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We Need Diverse Books!

posted Oct 24, 2016, 3:35 PM by Kim Stuart   [ updated Dec 1, 2016, 2:35 PM ]

Like a healthy garden, the library has to weed out books to make room for new ones. We look at the circulation, or check out, statistics for each book in order to make this decision. We were disheartened to discover that many non-circulating fiction books were about diverse characters! It was time for action. 

In 2nd grade, Ms. Alonso extended the "Read Around the Library" genre challenge to include books with diverse characters. She gathered the books onto a table and encouraged students to try new books in order to expand their minds. A few students were up to the challenge!

In 4th grade, Ms. Stuart introduced students to Rudine Sims Bishop's idea that books are mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors, through which students can see themselves and others. Unfortunately, a disproportionate amount of children's books are published each year depicting white characters, so children often can't see themselves in books. is trying to change this with one simple hashtag: #WeNeedDiverseBooks. This viral campaigned has raised awareness that the publishing industry should "produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people" ( 

Our students joined the movement with their own statements on why we should read diverse books. They also browsed through some books that depict diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) books that include characters who are LGBTQIA, people of color, girls/women, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, or religious minorities. Like 2nd grade, a few students were up to the challenge and checked out a book!

Join the movement! Use the hashtag #WeNeedDiverseBooks!