As we’ve discussed previously, it’s essential to have proper representation in the content you make available to your students. There has been a big movement in the young adult community called #WeNeedDiverseBooks dedicated to pushing books with characters and plots that feature diverse backgrounds. By providing your young readers titles with protagonists with differing ethnic, socioeconomic, sexual and religious backgrounds you can help them better understand the world around them. The leaders of this movement strongly believe that, for too long, it was incredibly difficult to find a book that didn’t feature a straight, white male and we agree. To that end we’ve done several interviews with diverse authors on our podcast as well as created several collections perfect for helping you offer representative titles to your students:
Marieke Nijkamp: The author of This Is Where It Ends, the next Big Library Read title, is an author from the Netherlands who features characters with diverse backgrounds. In her book you’ll find students with disabilities, varying ethnic backgrounds and sexual orientations.
Jewell Parker Rhodes: Jewell not only writes books that feature young, diverse characters but she also touches on important social issues like slavery and events like 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. She uses her books to not only teach lessons about diversity and enabling young readers to find themselves in her books but she also uses them to teach about major, defining times in our history.
Zoraida Cordova: The author of Labyrinth Lost and several other novels that feature strong Latin female characters. Our conversation revolved around the importance of putting her own background and upbringing into her stories, the importance of the #WeNeedDiverserBooks movement and making sure every child can see themselves in the characters in the book they read.
Inspired by #1000blackgirlbooks
LGBTQ: YA titles
National Hispanic Heritage Month: Juvenile Fiction
National Hispanic Heritage Month: Young Adult Fiction
Asian Interest K-12
Deafness and American Sign Language
Juv/YA African American Interest
Notable Books of Jewish Content for Children & Teens
YA LGBTQ Titles