Although it’s been an often-discussed topic, the importance of sharing diverse books with children and young adults really cannot be stressed enough. From cultivating a sense of empathy and awareness to providing an accurate representation of the world, exposure to diverse books has many advantages for readers of all ages, though it can be a challenge trying to find enough engaging titles that fit this purpose. Following are ten web resources that provide recommendations of book lists or other useful resources toward that aim:

 

1. NEA

The National Education Association maintains this site targeted towards addressing multicultural and diversity issues in the classroom; on it, you can find not only book lists, but also print and web resources that are useful for incorporating diversity into your curriculum.

 

2. Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Multicultural Children’s Book Day was created to raise awareness for the books that celebrate diversity and helps get these books into classrooms and libraries. The non-profit group also has a useful section on its page that houses links to other online sources that post about diverse children’s literature.

 

3. Children’s Book Council

The Children’s Book Council maintains a blog to cover both children and YA titles that feature diverse themes or characters. Each posting highlights a title, group of titles or theme in keeping with promoting diversity, including Jewish Book Month, disability awareness and International subject matter.

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Photo from the cbcdiversity.com site.

4. Anti-Defamation League

The Anti-Defamation League highlights a “book of the month” and a number of featured books that are intended for use as anti-bias and multicultural literature for educators and parents of young children.

 

5. Teaching Tolerance

Teaching Tolerance is a group that is run by the Southern Poverty Law Center and aims to educate children and young adults on embracing tolerance and resisting prejudice; its website houses a plethora of helpful educational resources, one section of which is specifically targeted towards use in the K-12 classroom.

 

6. Jane Addams Peace

From the website: The Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards are given annually to the children’s books published the preceding year that effectively promote the cause of peace, social justice, world community and the equality of the sexes and all races as well as meeting conventional standards for excellence.

 

7. Reading Is Fundamental

Reading Is Fundamental has a Literature Advisory Board who have designated a selection of multicultural books for use in the elementary classroom; past years’ lists are available to view as well.

 

8. We Need Diverse Books

We Need Diverse Books is a campaign born out of a Twitter exchange that promotes diversity in books through grants, festivals, mentorship and social media; the “Resources” tab on the page has a number of links directing viewers to useful booklists and other web resources.

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Photo from the weneeddiversebooks.org site.

9. Diversity in YA

Here, you’ll find blog posts that direct visitors toward young adult literature about diversity from race to sexual-orientation to gender identity and disability. This site is associated with the #Weneeddiversebooks movement as well.

 

10. PFLAG

For those unfamiliar with PFLAG, the acronym stands for Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People. This site is maintained by the New York City chapter (the founding chapter); the organization is “the nation’s foremost family-based organization committed to the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.” The suggested reading list includes titles to help inform parents, educators and caregivers on the subject as well as those intended to expose or educate children and young adults to LGBT issues.