Happy Inauguration Week! This week, the United States will be getting a new President and Vice President. On Wednesday, January 20, 2021, President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris will be sworn into office at the US Capitol. This Inauguration will be historical as Kamala Harris will be the first female Vice President, first Black Vice President, and first South Asian Vice President. As a woman of color and member of the API Community, I AM SO EXCITED!

To kick off this historical Inauguration, I have compiled A Presidential Diverse Book List. These are all books that your classroom, home, and/or library can use to celebrate the Inauguration, learn more about our US Government, and inspire your little ones to one day help change our country. There are 7 Picture Books and 3 Middle Grade & Young Adult Books to pick from. Here’s to four years of change and progress (hopefully)!

Picture Books

Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice, by Nikki Grimes

The Spectrum for Multicultural Lit.: Conversation

Age Range: 4-8 years

In this picture book, Nikki Grimes writes verses to explore the life of Kamala Harris. It describes all her “roots” from when she was a little girl in Oakland to her life as a senator. This is a great book to learn about the life of our new Vice President! It also provides a beautiful mirror to inspire our young girls of color to reach for their dreams. 

Superheroes Are Everywhere, by Kamala Harris

The Spectrum for Multicultural Lit.: Between Conversation & Exploration

Age Range: 3-7 years

Superheroes Are Everywhere is written BY our new Vice President, Kamala Harris! This picture book is about how heroes are all around us from your mom cooking you food to senators making laws. It dives deep into the different traits that make up a hero. Every section has a question at the end to have children reflect on the superheroes in their own lives. It is a very inspirational book that will give hope to our little ones. 

Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea, by Meena Harris

The Spectrum for Multicultural Lit.: Representation

Age Range: 4-8 years

Kamala Harris’s niece wrote this picture book that is based on a true story from the childhood of our Vice President-Elect. In the story, young Kamala and Maya have an idea to ask their landlord to build a playground in their empty apartment courtyard. They work together to advocate for the playground in order to help their community. They are faced with a lot of “No”s but the pair of sisters persevere to achieve their big idea! This is a great story about helping the community and making a difference even when you are young. 

Sofia Valdez, Future Prez, by Andrea Beaty

The Spectrum for Multicultural Lit.: Mostly Representation

Age Range: 5-7 years

Sofia Valdez, Future Prez is a cute rhyming picture book about Sofia Valdez. Sofia’s Abuelo walks her to school every day until he hurts his ankle on “Mount Trashmore” (a local landfill pile). After missing her Abuelo, Sofia gets an idea to turn Mount Trashmore into a park. She quickly learns how hard working for change in our government and community can be. However, Sofia gains the bravery she needs and makes a difference. This picture book is great for all our future community organizers, Presidents, senators, and other lawmakers!

Grace Goes to Washington, by Kelly DiPucchio

The Spectrum for Multicultural Lit.: Mostly Representation

Age Range: 4-8 years

This is a beautiful followup to Grace for President! Through another story of Grace and her classmates, Grace Goes to Washington teaches readers about the three branches of government and how the US government makes decisions. Grace relates what she learns about the government to the student council’s current debate about how to spend their fundraiser money. She learns more and more about the government and how to help her student council on her class’s field trip to Washington DC. 

If I Ran for President, by Catherine Stier

The Spectrum for Multicultural Lit.: Representation

Age Range: 4-8 years

If I Ran For President is definitely a representation book. This picture book shares what it means to run for president featuring many diverse kiddos. It is a sweet book that can help our children see themselves running to be our nation’s leaders just like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris did. 

Our Enduring Spirit: President Barack Obama’s First Words to America, by Barack Obama

The Spectrum for Multicultural Lit.: Conversation

Age Range: 2+ years

If you still miss our 44th President Barack Obama like I do, this book is definitely for you! Our Enduring Spirit selects excerpts from Barack Obama’s 2009 Inaugural Speech. Greg Ruth interpreted Obama’s words by providing captivating illustrations to bring even more meaning to our little ones. 

Middle Grade & Young Adult Books 

Running, by Natalia Sylvester

The Spectrum for Multicultural Lit.: Between Exploration & Conversation

Age Range: 12+ years

Running is a young adult novel written from the perspective of a fifteen-year-old Cuban American girl named Mariana Ruiz. Mariana’s father is a Florida Senator and “drops his bombshell of a plan on their futures” when he decides to run for president. This decision puts the Ruiz family in the spotlight and Mariana begins to realize that she disagrees with many of her father’s political positions. This young adult novel is a great fiction book for teenagers interested in the US government and youth activism. 

The Truths We Hold: An American Journey (Young Reader’s Edition), by Kamala Harris

The Spectrum for Multicultural Lit.: Conversation

Age Range: 12+ years

The Truths We Hold: An American Journey was adapted into a Young Readers Edition that is perfect for middle and high school students. This novel is Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris’s memoir. Harris explores the journey she took that led her to her values of community, equality, and justice. Her memoir can serve as an inspiration for those seeking to become leaders in the government, community, or their own lives. 

A Promised Land, by Barack Obama

The Spectrum for Multicultural Lit.: Conversation

Age Range: Young Adult

A Promised Land was a highly-anticipated novel of 2020. This is Barack Obama’s first volume of his presidential memoirs. It details his journey as a budding leader of our nation from his early days in politics to when he was elected as the 44th President of the United States. Obama’s reflection on his presidency will inspire ourselves and young readers. It is incredibly long (768 pages to be exact) so you may want to use excerpts if you are in a classroom. 

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