From Book Riot: 16 Best Anti-Racist Middle-Grade Books
Amid the protests across America following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of a white police officer, an incredible outpouring of resources emerged. They featured books that don’t just highlight the struggle for rights by Black people and other people of color, but how it is white people can push past calling themselves not racist and participate in real anti-racist work. This anti-racist work goes beyond adults. It’s work that children not only understand and can participate in, but that is vital for their futures as anti-racists.
ANTI-RACISM MIDDLE GRADE BOOKS
BECOMING KAREEM: GROWING UP ON AND OFF THE COURT BY KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR
Abdul-Jabbar continues to be a leader in the fight for justice and equality, and this memoir is about his youth, his career, and how experiences with racism and prejudice helped him become the person he is today. Especially good for readers who love sports, as well as those who are familiar with his name (it’s been in the news again lately, so chances are even if young readers don’t know his basketball career, they know he’s important).
BETTY BEFORE X BY ILYASAH SHABAZZ AND RENÉE WATSON
Shabazz is the daughter of Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz, and she’s written a fictional story based on the real-life activism of her mother in the years before she met and married Malcolm X. The story begins when she is 11 and covers four years of her life—the same period of time middle grade readers are in as they read the book—and highlight how she found purpose and her activism.
BLENDED BY SHARON DRAPER
Isabella is mixed race, with a Black father and a white mother. She’s used to being called all kinds of names for this—she’s exotic, unusual, and easily targeted for questions about what her true identity is. With her parents divorce, she’s now forced to confront and understands both of her identities and what it really means for her to be who she is.
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