Read Aloud Videos: Gender & Identity

Gender, sexuality, & culture are all significant pieces of a puzzle that makes up our unique selves. Because of this, it is important to acknowledge, understand, and fight for these facets of identity in order to thrive as both individuals and as Beloved Community, a key principle of On Earth Peace. This category is meant to facilitate an identity-oriented kind of learning in regard to gender, sexual orientation, & cultural identity.

We Are a Rainbow | By Nancy Tabor

This book helps young readers begin building cultural bridges through simple comparisons. 

While reading this book please thing and reflection on these questions while you watch this video: 

  • What makes you and your family unique?
  • What language do you speak?
  • Do you make special food?
  • What things from other cultures do you enjoy? 

Grace for President | By Kelly DiPucchio

Grace is surprised to learn that the U.S. has never had a female president. Her teacher decides to host a mock election and Grace runs for school president along with one other boy. Grace works hard to receive votes and ends up winning the election. 

  • If you were president, what would you have the courage to do?
  • What is the first change you would make?

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History | By Vashti Harrison

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History features the stories of forty trailblazing women in American history, including Rosa Parks and Ruby Bridges. 

  • Can you think of a time that you were courageous?
  • What was it and what did you do?

Malala’s Magic Pencil | By Malala Yousafzai

This book tells the story of Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for female education.

  • What would you do with a magic pencil?
  • What would you draw?
  • What would you say?

The Sandwich Swap | By Queen Rania of Jordan

Lily and Salma are best friends. However, they do not like the same sandwiches: Lily likes peanut butter and jelly, while Salma likes hummus on pita. A food fight ensues when they declare that each others' lunch is weird. In the end, they set aside their differences.

  • Have you ever swapped a sandwich with one of your friends?

Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match | By Monica Brown

Marisol is half Scottish and half Peruvian. She loves “mismatched” things. She has bright red hair, brown skin, loves to wear polka dots and stripes, having PB&J burritos for lunch, and being a complete fusion of everything.

  • What makes you unique?

The Name Jar | By Yangsook Choi

Unhei moves to the U.S. from Korea and is nervous about her first day of school. On the bus, the kids tease her because of her name. When she gets to class, she tells everyone that she will be choosing a new name for herself by the end of the week. Her classmates make a name jar to give her name suggestions. In the end, Unhei decides to keep her name and explains to her classmates what her name means and why it is important to her.

  • If you could choose your own name, what would you pick and why?

I Am Enough | By Grace Byers

Grace Byers' book is about loving yourself and respecting others.

  • What do the children mean at the end of the story when they declare, “I am enough”?

This Day In June | By Gayle E. Pitman

This book captures what goes on during a pride parade. In the back of the book, a note to parents and caregivers with information on how to talk to children about sexual orientation and gender identity is provided.

Heather Has Two Mommies | By Leslea Newman

On her first day of school, one of Heather's classmates asks her about her daddy. But Heather does not have a daddy, she has two mommies. Heather's teacher gives the class an assignment to draw a picture of their families. When everyone is done drawing their pictures, Heather realizes that not one drawing is the same.

  • When have you felt different from other kids?
  • How does this compare to Heather’s experience?

Harriet Gets Carried Away | By Jessie Sima

Harriet loves to wear costumes. Her dads plan a dress-up birthday party for her and purchase decorations. However, Harriet thinks something is missing and goes on an adventure to get party hats.

  • Have you ever gotten carried?

And Tango Makes Three | By Justin Richardson

This story is about two male penguins got the chance to raise their own baby penguin.

  • Who makes up your family?

Julián Is a Mermaid | By Jessica Love

Julián decides to dress up as a mermaid after seeing three women at the pool in mermaid costumes.

  • How do you like to or want to express yourself?

From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea | By Kai Cheng Thom

This story is about a non-binary child who overcomes being bullied through the guidance of their mother. 

  • Have you ever wanted to be more than one thing? What do you want to be?

Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story About Gender and Friendship | By Jessica Walton

Errol and Teddy are best friends that do everything together. On day, Teddy seems sad so Errol asks Teddy what's wrong. Teddy reveals that she is a girl teddy, not a boy teddy, and would like to be called Tilly. Errol accepts Tilly and states that they will always be best friends no matter what.

  • Is there something important about Errol and Tilly doing the same activities together at the beginning and end of the story?
  • What do you think the author is trying to tell us?

I Am Perfectly Designed | By Karamo Brown and Jason “Rachel” Brown

This story is about a father and son walking through a city and discovering things that make them perfectly designed for each other.

  • What makes you unique and perfectly designed?

Shin-chi’s Canoe | By Nicola Campbell

This book is about Indian residential schools and the devastating impact it had on families.

  • Who were the first people on the land you live on?

Alma and How She Got Her Name | By Juana Martinez-Neal

Alma, whose full name is Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela, thinks she has too many names so she asks her dad about them. He explains the various people she was named after to honor them. 

  • What is the story behind your name?

When Aidan Became A Brother | By Kyle Lukoff

When Aidan was born, everyone thought he was a girl. But Aidan realized that he was a boy and his parents fixed the parts of life that did not fit anymore. Aidan's parents announce that they are going to have another baby, which leads Aidan to panic because he wants to make sure that everything is going to be perfect for his sibling.

  • How do Aidan’s feelings change from the beginning of the story to the end of the story?

We Are Shining | By Gwendolyn Brooks

In this poem picture book, the uniqueness of every child is celebrated.

  • How did this poem make you feel?

