We are quickly approaching one of the most important Election Days our country has faced in the last few decades! Ever since the 2016 Election, I have reflected a lot on my own voting education and history. What I realized was that I was rarely taught about voting in general, let alone given resources and books that reflect myself and my other BIPOC classmates. When I finally turned 18 years old, I had a lot to learn (and unlearn) about voting. To be honest, I do not think I registered to vote until I was 19 years old because I was never taught how and I never expressed interest to my parents. 

This needs to change for the future of our country! We need to engage our students and children as young as possible in this democratic process and the history behind it. When a young adult turns 18 years old, they should know about their voting rights, the racist past of voting suppression we should never repeat, how to engage their community, and how to be an informed voter. This starts at home, our schools, and libraries and we need to make sure we center diverse books in order to empower our BIPOC students and White allies. They are our future!

To do this, check out our Colorful Pages Election Day Book List for Elementary School Students! We have listed 8 diverse books that are perfect to read on, before, or after Election Day to teach about voting and our country’s voting rights history. You can also check out our Election Day Book List for Middle and High School Students for more title suggestions for your older kiddos. Happy Election Day and remember to cast your vote by Tuesday, November 3rd!

Grace for President, by Kelly DiPucchio 

The Spectrum of Multicultural Lit.: Representation 

Age Range: 3-9 years old

Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio
Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio

Grace for President features a Black girl named Grace asking her teacher a very important question about the US Presidents: “WHERE ARE ALL THE GIRLS?” When Grace learns that a woman has never been elected as a US President, she becomes rightly frustrated and confused. Then, she declares that she will run for President! Her class decides to hold a class election to elect a class president and Grace decides to run. This book explains the Electoral College in a very developmentally-appropriate way!

Anti-Racist Baby, by Ibram X. Kendi

The Spectrum of Multicultural Lit.: Conversation

Age Range: 2+ years old

Oh my goodness! Another book I WISH I had growing up (or at the very least in my early years teaching ethnic studies)! Ibram X. Kendi (the author of How to Be an Anti-Racist and Stamped From the Beginning) reimagined his previous books geared towards older crowds about anti-racism in this new book, Anti-Racist Baby. His board book talks about anti-racism and gives nine easy steps for children to take to be anti-racist. This is perfect to talk about anti-racist practices while we vote!

V is for Voting, by Kate Farrell

The Spectrum of Multicultural Lit.: Conversation

Age Range: 3+ years old

V is for Voting is an alphabet book that covers terms tied to voting, social justice, and democracy. The author writes the terms into beautiful rhymes and the illustrator pairs them with diverse illustrations. This ABC book is great to start to introduce your kiddos to voting.

Citizen Baby: My Vote, by Megan E. Bryant and Daniel Prosterman

The Spectrum of Multicultural Lit.: Representation

Age Range: 1+ years old

Citizen Baby: My Vote informs our young readers about voting. It goes through the steps and talks about the importance of being an informed voter. This book is a quick read that will ensure children’s attention is held. It also features diverse illustrations so that readers see that the right to vote is for all. 

Vote for Our Future!, by Margaret McNamara

The Spectrum of Multicultural Lit.: Representation

Age Range: 4-8 years old

Margaret McNamara wrote this adorable picture book about why Stanton Elementary School closes on the first Tuesday in November every two years. The Stanton students learn that their elementary school closes to becoming a polling station so that people from all over can vote. Vote for Our Future! is a great book to inform students about voting through a relatable context, their school. It also features a diverse cast of characters! 

Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, by Jonah Winters & Shane W. Evans

The Spectrum of Multicultural Lit.: Conversation

Age Range: 5-9 years old

Lillian’s Right to Vote details the journey of Lilian, a one-hundred-year-old African American woman, as she goes to her polling place to vote! Along the way, Lilian reflects on her family’s history and the fight that was needed to obtain the right to vote. Winters and Evans’s book is perfect to inspire children to make sure their voice is heard and to honor the history that got us to the voting rights we have today! Plus, you all know that I am in LOVE with Shane W. Evans’s illustrations!

Granddaddy’s Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box, by Michael S. Bandy & Eric Stein 

The Spectrum of Multicultural Lit.: Conversation

Age Range: 6-9 years old

This picture book is the true story of a family’s struggle for voting rights in the Civil Rights Era. Michael watches as his Granddaddy takes a journey to cast his vote at town hall. This is the first time Granddaddy is allowed to vote. Granddaddy’s Turn shows the troubling, but real history of the segregated South and voting rights. It is important children learn about this so history never repeats itself. 

Step Into Your Power: 23 Lessons on How to Live Your Best Life, by Jamia Wilson 

The Spectrum of Multicultural Lit.: Representation

Age Range: 9-12 years old

Step Into Your Power: 23 Lessons on How to Live Your Best Life by Jamia Wilson

Step Into Your Power is the embodiment of empowerment for children (and people of any age!). Wilson categorizes her mentoring into five sections: Power, Community, Choices, Act!, and Self-Care. The first four sections build on from each other, but the book ends with Self-Care as the last one. I appreciate that Self-Care is the last because often activists, even adult activists, forget about what it truly means to take care of oneself in this work. By including it at the end of this book, Wilson is ensuring that every student is integrating Self-Care in their routines from the beginning (or early part) of their powerful lives. This is a great book to inspire our almost-voters to take action in their community, especially during voting season!

2 thoughts on “Diverse Books for Election Day: An Elementary School Student List

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