Staff Picks

What We're Reading

Learning for Justice loves to read! Check out a few of our favorite books for diverse readers and educators.

Cover of "Ways to Grow Love" by Renée Watson.

In Ways To Grow Love (A Ryan Hart Story, 2), author Renée Watson perfectly captures the feeling of being in elementary school—of sweet childhood friendships, special moments with family, summer camp shenanigans and the seeming enormity of little things. It’s in those little things that this book shines. Ryan Hart is an endearing and relatable heroine—and a passionate Black girl in whom readers will see themselves. Nina Mata’s warm illustrations scattered throughout the book are a particular gift.

“Young readers will be captivated by the love, strength and everyday magic of Ryan Hart and her family.” Steffany Moyer, LFJ Program Management & Operations Specialist

Cover of "Eugene the Unicorn: A Kid’s Book To Help Start LGBTQ Inclusive Conversations" by T. Wheeler.

In Eugene the Unicorn: A Kid’s Book To Help Start LGBTQ Inclusive Conversations, author and illustrator T. Wheeler demonstrates how to engage in age-appropriate discussions about difference, diversity and acceptance. The rhyming text will certainly engage little listeners as they learn that the thing we have in common is that we all have individual differences. In this charming book, Wheeler encourages self-acceptance, celebrates diversity, and writes, “No one can be a better you than you.”

“Young children will love the rhythm of this read-aloud book with its specific focus on inclusivity.” Crystal L. Keels, LFJ Editor

Cover of "Josie Dances" by Denise Lajimodiere.

Josie Dances, by Denise Lajimodiere, is a beautiful story of a young Ojibwe girl preparing for her powwow debut. This book, with wonderful illustrations by Angela Erdrich, explores the intersection of Indigenous culture, family, nature and traditions—offering an essential perspective to any library collection. With help from her family and the support of her community, Josie gathers what she needs to receive her spirit name and participate in her first powwow.

“An essential telling of Ojibwe culture that will have readers celebrating and honoring Josie’s journey.” Jaci Jones, LFJ Professional Learning Facilitator

Cover of "This Book Is Feminist: An Intersectional Primer for Next-Gen Changemakers" by Jamia Wilson and Aurélia Durand.

What is feminism, and why do we need it today? In This Book Is Feminist: An Intersectional Primer for Next-Gen Changemakers, Jamia Wilson navigates these questions from a perspective that is at once socially astute and deeply personal. With illustrations by Aurelia Durand, Wilson renders current intersectional feminist thought more approachable by grounding it in her own story and frequently prompting young people to reflect on how these topics come into play in their own lives.

“A beautifully illustrated personal tour of some of the key topics in contemporary feminism.” Steffany Moyer, LFJ Program Management & Operations Specialist


Cover of "Race Resilience: Achieving Equity Through Self and Systems Transformation."

Authors Victoria E. Romero, Amber N. Warner and Justin Hendrickson designed Race Resilience: Achieving Equity Through Self and Systems Transformation to help educators, schools and districts develop race resilience using exercises and techniques that address racial biases. The authors develop each chapter with the end in mind: to create schools that model racial justice for all children, particularly Black, Indigenous and all students of color.

“The techniques highlighted here provide realistic scenarios that allow educators to reflect on how personal experiences influence their educational practices.” Kimberly Burkhalter, LFJ Professional Learning Facilitator


Cover of "Rest Is Resistance: A Manifesto" by Tricia Hersey.

Author Tricia Hersey offers an intervention for the exhausted in Rest Is Resistance: A Manifesto. The artist, poet, theologian and community organizer urges us to reject grind culture and rigid systems that make it difficult to dream or create. With an analysis rooted in Black liberation theology, Hersey asserts that rest is our divine right. She insists that we must rest, not to do more later but to connect with our bodies—sites of liberation—to imagine, invent and heal.

“This book gives a caring, yet firm, nudge to slow down and rest.” Coshandra Dillard, LFJ Associate Editor