Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Historical Fiction

Learn About Loving Day

Loving v. Virginia (1967) was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that struck down laws banning interracial marriage. The decision was followed by an increase in interracial marriages in the U.S. and is remembered annually on June 12th, Loving Day.

Check out these resources to learn more about multi-racial families and friendships, Loving v. Virginia, and the couple at the heart of it, Richard and Mildred Loving.

Anti-racist Books and Resources for Families

In turbulent times, we realize it can be helpful to use literature as a way to discuss and explain difficult situations with your children. MPPL Youth Services staff have curated a collection of books and resources to assist you as you discuss events with the youngest members of your family.

Books @ MPPL

Anti-racist Books for Families
Anti-racist Books for Pre-K-K
Anti-racist Books for grades 2-4
Anti-racist Books for Tweens (4th-6th grade)

You can place holds on these items for parking lot pick up, or many of them are also available from Hoopla, Overdrive/Libby, and RBdigital.

Hoopla collection of Audiobooks, “Talking to Kids About Race”

Resources

These resources have been vetted by library staff, however, since they are outside sites, we are not responsible for the content.

31 Children’s books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance

How White Parents Can Use Media to Raise Anti-Racist Kids

RESOURCES FOR TALKING ABOUT RACE, RACISM AND RACIALIZED VIOLENCE WITH KIDS

Becoming Upended: Teaching and Learning about Race and Racism with Young Children and Their Families

Racial Equity Tools: Children, Families, and Youth Development

Talking to Kids About Race

Your Kids Aren’t Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup

Anti-racism Resources for All Ages, curated by Dr. Nicole Cooke

E-Book & E-Audiobook – Refugee by Alan Gratz

Refugee OverDrive Book & Audio

Refugee by Alan Gratz, a captivating novel, is written with an interlacing of three different stories, following the lives of three disparate children, and their families. These emigrants are grappling to find the courage they need to escape from the country they have loved. All are fleeing from their oppressed, unstable homeland and searching for a new frontier. A brand-new beginning.  

All these stories are set at various times and places in the 20th century. You will meet a Jewish boy named Josef, fleeing from his beloved Germany during WWII. Also, Isabel, escaping Cuba in the midst of rioting and turmoil, takes a makeshift boat fleeing to America. Finally, there is Mahmoud, a Syrian refugee, his home torn apart by violence and war, fleeing to wherever they will be welcomed. 

These engaging stories, meant for more mature readers, are so captivating, you won’t be able to set this book down. 

This book is also available as an ebook  and e-audiobook in Overdrive’s Digital Library. It is also available as an e-audiobook on Hoopla. 

Book reviewed by Darice C., Youth Services Assistant 

Our Castle by the Sea by Lucy Strange 

Our Castle by the SeaBefore the war, Pet was just an ordinary 11-year-old living with her family.  But when Hitler’s bombers begin attacking the English coast, everything starts to fall apart.  Someone in her village is helping the Germans by sabotaging telephone lines and setting fire to buildings.  Since Pet’s mother is German, she is the most obvious suspect.  The tribunal finds her guilty of being a traitor and she is taken away to an internment camp.  Pet is determined to prove her innocence by finding other suspects such as her sister Mags who is keeping secrets or her neighbor Spooky Joe who is skulking around with binoculars and a notebook.  Who is the real spy?  Will Pet be able to find answers that will set her mother free? 

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head 

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani

The Night Diary book coverThis book made me hungry for Indian food. One of the things Nisha loves to do is prepare food, which she does with Kazi, who is her family’s cook. Kazi also happens to be Muslim, while Nisha’s family is Hindu. Nisha never thought about this before, until suddenly India is being split into two countries– a new India for Hindu people and Pakistan for Muslim people. Gandhi doesn’t think this is right, and neither does Nisha. The book is told through diary entries that Nisha addresses to her mother, whom she never knew. Her mother was Muslim, which also makes Nisha feel conflicted about her identity. This is a well-written and interesting historical fiction.  The narrator has an authentic voice and the story tells about a part of India’s history with which many kids may be unfamiliar.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator