Museum Library

Since the opening of the Children’s Museum of Art and Social Justice, we noticed that many of the educators, parents, and caregivers that visited us were looking for resources to teach and talk to their children about the social issues that our exhibitions were addressing.  It has been our goal and have been working to provide a library of children’s books that were written on the subjects of social justice movements and history. We are proud to announce that CMASJ will be working with The Conscious Kid to curate and offer diverse children’s books, research, and resources on education, equity, and child development.

The Conscious Kid is an education, research, and policy organization dedicated to reducing bias and promoting positive identity development in youth. They partner with organizations, children’s museums, schools, and families across the country to promote access to children’s books centering underrepresented and oppressed groups. For more info, visit theconsciouskid.org

Book Lists by Exhibitions

Electric Arches

By Eve L. Ewing  

Electric Arches is an imaginative exploration of black girlhood and womanhood through poetry, visual art, and narrative prose. Blending stark realism with the fantastical, Ewing takes us from the streets of Chicago to an alien arrival in an unspecified future, deftly navigating boundaries of space, time, and reality with delight and flexibility.

Black Panther: Long Live the King #1

By Nnedi Okorafor

As the Black Panther and an Avenger, T’Challa has had to save the world time and again — but those duties pale in comparison to his responsibilities as king of Wakanda. As the nation rebuilds in the wake of revolution, T’Challa finds his people besieged by a massive monster tearing through the country, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake! From acclaimed novelist NNEDI OKORAFOR (BINTI, WHO FEARS DEATH) and illustrator ANDRE ARAUJO (SPIDEY, THE WICKED + DIVINE) comes an adventure set in the world of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ landmark BLACK PANTHER run and told in the Mighty Marvel Manner!

Part of the comiXology Originals line of exclusive digital content only available on comiXology and Kindle. This title will be available as part of comiXology Unlimited at release.

The Cosmobiography of Sun Ra: The Sound of Joy is Enlightening

By Chris Raschka

Jazz musician Sun Ra (1914–1993) always said that he came from Saturn. Being from another planet, he was naturally intrigued by everything earthly — especially music, because music is the one thing on Earth most like the stars. Earthlings themselves confused Sun Ra, the way they sorted themselves by color and fought wars against one another. So he made music. And he traveled with other musicians and singers, calling themselves the Sun Ra Arkestra, playing, singing, and dancing for people all over the planet. Because music, he said, is what holds us all together. Join acclaimed author-illustrator Chris Raschka in celebrating a legend of the jazz world who was truly one of a kind.

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha #1)

By Tomi Adeyemi

They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

The Wedding Portrait

By Innosanto Nagara 

The Wedding Portrait is an essential book for kids about standing up for what’s right. Here are stories of direct action from around the world that are bookended by the author’s wedding story. He and his bride led their wedding party to a  protest, and were captured in a photo by the local newspaper kissing in front of a line of police just before being arrested. “We usually follow the rules. But sometimes, if you see something is wrong–more wrong than breaking the rules and by breaking the rules you might stop it–you may need to break the rules.” When indigenous people in Colombia block an oil company from destroying their environment–this is a blockade; when Florida farmworkers encourage people not to buy their tomatoes because the farm owners won’t pay them for their hard work–this is called a boycott; and when Claudette Colvin takes a seat in the front of the bus to protest racism–this is called civil disobedience.  In brilliantly bright and inspiring illustrations we see ordinary people say No–to unfair treatment, to war, to destroying the environment. Innosanto Nagara has beautifully melded an act of love with crucial ideas of civil disobedience and direct action that will speak to young readers’ sense of right and wrong. There has never been a more important moment for Innosanto Nagara’s gentle message of firm resolve.

Separate is Never Equal:
Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation

By Duncan Tonatiuh

Almost 10 years before “Brown vs. Board of Education,” Sylvia Mendez and her parents helped end school segregation in California. An American citizen of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage who spoke and wrote perfect English, Mendez was denied enrollment to a Whites only school. Her parents took action by organizing the Hispanic community and filing a lawsuit in federal district court. Their success eventually brought an end to the era of segregated education in California.

A 2015 Pura Belpre Illustrator Honor Book and a 2015 Robert F. Sibert Honor Book

The Water Princess

By Susan Verde and Georgie Badiel |
Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds 

Based on supermodel Georgie Badiel’s childhood, a young girl dreams of bringing clean drinking water to her African village

With its wide sky and warm earth, Princess Gie Gie’s kingdom is a beautiful land. But clean drinking water is scarce in her small African village. And try as she might, Gie Gie cannot bring the water closer; she cannot make it run clearer. Every morning, she rises before the sun to make the long journey to the well. Instead of a crown, she wears a heavy pot on her head to collect the water. After the voyage home, after boiling the water to drink and clean with, Gie Gie thinks of the trip that tomorrow will bring. And she dreams. She dreams of a day when her village will have cool, crystal-clear water of its own.

Inspired by the childhood of African–born model Georgie Badiel, acclaimed author Susan Verde and award-winning author/illustrator Peter H. Reynolds have come together to tell this moving story. As a child in Burkina Faso, Georgie and the other girls in her village had to walk for miles each day to collect water. This vibrant, engaging picture book sheds light on this struggle that continues all over the world today, instilling hope for a future when all children will have access to clean drinking water.

White Water

By Michael S. Brandy and Eric Stein |
Illustrated by Shadra Strickland 

For a young boy growing up in the segregated south, a town drinking fountain becomes the source of an epiphany.

It’s a scorching hot day, and going into town with Grandma is one of Michael’s favorite things. When the bus pulls up, they climb in and pay their fare, get out, walk to the back door, and climb in again. By the time they arrive in town, Michael’s throat is as dry as a bone, so he runs to the water fountain. But after a few sips, the warm, rusty water tastes bad. Why is the kid at the “Whites Only” fountain still drinking? Is his water clear and refreshingly cool? No matter how much trouble Michael might get into, he’s determined to find out for himself. Based on a transformative experience co-author Michael Bandy had as a boy, this compelling story sheds light on the reality of segregation through a child’s eyes, while showing the powerful awareness that comes from daring to question the way things are.

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