Children Need Diverse Books

  Dates & times
  Category Play & Learn
  Age Groups Adult


Children's Librarian Karen Mills shares with parents the whys and hows of building inclusive bookshelves for their children.

Updated Look at Diversity in Children’s Books:

Blogs and Websites to Follow:
Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls:
Founded by artist Amy Poehler and producer Meredith Walker, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls organization is dedicated to helping young people cultivate their authentic selves. We emphasize intelligence and imagination over “fitting in.” We celebrate curiosity over gossip. We are a place where people can truly be their weird and wonderful selves. We are funny first, and informative second, hosting the party you want to attend.
Brown Bookshelf:
The Brown Bookshelf is designed to push awareness of the myriad Black voices writing for young readers.
The Conscious Kid:
The Conscious Kid is an education, research and policy organization dedicated to reducing bias and promoting positive identity development in youth. We partner with organizations, children’s museums, schools, and families across the country to promote access to children’s books centering underrepresented and oppressed groups.
Crazy Quilt Edi:
Edith (Edi) Campbell is an academic librarian who works particularly to improve the representation of People of Color and Native/First Nations people. Campbell tries to be an ally for all marginalized young people.
Debbie Reese’s American Indians in Children’s Literature:
Dr. Debbie Reese is tribally enrolled at Nambe Owingeh, a federally recognized tribe.  A primary purpose of American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL) is to help you know who we are. Knowing who we are can help you understand why we strenuously object to being misrepresented. Though I am certain that no author ever sets out to deliberately misrepresent who we are in his or her writing, it happens over and over again. Information is the only way to counter those misrepresentations. 
Embrace Race:
EmbraceRace is a multiracial community of parents, teachers, experts, and other caring adults who support each other to meet the challenges that race poses to our children, families, and communities. We welcome your participation.
Literacious is a place to explore children’s literature through book reviews of middle grade fiction, extension activities for picture books, and offers families, librarians, and teachers booklists and other resources to engage the readers in their lives.
OurStory App:
A curated book-finding app for librarians, teachers, parents, and kids from We Need Diverse Books. Free two-week trial period, then purchase a membership, ranging from free - $15 per month depending on the subscription level.
The Pirate Tree:
The Pirate Tree is a collective of children’s and young adult writers interested in children’s literature and social justice issues.
PJ Library:
PJ Library sends free Jewish children's books to families across the world every month. We know that something magical happens when parents sit down together to read with their children. PJ Library shares Jewish stories that can help your family talk together about values and traditions that are important to you.
Reading While White:
We are White librarians organizing to confront racism in the field of children’s and young adult literature.  We are committed to working in the ongoing struggle for authenticity and visibility in books; to supporting opportunities for people of color and First Nations/Native people in all aspects of the children’s and young adult book world; and to holding publishers, book creators, reviewers, librarians, teachers, and others accountable. We are learning, and hold ourselves responsible for understanding how our Whiteness impacts our perspectives and our behavior as we strive to advocate for this movement.
We know that we lack the expertise that people of color and First Nations/Native people have on marginalized racial experiences.  We resolve to listen and learn from people of color and First Nations/Native people willing to speak about those experiences.  We resolve to examine our own White racial experiences without expecting people of color and First Nations/Native people to educate us. As White people, we have the responsibility to change the balance of White privilege.
Rich in Color:
Rich in Color is dedicated to reading, reviewing, talking about, and otherwise promoting young adult fiction starring or written by people of color or people from First/Native Nations. We believe that teens (and adults!) should be able to find themselves in the kinds of books they love to read. At Rich in Color, we want to showcase a wide variety of multicultural books so that kids will be able to see themselves as more than just the sassy best friend, the very special lesson, or the extra in the background.
Story Time with Mellie:
Story times and book lists with inclusion and diversity and sensory story times for children with special needs.
We Are Kid Lit Collective:
The We Are Kid Lit Collective works to create materials and opportunities to recognize the humanity of Indigenous and People of Color (IPOC) in youth literature. Our work is premised upon the principles of social justice, equity, and inclusion and centers IPOC voices in children’s literature in order to identify, challenge and dismantle white supremacy and both internalized and systematic racism.  Our intended audience includes educators, librarians, caregivers and young people. We look for ways to improve the literacies of IPOC children, promote books written by and about IPOC, and to encourage gatekeepers to bring a lens of critical literacy to their work.
We Need Diverse Books:
A grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry. Our aim is to help produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.
YA Pride:
Our mission is to empower authors to write LGBTQIA+ characters, help ensure that what’s being published contains positive and affirming representation, and enable all teens to find themselves on the page! We pursue these goals with things like sharing best practices for librarians and teachers on how to get LGBTQIA+ YA books into the hands of teens, critiquing problematic narratives, and holding space for authors to talk about writing LGBTQIA+ characters.