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Diverse Books For All Ages

A great selection of books for families, educators, and the community

  • Helping Kids Rise

The Gigantic List of Diverse Books Published October 2022 (+ Free Printable)

Updated: Oct 12


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Fall has come in bringing an impressive number of diverse children's books. There are books that represent a variety of communities and cultures. On this list you'll find debut picture books, new chapter book series, 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 October 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 October 4 , 2022

Updated as we receive submissions



A joyful, rhyming picture book that is an ode to community and outdoor play


Pedal, pump.

Speed bump!

Ride, roll, run.

Friends and fun!


This energetic picture book celebrates community and friendship, following children as they play their way through their vibrant neighborhood. Author and educator Valerie Bolling's rhyming text makes for an exciting read-aloud and is paired with stunning illustrations by Sabrena Khadija.







For fans of Hair Love and Eyes that Kiss in the Corners, here is an empowering picture book about recognizing the beauty around you and within you by award-winning author Supriya Kelkar and rising star illustrator Noor Sofi.


Brown is beautiful.


On a hike with her grandparents, a young Indian-American girl makes note of all the things in nature that are brown, too. From a nurturing mother bear, to the steadiness of deep twisting roots, to the beauty of a wild mustang, brown is everywhere! On her way, the girl collects the beautiful brown things she encounters as mementos for a scrapbook to share with a very special new addition to her family--a baby brother!


Brown is you.

Brown is me.



In the vein of Hidden Figures comes a nonfiction picture book about the Green Book, a travel guide by Victor Hugo Green, a Black postal worker from Harlem, made to help African Americans stay safe while traveling during segregation.

As a mail carrier, Victor Hugo Green traveled across New Jersey every day. But with Jim Crow laws enforcing segregation since the late 1800s, traveling as a Black person in the US could be stressful, even dangerous.

So in the 1930s, Victor created a guide--The Negro Motorist Green-Book--compiling information on where to go and what places to avoid so that Black travelers could have a safe and pleasant time. While the Green Book started out small, over the years it became an expansive, invaluable resource for Black people throughout the country--all in the hopes that one day such a guide would no longer be needed.

Award-winning author Tonya Bolden and acclaimed illustrator Eric Velasquez shine a light on this little-known history of Victor Hugo Green and the deep impact of his incredible book on generations of Black families in America.




Whether round and crunchy like a kimchi pancake or pinched and plump like a kimchi dumpling, there are so many ways to enjoy this Korean traditional dish.

Explore the different ways to eat kimchi in this fun, rhyming tale that also teaches the days of the week. Korean-American author-illustrator Erica Kim shares her pride in her delicious cultural food through her cut paper art technique. The Hanji paper that is used to illustrate the book comes from a paper mulberry tree native to Korea.

This beautiful reflection of culture will inspire children to take pride in their cultural foods, too.




A bittersweet celebration of the everlasting bond between a mother and child through the changing phases of their lives.


The thread between a mother and child starts to unwind when the child begins to walk, talk, and run. It stretches a little more on the first day of school. It swirls and unfurls the further the child gets from Mom's reach. One thing is constant -- that it always remains.


Emily Joof channeled her Gambian upbringing to pen this story, which was inspired by a local tradition of leaving a thread with the child when a parent travels.






A celebration of family roots from award-winning children's author Carole Boston Weatherford!

I've got my brother's ears

And my sister's big bright eyes.

I've got my grandpa's hands

Though mine are a smaller size.

As a young girl reflects on the characteristics she shares with her family, she also notices and appreciates what makes her unique. This adorably sweet book reminds children of the love and security of family and celebrates the wonderful diversity among the people that make up our families and who love us so much!




A joyful, rhyming picture book that is an ode to community and outdoor play


Pedal, pump.

Speed bump!

Ride, roll, run.

Friends and fun!


This energetic picture book celebrates community and friendship, following children as they play their way through their vibrant neighborhood. Author and educator Valerie Bolling's rhyming text makes for an exciting read-aloud and is paired with stunning illustrations by Sabrena Khadija.



"I'm not sure I'm a boy... so maybe he is not best for me."


Payden has always used he/him pronouns, until one day Payden realizes those words might not fit. Payden's parents promise to throw a big party to introduce whatever pronouns Payden chooses--but which pronouns are the best match? On a colorful quest, Payden talks to friends about a rainbow of possibilities: he, she, they, ze, and so many more! The right pronouns are just waiting to be tried on.


