The following is a list of books focused on anti-racism, inclusivity, and related matters of racial, social, and criminal justice.
You Can Keep That to Yourself: A Comprehensive List of What Not to Say to Black People, for Well-Intentioned People of Pallor
Adam Smyer, out now
This book consists of an alphabetized short list of things not to say to African Americans, each designed to strip away the hypocrisy and half-truths of these cultural exchanges by laughing at them.
Lawless: A Lawyer’s Unrelenting Fight for Justice in a War Zone
Kimberley Motley, out now
The international human rights attorney, the first foreign lawyer to practice in Afghanistan, recounts her journey and her mission to bring justice to the defenseless and voiceless.
The Eagles of Heart Mountain: A True Story of Football, Incarceration, and Resistance in World War II America
Bradford Pearson, Jan.
In his debut, journalist Pearson recounts how, at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Wyoming, where Japanese Americans were detained during WWII, Heart Mountain High School started a football team coached by a former star athlete from the University of Wyoming.
American Runaway: Black and Free in Paris in the Trump Years
Audrey Edwards, out now
An African American journalist of a certain age and wiseass perspective swore she would leave the U.S. if Donald Trump was elected president—and she did just that.
Love Is the Way: Holding On to Hope in Troubling Times
Bishop Michael Curry, out now
The clergyman who delivered the sermon at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle provides an inspirational road map for living the way of love, illuminated with lessons from his life as the descendant of slaves and the son of a civil rights activist.
Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land
Toni Jensen, out now
The author uses her encounters with gun violence to describe what it means to exist as an Indigenous woman in America.
Radical Belonging: How to Survive and Thrive in an Unjust World (While Transforming It for the Better)
Lindo Bacon, out now
Bacon blends science and storytelling to provide strategies to reckon with the trauma of injustice, rewire one’s nervous system to better cope in an unjust world, and create a world where all bodies are valued and all of us belong.
Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body, and Spirit
Mary-Frances Winters, out now
This book explores Black fatigue—the intergenerational impact of systemic racism on the physical and psychological health of Black people—and what society needs to do to combat its pernicious effects.
A More Perfect Reunion: Race, Integration, and the Future of America
Calvin Baker, out now
This book argues that we first need to envision a society no longer defined by the structures of race in order to create one.
The Other Boston Busing Story: What’s Won and Lost Across the Boundary Line (updated ed.)
Susan E. Eaton, out now
Sixty-five graduates, now adults, recall their experiences and assess the benefits and hardships of crossing racial and class lines on their way to school.
Giving Up Whiteness: One Man’s Journey
Jeff James, out now
Wanting to identify his own blindness so others can identify it in themselves, the author undertakes an intimate, humble and disorienting investigation of what it means to be white in 21st-century America.
Hometown Inequality: Race, Class, and Representation in American Local Politics
Brian F. Schaffner, Jesse H. Rhodes, and Raymond J. La Raja, out now
The authors use big data and a representative sample of American communities to examine racial and class inequalities in local politics.
White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color
Ruby Hamad, out now
This book unpacks white women’s active participation in campaigns of oppression, showing how the division between white women and racialized, sexualized women of color was created, and why this division is crucial to confront.
She Votes: How U.S. Women Won Suffrage, and What Happened Next
Bridget Quinn, out now
Quinn profiles the women who won suffrage and those who have continued to raise their voices for equality ever since.
Something in the Water: A 21st Century Civil Rights Odyssey
Michael W. Waters, Jan.
The author reflects on the sacred places and spaces he visited as part of a cross-country trek through the historic sites of America’s racist past.
Cassius X: The Transformation of Muhammad Ali
Stuart Cosgrove, out now
This volume explores the pivotal time when Cassius Clay transformed into Muhammad Ali, and the events, relationships, and experiences that shaped him and defined the era.
The Deaths of Sybil Bolton: Oil, Greed, and Murder on the Osage Reservation
Dennis McAuliffe Jr., out now
While investigating the 1925 death of his Osage Indian grandmother, the Washington Post journalist uncovered a systematic killing spree in the 1920s, carried out by white residents of Oklahoma against the oil-rich Osage Nation.
Overnight Code: The Life of Raye Montague, the Woman Who Revolutionized Naval Engineering
Paige Bowers and David R. Montague, Jan.
This biography profiles the African American woman engineer who created the first computer-designed ship for the Navy.
You Next: Reflections in Black Barbershops
Antonio Johnson, out now
Photos, interviews, and essays explore how Black barber shops operate as sites for the cultivation of Black male identity and wellness in major cities.
