Recently, a college student at our church took a children’s literature class. The professor asked the students to make a list of 100 books with minority characters. That college student resorted to one of the best sources of wisdom on the planet—the body of Christ. Members of the church contributed titles they’ve enjoyed over the years or read to their children. What follows below is a raw listing of those titles and links to a couple of other posts at other sites with similar lists. I hope this might be a blessing to many of you looking for children’s books featuring people of color.

If you’re interested in reading more about why this is important, check out this list of essays and articles (along with excellent artwork).

Nappy Hair by Carolivia Herron

Come Sunday by Nikki Grimes

Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman

Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen, Kadir Nelson

Brothers of the Night by Debbie Allen

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

A Is for Anacostia

S Is for Southside

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (picture book)

March by John Lewis

Mr. Lincoln’s Way by Patricia Polacco

Babushka’s Doll by Patricia Polacco

Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco

Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco

Freedom on the Menu by Carolyn Boston Weatherford

Separate Is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh

The Youngest Marcher by Cynthia Levinson, Vanessa Brantley Newton

The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles

Jerry Pinckney is an amazing illustrator of children’s books that feature minority characters:

The Lion and the Mouse

The Patchwork Quilt

Sam and the Tigers

Sugar Plum Ballerinas Series

Miami Jackson Gets It Straight by Patricia McKissack

Fishing with Pop by Kelly Greenawalt, Chuck Greenawalt, Thomas Park

Princess Truly by Kelly Greenawalt

The Courageous Cape Chase by Kelly Greenawalt

The Freckled Speckled Rainbow Dog Salon by Kelly Greenawalt

Mixed Me by Taye Diggs

Indigo Blume and the Garden City by Kwame Alexander

Not Norman: A Goldfish Story by Kelly Bennett

Please, Baby, Please  by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee

Mary had a Little Glam by Tammi Sauer

I’m a Pretty Little Black Girl by Betty K. Bynum

(I believe she also has a book titled, I’m a Lovely Little Latina and I’m an Awesome Asian Girl)

Full, Full, Full of Love by Trish Cooke

Home-Field Advantage by Justin Tuck

Don’t Let Auntie Mabel Bless the Table by Vanessa Newton

Big Hair Don’t Care

The Hello Goodbye Window (this one is a biracial girl and her parents/grandparents – but not about race)

Anna Hibiscus series (the mom is white but the family is living with the Dad’s African family in Africa, from Usborne books)

From North to South is about a Mexican family and the mom is deported.

Scott Woods compiled a list of 28 picture books that aren’t about boycotts, buses or basketball. Here’s a link to a post with books featuring multi-ethnic families.


art/photo credit: The New York Times, March 16, 2014

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Thabiti M Anyabwile

Thabiti M Anyabwile

Thabiti is one of the pastors of Anacostia River Church in Washington, DC and the president of The Crete Collective. He is the author of several books and as an introvert enjoys quiet things at home.

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