16 of the Best Books About Social Justice For Kids
best kids books

16 of the Best Books About Social Justice For Kids

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Books are always an excellent tool for learning, including challenging subjects like social justice, diversity, and equality. Some of the best books about social justice help kids learn empathy and build a shared understanding of topics like racism and inequality. These books highlight the importance of recognizing and embracing our differences. 

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Best Kids Books About Social Justice

Whether you are teaching in the classroom or just want your kids to learn empathy and kindness for others, we’ve compiled a list of the best books about social justice for babies to young adults.

Baby Books

1. Kindness Makes Us Strong by Sophie Beer

Even babies and toddlers can begin to learn about social justice through kindness. This short board book teaches babies and toddlers how to be kind on the playground, at lunchtime, on a bike path, and in the neighborhood. 

2. Let’s Be Kind by Amy Pixton

Indestructible and rip-proof, Let’s Be Kind is a baby’s first book on manners and kindness. Flip through while teaching little ones basic social skills like please and thank you. 

3. Think Big, Little One by Vashti Harrison 

The beautiful full-color illustrations in this board book teach young children about the women in history who have overcome adversity and injustice to follow their dreams and make a difference.

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4. Whoever You Are by Mem Fox

You can never go wrong with prolific children’s author Mem Fox. This beautiful board book illustrates how children across the world may be different in appearance, but inside they are similar. The book reminds young readers that although we are different, we should be accepting of one another.

Preschool

5. The Most Fantastic Crayon by Liz Fletcher

Not only is this an excellent book for teaching preschoolers colors, but it beautifully illustrates diversity and the power of kindness, respect, and inclusion that even little ones can understand. Although the orange crayon thinks he is the best, kids learn that each crayon is unique, and when they come together, it makes the world beautiful.

6. Come Together Change The World by Jackie Golusky

In this book, Elmo and his friends introduce preschoolers to concepts of fairness and racial justice that little ones can understand. Race itself is not explicitly defined, but the concept of treating everyone fairly no matter what they look like is very clear. 

7. The Family Book by Todd Parr

Todd Parr always has the magic touch when it comes to paring down big ideas into simple terms that even young kids can understand. His colorful illustrations in this notable title help kids visualize how we are all unique and why it’s important to celebrate those differences.

8. Just Ask! by Sonia Sotomayor

United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor encourages children to follow their curiosities. When they meet people who are different, they should “just ask” so they can learn and accept others.

Elementary

9. Enough! By Emily Easton

Kindergarten through 3rd graders can stand alongside the nation’s most iconic civil and human rights leaders, whose brave actions made history in Enough! Kids learn about Samuel Adams and the Boston Tea Party, Ruby Bridges and her march to school, and even Colin Kaepernick as he takes a knee for Black lives. 

10. Let the Children March by Monica Clark Robinson

Let the Children March is another great book for kids in Kindergarten through 3rd grade. It shows how even kids can stand up for their rights by taking them back to Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963, where children volunteered to march for their civil rights after hearing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak. 

11. My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Martin Luther King III

This book is perfect for teaching younger kids about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Young readers get an understanding of what it was like to be Martin Luther King’s son. Martin Luther King III was one of King’s children mentioned in his “I Have a Dream” speech, and he went on to share his experiences in this iconic children’s book.

12. Change Sings! By Amanda Gorman

Change Sings! is another excellent book for elementary students. Readers discover through this musical journey that they have the power to make changes that are big or small in the world, in their communities, and, most importantly, in themselves. 

Middle Grades and High School

13. March: Book One by John Lewis

If you are looking for a more in-depth but accessible book about Martin Luther King, segregation, and activism, this graphic novel series is perfect for middle school and high school-aged kids. Book one is a vivid first-hand account of the life of John Lewis and his struggle for civil and human rights.

14. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This must-read high school classic is a heart-wrenching tale of virulent prejudice in the south through the eyes of a young girl. Her father, a local lawyer, risks everything to defend a Black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

15. This is My America by Kim Johnson

High school-aged kids and young adults can learn about racial injustice in the American justice system through the eyes of a 17-year old girl fighting for both her brother’s and father’s rights. 

16. Good Girls Don’t Make History by Elizabeth Kiehner

This graphic novel amplifies the voices of female legends from 1840 to the present day. High schoolers and young adults can learn about the fight for women’s rights and epic battles for liberty for all.

More children’s books to check out:


Do you know of more great books for teaching kids about social justice? If so, we would love for you to share them in our Local Anchor Facebook group.

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