She chose her words carefully, but purposely. We were a diverse bunch. There were visitors from Australia who worked with refugees and undocumented immigrants there. There were accountants, VPs, Directors, Chancellors, case managers, teachers, and social workers. More than 200 of us were in attendance, many with a recently changed citizenship status ourselves. Many were bilingual, bi-cultural, or biracial.

“This isn’t about what side of the tracks you come from or on what side of the ocean you were raised. This isn’t about race, religion, or creed. I truly believe there are two groups of people. Two distinct worldviews, two distinct camps. You either believe, truly believe, that there is enough to go around, or you don’t. You believe there is enough opportunity, enough wealth, enough freedom, enough love, or you don’t. You either believe there is enough for everyone, or you don’t.

This week I was on the hunt for some late birthday-slash-holiday gifts for a few out-of-state friends.


Since most of them are recent (or soon-to-be) mothers, I scoured the web for the best gift of all: books!

By, for, or about African-Americans:
1. I Love My Hair by Natasha Anastasia
2. Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen & Kadir Nelson
3. Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison
4. The Colors of Us by Karen Katz
5. I Love Me by Carol M. Williams and Carol Ada
6. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson
7. Beatrice’s Goat by Page McBrier
8. The Patchwork Quilt by Valerie Flournoy
9. Kevin’s Kwanzaa by Lisa Bullard
10. Jamaica’s Find by Juanita Harill and Anne Sibley O’Brien
11. Catching the Moon by Crystal Hubbard
12. Grandfather and I by Helen Buckley and Jan Ormerod
13. I Am Enough by Grace Byers and Keturah A. Bobo
14. The Buffalo Soldier by Sherry Garland and Ronald Himler
15. Nikki and Deja: Birthday Blues by Karen English and Laura Freeman
16. The Day Gogo Went to Vote by Elinor Batezat and Sharon Wilson
17. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
18. Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis
19. Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale by John Steptoe
20. Of Thee I Sing: A Letter for My Daughters by Barack Obama
21. Summer Jackson: Grown Up by Teresa E. Harris
22. Peter’s Chair by Ezra Jack Keats
23. Summer Sun Risin’ by W. Nikola-Lisa
24. Aunt Flossie’s Hats (and Crab Cakes Later) by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard
25. Do Like Kyla by Angela Johnson
26. Come on, Rain! by Karen Hesse
27. Let It Shine by Andrea Davis Pinkney
28. Eight Days A Story of Haiti by Edwidge Danticat
29. Ziggy & the Black Dinosaurs Lost in Tunnel of Time by Sharon M. Draper
30. Welcome, Precious by Nikki Grimes

By, for, or about Muslim Families:
31. Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words by Karen Leggett Abouraya
32. One Green Apple by Eve Bunting
33. Deep in the Sahara by Kelly Cunnane and Hoda Hadadi
34. Nabeel’s New Pants: An Eid Tale retold by Fawzia Gilani-Williams
35. My Father’s Shop by Satomi Ichikawa
36. Golden Domes & Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors by Hena Khan
37. Night of Moon by Hena Khan
38. Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan
39. I’m New Here by Ann Sibley O’Brien
40. Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed
41. The Librarian of Basra: A Tue Story from Iraq by Jeanette Winter
42. King for a Day by Rukhsana Khan
43. The Sky of Afghanistan by Ana A de Eulate
44. The Grand Mosque of Paris: A Story of How Muslims Saved Jews During the Holocaust by Karen Gray Ruelle
45. Under the Ramadan Moon by Sylvia Whitman
46. Snow in Jerusalem by Deborah da Costa
47. The Best Eid Ever by Mobin-Uddin Asma
48. My Name Was Hussien by Hristo Kyuchukov
49. The Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania of Jordan
50. I See the Sun in Afghanistan by Dedie King
51. My Name is Bilal by Asma Mobin-Uddin
52. Never Say a Mean Word Again: A Tale from Medieval Spain by Jacquelina Jules
53. The Olive Tree by Elsa Marstan
54. Sami and The Time of Troubles by Florence Parry Heide
55. The Stars in My Geddah’s Sky by Claire Sidhome Matze
56. Mirror by Jeannie Baker
57. The Silence in the Mountains by Liz Rosenberg
58. The Butler Man by Elizabeth Alalou and Ali Alalou
59. The White Nights of Ramadan by Maha Addasi
60. The Boy & The Wall by Amal Bishara

By, for, or about Multi-Racial Families:
61. The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster
62. 15 Things Not To Do With a Baby by M.I. McAllister
63. Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match by Monica Brown
64. A Wild Cowboy by Dana Kessimakis Smith
65. The Favorite Daughter by Allen Say
66. My Two Grannies by Floella Benjamin
67. My Two Granddads by Floella Benjamin
68. Dumpling Soup by Jama Kim Rattigan
69. The Very Inappropriate Word by Jim Tobin
70. You Were the First by Patricia MacLachlan
71. More, More, More, Said the Baby by Vera B. Williams
72. Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers
73. Grandfather Counts by Andrea Cheng
74. I’m Your Peanut Butter Big Brother by Selina Alko
75. Oscar’s Half Birthday by Bob Graham
76. Happy Hair by Mechal Renee Roe
77. A Welcome Song for Baby by Marsha Diane Arnold
78. Where’s Lenny by Ken Wilson-Max
79. Ten Tiny Tickles by Karen Katz
80. Marisol McDonald and The Clash Bash by Monica Brown

What are your favorite titles? What would you add? What would you remove? 


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