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One of MCS’s core values is “Respect for All.” An integral aspect of Montessori education is its focus on cultural studies and peace education. In the classrooms, we model and advance the ideals of peace, equity, cultural competency, diversity, and inclusion.

Reading books is one of the most effective ways of educating oneself and others on the topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We hope you enjoy reading some of the books on our list. For additional resources on the topic of Peace Education, please visit https://mcssb.org/peace-education/.

Upper & Lower Elementary Suggestions (books marked with an asterisk are more appropriate for Upper Elementary students)

*”The Talk: Conversations about Race, Love, and Truth” by Wade Hudson (Editor), Cheryl Willis Hudson (Editor)

This short story collection is a call-to-action that invites all families to be anti-racist and advocates for change. Thirty diverse, authors and illustrators engage young people in frank discussions about racism, identity, and self-esteem.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

In vivid poems, the author shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s

*Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds

From National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds comes a novel told in ten blocks, showing all the different directions a walk home can take.

The Journal of Biddy Owens by Walter Dean Myers

The journal of Biddy Owens, a batboy for the Birmingham Black Barons.

Young, Gifted, and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes From Past and Present by Jamia Wilson

Meet 52 icons of color from the past and present in a celebration of achievement.

The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander

Highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world’s greatest heroes.

Lilian’s Right to Vote by Jonah Winter

An elderly African American woman, en route to vote, remembers her family’s tumultuous voting history in this picture book publishing in time for the fiftieth anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

New Kid by Jerry Craft

A novel about starting over at a new school where diversity is low and the struggle to fit in is real.

Separate is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh

Almost 10 years before “Brown vs. Board of Education,” Sylvia Mendez and her parents helped end school segregation in California.

Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Front Desk is an award-winning novel about a 10-year-old Chinese American immigrant girl who manages the front desk of a motel while her parents clean the rooms.

Primary & PrePrimary Suggestions (books marked with an asterisk are appropriate for PrePrimary)


*All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold

A warm, welcoming picture book that celebrates diversity and gives encouragement and support to all kids.


*The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin

What do you do with a patch of ugly vegetables? Author/illustrator Grace Lin recalls such a garden in this charming and eloquent story.

*Baby Goes to Market by Atinuke

Join Baby and his doting mama at a bustling southwest Nigerian marketplace for a bright, bouncy read-aloud offering a gentle introduction to numbers.


*All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold

A warm, welcoming picture book that celebrates diversity and gives encouragement and support to all kids.

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard

Bessie Coleman: Daring to Fly

A story about Bessie Coleman, who became the first African American woman to earn her pilot’s license.

Saturday by: Oge More

Join a mother and daughter on an up-and-down journey that reminds them of what’s best about Saturdays: precious time together.


Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena

Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them.

Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry

Tender and empowering, Hair Love is an ode to loving your natural hair—and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere.