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Windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors

The wisdom of Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop:

"Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created or recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience” (para. 1).


-Rudine Sims Bishop, The Ohio State University. “Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors” originally appeared in Perspectives: Choosing and Using Books for the Classroom. Vo. 6, no. 3. Summer 1990. Find a copy of the entire article here.

Sara K. Sterner

I am an assistant professor at Humboldt State University in the School of Education. I earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction: Literacy Education from the University of Minnesota in 2019.


I am a teacher educator and qualitative researcher using post-intentional phenomenology, arts-based research, and narrative inquiry practices. My research interests include preservice teacher development, the promotion of inclusive children’s and adolescent literature, and disrupting white supremacy in education through anti-bias pedagogies and white teacher identity studies. My scholarship stems from my experience as an elementary educator, passion for literacy education, and commitment to create equity in education.


I love to read, advocate for student readers, and support preservice teacher development around equitable literacy practices. I believe that all readers should experience mirrors AND windows in the books they read.

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