Zorro’s Shadow: How a Mexican Legend Became America’s First Superhero
Stephen J.C. Andes, out now
This book uncovers the Latinx origins of the masked crusader and his impact on pop culture, revealing that Zorro was the inspiration for the most iconic superheroes we know today.
A Knock at Midnight: A Story of Hope, Justice, and Freedom
Brittany K. Barnett, out now
A young lawyer issues an urgent call to free those buried alive by America’s legal system and tells a true story about unwavering belief in humanity.
Let the Lord Sort Them: The Rise and Fall of the Death Penalty
Maurice Chammah, Jan.
This deeply reported portrait of the death penalty in Texas considers what it tells us about crime and punishment in America.
American Rule: How a Nation Conquered the World but Failed Its People
Jared Yates Sexton, out now
Sexton delves into the hypocrisy of the founding fathers, exposes the fault lines in America’s three-branch government and the Electoral College, and examines how white supremacy was a fundamental founding American ideal and how it has been preserved through coded language and institutionalized racism.
African American Readings of Paul: Reception, Resistance, and Transformation
Lisa M. Bowens, out now
Bowens surveys African American Pauline hermeneutics from the 18th century to the mid-20th century.
After Whiteness: An Education in Belonging
Willie James Jennings, out now
This multimodal reflection investigates how theological education can foster a pluralistic community and resist Western ideals of individualism, masculinity, and whiteness.
How to Argue with a Racist: What Our Genes Do (and Don’t) Say About Human Difference
Adam Rutherford, out now
This overview of the science and genetics of race emphatically dismantles outdated notions by illuminating what modern genetics actually can and can’t tell us about human difference. Updated from the U.K. edition, this version includes commentary on Covid-19 and the events sparked by the death of George Floyd.
Speaking of Race: Constructive Conversations About an Explosive Topic
Patricia Roberts-Miller, Jan.
This is a pocket-sized handbook on how to navigate race conversations so that they bring us together rather than divide us.
Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man
Emmanuel Acho, out now
Acho takes on all the questions, large and small, insensitive and taboo, that many white Americans are afraid to ask—yet which all Americans need the answers to, now more than ever.
The Organ Thieves: The Shocking Story of the First Heart Transplant in the Segregated South
Chip Jones, out now
This history exposes the horrifying inequality surrounding the death of a Black man and how he was used as a human guinea pig without his family’s permission or knowledge.
Rise Up: Confronting a Country at the Crossroads
Al Sharpton, out now
This is a call to action for today’s turbulent political moment, drawing on lessons learned from the author’s unique experience as a politician, television and radio host, and civil rights leader.
Black Sheep: A Story of Abandonment, Belonging, and Redemption
Ray Studevent, Jan.
This memoir recounts the author’s childhood growing up biracial in Washington, D.C., abandoned by his birth parents, and lovingly raised by a woman with deep emotional scars from her upbringing in the segregated South.
JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV.
The Black Butterfly: The Harmful Politics of Race and Space in America
Lawrence Brown, Jan.
Brown uses Charm City as a case study for exploring the lingering impact of how redlining and other racist policies impact health outcomes.
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT
Black Buck: A Novel
Mateo Askaripour, Jan.
This satirical debut novel follows a young man given a shot at stardom as the lone Black salesman at a mysterious, cultlike, and wildly successful startup where nothing is as it seems.
Light for The World To See: A Thousand Words on Race and Hope
Kwame Alexander, out now
This collection of powerful poems takes on racism and Black resistance in America.
The Invisible Muslim: Journeys Through Whiteness and Islam
Medina Tenour Whiteman, Feb.
An Anglo-American born to Sufi converts contemplates what it means to be an invisible Muslim, recounting a lifelong search for belonging and the joys and crises of inhabiting more than one identity.
Revolutionary Power: An Activist’s Guide to the Energy Transition
Shalanda Baker, Jan.
The author mines her experiences in a toxic Texas oil town—as an energy-justice advocate, a lawyer, and a queer woman of color—to contextualize the transformation of our energy system within the broader civil rights movement.
The Colors of Culture: The Beauty of Diverse Friendships
MelindaJoy Mingo, out now
Vivid stories spanning several countries show the beauty of diverse friendships in the author’s life.
Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope
Esau McCaulley, out now
This volume is a personal and scholarly testament to the power and hope of Black biblical interpretation.
With Liberty and Justice for Some: The Bible, the Constitution, and Racism in America
Susan K. Williams Smith, out now
The prophetic preacher and pastor argues that the two texts Americans consider sacred have not been merely impotent in eliminating racism; they have been used to support and sustain white supremacy.
