Books That Explore Diverse Identities

Biracial. Multiracial. Mixed. What does it mean to be “mixed-race”?  

A mixed-race person is not “either/or” and they are not “neither/nor;” a mixed-race person is all the races that make up their whole being. Mixed-race experiences can vary from singular-race experiences, and they are unique to each mixed-race combination. A perfect way to learn about the mixed-race perspective is to read books featuring mixed-race characters navigating the world around them.  

Books that explore diverse identities are critical to building understanding and dismantling prejudice. According to the 2020 US Census, people identifying as two or more races make up 3% of the US population. That is over 9 MILLION people!  

The books listed below feature complex, mixed-race characters and relatable plots perfect for people of any racial identity (and age).   

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The Awakening Storm

Grace is a “mixed blood” teen, half-white and half-Chinese, who has just moved to Hong Kong with her mom and stepdad. While on a field trip with her new private school, an unknown woman gifts Grace a dragon egg that hatches. Now Grace and her new friends have a dragon to look after and protect as evil corporations look to take the dragon and control its powerful force. This title is also available as an eBook on Libby.  

Beautiful You, Beautiful Me

One day, Izzy who is mixed-race, notices how different in appearance she is from her mother. Izzy is saddened by the differences, but her mom reminds Izzy that they are both beautiful in their own ways. With time and encouragement, Izzy comes to realize that beauty and belonging come in all shapes and sizes. 

Iveliz Explains It All

Biracial, twelve-year old Iveliz is trying to manage her mental health in the face of an Abuelita that doesn’t believe in mental health treatments; medicine that doesn’t seem to be working anymore; unresolved guilt regarding her father; and a mother that seems distant after Iveliz’ last crisis. This title is also available as an eBook/eAudio/eAudio Libro on Libby. 

The Long Ride

In 1971 New York, a new policy to integrate schools has just been passed. Mixed-race middle schoolers Jamila, Josie, and Francesca are best friends and as tough as it is to be in middle school, now they are all going to new schools. Francesca will test the limits of her new private school, while Jamila and Josie are bussed across town and must find their place in this new environment. This title is also available as an eBook/eAudio on Libby. 

Not Your All-American Girl

When best friends Lauren and Tara audition for the middle school musical, Tara gets cast as the lead, but Lauren, who is half-Jewish and half-Chinese, doesn’t look “all-American” enough for the director and is put in the ensemble. Tara relishes the spotlight and seems oblivious to her white privilege, while Lauren is confronted with microaggressions that attempt to silence her. As the show date approaches, Lauren and Tara’s friendship will face the ultimate test. This title is also available as an eAudioBook and eBook on Hoopla. 

Welcome Home

A newborn baby is lovingly welcomed home by their interracial family and community. 

What's in a Name?

Gigi is tired of her “baby” name and her full name, Geraldine, is too long. Her Japanese name, Hanako, is also not what she is searching for. With the help of her mom and her Japanese grandfather, Ojiji, she’ll find the perfect name for herself.