Home Book Collections Kyriarchy-Smashing Kids Books For 7-Year-Olds

Kyriarchy-Smashing Kids Books For 7-Year-Olds

Favorite Kids Books Hand-Picked by Actual Kids

via Ashia
Published: Last Updated on

[Image description: Good Finds: Stories for 7-year-olds, Raising Luminaries]



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View the full list of Inclusive Books Curated by 7-Year-Olds

For the full archives, you can find those here: All Good Finds Collections.

This post contains affiliate links. Check out the full affiliate disclosure along with the BFL statement of accountability.

 


Once Upon An Hour

 Once Upon An Hour

(ages 3-7)

I didn’t expect R2 (age 6.5/7) to enjoy this, I certainly didn’t. Cool premise, terrible execution. But something about each of these animals from the lunar zodiac taking responsibility for an hour of each day caught his fancy. This is why we screen the books with actual children. ‘Cause reviewing children’s books only through the lens of how adults think is childism!

I would have enjoyed the book more if it had been run past a information designer and an editor, but it’s the concept that really hooked R2. The clock diagram, writing, and plotline are confusing as heck, but we figured it out eventually. They do that flashback story-within-a-story thing that confuses kids every time. So we used the premise and kind of paraphrased what was happening.

Use this story if your kids, like R2, are already big fans of the animal lunar zodiac and are fascinated with clocks and telling time.

If you like this, check out more stories by #OwnVoices Asian & Pacific Islanders and stories of The Great Race & Animal Zodiac.


Ruby's reunion day dinner

Ruby’s Reunion Day Dinner

(ages 3.5-7)

 

Validating for young kids who want to help but tend to… get in the way during busy times, R2 loved this summer read, particularly in the midst of starting his first lemonade stand business.

If you like this, check out more stories for little kids frustrated with feeling small and powerless and handpicked favorites by actual 7-year-olds.

 


Bodies are Cool

Bodies Are Cool

(Ages 3+)

R2 really enjoyed looking for disabilities and discussing them. I want to say it’s because it’s super into disability rights, but honestly, he’s just really into the thrill of naked bodies.

Which is normal! And lovely. I’m willing to leverage the copious amounts of exposed skin in this book to discuss how normal bodies are all kinds of colors, shapes, sexes, textures, sizes, and include cool devices that help us survive and thrive.

If you like this, check out more inclusive books celebrating bodies and handpicked favorites by kind & curious 7-year-olds.

 


rise up and write it

Rise Up and Write It

(ages 4-8)

An interactive book on local advocacy! With pull-out flyers, letters to the mayor, petitions, and advocacy effluvia that made an ordinarily tedious process exciting and fun. I genuinely thought this would be too bland, but R2 loves this so hard he asked for a copy for his birthday


Unstoppable

Unstoppable

(ages 5+)

I did not see this twist coming. This book goes from goofy to goofy + political with a hard swerve and WE ARE HERE FOR IT. I’ve never seen my kids more interested in how the US legislature works.


 

tag team

Tag Team

(ages 4-7)

Collaborative friendship, luchadors, and tiny fun illustrative details. This book didn’t really inspire my kids to clean up like in the story, but they had a lot of fun reading it.


how to apologize

How to Apologize

(Ages 3-7)

PERFECT for unpacking the problem with non-apologies, but also cute and funny enough that R2 wanted to read it repeatedly.

 


something's wrongSomething’s Wrong!

(Ages 3-7)

Beyond the goofy story of a bear who walks around with the underpants equivalent of spinach in his teeth, R2 loved the way two friends showed up in supportive friendship and appreciation.
We also got a chance to discuss nervous babbling, and how clever thinking can turn an embarrassing situation into an influential fashion trend.
If you liked this story, check out:

 


Zuri ray tries ballet

Zuri Ray Tries Ballet

Trying new things and sucking at it! Healthy friendship & conflict resolution! Normalizing a slightly plump protagonist without making the story about her weight! Kickass Ray-family affirmations that echo our own!

And also this made us laugh.

If you liked these stories, check out:


 

Mitzvah Pizza

Mitzvah Pizza

R2 picked this one out at the library himself (we can finally visit the library!!!! Yay for vaccinations!) I think he was drawn to Melmon’s recognizable style from Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup.

