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Diversity Resources/Multicultural Literature

All children deserve books in which they can see themselves and the world in which they live reflected. Diverse literature belongs in every classroom and library -- on the shelves and in the hands of children, librarians, and teachers. The challenge for librarians, teachers and others is identifying authentic, reliable books.

Historically, the CCBC has compiled annual statistics on the number of books published annually by and about people of color and from First/Native Nations. Over the years, we've seen those numbers grow, but multicultural literature--which we define as books "by and about people of color" and from First/Native Nations--still represents a small percentage of the overall number of books published for children and teenagers.

Beginining in 2018, we began documenting numbers around other aspects of diversity and respresentation in children's and young adult literature, including LGBTQ, and (Dis)Ability. This page provides resources specific to multicultural literature.

CCBC Resources

CCBC Bibliographies and Booklists: We strive to integrate multicultural literature into all of our work here at the CCBC. Of special note:

Other CCBC-recommended books: check out the Advanced Search feature of our searchable database of CCBC-recommended titles. You can search by broad multicultural categories (i.e.: African/African American, American Indian, Asian Pacific/Asia Pacific American, and Latino). You can combine this with a specific word (e.g., Mexican) to further target your search.

Small Presses of Color Owned/Operated by People of Color and First/Native Nations Publishers: A CCBC listing of small publishers devoted to creating books by and about people of color

Recommended Links

Other Recommended Reading

There are numerous blogs and web sits where important critical discourse around representation is taking place. Check out our "Recommended Links" above to find out about some of them, along with children's and young adult literature awards and lists focusing on diverse voices.

Selected Articles:

Higgins, Jennifer Johnson. "Multicultural Children's Literature: Creating and Applying an Evaluation Tool in Response to the Needs of Urban Educators." New Horizons for Learning 2002.

Caldwell, Naomi, Gabriella Kaye and Lisa Mitten. "I is for Inclusion: The Portrayal of Native Americans in Books for Young People." Program for the ALA/OLOS Subcommittee for Library Services to American Indian People,
American Indian Library Association, June 2007.

Hill, Rebecca. "The Color of Authenticity in Multicultural Literature." VOYA (December 2011): 445-447.

Horning, Kathleen T. "An Interview with Rudine Sims Bishop." Horn Book Magazine v. 84 n. 3 (May/June 2008): 247-259.

Perkins, Mitali. "Straight Talk on Race: Challenging the Stereotypes in Kids' Books." School Library Journal v. 55 n. 4 (April 2009): 28-31.

Selected Books:

Bishop, Rudine Sims. Free Within Ourselves: The Development of African American Children's Literature. Heinemann, 2007.

Brooks, Wanda M. and Jona C. McNair, eds. Embracing, Evaluating and Examining African American Children's & Young Adult LIterature. Scarecrow Press, 2008.

Fox, Dana L. and Kathy G. Short, editors. Stories Matter: The Complexity of Cultural Authenticity in Children's Literature. National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), 2003

Harris, Violet H., editor. Teaching Multicultural Literature in Grades K-8. Christopher-Gordon, 1992.

Harris, Violet H., editor. Using Multiethnic LIterature in the K-8 Classroom. Christopher-Gordon, 1997.

Molin, Paulette F. American Indian Themes in Young Adult Literature. Scarecrow Press, 2005.

Naidoo, Jamie Campbell and Sarah Park Dahlen. Diversity in Youth Literature: Opening Doors Through Reading. ALA Editions, 2013.

Seale, Doris and Beverly Slapin. A Broken Flute. AltaMira / Oyate, 2005.

Sims, Rudine. Shadow & Substance: Afro-American Experience in Contemporary Children's Fiction. National Council of Teachers of English, 1982.

Slapin, Beverly and Doris Seae. Through Indian Eyes: The Native Experience in Books for Children. Indian Studies Center, University of California, c1998

Thomas, Ebony Elizabeth. The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to The Hunger Games. NYU Press, 2019.

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