Classic, older book by the well-known Newman.
Classic, older book by the well-known Newman.
Social Emotional Learning Resources
Classic, older book by the well-known Newman.
Like the title suggests, this book seeks to honor the not-so-significant differences in family structures. Kids in a classroom share openly about their own family make-up, and the message becomes clear. We can respect and acknowledge the beauty and texture of differences, but when there is love, little else matters.
When the daughter of two dads is faced with a classroom Mother’s Day celebration, she struggles, then gets creative and empowered.
All homes, classrooms, and school curriculums should be LGBTQ inclusive. Pride was written specifically for kids in grades 1-3 and needs to be a staple in all schools. This book provides some history of the LGBTQ movement, the story and importance behind the rainbow flag, and highlights the need to keep fighting for equality. The message is clear and the illustrations are vibrant and heartwarming.
Author Leslea Newman published the groundbreaking book Heather Has Two Mommies in 1989, at a time when being openly gay was difficult and when being a gay parent was seen as abusive. It still can be tough to be out and some still believe that I am damaging my kids by raising them in a house with two moms. But in 2018, gay marriage is legal, and many same-sex couples are getting married. Donovan’s Big Day takes us through the excitement of his role as the ring bearer in his moms’ wedding. This is a story about love and family, and normalizes all marriages.
Levy takes us into the world of four brothers, their fathers, and their family pets; all that can go wrong will. But even with their misadventures, the Fletchers are a close knit family, full of love and funny stories. As with any kid, their lives are ruled by school, friends, and crushes. Having two supportive dads is just a part of their story, not the whole. Book 2 in the Family Fletcher Series, The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island, is just as fun, but with a bit more depth. Levy explores race and gender stereotypes while hooking readers with the hilarious and sweet family dynamics of these four adopted boys and their two dads.
Levy wrote this book using a peripheral character from the Family Fletcher Series. Sarah Johnston-Fischer is not thrilled to be spending the summer on a cross-country train ride with her two moms, her little sister, her older sister and her boyfriend, and a bunch of loud strangers. She wants to complete the pre-middle-school Reinvention Project she has set up with her best friends. But change doesn’t come easy, and everything she fights and tries to escape turns out to be the things she actually needs to reinvent herself before heading off to middle school.
A sweet and honest book about young queer love. Hitchcock perfectly paints the infatuation of a first crush with the frustration of having to hide because the crush is between two girls. The backdrop of the book is a 1970s southern town soaked in religion. But 7th graders Sam and Allie challenge politics, disapproval, and fear by clinging to their feelings for each other.
When everyone looks at George, they see a boy, but George knows she is a girl. When her grade is going to perform Charlotte’s Web for the school play, George really wants the part of Charlotte. Her teacher won’t let her try out for it, though, because she says George is a boy and needs to choose a male role. George is afraid to tell her secret, but with the help of her best friend, she lets the school see her true self. George won the Children’s Stonewall Award, the Lambda Literary Award, and the E.B. White Honor.
Shane Wood is just a baseball playing, video game loving, and comic book drawing 12-year-old boy. But he is also living a stealth life as a transgender boy. No one at the school knows Shane was assigned female at birth and lived a life as a female for years—not even his best friend. But a classmate uncovers his truth and outs him. Shane is supported by his mother, but he needs to know if he will be supported by his best friend and his teammates too.
Errol and his teddy bear, Thomas, are best friends. They do everything together. But then Errol notices that Thomas is sad. Thomas explains that she has always been a girl teddy, not a boy teddy, and Thomas wants her name to be Tilly. Errol loves his friend unconditionally and doesn’t care if his teddy is a boy or a girl. This book is a great way to talk about transgender people and the importance of loving and accepting them when they tell us their truth.
One of the autism community’s most beloved books. Brims with insight, compassion and spirited humor as it takes a timeless, succinct, and informative look at ten characteristics that help illuminate—not define—children with autism.
Full of illustrations, humor and easy-to-understand explanations of important social rules that may not be so obvious to a child on the spectrum. The book was named the Autism Society America 2014 Temple Grandin Outstanding Book of the Year and made the Autism/ASP Digest Top Books list.
In this antic yet poignant new novel, Jack Gantos has perfect pitch in capturing the humor, the off-the-wall intensity, and the serious challenges that life presents to a kid dealing with hyperactivity and related disorders.
Kate Gaynor’s “A Friend Like Simon” serves as a helpful introduction to autism for neurotypical peers or siblings. This is the story about an autistic child who joins a “typical” classroom and faces a number of challenges. Young readers will learn how to be mindful of and patient with their autistic peers, while also learning about the many ways an autistic child can contribute to a friendship and community.
