This year, I’ve decided to announce forthcoming books on a month-by-month basis instead of creating a huge ultimate list. Longer lists become obsolete whenever publishing dates are shifted (which happens often).
Below you’ll find a list of diverse children’s books publishing in January 2023 sorted by different age categories. I hope you’ll find this list helpful when looking for book recommendations for your home, school, or public libraries.
Feel free to share in the comments which books your looking forward to checking out. Happy Reading!
Which books should I add to this list?
I Am Born to Be Awesome!
Beautiful Black and Brown boys are the stars in this level 1 Step Into Reading book from the Happy Hair series. It's a bright, joyful easy reader that will have boys everywhere saying "I am born to be awesome!" Kids will love seeing strong, happy reflections of themselves in this vibrant, rhyming, level 1 reader about the joy of being a boy--listening to music, swimming, exploring nature, being on a sports team, baking, doing math, and more. Full of easy-to-read fun on each page, this easy reader promotes boys' self-esteem, smarts, and strength.
Baby Ballers: Venus and Serena Williams
Before they were serving up grand slam victories, Venus and Serena Williams were just two sisters growing up in Compton, California. Follow along as they go from learning tennis with their dad to winning Wimbledon! Introduce little ones to the lives of two true game changers in this inspiring board book perfect for baby ballers!
We Are Here (An All Because You Matter Book)
Lyrical, affirmational, and bursting with love, We Are Here is a poignant story about Black and brown heritage and community. Full of assurance, tenderness, and triumph, this much-anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestselling picture book All Because You Matter offers an equally inspirational and arresting ode to all of the Black women and men throughout history who have made momentous contributions from the beginning of time.
A Flag for Juneteenth
A Flag for Juneteenth depicts a close-knit community of enslaved African Americans on a plantation in Texas, the day before the announcement is to be made that all enslaved people are free. Young Huldah, who is preparing to celebrate her tenth birthday, can’t possibly anticipate how much her life will change that Juneteenth morning. The story follows Huldah and her community as they process the news of their freedom and celebrate together by creating a community freedom flag.
My Selma: True Stories of a Southern Childhood at the Height of the Civil Rights Movement
Combining family stories of the everyday and the extraordinary as seen through the eyes of her twelve-year-old self, Willie Mae Brown gives readers an unforgettable portrayal of her coming of age in a town at the crossroads of history.
A Boy and His Mirror
Chris loves his long, curly hair, so why do his classmates tease him about it? When he looks for answers in his mirror, something wonderfully wild and weird happens: a lady appears with wise words that make him feel like a king! But when he starts acting like a king at school, it’s time for another visit to the mirror.
An American Story
From the fireside tales in an African village, through the unspeakable passage across the Atlantic, to the backbreaking work in the fields of the South, this is a story of a people's struggle and strength, horror and hope. This is the story of American slavery, a story that needs to be told and understood by all of us. A testament to the resilience of the African American community, this book honors what has been and envisions what is to be.
Holding Her Own: The Exceptional Life of Jackie Ormes
Jackie Ormes made history. She was the first Black woman cartoonist to be nationally syndicated in the United States. She was also a journalist, fashionista, philanthropist, and activist, and she used her incredible talent and artistry to bring joy and hope to people everywhere. But in post-World War II America, Black people were still being denied their civil rights, and Jackie found herself in a dilemma: How could her art stay true to her signature "Jackie joy" while remaining honest about the inequalities Black people had been fighting?
All Aboard the Schooltrain: A Story from the Great Migration
This tender family story, inspired by the author’s own, illuminates a dynamic chapter in American history known as the Great Migration ― and the many trains people rode toward freedom.
What Does Brown Mean to You?
In tender, lyrical text and warmly exuberant illustrations, What Does Brown Mean to You? celebrates all the brilliant and beautiful shades of brown, encouraging children to explore and see the beauty of their skin reflected in their families, communities, and the world around them.
A son teaches his father how to write his name so he can vote for the first time in this historical tale filled with warmth and strength by Coretta Scott King Honor winner Colin Bootman's expressive oil paintings. In a new author’s note, veteran teacher and author Gwendolyn Battle-Lavert expands upon the obstacles facing African American voters in the aftermath of the Civil War and the fight to end voter suppression that goes on even today.
The Kindest Red: A Story of Hijab and Friendship
It's picture day and Faizah can't wait to wear her special red dress with matching hair ribbons, passed down from her mother and sister. Faizah's teacher starts the day by asking her students to envision the kind of world they want, inspiring Faizah and her friends to spend the day helping one another in ways large and small.
