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All About Diverse Books

Post by Kathy Stewart
Posted January 23, 2015 in Readers' Advisory News

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Conversation about diversity in children's lit was transformed into action last year with the creation of the We Need Diverse Books campaign, prompting a tidal wave of response. 
In our individual spheres of influence, we have the opportunity to think about what our own responses might be, based on our own knowledge, needs and interests along with those of the patrons we serve. The February 2015 issue of Kids & Books reflects on this.
To consider:
Read widely. Susie Wilde notes the authenticity of memoirs as a means of learning more about the lives of others who may be like us -- or not -- in her article, Celebrating Diversity Through Real Lives.
Make connections. Heidi Estrin's thoughtful Mirrors & Windows article identifies stories with diverse characters in universal situations as a starting point to initiating a dialogue.
Share what we learn. Universal stories celebrate commonalities, and NoveList's librarians are always striving to find ways to provide access to both universal stories and stories in which readers might be looking for characters who provide mirrors (stay tuned to hear more about appeal language and subject work underway at NoveList).

Kathy Stewart is a Juvenile Editor/Bibliographer at NoveList, and the Editor of Kids & Books.