Anti-Racism Story Time Team Book Recommendations

July 19, 2021 | By Baltimore County Public Library

Many countries celebrate their independence in July. Let’s explore stories from some of these countries:

  • Argentina
  • Cape Verde
  • Colombia
  • Malawi
  • Peru
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan

For more diverse stories, join us for Anti-Racism Story Times on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month at 10 a.m.  

View the Book List


"My Name Is Sangoel" by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed 
Before Sangoel leaves South Sudan, the Wise One tells him, “You carry a Dinka name. It is the name of your father and your ancestors before him—you will be Sangoel, even in America.” However, in his new home, no one can pronounce his name correctly, until Sangoel comes up with an idea. On a white shirt he writes, “My name is,” with a picture of a sun and a soccer goal, Sun-goal. His classmates are so excited by his idea that they all start creating pictograms of their own names to share with each other. 

"Digging for Words: José Alberto Gutiérrez and the Library He Built" by Angela Burke Kunkel 
In Bogotá, Colombia, there lives two Josés. The first José waits patiently through a week of school for Saturday to come. The second José is a trash collector, who scours the garbage for hidden treasures—books! Finally, Saturday comes and the two Josés meet, at the library built from the books collected from the trash. There was no library in the La Nueva Gloria neighborhood until José Alberto Gutiérrez created one for the children of his community. 

"As Big as the Sky" by Carolyn Rose 
Caleb and Prisca’s love as siblings is as big as the sky. The time comes for Caleb to move to his grandma’s house in Chimwe in order to attend school. Prisca wants desperately to visit him, but how can she pay for the trip? She creates different handicrafts and gives them to Tewa Tewa, the peddler, to try and sell from his bicycle. Even though each time he returns, he has not been able to sell her items. Prisca always greets him with kindness. Then one day, Tewa Tewa returns with an empty bike and Prisca sees an opportunity. Could Tewa Tewa take Prisca and her mother to visit Caleb? Her kindness is repaid, and with their reunification, Prisca and Caleb’s love proves to be as big as the sky. This book includes a glossary of Chichewa words used throughout the story. 

"Alma y cómo obtuvo su nombre/Alma and How She Got Her Name" by Juana Martinez-Neal 
Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela thinks she has a long name that doesn’t fit. That is, until her father sits her down to tell her the story of her name and the histories of all the relatives that inspired it. Once she learns the stories behind her names, she decides that her name fits just right. 

"Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan" by Mary Williams 
This book tells the story of the Lost Boys of Southern Sudan, young men whose villages were destroyed by war. They join together and look after each other as they journey to safety through three countries and stay in refugee camps, before settling in the United States. 

"Abuelo" by Arthur Dorros 
A little boy growing up with his gaucho abuelo in the Pampas of Argentina learns many life lessons as the two of them ride their horses over the plains. However, one day the little boy’s family decides to move to the city. Although the terrain is unfamiliar, he remembers all the lessons he learned from his grandfather. 

"Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia" by Jeanette Winter 
This book tells the true story of Luis Soriano Bohórquez and his two burros, Alfa and Beto, who form a traveling library serving children living in remote mountain villages in Colombia. He reads them stories and helps them choose books, before moving on to the next stop. 

"What Is a Refugee? by Elise Gravel"
This simple but unflinching children’s nonfiction book discusses what a refugee is, some reasons that may cause people to become refugees and the hardships they may face. The back matter is filled with stories of real refugee children, including two children from Sudan and Somalia. It also includes short biographies of famous refugees, like Albert Einstein, Malala Yousafzai and Bob Marley. 

Category: Collection and Materials