Celebrating and Promoting Diversity in Children's Literature

Lee & Low Books: 25 Years of Diversity

It's times like this when I am so proud that my first picture book is published by Lee & Low Books, the largest publisher of multicultural children's books in the United States. Lee & Low has dedicated itself to creating mirrors and windows for children to see themselves and learn about others since they started 25 years ago.

Everything goes back to education and what a young child learns. Do they learn empathy, compassion and understanding? Or distrust and fear of the other? We Need Diverse Books has pushed for more diversity of views and cultures in all aspects of children's publishing, from the publishers to the creators to the consumers and gatekeepers.

The kid lit resource website I help run, Kidlit411, has a page dedicated to websites, blogs, and articles about diversity. I'm reproducing some of those links here to help spread the word. So dive on in and help be the change you want to see in the world.

Good Blogs and Websites

American Indians in Children's Literature - provides critical perspectives and analysis of indigenous peoples in children's and young adult books

CBC Diversity committee of the Children's Book Council devoted to encouraging diversity in children's and YA literature

Deaf Characters in Adolescent Literature

Disability in Kidlit - reviews, guest posts, and discussions about the portrayal of disabilities in MG & YA

Diverse Pages promotes and discovers main characters of color in mainstream and indie publishing

DiversifYA site with tools for authors to include and promote diversity in their YA work

DiversityinYA - celebrating diversity in YA

I'm Here, I'm Queer, What the Hell do I Read? (Lee Wind's blog)

Latin@s in Kidlit - exploring the world of Latino/a YA, MG, and children's literature

The Latino Author - tips and tools for authors and emerging Latino authors

Multicultural Children's Book Day - a day to celebrate multicultural books. 1/27/17

Open Book - blog of Lee & Low, publisher of multicultural children's books

Rich in Color - dedicated to reading, reviewing, and promoting YA with main characters of color or written by people of color

We Need Diverse Books - home of the campaign

Oyate - a Native American organization that evaluates books and curricula with Indian themes to ensure accuracy

Writing Diverse Books

Is My Character 'Black Enough'? Advice on Writing Cross-Culturally by Stacy Whitman, Editorial Director & Publisher of Tu Books

The Secrets of Writing a Multicultural Children's Book interview with Tessa Strickland, founder and co-editor of Barefoot Books

"You Can't do That! Stories Have to Be About White People"

Children's Books: A Middle-Class Ghetto

Diversity within Diversity: Moving Beyond Oppression

The Uncomfortable Truth about Children's Books

Diversity in Publishing

Diversity 101: The Multiracial Experience

Agents Discuss Diversity Gap in Publishing 

Reviewing Race

We Need Diverse Books: Can Children's Authors End Publishing Industry Prejudice -- and Change the Way America Reads?

Perceptions of Diversity in Book Reviews

The 2015 Youth Media Awards: A Crossover Year for Diversity

The Diversity Gap in Children's Publishing, 2015

Selection is Privilege (a Librarian's View)

Dear Publishing Industry: Fix Your Own Racism Before You Beg for Diverse Books

The Diversity Baseline Survey

Diversity is Magic: A Roundtable on Children's Literature and Speculative Fiction

Diversity in Reviews: Behind the Scenes with SLJ's "Gatekeeper"

"I Just Don't Connect with the Character"

How to Support the Diverse Books Movement

When Publishing and Reviewing Diverse Books, is Expertise Overrated?

Gender & LGBTQ

Do Boys Get All the Fun? 

LGBT & You: How to Support Your Students

Gender Matters? Swedish Picture Books and Gender Ambiguity

The 22 Best Feminist Picture Books, Because You're Never Too Old To Be Saved By A Princess

Where were the Funny Women Writers?

LGBTQ Publishing: An LGBTQ Publishing Wish List

The Gender Police: A Diary

Fifteen LGBTQ-Themed Books for Readers of Every Age

Why Are There So Few Girls in Childrens' Books?

Reading List

The Best LGBT Children's Books: A Sweet and Assuring Celebration of Diversity and Difference

Best Books by or About American Indians

6 New Picture Books For and About Kids with Special Needs


  1. Wonderful post, Sylvia! There is so much to celebrate! Happy to share these great selections and promote diversity with children's books. Best wishes.

  2. Please consider adding Multicultural Children's Book Day. We have a book list resource of Diversity Children's Books that is broken down by genre and topic and created by education and children's book bloggers: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/multicultural-reading-resources/diversity-book-lists-for-kids/

  3. Another resource: Deaf Characters in Adolescent Literature

    Thanks for this great list!

    1. Thanks, I'll add this to this list, and also to the Kidlit411 page.

  4. So glad I discovered this post, Sylvia...by way of a new Twitter connection...we need to share this everywhere!

    1. Thanks, Vivian. This is also the list on our "Diversity in Kidlit" page on Kidlit411.

  5. This is awesome! Thanks for putting all of these incredible resources together😊

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  7. Beautifully done. Thank you so much for this! I'm currently creating a training for early childhood educators on how to incorporate really good multicultural and diverse literature into their classrooms. This was a great help with essay writing!

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