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 a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Minnesota studying literacy education with an emphasis in Children's and Adolescent Literature. 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.