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Reading for Racial Justice

Background readings to help understand the context of the June 2020 protests in Minneapolis and around the country following the death of George Floyd.

Racial Justice in Children's Literature

Largely due to grassroots efforts led by organizations like We Need Diverse Books, children's literature has seen a groundswell of literature that reflects the experiences of BIPOC communities. 

Here are some recent titles that address racial inequality and/or police brutality. 

All titles are available in the Curriculum Resource Center, on the second floor of Jerome Library. 

Please contact Joe Prince if you have any questions or feedback. 

Titles Available in the CRC

All American Boys

When sixteen-year-old Rashad is mistakenly accused of stealing, classmate Quinn witnesses his brutal beating at the hands of a police officer who happens to be the older brother of his best friend. Told through Rashad and Quinn's alternating viewpoints

Anger Is a Gift

Six years ago, Moss Jefferies' father was murdered by an Oakland police officer. Along with losing a parent, the media's vilification of his father and lack of accountability has left Moss with near crippling panic attacks. Now, in his sophomore year of high school, Moss and his fellow classmates find themselves increasingly treated like criminals in their own school.

Black Enough

A collection of coming-of-age short stories that reflect on the African American teenage experience in America.


Piano-prodigy Isabella, eleven, whose black father and white mother struggle to share custody, never feels whole, especially as racial tensions affect her school, her parents both become engaged, and she and her stepbrother are stopped by police

Dear Martin

Writing letters to the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., seventeen-year-old college-bound Justyce McAllister struggles to face the reality of race relations today and how they are shaping him.

Ghost Boys

After seventh-grader Jerome is shot by a white police officer, he observes the aftermath of his death and meets the ghosts of other fallen black boys including historical figure Emmett Till.

A Good Kind of Trouble

Shay's sister, Hana, is involved in Black Lives Matter, but Shay doesn't think that's for her. After experiencing a powerful protest, though, Shay decides some rules are worth breaking.

The Hate U Give

Returning home one evening from a party, Starr and her childhood friend Khalil are pulled over by a police officer. During the stop, Khalil is inexplicably shot and killed by the officer. Trapped between two worlds - that of her life in an inner city neighborhood and that of her life in a suburban private school - Starr must navigate the trauma of the murder and her role in speaking the truth.

How It Went Down

When sixteen-year-old Tariq Johnson is shot to death, his community is thrown into an uproar because Tariq was black and the shooter, Jack Franklin, is white. In the aftermath everyone has something to say, but no two accounts of the events agree

I Am Alfonso Jones

The ghost of fifteen-year-old Alfonso Jones travels in a New York subway car full of the living and the dead, watching his family and friends fight for justice after he is killed by an off-duty police officer while buying a suit in a Midtown department store

Let Me Hear a Rhyme

When a young black teen is murdered, his two best friends decide to keep his memory alive by promoting his music -- rhymes that could turn any hangout into a party -- with the help of his younger sister, Jasmine, who is out for justice. As the buzz builds, it forces Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine to each confront the death in their own ways

Light It Up

Shae Tatum, an unarmed, thirteen-year-old black girl, is shot by a white police officer, throwing their community into upheaval and making it a target of demonstrators

Tyler Johnson Was Here

When Marvin Johnson's twin brother, Tyler, is shot and killed by a police officer, Marvin must fight injustice to learn the true meaning of freedom.