KENT STATE UNIV.
The Uncommon Case of Daniel Brown: How a White Police Officer Was Convicted of Killing a Black Citizen, Baltimore, 1875
Gordon Shufelt, Feb.
Illustrates how the issues that the antipolice brutality movement faces today were issues faced by Black people in nineteenth-century Baltimore.
The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X
Les Payne and Tamara Payne, out now
This book draws on more than 100 hours of interviews to correct much of the received wisdom on Malcolm X.
Overcoming Hate Through Dialogue: Confronting Prejudice, Racism, and Bigotry with Understanding—and Coffee
Özlem Cekic, Nov.
One of the first Muslim MPs to serve in Danish Parliament details her encounters with the racists and religious extremists who sent her hate mail—after she responded inviting them to meet over coffee.
Carving Out a Humanity: Race, Rights, and Redemption
Janet Dewart Bell and Vincent M. Southerland, Nov.
A collection of essays from legal minds like Michelle Alexander and Patricia Williams illuminates the facets of law that perpetuate racial inequality.
Inventing Latinos: A New Story of American Racism
Laura E. Gomez, out now
Gomez argues that all Americans must grapple with Latinos’ dynamic racial identity—because it impacts everything we think we know about race in America.
Killing the Story: Journalists Risking Their Lives to Uncover the Truth in Mexico
Témoris Grecko, out now
The author reveals how his fellow journalists are risking their lives to expose crime and corruption in Mexico, the deadliest country in the world in which to be a reporter.
Let’s Talk About Your Wall: Mexican Writers Respond to the Immigration Crisis
Edited by Carmen Boullosa and Alberto Quintero, out now
This collection uses Trump’s wall as a starting point to discuss important questions, including the history of U.S.-Mexican relations, and questions of sovereignty, citizenship, and borders.
Won’t Lose This Dream: How an Upstart Urban University Rewrote the Rules of a Broken System
Andrew Gumbel, out now
Gumbel details how Georgia State University has upended the conventional wisdom about educating low-income students.
From Marion to Montgomery: The Early Years of Alabama State University, 1867–1925
Joseph Caver, out now
Caver chronicles the Lincoln Normal School’s transformation into the legendary Alabama State University.
From Preaching to Meddling: A White Minister in the Civil Rights Movement
Francis Walter, Jan.
The author shares his journey from the days of the Great Depression through decades of deep South segregation, and into the interracial struggles for racial justice and freedom in Alabama.
My Race to Freedom: A Life in the Civil Rights Movement
Gwendolyn Patton, out now
The author describes how she became
a member of the Montgomery Improvement Association, supported the Freedom Riders, organized students in Tuskegee, and participated in the Selma-to-Montgomery march, thereby starting a life of commitment to key civil rights causes.
Be the Refuge: Raising the Voices of Asian American Buddhists
Chenxing Han, Jan.
The Buddhist chaplain offers accounts of her marginalization as a young Asian American Buddhist, profiles 89 fellow Buddhists, and explores the lingering mistrust many Asian Americans feel as a result of the WWII-era internment of Japanese Americans.
Underground, Monroe, and the Mamalogues: Three Plays
Lisa B. Thompson, out now
With subversive humor, Thompson explores themes such as the Black family, motherhood, migration, racial violence, and trauma through the lens of the Black middle class.
Ubuntu: George M. Houser and the Struggle for Peace and Freedom on Two Continents
Sheila D. Collins, out now
Collins profiles the white American pacifist minister George M. Houser (1916–2015) and cofounder of the Congress of Racial Equality, whose tireless work for racial justice helped reshape Black civil rights in the U.S. and Africa.
Be Antiracist: A Journal for Awareness, Reflection, and Action
Ibram X. Kendi, out now
The author of How to Be an Antiracist and Stamped from the Beginning offers up a guided journal for reflecting on race and working toward an antiracist future.
The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart
Alicia Garza, out now
One of the country’s leading organizers and a co-creator of Black Lives Matter provides an essential guide to building transformative movements to address the challenges of our time.
Why Didn’t We Riot? A Black Man in Trumpland
Issac J. Bailey, out now
Bailey looks at deeply rooted systematic racism; the legacy of the Jim Crow South; and the intertwining of race, poverty, violence, drug abuse, lack of opportunity, and the Trump presidency.
Predict and Surveil: Data, Discretion, and the Future of Policing
Sarah Brayne, out now
Brayne examines police use of predictive analytics, arguing that it deepens existing patterns of inequality, threatens privacy, and challenges civil liberties.
