5 Diverse Books for Kids to Include In Your Classroom Library

by Andy Minshew


It’s crucial to provide your students with books that explore a diverse breadth of identities and experience for two reasons, both of which tie into equity and access. First, it makes sure every student in your classroom feels that they have a voice and belong. And second, it encourages your students to read about and empathize with people who have different lives than their own.

These 5 children’s books explore diverse themes including culture and heritage, disability, and mental health. We’ve separated each section by age to make sure you can find the perfect books for your school or classroom library.

5 Diverse Picture Books for Your Classroom Library

1. Drawn Together by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat

This wordless picture book tells the story of how a boy and his grandfather connect through art. Although they don’t speak the same language, their love of superheroes and stories brings them together. Through this tale, the book shares a heartwarming message: like art, love can transcend the things that keep us apart.

2. Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard

What does fry bread mean to Native American homes? Fry bread is food, time, nation, history, and so much more. This book in verse follows a family as they make a meal that brings them together—along with a recipe in the back for sharing.

3. Hosea Plays On by Kathleen M. Blasi

Hosea Taylor was a real-life musician who played his saxophone every day to earn money in his city. But his music was more than just his living: it made people happy and brought some extra vibrance to their life. This picture book shows just why Hosea’s music was so special and how music can bring communities together.

4. Plenty of Hugs by Fran Manushkin, illustrated by Kate Alizadeh

This picture book follows a toddler and his two mothers as they spend a day together. Together, they have a lovely day as they go on a bike ride, see the animals at the zoo, and enjoy a bedtime story—with plenty of hugs to go around.

5. Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

Jabari is an excellent swimmer, but the diving board at his local pool terrifies him. All of the other kids jump off with ease, but he can’t make himself do it. But with a little motivation from his dad, Jabari finds the courage to do the seemingly impossible.


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