Lerner: Read Woke™ Books in partnership with Cicely Lewis, the Read Woke librarian
In partnership with Cicely Lewis, the Read Woke Librarian

Introducing Read Woke™ Books

“I started the Read Woke challenge in response to the needs of my students. I want my students to read books that challenge social norms, give voice to the silenced, and seek to challenge the status quo. I believe students have a right to know about the issues that are plaguing our society. I believe that they have a right to hear the truth.

I created Read Woke Books because I want our students to be knowledgeable and compassionate citizens. They will be the leaders of our society soon, and they need to be equipped with knowledge so they can treat others with the dignity and respect they deserve. And in return, they will be treated with respect.

When students learn how history impacts our lives today, they can take part in changes to make our world a better place for all.”

—Cicely Lewis


Browse All Read Woke Books →

Read Woke™ Logo

Tenets of Read Woke Books

Read Woke Books seek to:

  • Amplify the voices of people of the global majority (people who are of African, Arab, Asian, and Latin American descent and identify as not white)
  • Provide information about groups that have been disenfranchised
  • Share perspectives of people who have been underrepresented or oppressed
  • Challenge social norms and disrupt the status quo
  • Encourage readers to take action in their community
Hair Magic

Spring 2024

Hair Magic

Shimmer, sparkle, twirl . . . Imani’s hair magically changes when she embraces her inner powers, such as bravery, compassion, creativity, and more. Young readers will love following Imani’s adventures with her hair magic in these early chapter books.

  • Books in Series 6
  • Interest Level Grades 1-3

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Black Excellence Project

Fall 2023

Black Excellence Project

Celebrate notable contributions and accomplishments of Black Americans—many of whom have been left out of history books. Bring to light the names and stories of Black achievers in careers ranging from science, politics, and business to sports, music, and entertainment.

  • Books in Series 8
  • Interest Level Grades 4-8

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La esclavitud en Estados Unidos y la lucha por la libertad (American Slavery and the Fight for Freedom) (Read Woke ™ Books en español)

Fall 2023

La esclavitud en Estados Unidos y la lucha por la libertad (American Slavery and the Fight for Freedom) (Read Woke ™ Books en español)

This study of slavery in America balances accounts of oppression with true stories of resistance, centering on the voices of enslaved people. Page Plus QR codes link to recorded interviews with formerly enslaved people, and an activism spread inspires readers to learn and do more. Now in Spanish!

  • Books in Series 6
  • Interest Level Grades 4-8

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Bo at the Buzz

Bo at the Buzz

Bo’s life is always buzzing. And not just because he lives upstairs from The Buzz, a barbershop. Young readers will love following Bo’s daily life and adventures in these early chapter books.

  • Books in Series 6
  • Interest Level Grades 1-3

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Left Out of History

Left Out of History

Have you ever considered what’s missing from history books? Explore the misunderstood and underexamined past in this engaging series. Compelling photographs and primary sources help bring previously buried history to light.

  • Books in Series 6
  • Interest Level Grades 4-8

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History in Pictures

History in Pictures

Analyze historical events in US history with a focus on photos that help tell stories of people from underrepresented groups. Readers are asked to think critically about who took the photos, why they were taken, and what viewpoint is represented. Students will see how key events in history connect to the overarching social justice issues we face today. Special features in the books prompt reader reflection, and a Take Action sidebar provides ideas for how to become involved.

  • Books in Series 6
  • Interest Level Grades 4-8

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Slavery and the Civil War

American Slavery and the Fight for Freedom

This examination of slavery in America balances accounts of oppression with true stories of resistance and resilience, centering on the voices of enslaved people. Page Plus QR codes link readers to primary source recordings from the Voices Remembering Slavery collection at the Library of Congress. Reflection questions and an activism spread offer ways to understand and address the modern legacy of slavery.

  • Books in Series 6
  • Interest Level Grades 4-8

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Download Teaching Guide (PDF)

Issues in Action

Examine hard topics facing our society—from gun violence to immigration. Learn how problems developed and hear from underrepresented persons involved in these struggles. Reflection questions help readers challenge their perspectives, while an activism toolkit and a Read Woke reading list empower readers to make a difference.

  • Books in Series 6
  • Interest Level Grades 4-8

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Download Teaching Guide (PDF)

“Just Read It!” The Read Woke Music Video

Updated 2024-02-05 08:28:32 -0800. MK610-0521.