The Puzzle of Prison Order: Why Life Behind Bars Varies Around the World
David Skarbek, out now
Skarbek investigates life in a wide array of prisons to understand the hierarchy of life on the inside, and draws on economics and empirical literature on legal systems to offer a framework for understanding how social order evolves and takes root behind bars.
Joshua Bennett, out now
Bennett reckons with the ongoing
ecological catastrophe of anti-Blackness and celebrates the networks of care and kinship that have made such brutal, centuries-long circumstances survivable.
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents
Isabel Wilkerson, out now
Examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions.
His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope
Jon Meacham, with afterword by John Lewis, out now
This intimate and revealing portrait of the civil rights icon and longtime U.S. congressman links his life to the painful quest for justice in America from the 1950s to the present.
ROWMAN & LITTLEFIELD
Queer Adolescence: Understanding the Lives of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual Youth
Charlie McNabb, out now
This book mingles personal accounts with factual information and sensitive analysis to provide a snapshot of the joys and concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual adolescents.
Made Up: How the Beauty Industry Manipulates Consumers, Preys on Women’s Insecurities, and Promotes Unattainable Beauty Standards
Martha Laham, out now
Laham argues that the multibillion-dollar beauty industry props up unrealistic beauty standards, perpetuates gender stereotyping, and promotes cosmetic enhancements to fulfill a growing cultural obsession with image and appearance.
Until I Could Be Sure: How I Stopped the Death Penalty in Illinois
George H. Ryan Sr., out now
Former governor George Ryan describes how he set aside his prior beliefs—and pressure from the public and politicians—to take on the system of punishment that Americans have long grappled with, even as much of the rest of the civilized world has consigned it to the dustbin of history.
Long Time Coming: Reckoning
with Race in America
Michael Eric Dyson, Dec.
Five chapters—each addressed to a Black martyr, from Breonna Taylor to Rev. Clementa Pinckney—trace the genealogy of anti-Blackness from the slave ship to the street corner where George Floyd lost his life.
Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner’s Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause
Ty Seidule, Jan.
The former soldier and head of the West Point history department challenges the myths and lies of the Confederate legacy—and explores why some of this country’s oldest wounds have never healed.
Black Privilege: Modern Middle-Class Blacks with Credentials and Cash to Spend
Cassi Pittman Claytor, out now
This account follows middle-class Black New Yorkers as they navigate the social settings of their everyday lives, revealing that they deploy consumption as a cultural tool to manage the challenges and opportunities that arise when you’re both Black and middle-class.
Identity Capitalists: The Powerful Insiders Who Exploit Diversity to Maintain Inequality
Nancy Leong, Feb.
Leong coins the term “identity capitalist” to label those who derive social and economic value from people of color, women, LGBTQ people, the poor, and other outgroups. As Leong contends, our national preoccupation with diversity has turned marginalized identities into valuable commodities.
Manifesto for a Dream: Inequality, Constraint, and Radical Reform
Michelle Jackson, out now
Jackson critiques our contemporary policy agenda, calls for real radical change, and examines universal basic income, flexicurity, socialist economic models, tax credits for families with young children, and lottery access to schools.
GEORGE F. THOMPSON
Stephen Marc, out now
An African American baby boomer documentary photographer raised in the Midwest records the collective American community in 2020, from public gatherings at parades and protests to everyday encounters on city streets.
Far Away From Close to Home: Essays
Vanessa Baden Kelly, May
This book examines what the idea of home means to a Black millennial woman.
UNIV. OF CALIFORNIA
Smoke but No Fire: Convicting the Innocent of Crimes that Never Happened
Jessica S. Henry, out now
Henry reveals how low-income people of color are often the targets of police misconduct, the impact of aggressive policing practices on communities of color, bigotry, and racism in the courtroom, and the role of race in no-crime wrongful convictions.
UNIV. OF MICHIGAN
Strike for the Common Good: Fighting for the Future of Public Education
Rebecca Kolins Givan and Amy Schrager Lang, out now
This volume tells the story of the current wave of teachers’ strikes in the U.S.
UNIV. OF MISSOURI
America’s Peacemakers: The Community Relations Service and Civil Rights
Bertram Levine and Grande Lum, Nov.
The authors tell the behind-the-scenes story of a small federal agency, which the Trump administration has sought to eliminate, that has made a big difference in civil rights conflicts over the last half century.
UNIV. OF NEVADA
The Battle to Stay in America
Michael Kagan, out now
Kagan explores the complex cruelties of immigration policy in the U.S. and that policy’s impact on the economy.
