Summer Night Reads

A weekly storytime read-aloud, narrated by our own KIPP SoCal leaders! Watch the new story premiere every Friday this summer at 6pm PDT on our Facebook page.


Written by Nikki Giovanni. Illustrated by Bryan Collier.
Published by Square Fish, 2007
Read by Erin Starks, M.Ed, Special Education Manager, KIPP Empower Academy
About The Book:

Fifty years after her refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus, Mrs. Rosa Parks is still one of the most important figures in the American civil rights movement. This tribute to Mrs. Parks is a celebration of her courageous action and the events that followed.

Award-winning poet, writer, and activist Nikki Giovanni's evocative text combines with Bryan Collier's striking cut-paper images to retell the story of this historic event from a wholly unique and original perspective.

I Am Enough.

Written by Grace Byers. Illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo.
Published by Balzer & Bray, 2018
Read by Bertha Hernandez, Data Manager, KIPP SoCal Public Schools
About The Book:

A #1 New York Times bestseller and Goodreads Choice Awards picture book winner! This is the perfect gift for mothers and daughters, baby showers, and graduation.

This gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another comes from Empire actor and activist Grace Byers and talented newcomer artist Keturah A. Bobo.

We are all here for a purpose. We are more than enough. We just need to believe it.

Something Happened in Our Town: A Child's Story About Racial Injustice.

Written by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard. Illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin.
Published by Magination Press, 2018
Read by Chinedu Udeh, School Leader, KIPP Empower Academy
About The Book:

Something Happened in Our Town follows two families — one White, one Black — as they discuss a police shooting of a Black man in their community. The story aims to answer children's questions about such traumatic events, and to help children identify and counter racial injustice in their own lives.

“This is a great educational resource for parents… how to talk to children about race and racism and trauma, how to identify and counter racial injustice.” 

“Right now, parents are looking for more children’s books that accurately depict the world their kids live in today. They also want a book that helps them discuss the tough issues that they would otherwise feel uncomfortable talking about. This is that book….The lesson of compassion and tolerance will touch anyone’s heart….This beautifully depicted picture book is a must for parents, teachers and librarians alike.” 


Written by Lupita Nyong'o. Illustrated by Vashti Harrison.
Read by Arica Watford, Talent Acquisition Associate, KIPP SoCal Public Schools
About The Book:

Sulwe has skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything.

In this stunning debut picture book, actress Lupita Nyong’o creates a whimsical and heartwarming story to inspire children to see their own unique beauty.

Harlem's Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills.

Written by Renée Watson. Illustrated by Christian Robinson.
Read by Cesely Westmoreland, Registered In-House Counsel, KIPP SoCal Public Schools
About The Book:

Born to parents who were both former slaves, Florence Mills knew at an early age that she loved to sing, and that her sweet, bird-like voice, resonated with those who heard her. Performing catapulted her all the way to the stages of 1920s Broadway where she inspired everyone from songwriters to playwrights. Yet with all her success, she knew firsthand how prejudice shaped her world and the world of those around her. As a result, Florence chose to support and promote works by her fellow black performers while heralding a call for their civil rights. Featuring a moving text and colorful illustrations, Harlem's Little Blackbird is a timeless story about justice, equality, and the importance of following one's heart and dreams.

The Day You Begin.

Written by Jacqueline Woodson. Illustrated by Rafael López
Published by Nancy Paulsen Books, 2018.
Read by Dennise Porfirio, Data & Student Information Associate, KIPP SoCal Public Schools
About The Book:

A #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson and two-time Pura Belpré Illustrator Award winner Rafael López have teamed up to create a poignant, yet heartening book about finding courage to connect, even when you feel scared and alone.

The Story of Ruby Bridges.

Written by Robert Coles. Illustrated by George Ford.
Published by Scholastic Paperbacks, 2010.
Read by Nikki Turner, Director of Advocacy and Community Engagement, KIPP SoCal Public Schools 
About The Book:

The year is 1960, and six-year-old Ruby Bridges and her family have recently moved from Mississippi to New Orleans in search of a better life. When a judge orders Ruby to attend first grade at William Frantz Elementary, an all-white school, Ruby must face angry mobs of parents who refuse to send their children to school with her. Ruby's story of courage, faith, and hope is told with Robert Coles' powerful narrative and dramatically illustrated by George Ford.

We're Different. We're the Same.

Written by Bobbi Jane Kates. Illustrated by Joe Mathiue.
Read by Aisha Bonner, School Leader, KIPP Vida Preparatory Academy
About The Book:

Who better than Sesame Street to teach us that we may all look different on the outside—but it's important to remember that deep down, we are all very much alike. We all have the same needs, desires, and feelings. Elmo and his Sesame Street friends help teach toddlers and the adults in their lives that everyone is the same on the inside, and it's our differences that make this wonderful world, which is home to us all, an interesting—and special—place.

Juneteenth for Mazie

Written & Illustrated by Floyd Cooper.
Published by Capstone Young Readers, 2015.

Read by Dr. LeAnna Majors, School Leader, KIPP Compton Community School

About The Book:

Mazie is ready to celebrate liberty. She is ready to celebrate freedom. She is ready to celebrate a great day in American history. The day her ancestors were no longer slaves. Mazie remembers the struggles and the triumph, as she gets ready to celebrate Juneteenth. This beautiful story by award-winning author and illustrator Floyd Cooper will captivate both children and adults.