#OwnVoices: A Booklist for Ages 6-9

#OwnVoices books feature diverse characters and are written by authors from that same diverse group. You can find all of these titles in the children's section at AACPL.
  1. Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai
    California girl Mai is looking forward to a relaxing summer vacation on the beach. However, instead she takes a trip to Vietnam with her grandmother who is searching the past for answers. Vietnam doesn't feel like home to Mai, but she must learn to adapt, and in doing so, come to appreciate the country of her ancestors.
  2. Save Me a Seat by Gita Varadarajan and Sarah Weeks
    (AACPL Best Children's Books 2016) Super smart Ravi has just moved to the USA from India, and American-born Joe struggles with school. A challenge at school causes the lives of these two very different boys to intersect and they learn they are stronger together.
  3. Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina
    Juana is from Bogota, Colombia and is not loving learning English. Her very best friend is a pup called Lucas. This is the first in a series for young readers. Winner of the 2017 Pura Belpre Author Medal.
  4. Flying Lessons and Other Stories Edited by Ellen Oh
    A collection of short stories from celebrated authors like Kwame Alexander, Soman Chainani, Matt de la Pena, Jacqueline Woodson and Walter Dean Myers these are stories to celebrate the differences in us all -- as well as to recognize how we all all the same. Published in partnership with We Need Diverse Books.
  5. George by Alex Gino
    (AACPL's Best Children's Books 2015) 4th grader George calls herself Melissa, as she feels trapped inside the wrong body. Alex Gino does a wonderful job getting into the mind of a young transgendered girl. You'll get a sense of the struggle within her: constant fear and a desire to hope. This fantastic book stresses compassion and inclusion and also models how to be a good friend or parent to not just someone coming out, but to anyone who ever felt different.
  6. Thunder Boy, Jr. by Sherman Alexie
    Thunder Boy, Jr. wishes for just one thing -- a normal name that is all his own. A very discussable picture book about family, heritage and sharing.
  7. The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson
    So many books by Woodson could have been on this list -- but this is a great one for younger readers. It's the story of two young girls, one black and one white, who learn about each other as they meet at the fence dividing their town.
  8. Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford
    This nonfiction picture book was a 2016 Caldecott Honor title. It tells the story of civil rights advocate Fannie Lou Hamer though poems and spirituals.