others paint the codices to tell the story of their people's way of life, documenting their history, science, tributes, and sacred rituals.
Duncan Tonatiuh's lyrical prose and beloved illustration style, inspired by the pre-Columbian codices, tell the story of how--contrary to the historical narrative that European colonizers bestowed "civilization" and knowledge to the Americas--the Aztec and their neighbors in the Valley of Mexico painted books and records long before Columbus arrived, and continued doing so among their Nahua-speaking descendants for generations after the Spanish Conquest. From an award-winning author-illustrator, A Land of Books pays tribute to Mesoamerican ingenuity and celebrates the universal power of books.
It's a double mystery when a robot and a hamster go missing before the science fair in the third book of this full-color early chapter book series about the best detectives in the Midwest!
Detective Tip #3: Use your imagination and stay calm!
When a classmate's DIY robot goes missing right before the school Science Fair, Detective Wednesday Nadir and her service dog, Woof are sure they can find it...until the class hamster also disappears! Now the pressure is on! Can Wednesday and Woof use the scientific method to solve two cases at once--or will the stress cause a mess?
HarperChapters build confident readers one chapter at a time! With short, fast-paced books, art on every page, and milestone markers at the end of every chapter, they're the perfect next step for fans of I Can Read!
Books Published November 22, 2022
Updated as we receive submissions
A picture book based on Ziggy Marley's popular song celebrating music's many forms, from the sounds of ocean waves to laughter in the family kitchen.
"Music Is in Everything"--a single on More Family Time, the follow-up children's album to the GRAMMY Award-winning Family Time--celebrates how music is found in everything. From ocean waves to banging pots and pans in the kitchen, from a loved one's laughter to the "river's latest tune, " Marley reminds children everywhere that you don't need an instrument to create a beautiful song. With heartfelt illustrations by Ag Jatkowska--illustrator of Marley's debut picture book, I Love You Too--Music Is in Everything is a sweet and uplifting ode to the power and beauty of song.
Books Published November 29, 2022
Updated as we receive submissions
Discover how a young girl who was the star of her school's debate team became a federal jurist and the first Black woman to sit on the United States Supreme Court in this exciting addition to the Who HQ Now series that features newsmakers and trending topics.
Born in Washington, DC, in 1970, and raised in Miami, Florida, Ketanji Brown Jackson developed an interest in law and politics at an early age. As a preschooler, she sat with her father and watched him complete his law school assignments. And even though some people, including a school guidance counselor, discouraged Ketanji from aiming high, she proved them wrong and graduated with honors from Harvard Law School.
She went on to serve on the U.S. District Court in 2013 and the United States Court of Appeals in 2021 before making history and becoming the first Black woman to be confirmed to the United States Supreme Court in 2022.
Learn more about Ketanji Brown Jackson's story in this addition to the New York Times bestselling series.
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