UNIV. OF NORTH CAROLINA
Fragile Democracy: The Struggle over Race and Voting Rights in North Carolina
James L. Leloudis and Robert R. Korstad, out now
The authors follow race and voting rights from the end of the Civil War until the present day.
How the Streets Were Made: Housing Segregation and Black Life in America
Yelena Bailey, out now
Bailey analyzes the streets through the lens of marketing campaigns, literature, hip-hop, film, and television in order to better understand the cultural meanings associated with the streets.
An Intimate Economy: Enslaved Women, Work, and America’s Domestic Slave Trade
Alexandra J. Finley, out now
The personal histories of four enslaved women illustrate how women’s work was necessary to the functioning of the slave trade, the expansion of cotton production, and the profits accompanying both of these markets.
Recasting the Vote: How Women of Color Transformed the Suffrage Movement
Cathleen D. Cahill, out now
Cahill tells the powerful stories of a multiracial group of activists who propelled the national suffrage movement toward a more inclusive vision of equal rights.
To Make the Wounded Whole: The African American Struggle Against HIV/AIDS
Dan Royles, out now
Royles documents the diverse, creative, and global work of African American activists, including medical professionals, Black gay intellectuals, church pastors, Nation of Islam leaders, recovering drug users, and Black feminists, in the decades-long battle against HIV/AIDS.
Visualizing Equality: African American Rights and Visual Culture in the Nineteenth Century
Aston Gonzalez, out now
Gonzalez charts the changing roles of African American visual artists during this period.
UNIV. OF PENNSYLVANIA
Voting in Indian Country: The View from the Trenches
Jean Reith Schroedel, out now
This book draws upon oral histories to illuminate the centuries-long fight for Native self-determination—both to control the lands and resources promised to them in perpetuity by treaties and to freely exercise the political rights and liberties promised to all Americans.
A Kick in the Belly: Women, Slavery and Resistance
Stella Dadzie, out now
Dadzie recounts how enslaved women struggled for freedom in the West Indies.
Revolutionary Feminisms: Conversations on Collective Action and Radical Thought
Brenna Bhandar and Rafeef Ziadah, out now
The author traces 40 years of anti-racist feminist thought.
WESTMINSTER JOHN KNOX
After Evangelicalism: The Path to a New Christianity
David P. Gushee, out now
Gushee addresses the issues driving many evangelicals from the faith such as systemic racism, sexuality, politics, evangelical identity, biblical interpretation and more, and defines a new kind of Christian humanism.
Lent of Liberation: Confronting the Legacy of American Slavery
Cheri L. Mills, Jan.
This book compiles 40 devotions, each including the testimony of a person who escaped slavery through the Underground Railroad, a Scripture passage, and a reflection connecting biblical and historical themes to challenge modern readers to work for liberation.
Undercurrents: Channeling Outrage to Spark Practical Activism
Steve Davis, out now
Davis identifies five powerful forces shaping our world, and outlines how citizens of all kinds can leverage them to find optimism, build courage, and identify opportunities for social change.
The House That Love Built
Sarah Jackson, with Scott Sawyer Hill, out now
The journey of one person questioning what it means to be an American—and a Christian—in light of a broken immigration system, and how the author has opened her heart and her home to help thousands of immigrants.
Daniel Hill, Jan.
Hill explains how white Christianity has been infiltrated by white supremacy and offers a practical guide for dismantling white supremacy individually and systematically.
How to Fight Racism: Courageous Christianity and the Journey Toward Racial Justice
Jemar Tisby, Jan.
Tisby offers an array of ways to confront racism in our relationships and in everyday life through a simple framework that helps readers interrogate their own actions and maintain a consistent posture of anti-racist action.
Above the Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball
Jen Bryant, illus. by Frank Morrison, out now
Bryant profiles the basketball icon and civil rights advocate from an all-star team. Ages 4–8.
I Am One: A Book of Action
Susan Verde, illus. by Peter H. Reynolds, out now
This companion to I Am Human and I Am Love is a call to action, encouraging each reader to raise their voice, extend a hand, and take that one first step to start something beautiful and move toward a better world. Ages 4–8.
Generation Brave: The Gen Z Kids Who Are Changing the World
Kate Alexander, out now
This book showcases regular kids who have become groundbreaking leaders, inspiring movements around the globe to save the planet, to save each other, and to build a better future. Ages 10–up.
Swift Fox All Along
Rebecca Lea Thomas, illus. by Maya McKibbin, out now
The author, an Indigenous activist, based this story on her experiences growing up off-reserve, feeling anxiety about not belonging in her Indigenous community, but ultimately learning to feel proud of her identity. Ages 4–8.
Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice
Nikki Grimes, illus. by Laura Freeman, out now
This story showcases the young daughter of immigrants who would grow up to defend the rights of people everywhere and become the vice-president-elect of the U.S. Ages 4–8.
Together We March: 25 Protest Movements That Marched into History
Leah Henderson, illus. by Tyler Feder, Jan.
Henderson recounts 25 groundbreaking protest movements that have shaped the way we fight for equality and justice today. Ages 7–up.
Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From
Jennifer De Leon, out now
Latinx first-generation American Liliana Cruz does what it takes to fit in at her new, nearly all white school. But when family secrets come out and racism at school gets worse than ever, she must decide what she believes in and take a stand. Ages 14–up.
BALZER + BRAY
Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea
Meena Harris, illus. by Ana Ramirez Gonzalez, out now
A picture book about two sisters who work with their community to effect change, inspired by a true story the childhood of the author’s aunt, U.S. vice-president-elect Kamala Harris, and mother, lawyer and policy expert Maya Harris. Ages 4–8.
Punching the Air: A Novel
Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam, out now
Bestselling author Zoboi teams up with prison reform activist Salaam (of the Exonerated Five), to create a novel in verse about a boy who is wrongfully incarcerated. Ages 14–up.
Sometimes People March
Tessa Allen, out now
Allen shows how Americans exercise their right to free speech by marching in the name of justice. Ages 4–8.
The Cat I Never Named: A True Story of Love, War, and Survival
Amra Sabic-El-Rayess and Laura L. Sullivan, out now
The author shares her experience growing up as a Bosnian Muslim in Bihac during the Bosnian War. Ages 13–up.
Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance
Nikki Grimes, Jan.
Unique illustrations from African-American women bring to the forefront the struggles, victories, pain, and joy experienced by these overlooked women poets of the Harlem Renaissance. Ages 10–14.
The Lemon Tree (young readers’ ed.)
Sandy Tolan, out now
A Palestinian and an Israeli forge a friendship, demonstrating that even amid the bleakest political realities there exists hope and transformation. Ages 9–11.
Seen: True Stories of Marginalized Trailblazers: Edmonia Lewis
Jasmine Walls, illus. by Bex Glendining, out now
This entry in the Seen series profiles Edmonia Lewis, the first sculptor of African American and Native American heritage to earn international acclaim. Ages 12–up.
Finding a Way Home: Mildred and Richard Loving and the Fight for Marriage Equality
Larry Dane Brimner, Dec.
When Mildred and Richard Loving are arrested, jailed, and exiled from their home simply because of their mixed-race marriage, they must challenge the courts and the country to secure their civil rights. Ages 12–up.
Race Against Time: The Untold Story of Scipio Jones and the Battle to Save Twelve Innocent Men
Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace, Jan.
This book introduces the self-taught attorney who was born enslaved and recounts how he led a momentous series of court cases to save 12 Black men who’d been unjustly sentenced to death. Ages 10–14.
The Teachers March! How Selma’s Teachers Changed History
Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace, illus. by Charly Palmer, out now
This book is a tribute to the educators who participated in the 1965 Selma Teachers’ March, demonstrating the power of protest and standing up for a just cause. Ages 7–10.
No Voice Too Small: Fourteen Young Americans Making History
Lindsay H. Metcalf, Keila V. Dawson, and Jeanette Bradley, illus. by Jeanette Bradley,
This book showcases 14 young activists who have stepped up to make change in their communities and the U.S., and shares how readers can get involved. Ages 5–9.
A Place at the Table
Saadia Faruqi and Laura Shovan, out now
Sixth-graders Sara, a Pakistani American, and Elizabeth, a white, Jewish girl taking a South Asian cooking class taught by Sara’s mother, explore themes of food, friendship, family and what it means to belong. Ages 8–12.
Miranda Paul, illus. by Ebony Glenn, out now
This book celebrates diversity and encourages kids to speak up, unite with others, and take action when they see something that needs to be fixed. Ages 4–7.
Nic Stone, out now
Quan and Justyce grew up a block apart. years later, Justyce walks the halls of Yale University while Quan sits behind bars and writes letters to Justyce about his experiences in the American juvenile justice system. Ages 14–up.
The Talk: Conversations About Race, Love & Truth
Edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson, out now
Thirty short stories, essays, poems, and artworks invite all families to be anti-racist advocates for change. Ages 10–up.
The Assignment: A Novel
Liza Wiemer, out now
When an assignment given by a favorite teacher instructs a group of students to argue in favor of the Nazi genocide of the Jewish people, the student body, their parents, and the larger community are forced to face the issue. Ages 12–up.
