Trouble finding diverse books for kids? Check out these titles

The old courthouse in downtown St. Louis. TIM LLOYD | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

The old courthouse in downtown St. Louis. TIM LLOYD | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

There’s a serious lack of children’s books with diverse characters, let alone books that tell stories about people of color in America. That’s hardly news, and if you want some background, check out this piece from NPR.

Enter Adelaide Lancaster and Laura Horwitz, two white mothers with young children. When long-standing racial divides boiled over following the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, the women searched for ways to talk to their kids about race

But where to begin? Most white families in America don’t talk about race, according to a study by the journal of Marriage and Family. And again, there’s a dearth of kids books on the topic.    

Eventually the pair launched We Stories, a nonprofit designed to support parents struggling to find ways to talk with their children about diversity. There was a big response and there’s now a wait list to join the group. Both Lancaster and Horwitz talked about We Stories and their own struggle to talk with their children about race on our latest episode. Check it out here.

A centerpiece of We Stories is a curated list of children’s books on race and diversity, which cover topics like accepting different skin tones, the history of the underground railroad and immigration. The nonprofit then partnered St. Louis County Library to offer hundreds of diverse children’s titles.

We Stories' recommended book list for July

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters, by President Barack Obama

We Came to America, by Faith Ringgold

L Is for Liberty, by Wendy Cheyette Lewison

Good Night America, by Adam Gamble

I, Too, Am America, by Langston Hughes

Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom, by Shane Evans

Juneteenth for Mazie, by Floyd Cooper

Brick by Brick, Charles Smith  

We Are America: A Tribute from the Heart, Walter Dean Myers

Companion Titles

Apple Pie Fourth of July, Janet Wong

Emma's Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty, by Linda Glaser

In the Land of Milk and Honey, by Joyce Carol Thomas