Izzy is a fun and feisty first grader who is often misunderstood because of her seemingly odd behavior. This vibrantly illustrated book tells the story of how Izzy attempts to cope with sensory overload in surroundings that are new to her, while simultaneously promoting the acceptance of peers with sensory modulation difficulties.
A picture book with a difference, Why Johnny Doesn’t Flap turns the tables on common depictions of neurological difference by drolly revealing how people who are not on the autistic spectrum are perceived by those who are. The autistic narrator’s bafflement at his neurotypical friend’s quirks shows that ‘normal’ is simply a matter of perspective.
A celebration of the world’s diverse cultures, both our similarities and differences. Fox’s message is that no matter where we come from, within our hearts, “Joys are the same, / and love is the same. / Pain is the same, / and blood is the same.”
These are books about marginalized characters or characters facing difficult challenges who respond with courage. If Wonder helped your reader develop more empathy, these books will help build on their interest.
Thoughtful picture book about a young Korean girl on her first day of school. Beautiful, expressive illustrations show how a considerate teacher and even a new friend help Sumi discover that school might not be so lonely after all.
Mmm, Yoko’s mom has packed her favorite for lunch today-sushi! But her classmates don’t think it looks quite so yummy. “Ick!” says one of the Franks. “It’s seaweed!” They’re not even impressed by her red bean ice cream dessert. Of course, Mrs. Jenkins has a plan that might solve Yoko’s problem. But will it work with the other children in class?
A timely and important tale teaching the skill of valuing the differences of others.
Clover’s mom says it isn’t safe to cross the fence that segregates their African-American side of town from the white side where Anna lives. But the two girls strike up a friendship, and get around the grown-ups’ rules by sitting on top of the fence together.
After a little boy and his tiny elephant are barred from the Pet Club, they befriend other children with unusual pets. In this sunny, smart, tongue-in-cheek tale, friendships are born out of mutual respect for the idiosyncratic choices of others. The first odd couple we meet consists of the story’s young narrator and the baby elephant he improbably takes with him everywhere, regardless of the challenges that doing so poses in a not always welcoming world.
“Readers will chime in with the ‘hip, hip hooray’ this cuddly-looking creature earns when he finally embraces and celebrates his differences.” —Kirkus
Ideal for sparking conversations about tolerance, the need for compromise, and fear of the unknown.
Chloe and her friends won’t play with the new girl, Maya. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her friends, they reject her. Eventually Maya stops coming to school. When Chloe’s teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship, and thinks about how much better it could have been if she’d shown a little kindness toward Maya.
This is a very cute story about kids learning to be friends with people who have different interests. It takes place as a competition between two school clubs and a rivalry spurred on when the principal calls out both clubs for not contributing to the school community. The characters learn to get past embarrassment and bad history, and that their actions have consequences not just for themselves but that also affect those around them. The artwork is beautiful and the cast displays many ethnicities & personalities.
What Does a Princess Really Look Like? is part of the Brave Like A Girl Series. Chloe loves princesses and ballerinas, but she also wants to create a Princess Ballerina that mirrors herself. When Chloe is finished creating her strong, smart, and kind princess, Chloe’s dads pop in to see the final product. They celebrate the girl, their daughter, who is being represented through paper, glue, and jewels.
“This picture book is filled with wit and musings on what it means for a young girl to be beautiful. The illustrations evoke a feeling of uniqueness, independence, and strength, defining beauty through diversity, talents, and passions.” —School Library Journal
High on energy and imagination, this ode to self-esteem encourages kids to appreciate everything about themselves—inside and out. Messy hair? Beaver breath? So what! Here’s a little girl who knows what really matters.
The combination of Parr’s silly sense of humor and bright illustrations draws in kids of all ages. Parr often references families with two moms, two dads, and adoptive families. Be Who You Are encourages and emphasizes the beauty of our differences, including wearing what we need to feel like ourselves and being proud of where we are from.
Champions girl power and women scientists, and brings welcome diversity to picture books about girls in science. Touching on themes of never giving up and problem solving, Ada comes to learn that her questions might not always lead to answers, but rather to more questions. She may never find the source of the stink, but with a supportive family and the space to figure it out, she’ll be able to feed her curiosity in the ways a young scientist should.
Twelve-year-old Marshall wants to be a superhero, but his powers always go wrong. He can shoot lasers from his eyes, but they either miss the target or cause more damage. And when you have severe motion sickness, flying is no fun. Marshall and others like him are referred to as “defectives.” But when the villainous Man With No Name tries to destroy the city again, Marshall and The Night Owl, a retired crime fighter, must team up to work with the powers they have, redeem themselves, and save the day.