Books for Kids about Inclusion and Acceptance.
One of the great things about books is watching kids connect the dots between what they read and what they experience. Embracing diversity and inclusion and acceptance is really important for young kids. And, books can help them get there. By reading a book about inclusion, the concept won’t be new to them when they go off to school.
My kids love books. Kevin is prone to making a huge mess of books. I keep all of their books in one toy chest in their room. He loves to look at each of them, one at a time. And, he never puts them back. This morning, I was cleaning them up and I came across our Mikayla’s Voice book. I haven’t looked at it in a while.
I had the pleasure of spending the day with Mikayla and her mom on a lobbying trip to Harrisburg a few years ago. They gave Kevin the book then, which was really nice of them. Anyway, I was thinking about what a nice book it is. And how we really should have more books for kids about inclusion and acceptance in our home library. (2019 Update: Unfortunately Mikayla passed away recently. My thoughts are with her family and all that they did for inclusion.)
Kids’ Books on Diversity and Inclusion
Ben’s Adventures: Ben uses a wheelchair, but that doesn’t define him. Strong messages of acceptance and inclusion, friendship and family make the Ben’s Adventures series perfect for introducing the concept of disabilities, and for teaching young kids that people are more similar than they are different.
Leah’s Voice: Through her kindness and devotion, one sister teaches by example the importance of including everyone and showing acceptance.
Our Friend Mikayla: Very sad to report that Mikayla passed away in early 2019. Her classmates wrote this.
Moon Patrol: “Moon Patrol” promotes the “story of us all,” ensuring that children’s bookshelves contain diverse, non-majority narratives of kids of all different races.
Janine: I reviewed this book a few years ago when it was released. A cute and fun book about kids learning to accept a classmate who is different from them.
The Deaf Musicians: A great story book on the power of music, overcoming obstacles, and all the different ways to hear the world. Written by Kennedy Center honoree Pete Seeger, renowned poet Paul DuBois Jacobs, and Coretta Scott King honor winner R. Gregory Christie.
All My Stripes: With careful guidance from his mother, Zane learns that autism is only one of many qualities that make him special.
Why I Laugh: A first-person account of living with autism.
The Name Jar: The new kid in school needs a new name! Or does she?
All The Ways to Be Smart: The third project from this dynamic partnership that celebrates the myriad talents that each child brings to the world.
The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh: “This simple yet sensitive story about a child coming to terms with things beyond his control will resonate across cultures.” —Kirkus
The Brand New Kid: The Brand New Kid is a heartwarming story about tolerance and the need to give others a chance. It will entertain and inspire children and adults alike.
My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay: Zulay and her three best friends are all in the same first grade class and study the same things, even though Zulay is blind.
Strictly No Elephants: The Pet Club doesn’t understand that pets come in all shapes and sizes, just like friends. Now it is time for a boy and his tiny pet elephant to show them what it means to be a true friend.
Fur is Only Fur Deep: This story has a clear focus on international adoption, inclusion, and seeing past differences. This beautifully illustrated children’s book is perfect for both the home and the classroom.
Marco and I want to play Ball: In a true story of inclusion, Isiah and Marco share their love of baseball.
Say Hello: SAY HELLO evokes the joy and relief of finding a new friend just when it’s needed the most.
Chrysanthemum: Written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes, Chrysanthemum is a funny and honest school story about teasing, self-esteem, and acceptance to share all year round.
Emmanuel’s Dream: Born in Ghana, West Africa, with one deformed leg, he was dismissed by most people—but not by his mother, who taught him to reach for his dreams
A Boy and a Jaguar: Alan loves animals, but the great cat house at the Bronx Zoo makes him sad. More than anything, he wants to be their champion—their voice—but he stutters uncontrollably.
Susan Laughs: Here is an inspiring look at one spunky little girl whose physical disability is never seen as a handicap.
My Friend Isabelle: This charming tale encourages readers to think about what makes a friendship special.
All Are Welcome: A warm, welcoming picture book that celebrates diversity. And, gives encouragement and support to all kids.
Roxy the Raccoon: By working together, the friends are able to make the forest an inclusive place for everyone. Even including those with a disability.
Since We’re Friends: A sweet story about two friends and how they help each other.
Meet the Waats: Do you and your child like funny characters, guessing games, and learning what makes every person special? Then you’ll love this rhyming tale.
Special People, Special Ways: Teachers and parents love to read this book aloud. Additionally, it promotes understanding and tolerance at school and at home.