It’s National Reading Month! To celebrate, we’re highlighting children’s books that inspire youth and young people to make a difference in their communities. These books tackle the importance of unity, volunteerism and representation. 

Representation matters as children of color rarely “see” themselves on TV or in books. Children of color are more engaged when they can identify themselves within the story. 

Consider picking up one of these amazing titles for the young reader in your life or purchasing one for a student in Auburn Gresham! When you buy a book through our “Read United, Be United” book drive, you’ll help educate and inspire young learners. 


  • City Green by DyAnne DiSalvo — This picture book takes you on a journey through community action. After a building is destroyed in her community, Young Marcy decides to take action. To fill her community with joy and promise, Marcy advocates for building a green space in the now empty space where the building once stood. Take a look inside Marcy’s life and learn how to make a difference in your community one person at a time. Buy this book in store and online at the Book Cellar.


  • Dark Sky Rising: Reconstruction and the Dawn of Jim Crow by Tonya Bolden and Henry Louis Gates Jr. — Take a journey to America’s past, learn about the rise of Jim Crow and segregation in this Nation’s history. Real life accounts take place in this timely and daunting tale during the Reconstruction of America. Young readers will learn about the resilience of the Black community during a time of struggle but also pivotal change. Buy this book in store or online at Semicolon.


  • Green Green by Marie Lamba, Baldev Lamba and Sonia Sanchez (Illustrator) — Neighborhood children inspire their community in this revitalizing story about green space. This vibrant tale explores the need for green spaces and gardens in a community overrun with buildings. Can the children make a difference and will the community garden last? Read to find out! Buy this book in store or online at Pilsen Community Books.


  • Little Heroes Of Color: 50 Who Made a Big Difference by David Heredia — Young readers dive into a world of inspiration with this book. Vibrant colors pull preschoolers in as they learn about people of color making a difference in the world, including Toussaint L’Ouverture, the leader of the Haitian Revolution, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Supreme Court Justice from Puerto Rico. Buy this book in store or online at 57th Street Books.


  • Maybe Something Beautiful by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell —Art breeds transformation in this story based on the Urban Art Trail in San Diego California. Young Mira, decides to paint a sun in the dark alley way of her community. This small piece of art has a bigger impact than Mira expected. This story explores the role art places in activism and change for one community. Buy this book in store or online at The Book Cellar.


  • The One Day House by Julia Durango and Bianca Diaz (Illustrator) —In this inspiring story about unity, Young Wilson hopes to One Day, brighten his friend Gigi’s life. Wilson dreams up ways he can help make Gigi’s house a home, but he can’t do it alone. One Day friends and neighbors come together to help Wilson’s dreams for Gigi become a reality. One Day, One Love, One Community! Available online at Volumes Bookcafe.


  • Slay by Brittney Morris — This bold story follows 17-year-old Kiera Johnson on her journey living in two different worlds. Kiera is the only Black kid at her school and on a normal day is just an honors student going about life. But when she gets home, she enters the gaming world and plays the online role-playing card game known as SLAY. When SLAY is made public and labeled as racist/exclusionist, will she be able to keep her gaming identity a secret? Available in store and online at Women and Children First