Finding Inclusive Books

Supporting Reader Identity: A Focus on Mirror and Window Reads

WHY IT MATTERS:

#OWNVOICES

Own Voices Defined: A popular hashtag created by author Corinne Duyvis as a shorthand for books with authentic representations of diverse characters that are written by people who have those identities.

INCLUSIVE BOOK AWARDS

“We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.”

GET STARTED:

  • CBC Diversity - A Branch of the Children's Book Council

  • Cooperative Children's Book Center (often called the CCBC) - University of Wisconsin-Madison

    • Read their blog

    • In addition to being a wonderful resource, the CCBC is known for compiling statistics about representation in children's literature each year ​both by gathering data on the authors and illustrators who write the books as well as the protagonists who star in them.

      • Here are the most recent statistics about books published in 2015​. The link shares the process by which a visual of the statistics was made by Sarah Park Dahlen and her team of #DiversityJedis. It is not a positive picture of representation of POC/Indigenous protagonists. Sarah posted a follow up post about the infographic which includes scholarly considerations about the current statistics and the images itself.

  • Guide for Selecting Anti-Bias Children's Book - Teaching for Change Books

    • Here is a slightly different version from The Council on Interracial Books for Children: 10 Quick Ways to Analyze Children's Books for Racism and Sexism 

      • NOTE: While the title of this document suggests that is it possible to review books quickly for racism and sexism, this list should be considered as a starting place for anaysis. Racism and sexism like other destructive -isms are pervasive, often nuanced, both overt and covert, systemic, and exceedingly complex and it would be hard to quickly determine their presence in a book in just one reading.

  • Joyful Diversity List - Books that celebrate joyful moments and accomplishments of People of Color/Indigenous People

  • Library Booklists - Diverse fiction for children - a list of lists

  • Magic-in-Every-Book - an amazing list of resources for finding POC protagonists

  • MirrorsWindowsDoors - Celebrating Diversity in a Whole World of Children's and YA Literature

  • More Color in Kids' Lit: Your Picks - NPR solicited its listeners to share titles. This is the list they made.

  • Multicultural Children's Book Day - Check out their Reading Resources Page

  • Reading While White - "We are White librarians organizing to confront racism in the field of children’s and young adult literature."  

    • We are allies in the ongoing struggle for authenticity and visibility in books; for opportunities for people of color and First/Native Nations people in all aspects of the children’s and young adult book world; and for accountability among publishers, book creators, reviewers, librarians, teachers, and others.

  • Rich in Color - "...is dedicated to reading, reviewing, talking about, and otherwise promoting young adult books (fiction and non-fiction) starring or written by People of Color or people from First/Native Nations."

  • Statistics of Authors/Illustrators/Representations of POC in Books Published in 2015

  • Stereotypes and Tropes - Listing of common stereotypes and tropes used in writing about POC to be aware of and avoid in the book choices you make- from Writing with Color

  • Teaching for Change Books - "...provides teachers and parents with the tools to transform schools into centers of justice where students learn to read, write, and change the world."

  • Teaching Tolerance Classroom Resources Page - Many book activities. Easy to search by topic and your reader's need/interests/age

  • Teaching Love in Action - Children’s Literature to Promote Hope and Counter Fear from The Classroom Bookshelf

  • We Need Diverse Books Campaign

  • We're the People - Great Book lists with diverse protagonists and experiences from a collection of bloggers, librarians, and authors. Their tag line: Because summer reading should be for ALL the people.

  • Writing with Color - A Tumblr dedicated to writing and resources centered on racial & ethnic diversity

  • More to Come

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION - ARTICLES OF NOTE:

SMALL PRESSES & INCLUSIVE PUBLISHERS

Small presses, self-publications and indie publishers can be an excellent place to find inclusive reads.

  • Cinco Puntos Press (for Kids) - With roots on the U.S./Mexico border, Cinco Puntos publishes great books which make a difference in the way you see the world.

  • Lee & Low Books - Multicultural Children's Literature - The largest multicultural children's book publisher in the country. We are also one of the few minority-owned publishing companies in the United States, as well as a throwback to what many publishers used to be: independent, generational businesses in which the people running the company have a personal stake in its success. 

  • Reflection Press - Reflection Press is an independent publisher of radical and revolutionary children’s books and works that expand cultural and spiritual awareness.

  • Salina Bookshelf - Multicultural Publishing - Founded in 1994 is an independent publisher of multicultural materials which includes textbooks, children's picture books, children's chapter books, informational texts, reference books, audio books and language learning materials.

  • MORE TO COME

All descriptions listed above are quoted directly from each press/publisher website.