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June 18, 2021

What are the Best 2021 Diverse Summer Reading Books for Young Kids

Juneteenth 2021 is tomorrow and thanks to President Biden, it is now a federal holiday. While the Emancipation Proclamation was issued January 1, 1863, it wasn’t until June 19, 1865--two and a half years later--that enslaved people in Galveston, Texas were officially freed. Juneteenth is a celebration of liberation and independence for Black people in the United States. But what does Juneteenth mean for our country? 

Juneteenth is another opportunity for us to honor and rededicate ourselves to the Black freedom struggle, and freedom for all people. The Emancipation Proclamation was not issued because of President Lincoln’s good will, but rather because he was pressured to do so, just as recognition of Juneteenth is a reflection of how effectively activists and organizers have pushed us to confront systems of oppression.  

One of the freedoms that was granted to us on this day is education. In the 1800s our ancestors were excited to be able to gain an education free of punishment. It’s now our job to take their vision and fight for our children to get an equitable education. Our children should be given the same standards of specialized education that children in high performing white schools receive.

I hope you spend tomorrow in remembrance and celebration of how far we’ve come. Hit reply and let me know what you and your kids cooked. My boys and I will be bbq’ing and as my son told me, “Mom, we need to get some watermelon and strawberry soda.”

Sunday, June 20, 2021, is the first day of summer. I’m excited because my kids and I will be traveling again. Summer is also a time when the bond between parents and children intensifies. This is usually a good time for parents to slow down and take time to connect with your child. Discover how they learn and how to support them. 

Summer Reading List

Summer can be a time when children’s brain power decreases due to lack of stimulation. In the season finale of The Parenting Cipher, episode 211, I chatted with Stephanie Moran-Reed about the importance of multicultural and diverse books and how hard they are to find. Here is a list of books she suggested.

Take a look, click the book:


ABC D is Ability by Natassia Williamson (group represented – many)

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ABC Now I Know Common Disabilities by Elsie Guerrero (group represented – many)

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The Abilities in Me (series) by Gemma Keir (group represented – many)

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I Am Me by Tristan Towns & Lacey Howard (group represented – many)

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I’m No Different Than You by Jaime Mahaffey & Kristy High (group represented – Sickle Cell Disease)


If You Could Hear My Hands by Ana Maritza Rivera (group represented – deafness)

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Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You! by Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (group represented – many)

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Marvelous Margaux by Liz Subrin (group represented – Dup15Q)

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My Busy Busy Brain by Nicole Russell (group represented – ADHD)

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My Friend Jen: A Little Different by Jenica Leah (group represented – Sickle Cell Disease)

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My Skin has Shapes by Rayna Best (group represented – skin discoloration)

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Nia Skye’s Friend on Wheels by Keylonda Wheeler (group represented – wheelchair bound)

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Rae’s First Day by Danny Jordan (group represented – upper limb difference)

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Super Cells by Princess Walls (group represented – Sickle Cell Disease)

For more children’s books about multicultural and diverse topics, check out Stephanie’s online store named after her multicultural daughter, Mija Books.

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