Chapter books to celebrate diversity.

Celebrate Diversity with Chapter Books

Read & Reflect to Grow Big Hearts

These amazing chapter books for early readers offer the perfect opportunity to discuss differences and the value diversity adds to any community. Plus, they help build your older child's "empathy muscles." (For a list of books for younger children, please see our Diversity - Picture Books page.) 


Reflections

  • What can be learned from considering various points of view?

  • What does it mean to live in a racially homogeneous community?

  • What responsibility do each of us have to create a more peaceful world?

  • How can we be more inclusive at home, school, and around the world?

Project Ideas

  • Good Eggs: a recipe for tolerance. Teach tolerance over breakfast with this thought-provoking recipe.

  • Make your home reflect cultural diversity by the art, music, and books you display; the movies and television shows you choose to watch; and the restaurants your family frequents.

Or, try this: On a sheet of paper, draw a Venn diagram, list the things that are unique about you on the left side, the things that are unique about a character in one of these books on the right side. Add similarities in the middle. Take time to respectfully discuss these differences and similarities as a family.

1. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

This Newbery award-winning novel invites readers to step into the shoes of eleven-year-old Delphine and her two sisters in 1968, the summer they travel to Oakland, CA to meet the mother who abandoned them years earlier. Full of surprising and earnest humor, this book will give readers a unique insight into a historically tumultuous time.

2. Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman

Each chapter reveals a different character in a neighborhood of strangers. Discover how quickly a community garden can change everything, bringing diverse people together to overcome obstacles of all kinds.

 

 

3. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Pearson

Brace yourself. Gilly Hopkins has been through a lot in her eleven short years floating from foster home to foster home. Her tough and angry approach is shocking at first, though readers can't help but root for her in the end as she moves past her prejudices. This is another great Newbery Honor book.

4. Wonder by R. J. Polacio

Meet August Pullman, a fifth grade boy with an extraordinary face. His differences have previously kept him out of public school, until now. Polacio skillfully weaves eight different voices into one compelling, occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, and all-too honest story about the differences, the scars, and the beauty in all of us.

5. The Moves Make the Man by Bruce Brooks

Meet Jerome, our witty and charming narrator, and his puzzling new friend Bix, whose commitment to honesty causes an uproar. While the two boys form a friendship on and off the basketball court, Bix discovers complete honesty is as problematic as complete dishonesty. This story will appeal to sports enthusiasts and, in spite of some profane language, it provides a good spring board for conversations about diversity, friendship, and honesty.

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