Middle grade books about prejudice and equality offer an accessible and engaging way to explore these topics with kids, while also encouraging them to think critically about their own beliefs and values.
As children enter their middle grade years, they begin to form more complex opinions and ideas about the world around them.
This is a crucial time to introduce them to topics like prejudice, discrimination and equality, as they are becoming more aware of the injustices that exist in our society.
Be sure to check out even more terrific middle school book list ideas!
You can find these middle grade books about prejudice and equality at your local library or through the affiliate links provided for your convenience.
These middle grade books about prejudice and equality are designed to help young readers develop empathy, compassion and a commitment to social justice.
Whether you’re a teacher, parent, or caregiver, these books are a valuable resource for starting important conversations with children about diversity and equality.
Middle Grade Books about Prejudice and Equality
A Newbery Award Winner * Coretta Scott King Author Award * Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature
New Kid is a timely, honest graphic novel about starting over at a new school where diversity is low and the struggle to fit in is real.
National Book Award Winner * Newbery Honor Book * Coretta Scott King Award Winner
Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.
Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world.
Winner of the John Newbery Medal * Winner of the Coretta Scott King Author Award
Award-winning author Amina Luqman-Dawson pens a lyrical, accessible historical middle-grade novel about two enslaved children’s escape from a plantation and the many ways they find freedom.
Deeply inspiring and loosely based on the history of maroon communities in the South, this is a striking tale of survival, adventure, friendship, and courage.
Newbery Honor * Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction * Coretta Scott King Award
New York Times bestselling author Rita Williams-Garcia tells the story of three sisters who travel to Oakland, California, in 1968 to meet the mother who abandoned them. They learn much about their family, their country, and themselves during one truly crazy summer.
A powerful and engaging exploration of contemporary Asian American identity through interwoven stories set in a teeming Chicago airport.
Twelve powerhouse Asian American authors explore themes of identity and belonging in the entwined experiences of young people whose family roots may extend to East and Southeast Asia, but who are themselves distinctly American.
Amazon Top 20 Children's Books of 2017
Red is the neighborhood "wishtree" ― people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red's branches. This wishtree watches over the neighborhood.
Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red's experience as a wishtree is more important than ever.
A heartbreaking and powerful novel about a black boy killed by a police officer, drawing connections through history, from award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes.
Once again Jewell Parker Rhodes deftly weaves historical and socio-political layers into a gripping and poignant story about how children and families face the complexities of today's world, and how one boy grows to understand American blackness in the aftermath of his own death.
An adaptation of the powerful New York Times bestselling account of growing up Black and female in America, completely rewritten with new stories for young readers.
For students navigating a time of racial hostility, and for the adults and educators who care for them, I’m Still Here is an empowering look at the experiences of young Black kids, inviting the reader to confront apathy, find their voice, and discover how Blackness—if we let it—can save us all.
Parents Magazine Best Book of the Year * Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book of the Year * Kirkus Best Book of the Year * Junior Library Guild Selection * Edgar Award Nominee * and MORE
From debut author Janae Marks comes a captivating story full of heart, as one courageous girl questions assumptions, searches for the truth, and does what she believes is right — even in the face of great opposition.
Eleven-year-old Isabella’s blended family is more divided than ever in this thoughtful story about divorce and racial identity.
It seems like nothing can bring Isabella’s family together again—until the worst happens. Isabella and Darren are stopped by the police. A cell phone is mistaken for a gun. And shots are fired.
Adapted from the award-winning, bestselling Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, this book takes readers on a journey from present to past and back again.
Kids will discover where racist ideas came from, identify how they impact America today, and meet those who have fought racism with antiracism. Along the way, they’ll learn how to identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their own lives.
A New York Times Best Book of the Year * A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year * A Horn Book Honor Book * An American Library Association Notable Book
Phillip is excited when the Germans invade the small island of Curaçao. War has always been a game to him, and he’s eager to glimpse it firsthand–until the freighter he and his mother are traveling to the United States on is torpedoed.
