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by Marianne Celano PhD, Marietta Collins PhD, Ann Hazzard PhD, Jennifer Zivoin (Illustrator)


"Why did the police shoot that man?"


"Can police go to jail?"


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.


Includes an extensive Note to Parents and Caregivers with guidelines for discussing race and racism with children, child-friendly definitions, and sample dialogues.


Free, downloadable educator materials (including discussion questions) are available at


From the Note to Parents and Caregivers:


  • There are many benefits of beginning to discuss racial bias and injustice with young children of all races and ethnicities:
  • Research has shown that children even as young as three years of age notice and comment on differences in skin color.
  • Humans of all ages tend to ascribe positive qualities to the group that they belong to and negative qualities to other groups.
  • Despite some parents’ attempts to protect their children from frightening media content, children often become aware of incidents of community violence, including police shootings.
  • Parents who don’t proactively talk about racial issues with their children are inadvertently teaching their children that race is a taboo topic. Parents who want to raise children to accept individuals from diverse cultures need to counter negative attitudes that their children develop from exposure to the negative racial stereotypes that persist in our society.

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

SKU: 9781433828546
$16.99 Regular Price
$14.99Sale Price
  • ISBN-13:9781433828546
    Publisher:American Psychological Association
    Publication date:04/04/2018
    Age Range:4 - 8 Years

    Children's Books | Social Themes | Prejudice & Racism
    Children's Books | Violence
    Children's Books | People & Places | United States - African-American
    Children's Books | Law & Crime | Police Shootings | Picture Books

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