Transitions can be challenging, exciting, overwhelming, you name it! This hand-selected list of children's books featuring Black protagonists deal with the themes of moving or trying new things. Whether students are actually moving homes or trying something new, they will be able to relate to the feelings of nervousness and vulnerability that might arise when they step out of their comfort zones.
Check out our top lists of children's books about moving, and leave a comment with any selections you would add!
“Moving Day!” by Jess Stockham
We are moving to a new place and we need everyone to help! Who is going to help pack? Who decides what to keep and what to give away? Helping with real tasks is the next step in a child’s development after pretend play. Achieving tasks together gives a child confidence and sets them up for future lifelong skills.
“Paper Planes” by Jim Helmore
Mia and Ben do everything together–swing, sail, and sing, but their greatest wish is to make a paper plane that will fly all the way across a nearby lake. One day they find out that Ben and his family are moving away. How can they remain best friends while they are apart and bring their dream of making a plane that can fly across the lake to life? This story deals with the feelings around friendship, connection, and loss. Great for social-emotional learning and for children who are experiencing difficult feelings of separation. Watch this read-along with Ms. Amber here!
“Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away” by Meg Medina
Daniela and Evelyn Del Rey are best friends. They live across the street from each other in twin apartments and are inseparable every single day. This is until today, the day Evelyn Del Rey moves away. The girls play together among the moving boxes until it’s time to say goodbye and make promises to keep in touch. Meg Medina writes a beautifully tender story about friendship and change, and Sonia Sanchez draws a colorful depiction of the girl’s urban neighborhood. Check out this read-along with MVC Murrell Library!
“The Leaving Morning” by Angela Johnson
Sometimes leaving gets drawn out when you’ve already said goodbye to everyone you know, only to finally leave a few days later. When the big day finally arrives, it can be hard. This book captures the mix of excitement and longing that leaving can bring. Watch this read-along with George Plamantouras.
“Home is a Window” by Stephanie Ledyard
A home feels comfortable and safe. It can be many things: a place, a rug, even a hug. Sometimes the place of a home must be left behind, but in this book, the family discovers they can bring what they loved about their old home into their new home because they still have each other. Check out Kids Books read-along!
“Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend!” by Cori Doerrfeld
Change is hard. In this book, we explore how when one experience ends, it opens up the door for another. We follow two friends as they transition from building snowmen to stomping puddles, and transition from long walks and the sun to fireflies and the stars. But the hardest transition comes when one of them has to move away. Sometimes new beginnings take time, but we learn that the hardest days do end and that we never know what good tomorrow might bring. Watch this KT Tales read-aloud.
“Tani’s New Home: A Refugee Finds Hope and Kindness in America” by Tanitoluwa Adewumi
Tani was only six years old when his family moved to New York City, fleeing persecution in Nigeria. Tani found America amazing, and a bit overwhelming. One thing, in particular, stood out to him-chess! He loved chess and he would practice playing it for hours on the floor of the homeless shelter he lived in. Less than a year later, Tani won the New York State Chess Championship, and through one act of kindness after another, he found a new home.
“The Magical Yet” by Angela DiTerlizzi
When we are born, we are all accompanied by the Yet. Can’t tie your shoes? Not Yet. Can’t put on your coat? Not Yet. This book is a perfect tool to help turn negatives into positives and to cope with inevitable difficult learning moments, all with rhymes and beautiful illustrations. Too bad you haven’t read it...Yet! Check out this read-along with Storytime and Art with The Two Teachers.
“Ruby Finds a Worry” by Tom Percival
An imaginative young girl filled with curiosity discovers a worry, and as the worry grows bigger and BIGGER each day, it becomes all she can think about. She meets a young boy and becomes friends, learning important lessons along the way - like that everyone has worries. Will she learn how to share her feelings and get rid of her worry? Watch this read-aloud by Toadstools and Fairy Dust!
“I Am So Brave!” by Stephen Krensky
With charming specifics like big dogs and the deep end, this book celebrates overcoming our fears and trying new things. Watch this read-along with It's Reading Time.
Thanks to Goosman Rose Colvard & Cramer, P.A., (GRCC) real estate attorneys in Western North Carolina for sponsoring this blog post. GRCC is Read to Succeed's October Sponsor of the Month!
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