Diversity Resources

 

DIVERSITY AWARDS AND GRANTS

Below are many of the awards and grants available to promote more diversity in children's literature. Please read the websites carefully for submission guidelines. Alternately, if you are in search of diverse books, looking over the lists of winners provide a jumping off point for finding critically acclaimed books.

SCBWI Diversity Awards and GrantsEmerging Voices Award and Multi Cultural Work in Progress Award.

ALA Awards: Coretta Scott King Book Awards recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults.

Schneider Family Book Awards for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience.

Pura Belpré Awards honoring a Latino illustrator whose children's books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience.

Stonewall Book AwardMike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award given annually to English-language works of exceptional merit for children or teens relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience.

 Asian Pacific Library Association: Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature honors and recognizes individual work about Asian/Pacific Americans and their heritage, based on literary and artistic merit.

American Indian Library Award: The American Indian Youth Literature Awards: presented every two years. The awards were established as a way to identify and honor the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians. Books selected to receive the award will present American Indians in the fullness of their humanity in the present and past contexts. 

Texas State University College of Education: Tomás Rivera Book Award:  to honor authors and illustrators who create literature that depicts the Mexican American experience. 

Association of Jewish Libraries: Sydney Taylor Book Awards given to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience. 

University of Wisconsin Madison: South Asia Book Awards: recognizes the year’s best among children’s and young adult literature that portray South Asia or South Asians living abroad.

University of Wisconsin Milwaukee; Américas Book Awards: honoring books that authentically and engagingly portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States. 

The Jane Addams Peace Association: The Jane Addams Children's Book Awards are given annually to the children's books 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. 

Scholastic Asia and National Book Council of Singapore:  The Scholastic Asian Book Award (SABA) SABA recognizes children’s writers of Asian origin who are taking the experiences of life, spirit, and thinking in different parts of Asia to the world at large.

 

PUBLISHERS

These are not all publishers interested in writing and illustration by and about diverse people – but the following are committed to that goal.

Small Presses of Color from the Cooperative Children’s Book Council at the University of Wisconsin. A listing of active small-press publishers or producers of multicultural materials. Most are owned and operated by people of color.

Arte Publico Press/Piñata Books  Its imprint for children and young adults, Piñata Books, is dedicated to the realistic and authentic portrayal of the themes, languages, characters and customs of Hispanic culture in the United States.

Just Us Books: Their mission is to produce the kind of positive, vibrant Black-interest books that they wanted for their own two children. 

Lee and Low Books An independent children's book publisher focusing on diversity. It is the company's mission to meet the need for stories that all children can identify with and enjoy. Includes it’s imprints Children’s Press and Shen’s Books.

 

BLOGS AND WEBSITES:

These are some of the well known websites and blogs focused on diversity in children's books.

The Brown Bookshelf: designed to push awareness of the myriad of African American voices writing for young readers. 

We Need Diverse Books: We Need Diverse Books is a grassroots organization created to address the lack of diverse, non-majority narratives in children’s literature. We Need Diverse Books is committed to the ideal that embracing diversity will lead to acceptance, empathy, and ultimately equality.

Diversity in YA:  site of authors Cindy Pon and Malinda Lo celebrates young adult books about all kinds of diversity, from race to sexual orientation to gender identity and disability. Our goal is to bring attention to books and authors that might fall outside the mainstream, and to bring the margin to the center.

Multiculturalism Rocks! This blog by Nathalie Mvondo celebrates cultural diversity in children's literature and the people who make it happen.

I’m Queer I’m Here, What the Hell Do I Read?  Writer Lee Wind’s blog featuring LGBTQ teen books, culture, politics, social justice, and equality.

Mitali’s Fire Escape: Author Mitali Perkins’ blog; A safe place to think, chat, and read about life between cultures.

American Indians in Children’s Literature: Professor Debbie Reese’s blog; provides critical perspectives and analysis of indigenous peoples in children's and young adult books, the school curriculum, popular culture, and society.

Latino/as in Kidlit: A joint website of several authors exploring the world of Latino/a YA, MG, and Children’s Literature. Includes a blog and an extensive book listing.

The Dark Fantastic: Ebony Elizabeth Thomas’s site, an assistant professor at Penn GSE; Race and the imagination in children’s and YA books, the media, and fan culture.

Children’s and YA Literature Resource Pages of author Cynthia Leitich Smith’s website. Exploring multicultural books and authors with an emphasis on Native American culture.

