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Central Standard

Kansas City Authors Recommend Diverse Children's Books


Children’s literature is becoming more and more diverse, but choosing which books to share with children can still be difficult. 

KCUR’s Central Standard recently welcomed Kansas City authors Christine Taylor-Butler and Traci Sorellto a discussion of how representations of race in children’s literature have changed over time.

Here are their recommendations for books with diverse and nuanced characters and storylines.

Christine Taylor-Butler, children’s book author:

Traci Sorell, children’s book author:

  • Little You by Richard Van Camp, Dogrib Nation
  • Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith, Muscogee Nation
  • When the Shadbush Blooms by Carla Messinger, Lenape Nation
  • Rock and Rock Highway by Sebastian Robertson, Mohawk Nation
  • Thunder Boy Jr. and The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, Spokane Nation
  • Eagle Song by Joseph Bruchac, Abenaki Nation
  • Indian Shoes and Rain Is Not My Indian Name by Cynthia Leitich Smith
  • In The Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph Marshall III, Rosebud Sioux
  • If I Ever Get Out Of Here by Eric Gansworth, Onondaga Nation
  • Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices edited by Lisa Charleyboy, Tsilhqot’in Nation, and Mary Beth Leatherdale

Anna Sturla is an intern at KCUR 89.3.