Read Books for Inclusive Schools Week!
*Consider volunteering to read an inclusive book to a classroom during Inclusive Week December 5-9th.
SFUSD aims to ensure that every school's library collection "reflects inclusion and diversity including, but not limited to: materials by or about people of color; with a range of ethnicities, religions, languages, and cultures, people who identify as LGBTQ, family diversity, gender equity, and people with disabilities."
Below are some of the inclusive books which are currently available in every K-5 and K-8 SFUSD school library and which will be highlighted during Inclusive Schools Week. This list is just a start, our school libraries have many other diverse books in their collections. Reach out to your school librarian to find out more about the inclusive books at your school. SFUSD librarians will continue to add to this collection as more wonderful books are published.
Take a look at this Virtual Inclusion Library Bookshelf compiled by SFUSD for book selections that are already linked to video read-alouds!
Classroom teachers are also encouraged to explore the Elementary/History Resources webpage to explore books the resources and libraries provided that go beyond diversity books and truly embody the value of inclusion.
Inclusive Books being Highlighted in SFUSD Libraries for Inclusive Schools Week
- Bird Will Soar by Alison Green Myers - A heartfelt and hopeful debut about a bird-loving autistic child whose family's special nest is in danger of falling apart.
- I Talk Like a River by Scott Jordan - What if words got stuck in the back of your mouth whenever you tried to speak? What if they never came out the way you wanted them to? Sometimes it takes a change of perspective to get the words flowing.
- My City Speaks by Darren Lebeuf - A young girl, who is visually impaired, finds much to celebrate as she explores the city she loves.
- Olivia Wrapped in Vines by Maude Nepveu-Villeneuve - This quirky picture book is the perfect introduction to the idea of anxiety and those big feelings that seem impossible to manage.
- A Walk in the Words by Hudson Talbott - "A Walk in the Words" by Hudson Talbott brings a new perspective to reading. It follows a young boy as he explains his experience with learning to read.
- All are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold - All Are Welcome lets young children know that no matter what, they have a place, they have a space, they are welcome in their school.
- I am You: A Book about Ubuntu by Refiloe Moahloli - We may be different, but our hearts beat the same. In southern Africa, there is a belief called ubuntu—the idea that we are all connected. No matter where we’re from or who we are, a person is a person through their connections to other people.
- Niko Draws a Feeling by Bob Raczka - Niko loves to draw his world: the ring-a-ling of the ice cream truck, the warm of sun on his face. But no one appreciates his art.
- Someone Builds the Dream by Lisa Wheeler - Buildings, bridges, and books don't exist without the laborers who are often invisible in the final product, as this picture book reveals.
Books About the Disability Experience
For Early Ed & Beyond: We Move Together by Kelly Fritsch, Anne McGuire, and Eduardo Trejos. The story of a mixed-ability group of kids as they creatively negotiate everyday barriers and find joy and connection in disability culture and community.
For Older Elementary & Beyond: I Am Not a Label: 34 disabled artists, thinkers, athletes and activists from past and present by Cerrie Burnell. Short illustrated biographies of people who have faced unique challenges and are trailblazers, innovators, advocates, and artists and legends in their fields.
For Middle School & Beyond: Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to be an Ally by Emily Ladau. An approachable guide to being a thoughtful, informed ally to disabled people, with actionable steps for what to say and do (and what not to do) and how you can help make the world a more accessible, inclusive place.
Inclusion Book Lists
Reading inclusive books that represent all students and families is an important step in building an inclusive classroom. There are thousands of incredible books that represent all types of student experiences. Below are a few different categories of book lists that you can use when choosing a book or two to read and share with students in your school community.
Do you have an inclusive book you recommend? Fill out this form to share your book and we will add it to our list!
Books about the Disability Experience
- Schneider Family Book Award Winner List - distinguished titles that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.
- 16 Fiction Books With Disability Representation
- Children's Books Honored For Disability Narratives
- 11 Children's Books That Help Kids Understand Learning Disabilities
- Inclusion Stories from A Mighty Girl
Inclusive Book Recommendations from the Inclusion Task Force and the CAC for Special Education
- Inclusive Book Recommendations from the SFUSD Inclusion Taskforce Inclusion Book List
- SFUSD Community Advisory Committee for Special Education Inclusive Book List
Learning for Justice Diverse Book List - Check out this list for a few of their favorite books for diverse readers and educators! by Crystal Keels, Courtney Wai and Coshandra Dillard.
