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Award-Winning Kids’ Books That Promote Diversity

Awesome new books for early readers, middle-grade kids and young adults

Ella Gonchar

Published on: May 04, 2021

Award-Winning Kids’ Books That Promote Diversity

Student guy reading a book in a library
Credit: iStock

Books for high school kids

Furia” by Yamile Saied Méndez 

2021 Pura Belpré Young Adult Author Winner

Camila Hassan is a soccer star who lives in Argentina with a mother who has harsh expectations and a father with a short temper. Camila’s dream is to earn a scholarship to a North American university, but her parents don't know she plays soccer. Caught between soccer, love and her difficult family, she is forced to decide which direction to follow. 

We Are Not From Here” by Jenny Torres Sanchez 

2021 Pura Belpré Young Adult Author Honoree

Pulga, Chico and Pequeña have grown up aware of the dangers that surround them. Seeking a better life, these three teenagers leave everything they know and love behind to undertake the perilous journey from Guatemala, through Mexico, and then into the United States. 

All the Days Past, All the Days to Come” by Mildred D. Taylor 

2021 Coretta Scott King Author Award Winner 

The story of the Logan family, woven into the American civil rights movement, culminates in this final volume. Characters known from Mildred Taylor’s previous works find their passions and witness change during this historically significant time. 

Legendborn” by Tracy Deonn 

2021 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Honoree and Coretta Scott King – John Steptoe for New Talent Author Award Winner 

Set at UNC–Chapel Hill, this book features Bree Matthews, a teenage girl struggling with the recent loss of her mother and a discovery of flying demons. In beginning to understand her own magic, Bree finds connections between the demon-hunting Legendborn students and her mother’s death. 

Never Look Back” by Lilliam Rivera 

2021 Pura Belpré Award Honoree

In this retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, author Rivera takes the reader through the life of Eury, who lost everything in Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria. Now living in New York City, Eury falls in love with Pheus, but the demons that follow her threaten to get in their way. Together, the two must fight for their love despite the dangers they face. 

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