Put on your party hats and learn about the magical variety of pronouns in this thoughtful story that imagines a world of unquestioning support for gender exploration, celebrates all the different ways a person can present, and provides a blueprint for people of any age who are pondering what gender means to them.



When happy things come to you, hold them close and never let go.

From celebrated author of Your Name Is a Song Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, fine artist Patrick Dougher, and photographer Jamel Shabazz, Hold Them Close is a picture book celebration of Black past, present, and future--a joyful love letter to Black children.


As affirming as it is touching and warm, Hold Them Close encourages young children to hold close their joy, the words of their ancestors and elders, as well as their power to change the world. A perfect book for shared story time, this book will inspire young people to march forth with pride, glow, and happiness.





From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of This Book Is Anti-Racist, Tiffany Jewell, with art by Eisner-nominated illustrator Nicole Miles, The Antiracist Kid is the essential illustrated guide to antiracism for empowering the young readers in your life!

What is racism? What is antiracism? Why are both important to learn about? In this book, systemic racism and the antiracist tools to fight it are easily accessible to young readers.

In three sections, this must-have guide explains:

Identity: What it is and how it applies to youJustice: What it is, what racism has to do with it, and how to address injusticeActivism: A how-to with resources to be the best antiracist kid you can be

This book teaches young children the words, language, and methods to recognize racism and injustice--and what to do when they encounter it at home, at school, and in the media they watch, play, and read.




Leon is an ordinary kid who becomes extraordinary when he fights a supervillain to save his school!


In the city where Leon lives, superheroes -- and supervillains -- are commonplace. So how does an ordinary kid like Leon, who has no superpowers himself, become the superhero he wants to be? When all his classmates suddenly become obsessed with a new phone app that turns them into zombies, Leon gets his chance to prove that using his brain and following his heart can save the day.


Equal parts New Kid and The Incredibles, the first graphic novel in this action-packed, heartfelt, and joyously funny series by Jamar Nicholas reminds readers that when it comes to being a hero, you just need to believe in yourself.






Something cool happening in Ferrous City? Not a chance.


Until one day . . . when self-proclaimed genius inventor Ethan Fairmont runs into an abandoned car factory to avoid a local bully and accidentally stumbles across his ex-best friend Kareem, new kid Juan Carlos, and an extraterrestrial visitor. Cheese (the alien) is stuck on Earth in need of some serious repairs, spicy snacks--and absolute, total secrecy. That's easier said than done when mysterious agents descend on Ferrous City to search for Cheese. With time running out and their family and friends in potential danger, can Ethan, Kareem, and Juan Carlos pull off an intergalactic rescue before they're all found out?


E.T. meets Stranger Things in the kickoff to Nick Brooks's middle-grade series that weaves contemporary issues of racial profiling, industrial community struggles, and everyday life in a fast-paced out-of-this-world adventure.





Dive into the legend of the Black Panther in this new origin story by acclaimed author Tochi Onyebuchi and New York Times-bestselling illustrator Setor Fiadzigbey!


T'Challa and Hunter are brothers growing up in the idyllic royal palace of Wakanda. Theirs goes beyond the usual sibling rivalry, though -- Hunter, although older, is adopted, and T'Challa is the true heir to the throne. But when tragedy strikes, the two brothers must grow up fast!


See the moments that made T'Challa who he is, from his walkabout as a teen where he meets the enchanting Ororo Munroe, to when he first invites the Fantastic Four to Wakanda! Son, brother, warrior, king...as each chapter unfolds, new pieces of T'Challa's character will be revealed -- and the Black Panther will rise!






Zero Adedji dreams of joining one of the Saba guilds--groups of intergalactic travelers who explore space, retrieve lost treasures, and hunt down criminals. Instead, he must scrape by as a guide to travelers stranded on his home planet of Anansi 12.


Then he meets Wanderblatch, a strange creature with an even stranger object: a golden pyramid that houses a legendary Kobasticker called the Jupiter. When the Jupiter chooses Zero as its next host, he is recruited by a top Saba guild so he can harness his newfound powers.