SFUSD Asian American & Pacific Islander Recommended Reading
Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander PreK-12 EDUCATION BOOK List - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1O-S1iqztQdSam1G8-4qB06MytppYFyGpJ0SDxQ7jUnw/edit#heading=h.n2t8luwguv6k
And check out this Recommended Reading list comes from the SFUSD Asian American & Pacific Islander Resource Guide. Check out the guide for many more resources.
Recommended Reading Lists
- Coolies by Yin
- Brothers by Yin
- (Poetry)Wild Geese Sorrow: The Chinese Wall Inscriptions at Angel Island.
- Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki
- Life in China (Picture in the Past) by Sally Senzell Isaacs
- Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say
- The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
- Drawn Together by Minh Le
- What will you be Sara Mee? by Kate Aver Avraham
- Mixed: A Colorful Story by Arree Chung
- Mommy Eats Fried Grasshoppers! By Vilayvanh Bender
- Apple Pie 4th of July by Janet S Wong
- A is for Awesome! 23 Iconic Women Who Changed the World by Eva Chen
- American Born Chinese, graphic novel, by Gene Luen Yang
- China Boy by Gus Lee
- Farewell to Manzanar, by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston
- Paper Sons: A Memoir by Dickson Lam
- The Arrival, a graphic novel without words, by Shaun Tan
- The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
- The Kitchen God’s Wife by Amy Tan
- The Sympathizer by Viet Thang Nguyen
- The Forbidden Stitch: An Asian American Women's Anthology by Shirley Lim (Editor), Mayumi Tsutakawa (Editor)
- Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
- Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
- Bone by Fae Myenne Ng
- The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima
- Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, nonfiction book by Katherine Boo
- "Eyes that Kiss in the Corners" by Joanna Ho
- "Dear America" by Jose Antonio Vargas
- "Fresh Off the Boat" by Eddie Huang
- "A Different Mirror" by Ronald Takaki
- Boxers & Saints, historical fiction / companion graphic novels by Gene Luen Yang
- The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston
- Nisei daughter by Monica Sone
- Life and Death in Shanghai, autobiography / memoir by Nien Cheng
- Dawn Raid (My New Zealand Story), by Pauline (Vaeluaga) Smith
- Samoan Heroes (Pasifika Heroes Book 2), David Riley
- The Best We Could Do, American Book Award winning graphic novel by former OUSD art teacher Thi Bui
- A Different Pond, by Bao Phi, illustrated by Thi Bui
- Chicken of the Sea, a picture book created by a five-year-old, a teen, and adults
- Peaches (poem) by Adrienne Su - Nearpod “Peaches” Mirrors / Window lesson
- Reading List from EPIC books
- 9 Books to Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (KQED)
- 100 Picture Books That Celebrate Asians in English and Chinese
- TACT Recommended Reading Lists - The Association of Chinese Teachers
- This is the updated, digitized TACT Recommended Reading List. It is divided by grade level. To make it easier for teachers, we have included links to the San Francisco Public Library page (SFPL) and other online Read Aloud videos for each book whenever possible. Click on the title for a link to Amazon. This is an on-going project and new books will be added periodically. We welcome new suggestions.
SFUSD Black History Month Recommended Reading
- SFUSD Suggested African American Titles for Elementary Students
- TK-2 Virtual Read Aloud Library courtesy of Tamara Fields, Sherman Elementary - Click on the picture of the book to hear the read aloud
- SFUSD Suggested African American Titles for Middle School Students
- SFUSD Suggested African American Titles for High School Students
- Recommended Readings lists from SF Public Library
- Recommended list of books (Grades 3 -5) - SF Public Library
- 60 Picture Books for Black History Month
- 26 Children's Books That Celebrate Black Heroes
- A List of Books about African Americans, Black History, Struggle Against Slavery, Civil Rights Movement and More
- Black History Month Literacy Campaign
- Recommended list of books for grades PreK-12 offered by San Francisco Public Library’s African American Center.
