In light of recent events in Minnesota and the difficult, necessary conversations they have prompted, staff at Washington County Library have assembled a series of lists highlighting books for all ages to help with this work.
As our colleagues at Saint Paul Public Library have noted, "Books and literature can be powerful tools to spark conversation, build empathy, and promote healing, transformation, and change. Libraries and library resources are here for you."
These book lists offer titles across genres that readers of any age can pick up to begin learning about racism, anti-racism, police violence, and more.
This book list offers nonfiction and fiction recommendations for adults to explore issues around race with guidance from contemporary authors and thinkers.
This list features fiction and nonfiction for teens on the history of racism in the United States as well as current memoirs and fiction that explore racism and race relations.
The books on this list are a mix of genres and styles, everything from poetry to essays to fantasy, that celebrate and center Black stories.
This book list offers resources and books that can help children and caregivers talk about race and race relations, anti-racism work, and historical stories about institutional violence.
This list includes picture books for young children that offer a way to start having conversations about topics like skin color, racism, activism, and community.
- Anti-Racist Books for All (Children’s Book Council) – A list of anti-racist books for parents and educators inspired to change.
- Talking to Children Authentically about Race and Racism (PBS Kids for Parents) – A conversation featuring fellow parents, educators and child development and trauma experts about how you can talk with young children about racial injustice and violence against Black people.
- Reading for Racial Justice (University of Minnesota) – To promote understanding and action for change, the University of Minnesota Press has made a collection of anti-racist ebooks available to read online for free through August 31.
- "Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism" (CNN/Sesame Street) – A town hall for kids and families to give kids and parents "an opportunity to explore the current moment the nation is living through and to understand how these issues affect people."
- The Conscious Kid – An education, research and policy organization dedicated to reducing bias and promoting positive identity development in youth.
- Resources on Race (Saint Paul Public Library) – Books, poems, articles, films, blog posts, and other resources exploring race in the United States.
- Antiracism: A Starter Booklist (LibraryJournal)– 11 titles, a mix of history, social science, and memoir, that offer facts and reflections on systemic racial injustice as well as ways to channel feeling into action.
Still looking or other options? Reach out to a Washington County librarian by chat, email, or phone, and we can help direct you to additional resources for readers of any age.