The Beautiful Struggle (adapted for young adults)
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Jan.
Coates explores how boys become men, recounting his experiences of power struggles on the streets and between father and son. Ages 12–up.
This Is Your Time
Ruby Bridges, out now
Inspired by the recent wave of activism led by young people fighting for racial justice, the civil rights icon—who, at the age of six, was the first Black child to integrate an all-white elementary school in New Orleans—shares her story and offers a powerful call to action. Ages 10–up.
Lubaya’s Quiet Roar
Marilyn Nelson, illus. by Philemona Williamson, out now
In this picture book about social justice activism and the power of introverts, a quiet girl’s artwork makes a big impression at a protest. Ages 5–8.
FARRAR, STRAUS AND GIROUX
The Awakening of Malcolm X
Ilyasah Shabazz and Tiffany D. Jackson, Jan.
This narrative account of the activist’s adolescent years in jail was written by his daughter Ilyasah Shabazz along with 2019 Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe Award–winning author Tiffany D. Jackson. Ages 12–18.
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS
Channel Kindness: Stories of Kindness and Community
The Born This Way Foundation reporters, with Lady Gaga, out now
This volume collects inspiring true
stories of young people who made a
difference through acts of kindness. Ages 12–18.
Doyin Richards, illus. by Joe Cepeda, Jan.
Based on the author’s father’s own story of coming to America from Africa, Watch Me teaches readers kindness and empathy through accessible text that breaks down the differences between new and old Americans, and amplifies what we all have in common. Ages 3–5.
Kiku Hughes, out now
A teenager is pulled back in time to witness her grandmother’s experiences in World War II–era Japanese internment camps. Ages 12–18.
For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World
Michael W. Waters, illus. by Keisha Morris, out now
Inspired by real-life events, this picture book tells the story of a boy and his family who discover hopeful forms of activism and advocacy in response to racism and gun violence in their community. Includes a discussion and activity guide on racism, gun violence and social change. Ages 6–10.
Paula Chase, out now
Monique navigates racism in her mostly white prestigious ballet academy; her best friend Rashida, who usually follows her strict aunt’s every rule, catches Monique’s brother’s eye. Ages 8–12.
Everyone Gets a Say
Jill Twiss, illus. by E.G. Keller, out now
The team behind A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo returns with a picture book about voting. Ages 4–8.
Flying High: The Story of Gymnastics Champion Simone Biles
Michelle Meadows, illus. by Ebony Glenn, Dec.
This picture book tells the life story of Simone Biles, international gymnastics champion and Olympic superstar. Ages 4–8.
Voices of Justice: Poems About People Working for a Better World
George Ella Lyon, illus. by Jennifer M. Potter, out now
This collection of poems highlights activists from around the world and throughout history. Ages 8–12.
Who Did It First: 50 Icons, Luminaries, and Legends Who Revolutionized the World
Edited by Alex Hart, written by Megan Reid, illus. by Jess Cruickshank, out now
This vibrantly illustrated collection profiles women and men—and one dog—who made indelible marks in entertainment, science, politics, and sports. Ages 8–12.
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT
Chris Naylor-Ballesteros, out now
This story explores how a community does—or does not—make room for those who are seen as different for any reason. Ages 4–7.
Come On In: 15 Stories About Immigration and Finding Home
Adi Alsaid, out now
This collection of stories, edited by the author of Let’s Get Lost, features teen immigrants. Ages 13–up.
One of the Good Ones
Maika and Maritza Moulite, Jan.
The Hate U Give meets Get Out in this novel from the sister authors of Dear Haiti, Love Alaine. Ages 13–up.
DeShanna and Trinity Neal, illus. by Art Twink, out now
A dedicated mother puts love into action as she creates the perfect rainbow-colored wig for her transgender daughter, in a story based on the real-life experience of the authors, who are a mother-daughter advocate duo. Ages 4–8.
LB/PATTERSON AND HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT
Becoming Muhammad Ali
James Patterson and Kwame Alexander, illus. by Dawud Anyabwile, out now
Written in cooperation with the Muhammad Ali estate, this book recounts the life of a young Cassius Clay—including how the Louisville community he was raised in informed his own growth as an activist. Ages 8–12.
I Am Thunder
Muhammad Khan, out now
Fifteen-year-old Muzna Saleem is forced to choose between her heart and beliefs when she uncovers a dangerous secret. Ages 12–up.
Kick the Moon
Muhammad Khan, out now
A teenage boy learns to throw off the pressures of school, family, friends, and enemies. Ages 12–up.
