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As some of you may remember, I started this year by writing a blog post about a collection development experiment I decided to undertake that was focused by this question: What if the only picture books and picture book biographies I buy for my K-3 collection only featured characters of color? It is now late-February ...continue reading "An Experiment with Inclusive Literature, Part II: One White Elementary Librarian’s Endeavor to Diversify Her Picture Book Collection"

For the third year in a row, the Diverse BookFinder team honored the observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday with a family program as part of the Bates College series of events. In response to the 2019 theme, "Lifting Every Voice: Intersectionality and Activism," we focused on women activists. An initial search for Category: Biography ...continue reading "Women of Color Leading the Way: Celebrating MLK Day"

As Asian American and Pacific Islander (API) Heritage Month 2018 winds up, the Diverse BookFinder has 291 books with Asian/Pacific Islander/Asian American characters identified in our current collection. (We are constantly adding titles, so these numbers keep changing. Also, we code by character, not title, so a number of these characters may appear in books with white ...continue reading "Representations of Asians and Asian Americans in Recent Picture Books"

We have identified nine categories that capture the messages conveyed by children's books featuring characters of color. Every book in the Diverse BookFinder collection is coded using one or more of these nine themes. The Nine Dominant Categories We Use Are: Beautiful Life: A focus on culture Oppression: Struggle, resistance, and triumph Cross-group: Interactions across ...continue reading "How to Use Our Cross-Group Category to Foster the Development of Friendships Across Racial/Cultural Difference"

In March we celebrate Women’s History Month, and on March 8 International Women’s Day is recognized around the globe. There are many books in The Diverse BookFinder that honor the achievements of women great and small, from the extraordinary to the everyday. As April is Jazz Appreciation Month, this Women’s History Month we are focusing ...continue reading "Women and Jazz"

November is National Children’s Book Month, a perfect opportunity to highlight a selection of beautiful recent picture books featuring people of color and Indigenous people.  It’s also a chance to explore the Diverse BookFinder’s tools for examining not just who is represented but how. Each title below is a strong example of one (or more) ...continue reading "9 Diverse Picture Books to Celebrate National Children’s Book Month"

In a 2018 School Library Journal article entitled, “Can Diverse Books Save Us?” 55% of the librarians surveyed reported that though authentic character portrayals of Native or Indigenous People were in demand, they were “hard to find” (see below). Author Traci Sorell (Cherokee Nation) -- whose first picture book, We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, also came out ...continue reading "Here Now: Picture Books Portraying Contemporary Native Life, Part 2"

Melissa-Sue John, Ph.D.— wife, mother, psychologist, STEM education researcher, blogger, and author of children’s books — currently lectures at Quinnipiac University, works as a Research Associate at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and is the founder of Lauren Simone Publishing House, which publishes the work of youth authors and illustrators. To learn more, visit www.seedstostem.org, or Instagram: @laurensimonepubs ...continue reading "Engineering through Picture Books"

One of the most persistent stereotypes about Native/First Nations people in North America is that they all lived long ago. Dr. Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation), who writes the blog Native Appropriations, “a forum for discussing representations of Native peoples, including stereotypes, cultural appropriation, news, activism, and more,” posted this reminder recently on Twitter: Recently at ...continue reading "Here Now: Picture Books Portraying Contemporary Native Life, Part 1"

We believe that too many children are left out of mainstream picture books, so we research who is currently included — and how — to spark conversation and change. We would like to improve on how we categorize Native stories, including origin stories and the sacred. Humbly recognizing that it can take many people to ...continue reading "Seeking Input and Ideas from North American Indigenous Peoples"
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