But the stakes are rising, and Zero and his friends Camih and Ladi are tasked with recovering an artifact known as the Mask of the Shaman King, which can grant wishes at a terrible price. And they're not the only ones on the hunt--Space Mafia head Rozan Leombre is desperate to use the Mask to break his family's curse. The trio must use their wits, courage, and friendship to achieve their quest and protect the galaxy.

Action-packed, wildly imaginative, and laugh-out-loud funny, Children of Stardust is a fast-paced space adventure that launches a brand-new and unique voice in children's literature.





 


Books Published October 11, 2022

Updated as we receive submissions



From New York Times bestselling illustrator Theodore Taylor III comes a vibrant ode to street art, a picture book about a child discovering all of the beauty--and art--her new neighborhood has to offer. Shapes moving in every direction, letters weaving in and out, bright colors jumping off of the wall.

It was like a language from another

planet that only I could understand.


Graffiti.


In this bright, colorful, and movement-filled picture book Off the Wall, a young girl moves with her family from the big city to a small town. She feels odd and out of place until a stroll down the street hits her with echoes from home: vibrant graffiti splashed against the wall. But when it's painted over that sense of belonging is lost, until an afternoon's adventure shows her that street art can be found everywhere--as well as a sense of home.


In his exceptional author-illustrated debut, Theodore Taylor III has crafted an ode to street art, a stunning celebration of a much-maligned art form and all the beauty it brings to a neighborhood.




This lyrical picture book is a joyous, poetic, celebration of Black children and a reminder of the Universe's unconditional love in stunning verse and captivating collage. Perfect for fans of Sulwe!

Lyrical, empowering, and inspiring. An affirmation of the miracle each individual is." --Yamile Saied Méndez, author of Where Are You From? and What Will You Be?


When the Universe decides to create a child, she draws from the earth--rich, dark, and full of everything that gives life, including eyes like black star sapphires and full lips to speak the truth. With help from the Sun and the Moon, they create a child of the Universe: beautiful, powerful, and boundless with the brilliance of Black Gold.


Laura Obuobi's empowering, whimsical text and London Ladd's lustrous, captivating illustrations will inspire children to love themselves exactly as they are.





Grammy Award winner Rhiannon Giddens celebrates Black history and culture in her unflinching, uplifting, and gorgeously illustrated picture book debut.


I learned your words and wrote my song. I put my story down.


As an acclaimed musician, singer, songwriter, and cofounder of the traditional African American string band the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Rhiannon Giddens has long used her art to mine America's musical past and manifest its future, passionately recovering lost voices and reconstructing a nation's musical heritage. Written as a song to commemorate the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth--which was originally performed with famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma--and paired here with bold illustrations by painter Monica Mikai, Build a House tells the moving story of a people who would not be moved and the music that sustained them. Steeped in sorrow and joy, resilience and resolve, turmoil and transcendence, this dramatic debut offers a proud view of history and a vital message for readers of all ages: honor your heritage, express your truth, and let your voice soar, even--or perhaps especially--when your heart is heaviest.





Celebrate Christmas with this bright, joyful board book.


The day is almost here! It's only "one more goodnight" until Christmas. As children go to sleep, they can't wait for all the fun that comes with celebrating their favorite holiday with their loved ones. They know the next day will be filled with the best Christmas songs, decorations, and cookies! Experience familial traditions in this sweet holiday primer.









Celebrate Hanukkah with a collection of funny and festive poems from the author of the hugely popular Kindergarten, Here I Come!


A warm and welcoming Hanukkah story.-Kirkus Reviews


The candles are lit and the latkes are frying - Hanukkah is here! Welcome in the holiday with poems - and a sheet of stickers! - from author D. J. Steinberg that highlight the family fun, dizzying dreidels, and mighty Maccabee stories that Hanukkah is sure to bring.






12-year-old Mwikali is moving to a new school in Nairobi and just wants her life to be normal. But when she meets Soni, Odwar and Xirsi who reveal that she is descended from an ancient bloodline of legendary Kenyan warriors, all hope of a normal life fades. Now, with an array of malign forces massing, Mwikali must delve deep into the past to discover her ancestry, learn to harness her extraordinary powers, and enter a race against time to defeat a village elder who has turned to dark magic in an effort to gain ultimate power...


A fantasy adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat right to the moment of its breathtaking conclusion!










