Resources to help kids learn about racial prejudice, cultural diversity, and empathy

For many parents and caregivers, talking to their children about how race can play a role in people’s judgement of others isn’t a choice; it’s the other must-have ‘talk’. But no matter parents’ backgrounds or ethnicities, it’s important we talk with our kids about racial prejudice and cultural diversity, as well as teach the importance of empathy and accepting differences. Studies show that children as young as two use race in their reasoning for other people’s behaviour and select playmates based on this factor.

With the recent escalation of the Black Lives Matter movement, we thought it important to share some of our favourite resources for kids and young adults that address race and understanding. We’ve chosen mainly Indigenous Australian focused books because we recognise their unique hardship and cultural importance in Australia both historically and currently.

International books for children

  • Be Who You Are! – Todd Parr
  • My Hair Is A Garden – Cozbi A. Cabrera
  • Happy In Our Skin – Fran Manushkin
  • Chocolate Milk, Por Favor – Maria Dismondy and Nancy Raines Day
  • I Am Enough – Grace Byers
  • Something Happened In Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice – Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard
  • Amina’s Voice – Hena Khan
  • Drita, My Homegirl – Jenny Lombard

Indigenous Australian books for children

  • Respect – Aunty Fay Muir and Sue Lawson
  • Coming Home to Country – Bronwyn Bancroft
  • Same, But Little Bit Diff’rent – Kylie Dunstan
  • Black Cockatoo- Carl Merrison and Hakea Hustler
  • Jimmy And Pat Meet The Queen – Pat Lowe and Jimmy Pike
  • Young Dark Emu: A Truer History – Bruce Pascoe
  • My Australian Story: Who Am I? – Anita Heiss

Indigenous Australian books for YA readers (11+)

  • Growing Up Aboriginal In Australia – Anita Heiss
  • Welcome To Country (Youth Edition) An Introduction to our First Peoples for Young Australians – Marcia Langton
  • Deadly Unna? – Phillip Gwynne
  • Living On Stolen Land – Kwaymullina, Ambelin
  • My Girragundji – Meme McDonald and Boori Monty Pryor
  • Catching Teller Crow – Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina
  • Ghost bird – Lisa Fuller
  • Two Ways Strong – The Deadly Mob from Concordia

Articles on talking race with your child

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