Lift Every Voice and Change: A Celebration of Black Leaders and the Words that Inspire Generations
Powerful sound clips from twelve Black leaders amplified by bold illustrations and background facts illuminate pivotal moments of Black history in America. With the touch of the button, hear impactful quotes spoken by inspiring Black Americans in primary source audio files. Aimed at children ages 7–12, a succinct profile of the speaker alongside an explanation of the significance of the quote and moment provide the context for each audio clip. A vibrant illustration of the speaker completes the picture.
The Green Piano: How Little Me Found Music
This autobiographical picture book by the multiple Grammy Award-winning singer Roberta Flack recounts her childhood in a home surrounded by music and love: it all started with a beat-up piano that her father found in a junkyard, repaired, and painted green.
You Are My Pride: A Love Letter from Your Motherland
Before words or tools or fire, Mother Africa’s caves sheltered us and her forests fed us. She could not protect us from all dangers, but, like mothers everywhere, she gave her children all she could and sent us into the world with confidence and love. Told in the ringing, singing language of a creation story, this book is a love letter from mother to child that honors our shared history.
From NBA All-Star Chris Paul comes an inspirational and uplifting picture book about chasing your basketball dreams and the lessons he learned both on and off the court from his beloved grandfather Papa Chilly.
Justice Rising: 12 Amazing Black Women in the Civil Rights Movement
Told through twelve short biographies, this book celebrates just some of the many Black women--each of whom has been largely underrepresented until now--who were instrumental to the nation's fight for civil rights and the contributions they made in driving the Movement forward.
Little Black Lives Matter
Little Black Lives Matter empowers all children, but Black children especially, by affirming that their lives, however little they may yet be, matter. Featuring fifteen great Black heroes of the past and the powerful words they spoke and actions they took, Little Black Lives Matter is a rhyming board book that incorporates memorable quotations and a reminder to little ones that each of these great people once lived a little Black life themselves.
You So Black
Based on Theresa Wilson’s (a.k.a. Theresa tha S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D.’s) beautiful, viral spoken word poem of the same name, You So Black is a picture book celebration of the richness, the nuance, and the joy of Blackness. Black is everywhere, and in everything, and in everyone—in the night sky and the fertile soil below. It’s in familial connections and invention, in hands lifted in praise and voices lifted in protest, and in hearts wide open and filled with love. Black is good.
Ice Cream Man: How Augustus Jackson Made a Sweet Treat Better
Discover the inspiring story of Augustus Jackson, an African American entrepreneur who is known as "the father of ice cream," in this beautifully illustrated picture-book biography.
My Red, White, and Blue
A powerful story about the mixture of pride and pain that one Black family finds in the American flag, and an invitation for each of us to choose how we relate to America, its history, and the flag that means so many things to so many people.
You Come From Greatness: A Celebration of Black History: A Picture Book
A young boy learns that he is walking in the footsteps of greatness through a vibrant, lyrical retelling of Black history—both a love letter to Black children and an anthem empowering them to know their God-given worth.
To Boldly Go: How Nichelle Nichols and Star Trek Helped Advance Civil Rights
Perfect for fans of Hidden Figures and Mae Among the Stars! To Boldly Go tells the true story of Nichelle Nichols and how she used her platform on Star Trek to inspire and recruit a new generation of diverse astronauts and many others in the space and STEM fields.
A is for Aretha
Spotlighting 26 Black women in music, A is for Aretha is a celebration of the contributions they made not only within their industry but also of the social causes that often underpinned their music. Within these pages are women whose music encouraged joy and self-love, advocated for racial justice, buoyed civil rights protests, and trailblazed paths for Black creatives that are still felt to this day.
Bianca is Keira’s best friend. At school, they are inseparable. But Keira questions their friendship when she learns more about the meaning of the Confederate flag hanging from Bianca’s front porch. Will the two friends be able to overlook their distinct understandings of the flag? Or will they reckon with the flag’s effect on yesterday and today?
Nell Plants a Tree
Nell buried a seed. And just as Nell’s tree grows and thrives with her love and care, so do generations of her close-knit family. Inspired by the pecan trees of the creators' own childhoods, Anne Wynter’s lyrical picture book, brought to life with breathtaking illustrations by Daniel Miyares, brims with wonder and love.
Everyone lines up for a turn. The Delancy twins, double dutch divas. Leroy Jones with the hip-hop tricks. Even Ms. Mabel, showing the youngstas how it's done. And after a day of fun, when the street lights start to flicker, it's time to . . . jump out!
