This Summer’s Most Anticipated Books to Add to Your Kids’ Diverse Bookshelf

Continuing to read to your kids through summer break is pretty much universally recommended by teachers and child development professionals. Reading books together is quality time well spent and can help your child avoid the “summer slide” (the learning loss that happens over the summer). And adding diverse books to your child’s collection or finding them at your local library can help open their minds and start important conversations with your kids about race, diversity, and inclusivity.

This list of summer book releases includes titles from celebrity authors like Gabrielle Union, Kristen Bell, and LeBron James as well as famous favorites like author and illustrator Christian Robinson (of Last Stop on Market Street) and antiracist thought-leader Ibram X. Kendi’s anticipated children’s book, Antiracist Baby.

Read on for more 2020 book releases to add to your kids’ diverse bookshelf.


Summer Releases

Ibram X. Kendi and Ashley Lukashevsky

Antiracist Baby

Released June 2020.

"Antriracist Baby" helps teach kids (and parents) how to be antiracist and joins Kendi's important body of work like "Stamped from the Beginning" for young adult readers and "How to Be An Antiracist" for adults.

Christian Robinson

You Matter

Released June 2020.

Author and illustrator, Christian Robinson shares a memorable tale with colorful pictures representing all kids, assuring readers they matter.

Meena Harris and Ana Ramírez González

Kamala and Maya's Big Idea

Released June 2020.

Written by the niece of Senator Kamala Harris, this is the real story of how Kamala and her sister Maya brought their big idea to life.

Kristen Bell, Benjamin Hart, and Daniel Wiseman

The World Needs More Purple People

Released June 2020.

Co-written by one of our fave celeb-moms, Kristen Bell, this book provides step-by-step instructions on how to be uniquely you, like "Ask Great Questions" and "Use Your Voice."

Connie Schofield-Morrison and Frank Morrison

I Got the School Spirit

Released July 2020.

The third picture book in Schofield-Morrison's series celebrates the sights and sounds of school and comes out just in time for back-to-school. Pictures by award-winning illustrator Frank Morrison.

Lebron James and Nina Mata

I Promise

Available August 2020.

Featuring James' upbeat text and vibrant illustrations by Nina Mata, this book has the power to inspire all children and families.


Released Earlier This Year

Michael Joosten and Wednesday Holmes

Pride 1 2 3

Released May 2020.

A board book helping littles count to 10 in the context of a Pride parade, like "3 families of all different types" and "4 activists fight the good fight."

Gabrielle Union and Ashley Evans

Welcome to the Party

Released May 2020.

Another celeb mom we'd want to be friends with, Gabrielle Union wrote this adorable ode to her daughter Kaavia. Described as "a festive and universal love letter from parents to little ones, perfect for welcoming a baby to the party of life."

James Berry and Anna Cunha

A Story About Afiya

Released April 2020.

Written by the late award-winning poet, James Berry, this beautifully illustrated story follows Afiya, a little girl whose white dress helps her collect memories each day.

Alan Woo and Katty Maurey

David Jumps In

Released March 2020.

David doesn't know anyone at his new school and must be brave to find someone to play with at recess and introduce them to his favorite game, elastic skip.

Carol Lynn Pearson and Jane Sanders

I'll Walk With You

Released March 2020.

A sweet poem teaching children about loving and accepting those around them.

Julie Merberg and Molly Egan

No! My First Book of Protest

Released March 2020.

From Frederick Douglas to Malala Yousafzai, this board book is part history lesson and part modern-day learning about change-makers who said "No!"

Grace Byers and Keturah A. Bobo

I Believe I Can

Released March 2020.

A book of affirmations for all children by best-selling and award-winning author Grace Byers, who also wrote the favorite, "I Am Enough".

Bree Galbraith and Josée Bisaillon

Usha and the Stolen Sun

Released March 2020.

Usha has never seen the sun. When her grandfather begins to forget how and when the sun went away, Usha goes on a quest to find it. A moving story about the power of words to change the world.

Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Just Like Me

Released January 2020.

A celebration of girlhood in poetry form with absolutely stunning illustrations to go with it.


Read More: 18 Kids’ Books to Help Start a Discussion About Race