Own Voices Books

Resources for your Classrooms

What are Own Voices Books?

Own Voices books are created by authors and/or illustrators who share the identity of their characters. With Black History Month upon us, there is no better time to share all the amazing Own Voices books featuring characters of color. Books should be windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors for our children where they can see themselves and others in a variety of books. Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, states this concept so eloquently:

"Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created or recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience. Reading, then, becomes a means of self-affirmation, and readers often seek their mirrors in books."

Below are a variety of books - primarily own voices books - representing black culture. Except for some of the Nonfiction selections, these books emphasize everyday life. The asterisk denotes books located in the Rashkis Library. Please see Mrs. Leggette with any specific questions about the resources.

Picture Books


Biographies & Nonfiction


Additional Resources

For more information about finding and selecting own voices books as well as including diverse books in your teaching, please visit the following websites:

We Need Diverse Books

1000 Black Girl Books

Teaching Tolerance

Social Justice Books

Multicultural Children's Book Day

Lee & Low Books