You Gotta Meet Mr. Pierce!: The Storied Life of Folk Artist Elijah Pierce
A picture book biography about the barber shop of woodcarver Elijah Pierce, recipient of the highest folk art honor in the United States.
Plátanos Go with Everything
Plátanos are Yesenia’s favorite food. They can be sweet and sugary, or salty and savory. And they’re a part of almost every meal her Dominican family makes. Stop by her apartment and find out why plátanos go with everything—especially love!
The Enchanted Bridge
Getting three baby dragons back home was just the beginning. Now Jaxon is on a mission to help all magical creatures from Dragons in a Bag! But things in the magical realm are more complicated than they seem in the fourth book in the critically acclaimed series.
The Smallest Spot of a Dot: The Little Ways We’re Different, The Big Ways We’re the Same
Linsey Davis, bestselling children’s author, Emmy-winning correspondent, and host for ABC News brings us The Smallest Spot of a Dot: The Little Ways We’re Different, The Big Ways We’re the Same—a playful and poignant picture book that celebrates how we are all part of the human race.
The Davenports are one of the few Black families of immense wealth and status in a changing United States, their fortune made through the entrepreneurship of William Davenport, a formerly enslaved man who founded the Davenport Carriage Company years ago. Now it's 1910, and the Davenports live surrounded by servants, crystal chandeliers, and endless parties, finding their way and finding love—even where they’re not supposed to.
Love Is Loud: How Diane Nash Led the Civil Rights Movement
Diane grew up in the southside of Chicago in the 1940s. As a university student, she visited the Tennessee State Fair in 1959. Shocked to see a bathroom sign that read For Colored Women, Diane learned that segregation in the South went beyond schools--it was part of daily life. She decided to fight back, not with anger or violence, but with strong words of truth and action.
We Are Your Children Too: Black Students, White Supremacists, and the Battle for America's Schools in Prince Edward County, Virginia
This revelatory and gripping nonfiction middle grade book explores a deeply troubling chapter in American history that is still playing out today: the strange case of Prince Edward County, Virginia, the only place in the United States to ever formally deny its citizens a public education, and the students who pushed back.
This beautiful picture book adapted from the song's timeless lyrics follows the story of a brother and sister who always find a way to make each other smile, no matter the challenges the day may bring. From discovering new ways to play when the playground is closed, to laughing out loud as they run through the rain, these siblings can count on each other to find the joy in any situation. Because when you're with the ones you love, every day is a lovely day!
How to Be a (Young) Antiracist
The #1 New York Times bestseller that sparked international dialogue is now a book for young adults! Based on the adult bestseller by Ibram X. Kendi, and co-authored by bestselling author Nic Stone, How to be a (Young) Antiracist will serve as a guide for teens seeking a way forward in acknowledging, identifying, and dismantling racism and injustice.
Sadiq and the Festival of Cultures
After a field trip to the Festival of Nations, Sadiq and his classmates are inspired to host a festival celebrating their own cultures. Sadiq is excited to host a booth featuring Somali foods, games, and crafts. But when he asks his friend Owen what he might show in his booth, Owen is quiet. Owen isn't sure about his cultural heritage. Can Sadiq and his friends find a way to make sure everyone in their class has traditions to share at the festival of cultures?
Abuela’s Super Capa
Saturdays are superhero days. Equipped with their milkshakes and capas, Luis and his abuela can turn anything into an adventure. But when Abuela gets sick, Luis has to learn a new way to be a hero. With some help from his sister, Luis learns that change isn’t all that bad and there are many new adventures to have, even if they look a little different. Perfect for families experiencing sickness and loss, this engaging multigenerational story will help young children find the language to express their feelings and adjust to change.
Just Like Grandma
Becca loves spending time with Grandma. Every time Becca says, “Let me try,” Grandma shows her how to make something beautiful. Whether they are beading moccasins, dancing like the most beautiful butterflies, or practicing basketball together, Becca knows that, more than anything, she wants to be just like Grandma. And as the two share their favorite activities, Becca discovers something surprising about Grandma.
Milloo's Mind: The Story of Maryam Faruqi, Trailblazer for Women's Education
Maryam was a trailblazer for women’s education and the author is her granddaughter, creating a personal, inspiring tale. Milloo lives in a time when school is considered unnecessary for girls. But to Milloo, education is essential. When Milloo reads, her thoughts dance. Milloo courageously dreams of becoming a teacher, but in fifth grade her parents tell her she has had enough school. Milloo is heartbroken but finds a way to achieve her educational goals, graduating high school and college with honors. When she’s married, Milloo’s husband tells her to stay home, but she does not let that stop her.