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IST 605: Diversity in Children's Literature

This guide provides resources to help parents/guardians/caregivers help build a more diverse collection of books for their child.

Documents and Articles

The following articles and documents offer background information about why diversity in children's literature is important, what it entails, and how to work towards achieving it. 

Diversity in Children's Literature: Not Just a Black and White Issue

This peer-reviewed article written by Wendy M. Smith-D’Arezzo and published in “Children’s Literature in Education,” addresses how children with disabilities are often underrepresented, even when discussing diversity in children’s literature. It is important for parents to be aware of the full scope of diversity that should be encompassed when taking steps to diversify a child’s reading catalog. While this article is peer-reviewed and well-researched, it was published 20 years ago, and the references listed were published mostly in the 1980s and 1990s. While the need to introduce more literature about children with disabilities is timeless, it is important to read this out-dated article with the knowledge that some of the information is outdated.

Diversifying Your Classroom Book Collections? Avoid These 7 Pitfalls

While the title of this article implies that it is directed towards classroom teachers, it also provides valuable information that parents can use to bring with them to the library when it comes time to add books to their child’s reading repertoire. The seven “pitfalls” addressed in this article include common issues that arise when individuals seek to diversify their book collections, but are unaware of the qualifications that make books both diverse and culturally responsible. While this article is still relevant, users should be aware that it is three years old, and with the topic of diversity, currency of resources is key.

An Updated Look at Diversity in Children's Books

This is a short article comparing 2015 and 2018 infographics (see below) about diversity in children’s literature. The comparison shows that while diversity in children’s literature is slowly improving, there are still inequities that need to be addressed. While the comparison is helpful in indicating potential trends, this article is now four years old, and the information from the infographic is five years old, so the lack of currency should be considered.