Elena is an Oakland County tween who’s passionate about reading. And on her blog, Elena Reads, diversity books are a strong focus for this 10-year-old girl.
This young blogger is spreading the word in a number of ways. In September 2018, she even spoke at Metro Parent’s Education Expo during our first-ever Ed Talks. Naturally, Elena wrote about the experience in her blog, too.
“Even though it was my first time speaking in front of so many people,” Elena writes, “when I got up onto the stage, I wasn’t feeling nervous at all. Instead I was feeling really excited to tell the audience what I wanted to say. I was happy that some of my friends and my school principal came to support me and hear me talk.
“The hardest part,” she adds, “was coming up with my top 10 lists, because I like a LOT of books.”
But Elena succeeded – and now, she’s sharing her faves with Metro Parent readers. Here are the top 20 diversity books she suggested during her Ed Talk. Why 20? She divides them into two categories: kids in grades K-3 and 4-8.
Read on for Elena’s lists, and click the links to buy each book or simply learn more about it.
Elena Reads’ Diversity Books for Grades K-3
1. Bubbe’s Belated Bat Mitzvah by Isabel Pinson
2. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
3. Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai
4. She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton
5. When Penny Met POTUS by Rachel Ruiz
6. All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman
7. Hush! A Thai Lullaby by Minfong Ho
8. Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds
9. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson
10. Whoever You Are by Mem Fox and Leslie Staub
Elena Reads’ Diversity Books for Grades 4-8
11. Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar
12. Meet Kaya by Janet Shaw
13. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
14. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
15. Rules by Cynthia Lord
16. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
17. Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
18. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
19. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
20. Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin
You can read Elena’s reviews of several of these book – as well as her interviews of numerous authors and illustrators – at Elena Reads.