Drawn Together | By Minh Lê

This book is about connecting across generational and language differences, showing that sometimes you don't need words to find common ground. 

  • How would you feel if you could not understand a family member because they speak a different language?
  • What are some alternative ways to communicate?

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music | By Margarita Engle

This story is about a girl who breaks the rules to become a drummer.

  • What activities do you dream about doing?

Dreamers | By Yuyi Morales

Yuyi Morales tells her own immigration story and how the public library helped her feel like she belonged.
  • What do you think of when you hear the word dreamers?

The Day You Begin | By Jacqueline Woodson

This book is about finding the courage to connect with people when you feel scared.

  • Have you ever walked into a room where no one was quite like you?
  • How did this make you feel?

I Love Saturdays y Domingos | By Alma Flor Ada

On Saturdays, a young girl visits her grandparents who have a European-American background. On Saturdays, she visits her abuelita and abuelito who are Mexican-American. She details what she does with each grandparent while visiting.

  • Why do you think the little girl did different things with her grandparents?

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark" | By Debbie Levy

This book details the achievements of the late Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

  • What is something you said no to because you knew it was wrong? 

For additional activities related to Debbie Levy's book visit the following worksheet. 

Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos | By Monica Brown

This book is about the artist Frida Kahlo and her pets that inspired her.

  • What inspires you? 

Sitti’s Secrets | By Naomi Shihab Nye

This story is about a child  from the United States who visits her grandmother in Palestine and finds that love transcends language barriers, time zones, and national borders.

  • How can you see people for who they are as individuals like how Mona sees her grandmother as separate from what she sees on the news?
  • What can you do to fight for Palestinians and Palestinian justice?

For more activities related to this video, view our worksheet!

Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border | By Mitali Perkins

This book is about a girl and her family visiting her grandmother at the Mexican border. She has to figure out how to give her grandmother her Christmas presents because they do not fit through the fence.

  • Have you ever been away from someone for Christmas?

For more activities related to this book visit this sheet.

Are You a Boy or a Girl? | By Sarah Savage and Fox Fisher

Tiny prefers not to tell people if they are a boy or a girl. When Tiny starts a new school, they start getting questioned about their gender identity.

  • How are girls and boys different?
  • Does it matter if Tiny is a boy or a girl?
  • What would you ask Tiny if you met them?

Rachel's Christmas Boat | Sophie LaBelle

Lulu's Dad tells her that she is going to change her name to Rachel. Lulu is worried that Santa will not find out about her name change in time to fix the tags on Rachel's presents. Lulu and her friend go on an adventure to find Santa to let him know about her Dad's new name.

  • Do you ever give presents to your friends and family?
  • Do you ever make them presents?
  • How do you feel when they open the presents you got them?

Too Many Tamales | By Gary Soto

It is Christmas Eve and Maria is making tamales with her mother. Maria decides to put her mother’s ring on while she is making the tamales. She ends up losing the ring and asks her cousins to help her eat all of the tamales in order to find the ring. 

  • What lesson did Maria learn in this story?

For additional resources visit this worksheet

When the Shadbush Blooms | By Carla Messinger

Read along with OEP! While you follow along ask yourself the following: 

  • Which season is your favorite?
  • What activities do you and your family do during that season?
  • Why are those activities special to you?

For additional resources related to Messinger's book visit the link here.

Dear Juno | By Soyung Pak

Juno and his grandmother write letters to each other in order to keep in touch. Juno’s grandmother lives in a different country and writes in a different language that Juno does not understand. They overcome this language barrier by drawing pictures in their letters.

  • Do you have someone that you would like to send a letter to?

For additional resources and activities related to this book, visit this link

Honeysmoke: A Story of Finding Your Color | By Monique Fields

A biracial girl named Simone embarks on a journey to find her own color.

  • What is your color word?

For additional resources and activities related to this book, visit this link.

Mae Among the Stars | By Roda Ahmed

This book is based on the story of Mae Jemison, the first Black woman to travel into space.

  • What do you want to be when you grow up?
  • What kind of dreams do you have for the future?
  • Do you ever draw pictures of what you want to be and put it on your wall?

Bunheads | By Misty Copeland

This book was inspired by Misty Copeland’s experience as a young girl in ballet. On Misty’s first day of ballet class, she learns about the ballet Coppélia and decides to try out for the role of Swanilda. Misty and her classmates work together to put on a show to remember.

  • How did Misty’s classmates help her achieve her goal?
  • Why is it important to work together? 

When God Made You | By Matthew Paul Turner

This story encourages children to embrace the unique characteristics God gave them.

Baba, What Does My Name Mean?: A Journey to Palestine | By Rifk Ebeid

 A young girl asks her father about the meaning behind her name.

  • What are some things you family has told you about your history? 
  • Why is it important to you to know about your history?

Ira's Shakespeare Dream | By Glenda Armand

This book is about Ira Aldridge, an African American actor who overcame racism to become one of the greatest Shakespearean actors of the 1800s.

  • Have you had anything in your life that has captured your imagination?

Catching the Moon | By Crystal Hubbard

This books is based on the childhood of Marcenia Lyle Alberga, the first African American woman to play for an all-male professional baseball team.

  • What sports do you like to play?

Gloria's Voice: The Story of Gloria Steinem--Feminist, Activist, Leader | By Aura Lewis

This book details the life of Gloria Steinem, who played a major role in the U.S. feminist movement in the 1960s and 1970s.

  • Do you have a woman in your life that inspires you or you look up to?
  • What did you think about the quote in the beginning of the book?