Top 10 Elementary Level Diverse Read-Alouds from 2021

Childrens Books for Elementary

Read-alouds are powerful tools for learning. When children read about the diverse world they’re in, they gain compassion, understanding, and empathy. Without ever leaving the room, stories offer important journeys and fresh perspectives on the world.

Appropriate for ages 6 – 12, enjoy the following must-have, diverse read-alouds from 2021.

Read-Alouds for Elementary I

Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem by Amanda Gorman and Loren Long (Illustrator)

Change Sings

A young girl inspires change through poignant lyrical poetry. Learning that change happens through small and huge actions, the protagonist encourages readers to use their inherent power to make a difference in their communities.

Someone Builds The Dream by Lisa Wheeler and Loren Long (Illustrator)

Someone Builds the Dream

Tons of hard work and many hands go into making a final product. Each page highlights the importance of everyone who works together to create what we love, like bridges, amusement parks, and yes, picture books! Use this book to teach children that everyone’s role is important, from the architect to the construction crew.

We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstorm and Michaela Goade (Illustrator)

We are Water Protectors

A young girl defends her community in an effort to protect Earth’s most precious resource, water. This read-aloud captures the tireless efforts from Indigenous communities to save what’s left of our environments.

Eyes that Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho and Dung Ho (Illustrator)

Eyes that kiss in the corners

The protagonist realizes that her peers’ eyes look different than hers. However, she later recognizes her grandmother, mother, and little sister in her eyes. Filled with beauty and self love, this book is perfect for celebrating diversity.

When We Say Black Lives Matter by Maxine Beneba Clarke (Author and Illustrator)

When We Say Black Lives Matter

Teach children the rich, important meaning behind Black Lives Matter. Paired with beautiful illustrations, this book educates young readers about the complexities of history, protest, and resilience in a joyful and stunning read-aloud.

Read-Alouds for Elementary II

Black Boy Joy: 17 Stories Celebrating Black Boyhood by Kwambe Mbalia (Editor)

Black Boy Joy

A sensational anthology of stories, comics, and poems capture the brilliance of Black boyhood. Written by Black male and non-binary authors, the read-aloud includes B. B. Alston, Dean Atta, P. Djèlí Clark, Jay Coles, Jerry Craft, Lamar Giles, Don P. Hooper, George M. Johnson, Varian Johnson, Kwame Mbalia, Suyi Davies Okungbowa, Tochi Onyebuchi, Julian Randall, Jason Reynolds, Justin Reynolds, DaVaun Sanders, and Julian Winters.

The Leaf Detective: How Margaret Lowman Uncovered Secrets in the Rainforest by Heather Lang and Jana Christy (Illustrator)

The Leaf Detective

Follow a leading woman in science, Meg Lowman, through the rainforest. In this story coupled with vibrant illustrations, children will learn about challenging barriers for Meg including gender inequality and deforestation.

Stamped (For Kids): Racism, Antiracism, and You By Jason Reynolds, Ibram X. Kendi, Sonja Cherry-Paul (Authors) and Rachelle Baker (Illustrator)

Stamped for Kids

In order to create an equitable society, children need to understand their role in race and the importance of stamping out racist thoughts throughout their lives. This book gives readers an informative, safe space to learn about and discuss the complexities of race.

Linked by Gordon Korman

Linked

This chapter book offers an inspiring, entertaining, and sometimes fun, buffer on a serious topic: antisemitism. Diving into the aftermath of vandalism in a small town school, students ban together to uncover past history and why it affects the present day.

A Kid’s Books About...

A Kids Book About

Gratitude, Failure, Being Inclusive, Feminism, Being Non-Binary, Body Image, Sexual Abuse, Race, Mindfulness, and more. You name it, and A Kid’s Company About has a book that will help you teach that important topic. Offering a growing collection of over 50 books, these pages open pathways of understanding and connection.

About the Author


Kat St. Pierre Montessori Life Blog Author

Kat St.Pierre (she/her) is a former 8th grade English teacher turned freelance content/copywriter. Passionate about being kind to others, the planet, and herself, she loves using her voice to amplify important conversations and educate with empathy. Contact her at copykatstpierre@gmail.com or www.katstpierre.com.

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