There’s a beautiful and vast amount of human diversity on this planet, but not everyone understands how to recognize differences and similarities in a kind way. Within these texts, students will gain tools of compassion to inspire their personal growth in becoming inclusive individuals who encourage and celebrate diversity. Whether in the classroom or on the street, readers will be equipped with the understanding that uniqueness should not be feared, but should instead, be celebrated and appreciated! Read on for Mentor Text to Celebrate Diversity in the Classroom!

Our Class is a Family by Shannon Olsen

This mentor text will help strengthen the sense of community within your diverse classroom. The message of this book teaches students that classrooms are a safe space for them to make mistakes, friends, and memories. With beautiful rhymes and whimsical illustrations, students will enjoy learning about the importance of community and inclusivity.

Just Ask by Sonia Sotomayor

Children typically want to blend in with one another out of fear of being too “different”. Sticking out from the crowd is tough as a child, but this book is here to help by teaching students that being different is okay! Just Ask is about children with all sorts of challenges and special traits that make them unique. As a group of children works together to build a communal garden, they begin asking each other questions, discovering that they’re all different in one way or another! 

Whoever You Are by Mem Fox

Children all over the world live their lives in different ways, with culturally significant languages, foods, and ways of living! But on the inside, they all have something in common, they’re all children of the world. This text is a reminder for children to be accepting of differences, to realize similarities, and to rejoice in both!

This Is How I Do It: One Day in the Life of You and 59 Real Kids from Around the World by Matt Lamothe

This is a perfect workbook for a class that is learning more about the diverse cultures that our planet has to offer. Self-reflection is encouraged within a text that inspires students to write, draw, and share with one another to discover new things about cultures and countries that are different (and similar) to their own. 

Every Child Is Different: A children’s picture book about diversity, kindness, justice, and equality.

This text is an ideal pick for younger children, aged two to five years old. Bright illustrations show a diverse set of children while promoting the connection and importance of being kind and sticking up for others. 

Your Name Is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow

After a long day of teachers and classmates mispronouncing her name, a little girl confesses to her mom that she never wants to return to school. The girl’s mother responds by teaching her about the musicality of African, Asian, Black-American, Latinx, and Middle Eastern names on a lyrical walk around the city. With this new understanding, the young girl feels empowered to return to school to share her knowledge with the rest of her peers.

A New Alphabet for Humanity: A Children’s Book of Alphabet Words to Inspire Compassion, Kindness, and Positivity by Leesa McGregor

Each letter of the alphabet is accompanied by empowering lessons on diversity that are meant to nurture students’ social awareness, acceptance, and compassion toward others. 

Teacher tip: This book includes an empowerment kit that contains a printable alphabet and positive affirmation poster, a weekly emotional lesson plan, and a PDF titled ‘101 Acts of Kindness and Compassion’.

Different is Good: A Cute Children’s Picture Book about Racism & Diversity to help Teach your Kids Equality and Kindness by Rebecca J. Jackson and Phelan Good

A purple monster feels isolated at the park with all of their red and white friends. Students will learn about racism in a simple way as they pick up tools to combat prejudice through compassion and understanding!

Bird Boy (An Inclusive Children’s Book) by Matthew Burgess

Nico is nervous about his first day at a new school, so he spends his time doing what he loves to do: watching the insects, sitting in the grass, and befriending the birds! Before long, Nico is nicknamed “Bird Boy”, but he doesn’t mind. Nico continues enjoying nature and eventually makes one, then two, friends who accept him for who he is. This story encourages children to be who they are, no matter what anyone else may say.

One Love by Cedella Marley

Based on the classic Bob Marley song, the story of One Love is about a young girl who brings people together to help change her neighborhood for the better. This text fosters the importance of community and the power of positivity through upbeat illustrations and happy lyrics to sing along with.

Skin Like Mine by LaTashia M. Perry

This text is perfect for teaching children ages 3-7 about ways to acknowledge and celebrate a diverse rainbow of skin colors. Informative and entertaining, Skin Like Mine is a great tool for students dealing with identity issues.

Happy Within by Marisa J. Taylor

Diversity is embraced in this positive children’s book that teaches readers to love the skin they’re in! With a diverse character set, readers learn how to be proud of their individuality in the recognition that it’s possible to be happy within through practices of self-love and kindness toward others.

This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from around the World by Matt Lamothe

While children live different lives all over the globe, they all share a common experience—the human experience! This book offers a window for readers to look into traditions that differ from their own as well as mirrors that allow for self-reflection to reveal the ways in which they’re similar to the children in the book.

Teach Your Dragon About Diversity: Train Your Dragon to Respect Diversity by Steve Herman

This pet dragon can do many things, like light a campfire, but he is sad because he doesn’t exactly fit in with his friends. The children in the book begin teaching the dragon about the beauty of diversity to calm his nerves and in so doing, encourage him to celebrate differences.

It’s OK to be Different: A Children’s Picture Book About Diversity and Kindness by Sharon Purtill

Every child is different, and that’s OK! No matter if they are big or small, have a special need, or are from various ethnic backgrounds, these differences should be celebrated! This mentor text inspires acceptance and compassion with bright illustrations and flowing rhymes.

Young Change Makers Series by Stacy Bauer

I hope you enjoyed this post. Grab even more Mentor Text tips in These Blog Posts!

You can see all of these Diversity Books on Amazon here. For even more ideas check out my friend, Jocelynn’s podcast, The Culture-Centered Classroom.

For More Tips Check Out These Blogs: