Never Miss a Beat

Powerful Diverse Picture Books for Back to School


Summer went by lickety-split! Thoughts of sun and fun are now turning to getting ready for a return to the learning and structure of the school year. If your kids have gotten out of the reading habit, these books are not only diverse, powerful, and beautiful, they will make an excellent addition to your home or classroom bookshelf.



Together We Can : 40 inspirational stories about what humans can achieve when we work as a team by Ned Hartley



As the title suggests, this beautiful book shares forty different stories of humans coming together to work as a team in order to achieve meaningful societal contributions. Some examples include the International Space Station, the Covid-19 vaccine, and the World Wildlife fund.


From inventing vaccines in record time to dealing with climate change, the biggest challenges can only be overcome when teams work together towards a common goal. Together We Can is a celebration of what we can achieve when human beings work collaboratively.


Packed with stories of teamwork from around the globe, read about the discovery of DNA, the beginnings of the Red Cross, the formation of Apple Inc., The Black Mambas, the Black Lives Matter movement, the Bolshoi Ballet, LEGO creators and more. Reading this book will help you understand the power and importance of teamwork!


Drawing on the powers of teamwork, Together We Can is beautifully illustrated by Studio Muti, a creative studio of illustrators and designers based in Cape Town, South Africa.


Justice Makes A Difference: The Story of Miss Freedom Fighter, Esquire by Dr. Artika Tyner




“Words are powerful,” Grandma told Justice. “They can be used in powerful ways to do good or to do harm. That’s why it’s important to always be careful with your words.”


Justice has grown up witnessing the many ways her grandma serves the community. She also wants to make a difference in the world, but how? Isn’t she too young? Through conversations with her grandma and their shared love of books, Justice learns about important women and men throughout history who changed the world: Ella Baker, Shirley Chisholm, Charles Hamilton Houston, Dr. Wangari Maathai, Paul Robeson, and Ida B. Wells. Justice learns how each leader was a champion for advancing justice and improving the world, and she dreams of becoming a change maker, too—“Miss Freedom Fighter, Esquire,” a superhero with a law degree and an afro!


Written by Dr. Artika Tyner and Jacklyn Milton, passionate educators and community advocates, Justice Makes a Difference is the inspiring story of one little girl’s realization that her name is her destiny.


Amazing Africa A to Z by Dr. Artika Tyner


Amazing Africa: A to Z is a fun and resourceful book that takes children and even adults on a visual journey throughout the continent of Africa. Readers will visit the pinnacle of Mount Kilimanjaro, learn a few new words in Swahili and Twi while exploring Africa’s rich natural resources.


The book’s purpose is to aid in learning about the most important and intriguing facts about Africa. With the turn of each page, the authors help bridge the knowledge gap about the continent. Each page is filled with key facts about the fastest-growing population in the world. The book will inspire the next generation to learn more about Amazing Africa and become global citizens.


Gumbo Joy by Robert Dixon Jr.



The book – Gumbo Joy teaches children about leadership by showing Papa taking the lead in making gumbo and guiding Rose, sharing knowledge and cultural significance, and taking responsibility for the meal. MawMaw’s reminder to prioritize safety and health also shows how leaders prioritize the well-being of others.


The book teaches children gumbo’s cultural significance and origin, highlighting how it represents the coming together of different cultures, including West Africa, Spain, France, and New Orleans, Louisiana. It also shows the historical and cultural roots of the dish and how it has evolved over time.


Gumbo Joy teaches about global citizenship by emphasizing cultural diversity and community building through food. It encourages children to appreciate cultural differences, learn about their own heritage and the heritage of others, and become active members of a global community.


I am an Amazing Asian Girl by Yobe Qiu



Looking for a story to improve your child’s positivity, confidence, and self-worth? I Am an Amazing Asian Girl reminds young readers that anything is possible when they believe in themselves.


Author and educator Yobe Qiu has written this story to help young Asian girls recognize their power, strength, and value. Read along with page-by-page affirmations. This Asian girl is active, appreciated, authentic, and more!


I Am an Amazing Asian Girl is perfect for readers aged 3 to 6, introducing concepts that help children overcome self-doubt and develop good self-esteem. On every page, a colorful illustration represents a journey to daily positivity!


Support your child as they learn to embrace their culture and acknowledge their worth. Help your child learn that they are amazing too!


In I Am an Amazing Asian Girl, you and your young reader will discover:

  • Positive affirmations for Asian girls
  • Confidence-boosting positive statements
  • Empowering adventures and cultural pride
  • Bright illustrations full of life and optimism


Want to teach your child how amazing they can be? Start reading I Am an Amazing Asian Girl. Add to your positive collection with more affirmation books and resources from the author.


Jamie’s Class Has Something to Say: A Book About Sharing with Grown-Ups by Afsaneh Moradian


Jamie and classmates learn self-advocacy skills and help adults understand them better. Jamie is excited for Family Day and all the visitors that will be coming to the classroom. As the class prepares, they share how they feel when adults don’t listen closely enough to what the kids want, need, like, and don’t like or when adults place unfair, often gendered expectations on them.


Together, they decide to use their Family Day celebration to practice self-advocacy skills and help adults understand them better.


Part of the Jamie Is Jamie series, Jamie’s Class Has Something to Say is a lighthearted, sweet story that gives young children language and self-advocacy skills to help them speak up for themselves when adults aren’t listening carefully enough. A special section includes tips for adults for expanding on the concepts in the book and for talking with children about how to communicate their needs and identities to adults.


The Jamie Is Jamie Series helps kids feel safe and confident as they explore who they are. The Jamie Is Jamie series invites young children to join Jamie as they build confidence through imaginative free play, break down gender stereotypes, respect pronouns and gender identity, and learn self-advocacy skills. Each book includes a section for adults to help them reinforce the books’ messages.


Happy Reading!


One More Thing…


Don’t forget about the Read Your World This Summer: Explore Endless Adventures Through Books!

Summer is the perfect time to explore the world through books. Read Your World wants to encourage children to read books from diverse cultures and perspectives. This summer, why not participate in Read Your World by creating a summer reading list for your children that includes diverse books?


Simply go HERE to find diverse booklists, plus a free printable summer reading tracker! 



On the last day of the summer, September 23, they e will be giving away a prize pack of diverse children’s books to one lucky participant. To enter, simply share a photo of your child reading a diverse book on social media (Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram) and tag them using the hashtag #ReadYourWorldSummer and #ReadYourWorld.  We will announce the winner on Monday, September 25, 2023, on Instagram.

#ReadYourWorld #kidlit #summerreading