Usually when the kids pick out their own books, they’re based on the cover art and end up being kind of cartoony filler books. But instead of a disappointment, we got a spectacular find! He ended up asking to read this every night until it was finally due back at the library. This anti-savior book on generosity is coming right on time, as our kids will have some red envelope cash to burn after the Lunar New Year.

are you a cheeseburger?

Are You a Cheeseburger?

Adorable and funny, but also deeply lovely. How we have to produce the outcomes our friends want in order to be loved and cherished.

Doesn’t hurt that the idea of growing a cheeseburger tree made him guffaw. And this is a due who tried to grow jellybeans in our garden last year. He insists jellybeans are different.

If you liked these stories, check out:


Jojo Makoons

 Jojo Makoons

This #OwnVoices Ojibwe early chapter book packs in a lot. I thought it might be over R2’s head, but dude laughed his ass off.

We can’t wait for the second book, which releases in May.

If you liked this story, check out:


 

ten ways to hear snow

Ten Ways To Hear Snow

It’s a little late in the season, but keep Ten Ways To Hear Snow on hand for next winter – a lovely book and rare representation of competent caregivers with disabilities.

If you liked these stories, check out:

 


 

when sparks fly

When Sparks Fly

R2’s also adding When Sparks Fly to his rotation of validating biographies normalizing asthma and mistakes & resilience, but we’re also a little biased toward this story since our family has multiple (but frequent!) weak connections to Robert Goddard, and he thinks that’s cool.

If you liked these stories, check out:

 


Little bird's bad word

Little Bird’s Bad Word

I dunno about you but during our two years of pandemic isolation, we just let the kids cuss as loudly and often as they please. (Small pleasures when no one can hear us!) Now that they’re transitioning back to school, we’re working on taming down our language, and Little Bird’s Bad Word helps him see how even non-slurs can make folks uncomfortable. It’s not just snobbish performance, but a kindness to reign in our language a bit.

If you liked these stories, check out:


 

Julia's house goes home

Julia’s House Goes Home

(Book 3 of the Julia’s House Trilogy)

We finally caught The final book in the Julia Trilogy, and it lives up to the first two. Reading this together with my no-longer-Little Earthquakes, this story comes with nostalgia and bitter-sweetness.

The first Julia’s House For Lost Creatures (book 1) was published 8 years ago, when R2 was just an infant – the same year we started Books for Littles as a tiny Facebook group. I had recommended it within a week of beginning BFL – and our whole family has loved this series ever since.

But it’s more than just that reminder of when the Earthquakes were still little.

The second book in the trilogy – Julia’s House Moves on (book 2),  popped up soon after we started the Books for Littles Self-Destruction Sequence. Our time as an actual family with young children was wrapping up, and when R2 turns 8, it feels unethical to review or recommend children’s books through an #OwnVoices ‘Little’ kid lens. The theme of the story? Recognizing that it’s time to move on.

While I’ll still be updating these roundups to be more accessible each year, and we’re still growing the resources and spaces for our Raising Luminaries community – Books for Littles is winding down and coming to a close, just as the Julia’s House trilogy ends.

So of course, the final book, Julia’s House Goes Home, turns out to be about the hesitation and pain of growing, the fears that come with true inclusion. As we expand, we have to demolish and let go of the limiting beliefs that kept us small so we can support a growing community.

Wow, right? Right?! This trilogy took 8 years, written has his kids grew – and that’s a good thing. There is no way Hatke could have captured that depth if he had pushed these out as quickly as we wanted to gobble them up.

Anything good has to end some time. But oh my gosh, friends – we had such a brilliant time together.

If you liked these stories, check out:

 


the ancestor tree by echewa and hale

The Ancestor Tree

We read The Ancestor Tree in preparation for Qingming, on what it means to honor our chosen-family ancestors. The illustrations are a bit dated, but the story is so lovely that R2 loved it anyway.

In addition to Qingming, I’d add it to our Youth Advocacy and Death Positivity book collection, as well as  anti-ageism kids books featuring inter-generational friendships – but alas, it’s not available on Bookshop.