Discover namaste's many meanings in a simple, lyrical text, paired with a charmingly detailed visual narrative about a little girl's kindness.


Namaste calms your heart when things aren't going right.

Namaste is saying "You matter."


What is namaste? It's found in a smile, a friendship, a celebration. It exists in silence; it can be said when you're happy or when you're feeling low. For one small girl in a bustling city, namaste ("I bow to you") is all around her as she and her mother navigate a busy marketplace--and when she returns with a little plant and chooses to give it to an elderly neighbor, it can be seen in the caring bond between them. In a sweet, universal text, debut author Suma Subramaniam shines a light on a word with significance far beyond yoga class, while artist Sandhya Prabhat makes the concept of mindfulness come alive in delightful illustrations likely to draw children in again and again.


 


Books Published October 18, 2022

Updated as we receive submissions


A cumulative all-holiday carol packed to the brim with family, food, love, and Black joy, especially perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, graduations, and all family celebrations.


Every holiday, aunties, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and neighbors come over to eat, sing, and celebrate life. But all our main character can think about is the sweet potato pie Granny makes just for her. As tables fill with baked macaroni and cheese, chitlins, and other sides a-steaming, she and Granny move the pie to keep it intact. The task becomes tricker as the room grows with dancing and card games and pie cravings. Just when all seems lost and there's no more pie, Granny pulls out a sweet surprise.


Written to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas," Twelve Dinging Doorbells is exuberant. Author Tameka Fryer Brown's cumulative rhyme is impossible to resist, and the humorous details in Ebony Glenn's cut-paper collage will welcome readers to this party again and again.




As a little boy grows into a bigger boy, ready to take on the world, he first must have that very difficult conversation far too familiar to so many Black and Brown Americans in this gentle and ultimately hopeful picture book.


Jay's most favorite things are hanging out with his pals, getting kisses from Grandma, riding in his dad's cool car, and getting measured by his mom with pencil marks on the wall. But as those height marks inch upward, Grandpa warns Jay about being in too big a group with his friends, Grandma worries others won't see him as quite so cute now that he's older, and Dad has to tell Jay how to act if the police ever pull them over.


And Jay just wants to be a kid.


All Black and Brown kids get The Talk--the talk that could mean the difference between life and death in a racist world. Told in an age-appropriate fashion, with a perfect pause for parents to insert their own discussions with their children to accompany prompting illustrations, The Talk is a gently honest and sensitive starting point for this far-too-necessary conversation, for Black children, Brown children, and for ALL children. Because you can't make change without knowing what needs changing.





Meet Mabel Fairbanks, the skating superstar who became the first Black athlete inducted into the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame.

After watching ice skaters glide and spin at a rink in Central Park, Mabel Fairbanks was determined to learn to skate. But in the 1930s, many places didn't allow Black skaters on the ice, so Mabel practiced on a homemade rink in her bedroom! There she learned how to perform sharp turns and whizzing spins of her own creation.


It wasn't long before Mabel needed more room to practice skating, and she returned to one of the rinks that denied her entrance. This time she refused to take no for an answer. She knew that if they just let her on the ice, she would be the most marvelous skater anyone had ever seen. And she was right, as her trailblazing talent continues to influence the sport today.


Written and illustrated with warmth and spirit, this is the true story of how Mabel Fairbanks's determination and grit led her to become America's first Black skating superstar.




Celebrate diversity, math, and the power of storytelling!


Tyson is the youngest-smaller than his four older brothers and always trying to keep up. But when the family's pet gerbil, Swish, goes missing, it's Tyson to the rescue! Tyson uses his knowledge of doubles, triples, and sizes to figure out a clever way to reach his beloved pet. A playful exploration of proportional thinking, featuring an author letter about the ubiquitous nature of math.



Storytelling Math celebrates children using math in their daily adventures as they play, build, and discover the world around them. Joyful stories and hands-on activities make it easy for kids and their grown-ups to explore everyday math together. Developed in collaboration with math experts at STEM education non-profit TERC, under a grant from the Heising-Simons Foundation.





A gorgeously illustrated picture book that is a powerful love letter to chosen families and the village that raises us. A young girls basks in the love of her community--which includes not only her mother but the many different women who make up her world.


