Frequently Asked Questions

A rose gold pen on the left and a white pen with gold dots on the right sitting atop an open lined notebook.

What is the Diverse BookFinder?

The Diverse BookFinder is a collection of thousands of children’s and young adult books featuring Black and Indigenous Peoples and People of Color (BIPOC), published and distributed in the U.S. since 2002 (picture books) and 2022 (titles for older audiences). We offer a searchable database and real-time data about who is in the books and how they are depicted.

Who is the Diverse BookFinder for?

The Diverse BookFinder is for everyone! We aspire to be a go-to resource for librarians, educators, publishers, creators, and parents who seek to create collections in which all children can see themselves — and each other — reflected in the books they read.

No. Our intention is to collect books featuring BIPOC characters to provide data-driven insight about diversity in children’s and young adult literature. Therefore, inclusion of a book in the collection DOES NOT EQUAL recommendation. We encourage you to actively consider which books you want to use. To support this, our book pages:

  • offer information about who is represented and how they are represented in the book.
  • link to professional book reviews through Google Books.
  • link to cultural or #ownvoices reviews when a book has been flagged as problematic.
  • provide author/illustrator interviews.

We also encourage users to visit our Recommended Reads page for links to tools that have been designed to help evaluate books for quality and authenticity.

Does the collection take into account forms of diversity beyond race and culture?

Yes. While our focus is on books featuring BIPOC, of course BIPOC have ethnicities, genders, religions, abilities, and sexualities — all of which we track in our data. In fact, a collection that focuses on depictions of BIPOC — like ours — can reveal a lot about whether and how the inherently intersectional nature of social identity gets depicted in the publishing industry at large. In other words, if a collection that focuses on depictions of BIPOC has very few representations of LGBTQIAP2S+ people of color — we can then ask (and certainly should ask), “Why not?!”

Do you include books with animal characters?

We focus on human characters because there is mounting evidence that children’s social, emotional and educational growth is most influenced when they read books featuring people.

Will the collection continue to grow?

The online collection will continue to grow annually with books donated by publishers or purchased. The physical collection at Bates College Ladd Library will change in its nature moving from one that contains all of the books to a more targeted list. Please stay tuned for more information.

How can I access the books on your website?

Many of the picture books in the Diverse BookFinder are housed at the Bates College Ladd Library. Simply visit your local library and ask them about interlibrary loan. Additionally, since the Diverse BookFinder only collects books published and distributed in the US, most of the books are available at your local public library or book seller. Use WorldCat to discover locations near you.

We do track publisher information but do not have an easy way to extract and share this information at this time.

Is your full database of titles available for download?

No. If you are a scholar or researcher interested in publishing or presenting about any of our data, please reach out to us directly to discuss.

What if I notice a book is missing from the DBF Collection?

Whether or not a book ends up on the DBF website is dependent on us having access to digital review copies of the title that our volunteers can read and review. While we make every effort to access these copies, we don’t always succeed. Check out Our Collection page for more information about our inclusion criteria and collection practices.

Do you accept book donations?

We have moved away from accepting donations of physical book copies, but are happy to accept official digital review copies from publishers and authors. Please check our inclusion criteria before sending review copies.

Where should I send a book donation?

Please see our Contact Us page.

Further questions?

Contact us!

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