A World Together
Sonia Manzano, out now
Manzano, who plays Sesame Street’s beloved character Maria, combines lyrical prose and photographs of people around the world in this picture book about how, despite superficial differences, we are all the same.
My Hair Is Magic!
M.L. Marroquin, illus. by Tonya Engel, out now
A girl loves her beautiful, natural Afro-textured hair and celebrates it in creative and inventive ways. Ages 4–8.
Thanks to Frances Perkins: Fighter for Workers’ Rights
Deborah Hopkinson, illus. by Kristy Caldwell, out now
This book introduces the woman who created the U.S. Social Security system and became the first woman cabinet member in FDR’s administration. Ages 6–10.
William Still and His Freedom Stories: The Father of the Underground Railroad
Don Tate, out now
The little-known story of the man called the Father of the Underground Railroad also highlights the many contributions Black people made to the success of the Underground Railroad. Ages 6–10.
Amyra León, illus. by Ashley Lukashevsky, out now
Free verse challenges readers to dream beyond their circumstances—and sometimes even despite them. Ages 12–up.
What Is the Civil Rights Movement?
Sherri L. Smith, Dec.
Smith brings to life momentous events through the words and stories of people who were on the frontlines of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s. Ages 8–12.
Resist! Peaceful Acts That Changed Our World
Diane Stanley, out now
Stanley combines 21 essays with artwork to honor the people who have used peaceful resistance and non-violent protests to make their voices heard. Ages 7–10.
Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher, out now
The cofounder of the Women’s March makes her YA debut, in which a girl and her brother in a near-future dystopia must escape a xenophobic government to find sanctuary. Ages 12–up.
Jerry Craft, out now
This follow-up to Craft’s Newbery-winning New Kid focuses on Jordan’s friend, Drew, who has struggles of his own at Riverdale Academy Day School. Ages 8–12.
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS
Take Back the Block
Chrystal D. Giles, Jan.
This book introduces an irresistible sixth-grader and asks what it means to belong—to a place and a movement—and to fight for what you believe in. Ages 8–12.
This Is My America
Kim Johnson, out now
Will Tracy and her family survive the uncovering of their Texas town’s racist history that still haunts the present? Ages 12–up.
Baseball’s Leading Lady: Effa Manley and the Rise of the Negro Leagues
Andrea Williams, Jan.
This volume profiles Effa Manley, the first and only woman in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Ages 10–14.
Mighty Justice: The Untold Story of Civil Rights Trailblazer Dovey Johnson Roundtree (young readers’ ed.)
Katie McCabe, adapted by Jabari Asim, Dec.
This young reader’s version adapts the memoir of activist Dovey Johnson Roundtree. Ages 10–14.
Nuestra América: 30 Inspiring Latinas/Latinos Who Have Shaped the United States
Sabrina Vourvoulias, illus. by Gloria Felix, out now
Stories of 30 Latinas and Latinos throughout history and their contributions to the character of the U.S. Ages 8–up.
Sugar in Milk
Thrity Umrigar, illus. by Khoa Le, out now
This folktale illustrates how everyone benefits from diversity. Ages 4–8.
Anti-racism: Powerful Voices, Inspiring Ideas
Kenrya Rankin, out now
Rankin gathers the thoughts and missions of activists while centering the lived experiences of Black people. Ages 12–up.
Lifting as We Climb
Evette Dionne, out now
Dionne draws a historical line from abolition to suffrage to civil rights to contemporary young activists, filling in the blanks of the American suffrage story. Ages 10–up.
When They Call You a Terrorist: A Story of Black Lives Matter and the Power to Change the World (young adult ed.)
Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele, out now
This edition adapts the coming-of-age story from one of the leaders in the new generation of social activists. Ages 12–up.
The ABCs of Black History
Rio Cortez, illus. by Lauren Semmer, Dec.
Cortez highlights key names, moments, and places in Black history, with illustrations evocative of folk paintings. Ages 5–up.
Into the Streets: A Young Person’s Visual History of Protest in the United States
Marke Bieschke, out now
Bieschke looks at the personalities and issues that have driven American protests, as well as their varied aims and accomplishments, from spontaneous hashtag uprisings to highly planned strategies of civil disobedience, highlighting teens’ involvement. Ages 14–18.
She Represents: 44 Women Who Are Changing Politics... and the World
Caitlin Donohue, out now
Donohue profiles women leaders from both sides of the U.S. political spectrum and from around the world, including their paths to power, their achievements and missteps, and their lasting legacies. Ages 13–18.