17 New Authors of Color Writing Much-Needed Stories for Kids

by Charnaie Gordon

I read a wide array of books with my children that includes everything from classics to new releases to nonfiction. I also aim to fill my children’s reading experiences with a full spectrum of Brown and Black characters in a variety of books. It’s important for me to read enriching books that include people of all colors, particularly people whom my children can imagine being like. I think it’s critical for my children to constantly be reminded they can achieve anything, and reading books that serve as mirrors, with characters that look like them reflected on the pages, helps confirm their existence and their potential.

While I don’t specifically choose books based on the author’s race or ethnicity, I do get excited when I come across well-written children’s books by authors of color. Why? Because there are so few to choose from. Sadly, many diverse books that feature protagonists of color are not actually written by authors of color. So while I don’t discriminate when I choose what books to read with my children, I am deliberate in seeking out and sharing great books by authors of color.

Below I’ve rounded up a list of new(ish) authors of color who write diverse books aimed at children, teens, and young adults. They produce works that resonate with the times, speak to the future, and give children of color the opportunity to see themselves reflected in books. Their books also allow many other children to experience stories as windows, inviting them into a new culture or life experience.

What other authors have you discovered recently? Share your new favorites with us in the comments below.