cover image Race Cars: A Children’s Book About White Privilege

Race Cars: A Children’s Book About White Privilege

Jenny Devenny. Frances Lincoln, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-7112-6290-4

Edited by diversity and inclusion expert Charnaie Gordon, this narrative, an extended metaphor about two race cars that’s written in lengthy blocks of text, introduces white privilege and systemic prejudice to young readers. After Chase, a black car, is the first nonwhite vehicle to place first in “the world-famous, annual race-car race,” the offended committee—made up entirely of older, male white autos, save for Grace, a white car who, differentiated by pink tires, is “the only girl”—adds obstacles to subsequent races for nonwhite cars, enabling Chase’s best friend, Ace, a white car, to place higher. But when Ace attempts the route meant for “all other cars” and gets lost, Grace finally speaks up. Author-illustrator Devenny’s prose is accessible, if sometimes didactic, as when explaining why a group of white cars don’t initially speak up: “They were afraid of change and did not want to lose their space at the table.” Densely spaced paragraphs paired with spare, stamplike digital art amplifies the educational feel, but this white privilege primer is an easily digestible resource that could benefit those building lesson plans on the topic. Front matter includes an author’s and an editor’s note; back matter includes discussion questions and notes for adults. Ages 6–9. (May)