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Post submitted by Welcoming Schools Consultant Kathy Pillsbury 

This holiday season, help kids learn to be proud of themselves and show them you will love them just as they are by giving them books from Welcoming Schools’ list of inclusive book titles for ages 3 to 8. 

From actors and athletes to a Supreme Court justice, this year saw a number of LGBTQ advocates and allies write books for children to help them to be proud of their identities. These books are often the stories that these authors and public figures believe would have helped them to feel proud of themselves when they were younger.

Here are a few examples of our favorites to consider as gifts this holiday:

1. “Chocolate Me!” by Taye Diggs 

Teased for looking different than the other kids -- his skin is darker, his hair curlier -- he tells his mother he wishes he could be more like everyone else. And she helps him to see how beautiful he really, truly is.

Summary taken from: Macmillan Publishers 

2. “Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You”/ “¡Solo pregunta!: Sé Diferente, Sé Valiente, Sé Tú” by Sonia Sotomayor 

Based on her own experience as a child living with diabetes, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor writes about children whose differences are what give them special powers. Readers learn how to just askwhen noticing someone who is different from them. Both English and Spanish editions of the book are available.

3. “The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family” by Ibtihaj Muhammad 

It’s the first day of school, and Asiya will wear her first-day hijab. “‘Some people won’t understand your hijab,’ Mama had said. ‘But if you understand who you are, one day they will too.’” Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad writes of the unbreakable bond between siblings and of being proud of who you are. 

4. “Sulwe” by Lupita Nyong'o 

Sulwe has skin the color of midnight, and Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then, a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything. Actor Lupita Nyong'o inspires children to see their own unique beauty.

Summary taken from: Simon & Schuster

To read through the full list of books, download “Be Who You Are: Best Books for Kids” -- and be sure to share it with your friends. 

For additional ideas for inspiring, inclusive books to give to children in your lives, check out Welcoming Schools’ “Great Diverse Books for Children” list.

HRC Foundation's Welcoming Schools is the nation's premier professional development program providing training and resources to elementary school educators to: Embrace all families; Create LGBTQ- and gender-inclusive schools; Prevent bias-based bullying; Support transgender and non-binary students.


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