When Phillip comes to, he is on a small raft in the middle of the sea. Besides Stew Cat, his only companion is an old West Indian, Timothy. Phillip remembers his mother’s warning about black people: “They are different, and they live differently.”
But by the time the castaways arrive on a small island, Phillip’s head injury has made him blind and dependent on Timothy.
When cheerleading tryouts are announced, Christina and her best friend, Megan, literally jump at the chance to join the squad. As two of the only kids of color in the school, they have always yearned to fit in ― and the middle school cheerleaders are popular and accepted by everyone.
But will the girls survive the terrifying tryouts, with their whole grade watching? And will their friendship withstand the pressures of competition?
An Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Honor Book
Troublemaker follows the events of the LA Riots through the eyes of 12-year-old Jordan as he navigates school and family.
In the wake of the acquittal of the police officers filmed beating Rodney King, as well as the shooting of a young black teen, Latasha Harlins by a Korean store owner, the country is at the precipice of confronting its racist past and present.
Winner of the New-York Historical Society Children’s History Book Prize
As twelve-year-old Marlee starts middle school in 1958 Little Rock, it feels like her whole world is falling apart. Until she meets Liz, the new girl at school.
But when Liz leaves school without even a good-bye, the rumor is that Liz was caught passing for white. Marlee decides that doesn't matter.
To stay friends, Marlee and Liz are even willing to take on segregation and the dangers their friendship could bring to both their families.
Winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Children's Literature
Mia Tang has a lot of secrets. She lives in a motel, not a big house. Her parents hide immigrants. She wants to be a writer.
But how can she when her mom thinks she should stick to math because English is not her first language?
It will take all of Mia's courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests and go for her dreams?
A young girl who must learn to be brave in the face of violent prejudice when the Ku Klux Klan reappears in her segregated southern town.
One late night, later than she should ever be up, much less wandering around outside, Stella and her little brother see something they’re never supposed to see, something that is the first flicker of change to come, unwelcome change by any stretch of the imagination.
As Stella’s community — her world — is upended, she decides to fight fire with fire. And she learns that ashes don’t necessarily signify an end.
This important work of nonfiction features powerful images of the Japanese American incarceration captured by three photographers — Dorothea Lange, Toyo Miyatake, and Ansel Adams — along with firsthand accounts of this grave moment in history.
Three months after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the incarceration of all Japanese and Japanese Americans living on the West Coast of the United States.
Three photographers set out to document life at Manzanar, an incarceration camp in the California desert.
Set in Mississippi at the height of the Depression, this is the story of one family's struggle to maintain their integrity, pride, and independence in the face of racism and social injustice.
And it is also Cassie's story -- Cassie Logan, an independent girl who discovers over the course of an important year why having land of their own is so crucial to the Logan family, even as she learns to draw strength from her own sense of dignity and self-respect.
A whimsical and unflinchingly honest generational story of family and identity where hats turn into leeches, ghosts blow kisses from lemon trees, and the things you find at the end of your fishing line might not be a fish at all.
After the colony of James Town is founded in 1607. After Captain John Smith establishes trade with the Native Americans. After Pocahontas befriends the colonists. After early settlers both thrive and die in this new world - a girl is born. Virginia.
Virginia struggles to make sense of her own inner world against the backdrop of pivotal years in the Jamestown colony.
This is a journey of self-realization and increasing strength, as Virginia goes from being a self-protective young girl to someone who knows she must live her own truth even if it will be the end of her.
Washington Post Best Children’s Book of 2017
A Pakistani-American Muslim girl struggles to stay true to her family’s vibrant culture while simultaneously blending in at school after tragedy strikes her community in this sweet and moving middle grade novel.
Amina’s Voice brings to life the joys and challenges of a young Pakistani American and highlights the many ways in which one girl’s voice can help bring a diverse community together to love and support each other.
Set against the backdrop of the segregation history of the American South, take a trip with this New York Times bestseller and an eleven-year-old boy who is about to discover that the world hasn't always been a welcoming place for kids like him, and things aren't always what they seem--his Grandma included.
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