Staff Picks

What We’re Reading

The latest in culturally aware literature and resources for teachers of all grades.

The Teaching Tolerance staff reviews the latest in culturally aware literature and resources, offering the best picks for professional development and teachers of all grades.

101 Changemakers book cover

When he’s included in history books at all, Nat Turner is usually mentioned only as the leader of an unsuccessful slave uprising that led to a more militant proslavery stance. In contrast, 101 Changemakers: Rebels and Radicals Who Changed U.S. History presents Turner as a person with a life story and a legacy that “inspired those opposed to slavery.” The book, edited by Michele Bollinger and Dao X. Tran, uses Turner and others to inspire a new generation of rebels and radicals.

middle and high school

"Not the usual lineup."
—Maureen Costello


The Night Dad Went to Jail book cover

The Night Dad Went to Jail, by Melissa Higgins, takes readers into the life of a young child whose father is arrested and sent to prison. Information is provided throughout for teachers to use as discussion builders with students.

elementary school

“Crucial insights every educator needs.”
—Lisa Ann Williamson


Multiplication is for White People book cover

Lisa Delpit’s Multiplication Is for White People: Raising Expectations for Other People’s Children takes on the myths and misconceptions that perpetuate this country’s shameful achievement gap and threaten the promise of racial justice.

professional development

“When Delpit describes a ‘warm demander,’ take notes.”
—Emily Chiariello


Trevor book cover



Based on the same character that inspired the Trevor Project (a national organization supporting LGBTQ youth), Trevor by James Lecesne brings home the importance of embracing uniqueness and celebrating diversity. From humorous rants about class assignments to a sobering account of attempted suicide, Trevor gives readers a glimpse of what it’s like to be an LGBT teen.

professional development



Words of Protest book cover

Almost half a century has passed since the civil rights movement, but the hunger for equality, the courage in the face of brutality and the awful patience necessary to outwit the slow pace of social change live on in the poems compiled in Words of Protest, Words of Freedom: Poetry of the American Civil Rights Movement and Era, edited by Jeffrey Lamar Coleman.

middle and high school

“Takes you straight to the heart of the civil rights movement.”
—Alice Pettway


Hunted book cover

Hunted, by Cheryl Rainfield, imagines a world where “Paranormals” (psychics and telekinetics) are oppressed and enslaved by “Normals.” This young-adult novel, which reminds readers of the need for action and advocacy on behalf of people without a voice, is a great complement to social-justice curricula.

middle and high school





No More Teasing book cover

No More Teasing, a Katie Woo book by Fran Manushkin, tells a kid-friendly story of why teasing hurts—and how to stop it.

elementary school

“Easy for kids to understand.”
—Michele Lee





Professional Development

Giving Our Children a Fighting Chance: Poverty, Literacy, and the Development of Information Capital by Susan B. Neuman and Donna C. Celano

Streetsmart Schoolsmart: Urban Poverty and the Education of Adolescent Boys by Gilberto Q. Conchas and James Diego Vigil

Dignity for All: Safeguarding LGBT Students by Peter DeWitt

High Schools, Race, and America’s Future: What Students Can Teach Us About Morality, Diversity, and Community by Lawrence Blum


Middle & High School

A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America by Ronald Takaki

Created Equal: A Curriculum for High Schoolers and Middle Schoolers on Class and Classism by Phyllis Labanowski and Pamela Freeman

Little Rock Girl 1957: How a Photograph Changed the Fight for Integration by Shelley Tougas



Sofia and the Purple Dress/Sofía y el vestido morado by Diane Gonzales Bertrand and illustrated by Lisa Fields

Kunu’s Basket: A Story From Indian Island by Lee DeCora Francis and illustrated by Susan Drucker

Good People Everywhere by Lynea Gillen and illustrated by Kristina Swarner

Illustration of person holding and looking at laptop.

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