- 8 Books That Celebrate Inspirational Afro-Latinos from Remezcla
- 45 Books to Teach Children About Black History – The Culture
- 9 Books Where Women of Color Tell Their Own Stories About Mental Health. Sejal Shah recommends essay collections and memoirs about women talking back
SFUSD 2021 Filipinx History Recommended Reading
This Recommended Reading List comes from the SFUSD 2021 Filipinx History Resource Guide. Check out the guide for many more resources.
- Beautiful Eyes by Gayle Romasanta
- Lakas and the Makibaka Hotel by Anthony Robles
- Lakas and the Manilatown Fish by Anthony Robles
- Cora Cooks Pancit by Dorina K. Lazo Gilmore
- Journey for Justice: The Life of Larry Itliong by Dr. Dawn Bohulano Mabalon with writer Gayle Romasanta
- Video with author Gayle Romasanta talking about the significance of Larry Itliong and Filipino American community histories as American histories
- Willie Wins by Almira Astudillo Gilles
- Teacher’s Guide by Lee and Low Books
- Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas
- America Is in the Heart by Carlos Bulusan
- Little Manila Is in the Heart: The Making of the Filipina/o American Community in Stockton, California by Dr. Dawn Mabalon
- Philip Vera Cruz: A Personal History of Filipino Immigrants and the Farmworkers Movement by Lilia Villanueva & Craig Scharlin
- Filipinos: Forgotten Asian Americans by Fred Cordova
- From Exile to Diaspora: Versions of the Filipino Experience in the United States by E. San Juan, Jr.
- History of the Filipino People by Teodoro Agoncillo
- A community lost, a movement born article by SF Chronicle
- Migrante International Orientation (an orientation to Filipino emigration and overseas labor)
- On the Presence of Filipinos in the United States by E. San Juan, Jr.
- The Miseducation of the Filipino by Renato Constantino
- Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center BookDragon
- Filipina/o American Titles
SFUSD Latinx Heritage Month Recommended Reading List
This recommended reading list comes from the SFUSD Latinx Heritage Month Resource Guide. Check out the guide for many more resources.
Recommended Reading Lists
- SFUSD Latinx Equity Library - Click on a book title/picture to hear the book read aloud
- Latinx Stories for Elementary #OwnVoices - Hoopla
- ¡Estamos aqui! Voces Latinas - Hoopla: español
- Familias Latinas - Hoopla: español
- Latinx Fiction Stories for Secondary #OwnVoices - Hoopla: Voces Latinx for Secondary
- ¡Viva! 2020 for Teens - San Francisco Public ‘Virtual’ Library
- ¡Viva! 2020 for Kids - San Francisco Public ‘Virtual’ Library
- ¡Viva! 2020 Las Muses Panel - San Francisco Public ‘Virtual’ Library
- Pura Belpré Award Winners (Book List) - Association for Library Services to Children
- Latinx Rise Up (Essays and Articles) (Grades 9-12) - PopSugar Latina
- YA novels by Latinx authors - remezcla.org
SFUSD LGBTQ+ Gender Diversity Recommended Reading
The books on this list come from the SFUSD LGBTQ Family + Gender Diversity Elementary Teaching Guide. Check out the guide for many more resources.
- All Families are Special
- Great Big Book of Families
- Love Makes a Family
- Jacob's New Dress by Sarah & Ian Hoffman
- The Great Big Book of Families by Mary Hoffman
- The Family Book by Todd Parr.
- One by Kathryn Otoshi
- Benjamin and the Word / Benjamin y la palabra by Daniel Olivas
- Único Como Yo/One of a Kind Like Me by Lauren Mayeno
- Julian is a Mermaid
- From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea
- Who Are You?
- Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag
SFUSD Native American Recommended Reading
Diversify your classroom libraries with quality children’s literature and relevant YA titles that doesn’t just focus on trauma, but also the joy and everyday living of First Nation peoples. According to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Education while 27% of children’s literature are stories about animals and 50% are about white children and families, only 1% are about Native children. Yet, there are a growing number of titles to enjoy. Try Good Minds Books, featuring First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Books as a starting place.
This page was last updated on December 13, 2022