Family Life, Parenting, Special Needs, Stages

Inclusivity for All

By celebrating inclusivity for all–regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or ability–we can help create a more equitable, accessible, and just world. Here are seven great books to share with your family to get kids of all ages thinking about the power of kindness, acceptance, and empathy, and how their actions and attitudes can help create positive change near and far.

All the Way to the Top: How One Girl’s Fight for Americans with Disabilities Changed Everything by Annette Bay Pimentel & Nabi H. Ali tells the amazing true story of Jennifer Keelan, who has cerebral palsy and was just eight years old when she helped to fight for the 1990 passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold & Suzanne Kaufman is set at a school where diversity and inclusion are celebrated. All children have a space and are loved and appreciated, and students from many different backgrounds learn from and celebrate each other’s traditions. It’s a great way to show young children how they should treat people and define what inclusive spaces look and feel like.

Intersection Allies: We Make Room for All by Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council, Carolyn Choi, & Ashley Seil Smith is all about intersectionality, nuances of identity, and embracing differences. With the repeating phrase, “Where there’s room for some, we make room for all. Friends can be allies no matter how small,” this book is a fantastic introduction to allyship, an essential role in creating an equitable world.

Middle Grade
Aven Green, Sleuthing Machine by Dusti Bowling & Gina Perry is a fun and lighthearted series that follows the adventures of third grader Aven Green, who was born without arms. In their place, Aven believes her “arm cells” went into giving her a super brain, which comes in handy when her classmate’s lunches start to mysteriously disappear and Aven has to solve the case.

Dictionary for a Better World: Poems, Quotes, and Anecdotes from A to Z by Irene Latham, Charles Waters, & Amini Mehrdokht is organized like a dictionary, but instead of a traditional definition, each entry has a poem, an inspiring quote, personal anecdote, and a prompt for an activity. By defining words like “acceptance” and “empathy,” this dictionary lays out words you can embody in order to create a better world.

The Disability Experience: Working Toward Belonging by Hannalora Leavitt & Belle Wuthrich is a good introduction for middle and high school-aged kids to learn how to talk about disability. It breaks down some of the barriers people with special needs face in everyday life to help non-disabled individuals to understand what it means to live with a disability and how their actions can help or harm.

Channel Kindness: Stories of Kindness and Community by Born This Way Foundation Reporters & Lady Gaga is a collection of stories of young people who exhibited kindness, bravery, and resilience. Together, the stories help to show young adults that kindness, empathy, and understanding can change the world.


Marie Simoneaux is the marketing associate responsible for the New Orleans Public Library’s social media content and impact stories. Kacy Helwick is the youth collection development librarian.

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