Home can be a blue house with white trim you share with your mama. But it can be bigger than that, with lots of Big Mamas to take care of you when your mom works--different houses for every day of the week. Mondays mean Nurse Louella and bike riding. Tuesdays mean eating fufu with your fingers with Miss Zikora. And Wednesdays . . . well, no matter where you are, as long as you are with your Big Mamas, you are home.


A girl basks in the warmth of her community in this powerful love letter to chosen families and the villages that raise us, from Pushcart Prize-winning author Shay Youngblood and popular illustrator Lo Harris.





An empowering holiday picture book by Meena Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Ambitious Girl.


Amalia the Elf loves everything about making teddy bears . . .


Watching Grandma and Mama sew!

Feeling the soft, velvety fur!

Imagining the bears in their new homes!


. . . except the bear-making part.


Worried about disappointing her family, Amalia goes straight to Santa for advice. But it's Mrs. Claus who knows how to solve Amalia's problem--and who needs help with a secret of her own.


From #1 New York Times bestselling author Meena Harris, The Truth About Mrs. Claus is an empowering story about being true to yourself, honoring family traditions, and believing in Christmas magic





A child who looks different from her mother finds beauty and belonging in this new book from the creator of New York Times bestseller I Sang You Down from the Stars


Izzy's favorite place to be is in Mama's arms--skin to skin, safe and warm. One night, cuddled up on Mama's lap, Izzy notices something she's never noticed before: her skin is the color of chocolate, but Mama's skin is the color of sand.


When Izzy realizes she's different from Mama in other ways, too, she feels sad and confused. She wants to be beautiful like Mama! But Mama addresses Izzy's disappointment with a gentle, loving refrain: You're part of me, and I'm part of you. I'm beautiful like me, and you're beautiful like you. Finding lessons from nature and repeating her affirming message, Mama encourages Izzy to see her own unique beauty.


This story about a multiracial child navigating identity and belonging draws from author Tasha Spillett-Sumner's own experience growing up as an Afro-Indigenous girl. Lyrical text and warm, lively illustrations show Izzy's journey as she learns to celebrate the differences that make her uniquely beautiful, and the connection to her mother that transcends physical traits.





The first children's book to feature material from the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, this beautiful picture book will engage hearts and minds as it introduces children to the guiding principles of the Black Lives Matter movement.


When the Black Lives Matter movement began in 2013, the three founders -- Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal (now Ayo) Tometi -- anchored its work in a list of guiding principles, developed through conversation with other activists. These principles commit the movement to empathy, loving engagement, and just action among its participants; affirm the importance of Black women, families, elders, and LGBTQ folk; and celebrate the strength and diversity of Black people in their communities and around the globe.

Now young people can explore these powerful principles in How We Can Live: Principles of Black Lives Matter -- the first children's book to include material from the founders' organization, the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. Created by two teachers with more than thirty-five years of educational experience between them, How We Can Live presents the guiding principles in down-to-earth, child-friendly language, accompanied by vibrant portraits of real people -- many of them present-day or historical activists for human rights and racial justice. Questions on every spread encourage discussion of and reflection on the principles, and supporting materials include an introduction for children that explains the history of the movement and its relevance for their lives, and an afterword for adults on how to approach the topic with children. An essential resource for anyone discussing racial equity with young people, How We Can Live offers a beautiful and inspiring lens on the most important social justice movement of our time.




With more than 130,000 copies sold, this award-winning chapter-book series starring a spunky Japanese American heroine returns with four new standalone books set on a family vacation in Japan!


Toothbrush? Check. Her special journal? Check! Eight-year-old Jasmine Toguchi--flamingo fan, tree climber, and top-notch mess maker--can hardly wait for her family vacation to Japan, and by the time their plane finally touches down, she's ready to dive into their new adventure. There are so many things to see in Tokyo: Ramen Street, which she learns is not a whole street made of ramen; old temples with fancy gates; and Tokyo Tower, where you can even spot Mount Fuji on a good day.


But when they arrive, Jasmine finds herself unable to get away from her older sister Sophie's crabby attitude. Plus there's so much about Japan she didn't know, and she seems to be getting in trouble right and left. Will Jasmine be able to cheer up her sister AND find her footing in a new country?


With her trademark humor and warmth, Debbi Michiko Florence weaves family drama and a fun introduction of Japanese culture into this delightful next chapter in Jasmine's world.


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