10 Books That Help Teach About Tolerance and Acceptance Among Cultures and Communities

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Culture is what makes us who we are. The celebrations, traditions, religion, customs, clothes, food, languages, and our ideal are a reflection of our culture and upbringing.

It is also important to respect the culture of others. This can be done by learning about other cultures through books or the accounts of other people from that particular culture.

Children should be exposed to different cultures, so that they can have respect, empathy, and acceptance for people that are different than who they are.

It is important to teach tolerance because tolerance encourages people to accept others regardless of their differences.

Here are 10 Books That Help Teach About Culture and Acceptance:

1.Secrets of The Dance by Andrea Spalding –  Description from Bookshop: In 1935, a nine-year-old boy’s family held a forbidden Potlatch in faraway Kingcome Inlet. Watl’kina slipped from his bed to bear witness. In the Big House masked figures danced by firelight to the beat of the drum. And there, he saw a figure he knew. Aboriginal elder Alfred Scow and award-winning author Andrea Spalding collaborate to tell the story, to tell the secret of the dance.


2. More Than Moccasins: A Kid’s Activity Guide to Traditional North American Indian Life by Laurie Carlson  – In this book, kids discover traditions and skills from the people who first settled the continent of North America.


3.Lalo Wants A Real Name by Julia Mercedes-Castilla – In this book, Lalo is tired of being Lalo Ramos, so he tries another more “normal” name on for size, until he worries he may be losing his identity. This book is great for people that may have unique names connected to their culture that they may be embarrassed about because of how they may sound.


4.Layla’s Head Scarf by Miriam Cohen– In this book, we explore the cultural stigmas that come along with wearing a hijab. In the story, the children in the class learn how much they have in common with the new girl even though she wears a hijab.


5.Suki’s Kimono by Chieri Uegaki, Suki teaches kids about marching to the beat of your own drum, accepting the richness and diversity of your culture, and how to be okay with being different.


6.Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis Armstrong by Les Cline-Ransome. – This book tells the story of an jazz player named Louis Armstrong, and how he rose to fame even though he had humble beginnings. This book explores Armstrong’s contributions to the world of jazz music.


7.In Andal’s House by Gloria Whelan. – Kumar is a young boy that is growing up in India and he is curious about where he fits in in society. He can either fit into the “modern world” or the “traditional old world.” This is a tale of discovering where you belong even within your own culture group.


8.School Days Around the World by Margriet Ruurs – This is an informational picture book that features 14 real students from around the world and explore a typical day in their life. This book is great if you are trying to make comparisons between the child’s culture and another culture. Also, could be used to teach about how kids are connected by school no matter where they are in the world.


9.Madison and the New Neighbors by Vanita Braver – In this story we see how Madison reacts to her new neighbor who is from a different culture. This is an important story for children to read because sometimes another culture being different than you can intimidate children into thinking that they are not accepted or makes them think that maybe they cannot play or have anything in common because they are from a different culture.


10.Every is Equal: The Kids’ Book of Tolerance by Anders Hanson– This book will teach kids to be tolerant of differences and be accepting. Tolerance means accepting people for who they are. This could mean accepting their culture, religion, traditions, skin color, or customs.

These books are great for teaching acceptance, tolerance, anti-racisms, empathy, and kindness.


What are your favorite books to use to teacher tolerance and acceptance?


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