Anti-Racism Diverse Books for Grades 3-5

Are you looking to add anti-racist books to your library but don’t know where to start? Have you been thinking about how to have meaningful conversations with young people about race, but lack confidence in how to begin? The books in our Anti-Racism Reading List will help you take the first steps or continue the critical discussions about anti-racism work relevant to your setting.

In this blog post, we’ve rounded up books from our anti-racism reading list for grades 3-5. You can find more of our anti-racism titles in our Anti-Racism Diverse Reading List and the corresponding book collection.

Ana Maria Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle

Ana María Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle written by Hilda Eunice Burgos: In this sparkling middle grade debut, Ana María Reyes has to figure out life with three sisters, a tiny two-bedroom apartment, and one chance to shine in the upcoming city piano showcase.

Dream Builder

Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon written by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Laura Freeman: You’ve seen the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Now meet the. man whose life went into building it.

As Fast As Words Could Fly

As Fast As Words Could Fly written by Pamela M. Tuck, illustrated by Eric Velasquez: Mason Steele, an African American boy in 1960s Greenville, North Carolina, relies on his inner confidence and typing skills to face challenges and break racial barriers after he begins attending a “whites only” high school.

Friends from the Other Side/ Amigos del otro lado

Friends from the Other Side/ Amigos del otro lado written by Gloria Anzaldúa, illustrated by Consuelo Méndez: This poignant immigration story captures not only the hardship of daily life on the border, but also the beauty of the landscape and the dignity and generosity of spirit that Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants share. (Bilingual English/ Spanish)

Indian No More

Indian No More written by Charlene Willing McManis with Traci Sorell: Winner of the American Indian Youth Literature Award! In this middle grade novel set in the 1950s, when the US government terminates the tribal rights of the Umpqua people, Regina and her family must leave their beloved reservation in Oregon and move to Los Angeles.

Love to Langston

Love to Langston written by Tona Medina, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie: This biography in verse of the beloved poet Langston Hughes shows how he overcame numerous obstacles to follow his dreams and become a poet.

Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh

Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh written by Uma Krishnaswami: While her parents and neighbors are struggling through World War II, working for India’s independence, and trying to stay on their farmland, nine-year-old Maria Singh learns to play softball just like her heroes in the All-American Girls’ League.

The People Shall Continue

The People Shall Continue written by Simon J. Ortiz, illustrated by Sharol Graves: Renowned Acoma Pueblo poet and storyteller Simon J. Ortiz traces the progress of Native/ Indigenous people in North America from the time of creation to the present. (Also available in Spanish)

The Wind Called My Name

The Wind Called My Name written by Mary Louise Sanchez: In this heartwarming historical middle-grade novel set in the 1930s, Margarita Sandoval and her family navigate the shifting winds of belonging in their new Wyoming town.

What We Believe: A Black Lives Matter Principles Activity Book

What We Believe: A Black Lives Matter Principles Activity Book written by Laleña Garcia, illustrated by Caryn Davidson: This powerful activity book will engage hands, hearts, and minds as it introduces children to the guiding principles of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Find more Anti-Racism Books:
Anti-Racism Reading List
Anti-Racism Diverse Books for Grades PreK-2
Anti-Racism Diverse Books for Grades 6-8+

Download the printable PDF here

Looking to customize a book collection for your school or district? Get in touch.

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