Diverse Books for your Elementary Classroom Library

I will be the first to admit, my library could use some more diverse books. Recent events has been an eye-opener to the fact that I do not have a very diverse selection in my classroom library. I decided to change that, and here are some of the books I will be adding to my collection! Read the short summaries below as well as what these books would be used for in the classroom.

diverse books for your elementary classroom library
  1. Young Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present – Fifty-two inspiring bios of world-changing leaders, pioneers, inventors, athletes, and stars help young readers chart their own course to success.
    • Good For: (Grades 2-6) An Empowering Biography for Every Week of the Year, Diverse Collection of Iconic Figures from Around the World, Gorgeous Art, Research and Exploration (credit: scholastic)
  2. Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library – This Afro-Puerto Rican collector made it his lifelong mission to document the richness of African American art and culture.
    • Good For: (Grades 3-6) Artful Biography Written in Verse, Luminous Illustrations, Inspiring Real-Life Hero, Celebrating (and Protecting) African American Culture, Future Book Collectors (credit: scholastic)
  3. Ron’s Big Mission – Astronaut Ron McNair’s biggest mission as a little boy was fighting for a library card and an education in the segregated south of the 1950s.
    • Good For: (Grades PreK-2) Here is an inspiring story, based on Ron McNair’s life, of how a little boy, future scientist, and Challenger astronaut desegregated his library through peaceful resistance. (credit: amazon)
  4. The Doctor with an Eye for Eyes: The Story of Dr. Patricia Bath – Patricia overcame racism to become a doctor and invent a life-changing treatment for blindness.
    • Good For: (Grades PreK-2) Inspiring Biography, Simple Rhyming Text with Colorful Collage-Style Art, Modeling Courage and Concern for Others, African Americans, Civil Rights Movement, Medicine, Racism, Sexism, Women in Science, STEAM (credit: scholastic)
  5. Hair Love– This daddy and his little one celebrate their shared kinks, coils, and curls…even if Daddy has a lot to learn about how to style them!
    • Good For: (Grades PreK-1) Picture Books That Honor the African American Experience, Wise and Funny Family Story, Beautiful Illustrations, Empowering Message About Loving Ourselves Just the Way We Are, Self-Confidence, Family Love, Hair Styles, Fathers and Daughters (credit: scholastic)
  6. I Am Enough – This gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another comes from Empire actor and activist Grace Byers and talented newcomer artist Keturah A. Bobo.
    • Good For: (Grades PreK – 6) Picture Books That Honor the African American Experience, Empowering Message About Loving Ourselves Just the Way We Are, Self-Confidence (credit: scholastic)

These are just a few books that I am adding to my collection. I have many more on my wishlist, and I would love to hear your suggestions!

What other diverse books should I add to my first grade classroom library?

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Stephanie Nash

I have been helping teachers organize, develop routines, and create inviting & beautiful classrooms since 2012!

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