If you can get your hands on this out-of-print book by Nigerian author T. Obinkaram Echewa, please do. It’s so lovely.

If you liked these stories, check out:


gladys the magic chicken

Gladys the Magic Chicken

This one is just for fun. I get nervous when white dudes use Black & brown and women in their books – particularly set in some ‘far-off exotic land,’ but this truly is just a silly, sweet story.

Both kids laughed their asses off and wanted to read it every night until the library demanded it back. There is no moral takeaway. It’s just light and goofy.

If you liked these stories, check out:


 

Queen Vashti's Comfy Pants - Berkowitz, Leah

Queen Vashti’s Comfy Pants

This is your standard beat-’em-over-the-head with girl-power, Thelma & Louise for kids (without the sexual assault and death). It felt a little heavy-handed to me. While it is an #OwnVoices Jewish story loosely spinning off the holiday of Purim, and I’m not super in love with a white author’s depiction of an ancient Persian heroine.

However – R2 just howled with glee at Queen Vashti’s badass boundary-affirming ‘NOPE NO THANKS’ in response to her husband’s entitled bullshit.

If you liked this story, check out: Unapologetically Kickass Girls & Conflict Resolution: Playdates, Boundaries & Dealing With Jerks


Blancaflor, the Hero with Secret Powers: A Folktale from Latin America: A Toon Graphic - Spiegelman, Nadja

Blancaflor

There’s also a Spanish Edition

SPECTACULAR. This story had us laughing so hard, and we loved reading this retelling of a Latinx story together – even Q snuck into our ‘younger books’ storytime to listen in.

It’s hard to find books that unpack concept of invisible labor in ways kids can understand, and why they’re pressured to keep it secret. This story touches on why women raised by abusive fathers settle for escaping with mediocre (or even terrible) life partners – and the ‘prince’ character is such a hilarious way to depict oblivious privilege.

My kneejerk reaction is that I want to see Blancaflor leave her mediocre prince and have a spectacular single life, like Queen Vashti. But after reading this story a couple of times, I really appreciate the ending. She ends up with her prince, and that’s okay, so long as he appreciates her and treats her with respect. After all – why should a heroine have to end up isolated and alone just because all the men in her life hand her shitty situations to deal with?

Blancaflor deserves the happiness she worked so hard for. Even if that happiness comes in the form of a mediocre white man. It’s her choice!

If you liked this story, check out: Books That Legit Made My Kids Laugh & Crushes & Puppy Love: Kids books about mutual respect, consent, and clear boundaries

 


 

Little Messy Marcy Su - Fu, Cherie

Little Messy Marcy Su

Trica L. told me to bump this up in the queue, and she was right, this book is so adorable. R2 laughed and laaaauuughed.

I loved the casual way the author threw in some Mandarin, and the non-token normalization of a modern multi-generational, Chinese-American family, an ordinary family with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation immigrants.

But also – any book that nudges my kid to acknowledge the destruction he leaves in his wake, which I am forced to attend to, is a gift from authors to caregivers everywhere.

If you liked this story, check out: #OwnVoices Chinese American Kids Stories & Normalizing (not tokenizing!) Asian & Pacific Islander Characters in Kidlit


Making Waves: A Branches Book (Layla and the Bots #4) - Fang, Vicky

Layla and the Bots: Making Waves

R2 gets so excited when we get a new edition of these simple chapter books. He likes the predictable format of each story, the inevitable drama of a bug or design flaw – and I appreciate how they connect cute goofy challenges with real engineering processes.

The stories are numbered, but they sense no matter which book you read first – Making Waves is R2’s favorite in the series so far, particularly the message of listening to animals and designing tech that works for them, not for what humans think they need.

I have some qualms about tokenizing a Black character in a book created by (and profiting) East Asian makers. White people want books with cute Black girls on the cover, and clearly the makers added this for ‘representation’ (cough: marketing and sales).

So I look forward to how the publisher and makers will use the popularity of these books to financially support and signal boost #OwnVoices Black engineers writing their own stories for kids.

::: Lowers glasses and looks intently at the makers of this story :::

If you liked this story, check out: Inspiring Kids To Learn About Animal Rights & Anti-Speciesism

 

 



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