Crazy QuiltEdi Promoting literacy for teens of color.

Kid Lit Equality A forum for open, honest dialog among allies within the children’s literature community.

A World Full of Color Library A collection of books celebrating racial and ethnic diversity where race is NOT the primary driving force behind the story.

DiversifyYA DiversifYA is open to all diverse experiences, including but not limited to: racial diversity; cultural and religious diversity; sexuality and gender diversity; disability, neurodiversity, and (mental) illness.

 

ARTICLES ON DIVERSITY IN CHILDREN'S LITERATURE

SCBWI Director Lin Oliver's Open Letter on Diversity

The Elephant in the Room from Publisher's Weekly with practical steps booksellers, librarians, art directors, editors, publishers and marketing teams can do to promote diversity.

Collection of Articles from School Library Journal on Diversity

 

ORGANIZATIONS:

These are some organizations committed to diversity in children’s literature.

First Book:  Aiming to increase acess to new books for children in need. First Book recently committed a million dollars to buying and distrusting new, diverse books to children. Listen to the NPR interview.

Society of Children's Book Writer's and Illustrators: Has several grant initiatives to support diversity in children's literature as well as a partnerships with #weneeddiversebooks and First Book called AUTHORS IN ACTION

Children’s Book Council Diversity Initiative: Dedicated to increasing the diversity of voices and experiences contributing to children’s and young adult literature. To create this change, we strive to build awareness that the nature of our society must be represented within the children’s publishing industry.

 

AWARD WINNING BOOKS BY DIVERSE AUTHORS AND ILLUSTRATORS:

This is in no way a complete listing but will provide a good start for building a more diverse library.

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults:

P.S. Be Eleven, by Rita Williams-Garcia

March: Book One, by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell

Darius & Twig, by Walter Dean Myers

Words with Wings, by Nikki Grimes

Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me, illustrated by Bryan Collier written by Daniel Beaty

Nelson Mandela, illustrated and written by Kadir Nelson 

When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop, illustrated by Theodore Taylor III

Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience:

A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin, by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Handbook for Dragon Slayers, by Merrie Haskell

Rose under Fire, by Elizabeth Wein

Pura Belpré Award honoring a Latino illustrator whose children's books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience:

Niño Wrestles the World, illustrated and written by Yuyi Morales

Maria Had a Little Llama / María Tenía una Llamita, illustrated and written by Angela Dominguez

Tito Puente: Mambo King / Rey del Mambo, illustrated by Rafael López, written by Monica Brown

Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale, illustrated and written by Duncan Tonatiuh 

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, by Meg Medina

The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba’s Greatest Abolitionist, by Margarita Engle

The Living, by Matt de la Peña

Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale, written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

Stonewall Book Award – Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult LGBTQ Literature Award

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, by Kirstin Cronn

Fat Angie, written by e. E. Charlton-Trujillo

Branded by the Pink Triangle, by Ken Setterington

American Indian Youth Literature Awards

Caribou Song, Atihko Oonagamoon by Tomson Highway, illustrated by John Rombough

How I Became a Ghost: A Choctaw Trail of Tears Story by Tim Tingle

Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac

Asian Pacific Book Awards:

Red Kite, Blue Kite by Ji-li Jiang

The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata

 Jet Black and the Ninja Wind by Leza Lowitz and Shogo Oketani

Other award-winning books:

Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzales

Mexican White Boy by Matt de la Peña

Go Singing Through the World; the Childhood of Pablo Neruda by Deborah Kogan Ray

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

Orchards by Holly Thompson

Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate

Split by Swati Avashti

Wanting Mohr by Rukhsana Khan

The Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai (NF)

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Dogsong by Gary Paulson

The Blue Roses by Linda Boyden

The Christmas Coat, Memories of My Sioux Childhood by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve

The Shaman’s Nephew; A Life in the Far North by Simon Tookoome with Sheldon Oberman

Night Is Gone, Day Is Still Coming Stories and Poems by American Indians Teens and Young Adults, edited by Annette Pina Ochoa, Betsy Franco, and Traci L. Gourdine

The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich

Fake ID by Lamar Giles

Bud Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

Mother Poems by Hope Anita Smith

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis

Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers

Moses When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford Illustrated by Kadir Nelson (PB, NF)

Words with Wings by Nikki Grimes

Freak Boy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark

Wonder by P.J. Palacio