Encourage compassion, empathy and acceptance with these shareworthy tales, recommended by Liz Pearson, branch manager of the West Kendall Regional Library in Miami, part of the Miami-Dade Public Library System (MDPLS):
Preschool and Early Elementary
• The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates and Juniper Bates
In this charming tale of acceptance, a red umbrella grows to include everyone who needs shelter, no matter who or what they are.
• Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev
Banned from the Pet Club, a boy and his pet elephant and a girl and her pet skunk start a club where all are welcome.
• Bear and Wolf by Daniel Salmieri
Bear and Wolf meet in the winter forest and discover that although they’re different, they share a curiosity and openness about the world that leads to friendship.
• Wonder by R.J. Palacio
After being home-schooled for years, Auggie’s finally going to public school. But will his classmates see past his extraordinary face?
• Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Ha’s family flees Vietnam in 1975 to take refuge in America, where she finds her new home both frightening and appealing.
• Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova
Peppi is having a hard time fitting into her new school, and she pushes away the first person who tries to befriend her.
Middle and High School
• American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
Three narratives come together in this graphic novel that explores Jin’s search for belonging and acceptance.
• The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Starr is the only witness to the police shooting of her unarmed friend, and she must decide what she is willing to risk for truth.
• The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya
Arturo fights to save his abuela’s restaurant from gentrification in this moving and humorous celebration of culture and community, set in Miami.