Black Lives Matter: Antiracist Books for Middle-Grade Readers

Here is a selection of titles aimed at 3rd-6th grade readers (all but one by BIPOC authors) that address systemic racism and white privilege as they specifically affect the lived experiences of Black Americans.

A good kind of trouble

Lisa Moore Ramée

eBOOK
Kids

After attending a powerful protest, Shayla starts wearing an armband to school to support the Black Lives Matter movement, but when the school gives her an ultimatum, she is forced to choose between her education and her identity.

Roll of thunder, hear my cry

Mildred D. Taylor

eBOOK
Kids

A black family living in Mississippi during the Depression of the 1930s is faced with prejudice and discrimination which its children do not understand.

Ghost boys

Jewell Parker Rhodes

eBOOK
Kids

"After seventh-grader Jerome is shot by a white police officer, he observes the aftermath of his death and meets the ghosts of other fallen black boys including historical figure Emmett Till"--

Black brother, black brother

Jewell Parker Rhodes

eAUDIO
Kids

Suspended unjustly from elite Middlefield Prep, Donte Ellison studies fencing with a former champion, hoping to put the racist fencing team captain in his place.

New kid

Jerry Craft

eBOOK
Kids, Graphic Novels

After his parents send him to a prestigious private school known for its academics, Jordan Banks finds himself torn between two worlds.

Harbor me

Jacqueline Woodson

eBOOK
Kids

"When six students are chosen to participate in a weekly talk with no adults allowed, they discover that when they're together, it's safe to share the hopes and fears they have to hide from the rest of the world"--

One crazy summer

Rita Williams-Garcia

eBOOK
Kids

In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.

The Watsons go to Birmingham-- 1963

Christopher Paul Curtis

eBOOK
Kids

The ordinary interactions and everyday routines of the Watsons, an African American family living in Flint, Michigan, are drastically changed after they go to visit Grandma in Alabama in the summer of 1963.

Not my idea : a book about whiteness

Anastasia Higginbotham

j305.8 Higginbotham
Kids

"A necessary children's book about whiteness, white supremacy, and resistance. Important, accessible, needed."--

You don't know everything, Jilly P!

Alex Gino

eAUDIO
Kids

"When her new baby sister is born deaf, Jilly makes an online connection with a fellow fantasy fan, who happens to be black and deaf, and begins to learn about the many obstacles that exist in the world for people who are different from her." --

This book is anti-racist

Tiffany Jewell

RECEIVED
Kids

This book is written for the young person who doesn't know how to speak up to the racist adults in their life. For the 14 year old who sees injustice at school and isn't able to understand the role racism plays in separating them from their friends. For the kid who spends years trying to fit into the dominant culture and loses themselves for a little while. It's for all of the Black and Brown children who have been harmed (physically and emotionally) because no one stood up for them or they couldn't stand up for themselves; because the colour of their skin, the texture of their hair, their names made white folx feel scared and threatened. It is written so children and young adults will feel empowered to stand up to the adults who continue to close doors in their faces. This book will give them the language and ability to understand racism and a drive to undo it. In short, it is for everyone.

We rise, we resist, we raise our voices

j305.8 We
Kids

What do we tell our children when the world seems bleak, and prejudice and racism run rampant? With 96 lavishly designed pages of original art, poetry, and prose, fifty diverse creators lend voice and comfort to young activists.

Blended

Sharon M. Draper

eAUDIO
Kids

Piano-prodigy Isabella, eleven, whose black father and white mother struggle to share custody, never feels whole, especially as racial tensions affect her school, her parents both become engaged, and she and her stepbrother are stopped by police.

Brown girl dreaming

Jacqueline Woodson

eAUDIO
Kids

In vivid poems that reflect the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, an award-winning author shares what it was like to grow up in the 1960s and 1970s in both the North and the South.

Genesis begins again

Alicia Williams

eBOOK
Kids

Thirteen-year-old Genesis tries again and again to lighten her black skin, thinking it is the root of her family's troubles, before discovering reasons to love herself as is.

Clean getaway

Nic Stone

eBOOK
Kids

The only black girls in town

Brandy Colbert

jFICTION Colbert Brandy
Kids

In a predominately white California beach town, the only two black seventh-graders, Alberta and Edie, find hidden journals that uncover family secrets and speak to race relations in the past.

For black girls like me

Mariama Lockington

jFICTION Lockingt Mariama
Kids

Eleven-year-old Makeda dreams of meeting her African American mother, while coping with serious problems in her white adopted family, a cross-country move, and being homeschooled.

The Parker inheritance

Varian Johnson

eBOOK
Kids

Twelve-year-old Candice Miller is spending the summer in Lambert, South Carolina, in the old house that belonged to her grandmother, who died after being dismissed as city manager for having the city tennis courts dug up looking for buried treasure--but when she finds the letter that sent her grandmother on the treasure hunt, she finds herself caught up in the mystery and, with the help of her new friend and fellow book-worm, Brandon, she sets out to find the inheritance, exonerate her grandmother, and expose an injustice once committed against an African American family in Lambert.

Midnight without a moon

Linda Williams Jackson

eBOOK
Kids

Rose Lee Carter, a thirteen-year-old African-American girl, dreams of life beyond the Mississippi cotton fields during the summer of 1955, but when Emmett Till is murdered and his killers are unjustly acquitted, Rose is torn between seeking her destiny outside of Mississippi or staying and being a part of an important movement.