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Seeing Ourselves: QTBIPOC in Abundance

I’ve always said that my wish for diverse books in the future, especially for LGBTQIA+ books — and even more so for QTBIPOC books — is that there will be so many of them that people can walk into a bookstore looking for the most specific niche and still be...

GTFOH with Magical Headaches: Chronic Pain in YA Fantasy

My medical records show frequent headaches and joint pain from the time I was able to articulate being in pain. When I was seventeen, a neck injury left me with a constant headache and more than fifteen days of migraine each month. It wasn’t until about six months ago —...

Seeing Ourselves: All Books for All

My hope for the future of diverse children’s literature is that one day, the segregating qualifiers will fall away for good. When my daughter was eight, I remember the two of us combing the library stacks, searching for an appropriate middle-grade book. At some point, a sympathetic librarian asked if...

Seeing Ourselves: Stories Worthy of Being Told

In January 2022, when We Need Diverse Books’s Walter Awards Judging Committee informed me that Red, White, and Whole had won the Walter Award for younger readers, I burst into tears. It was such an incredible honor, one I had never dreamed a book of mine would win. Growing up...

We Need Diverse Muslim and Jewish Books: An Update

In their March/April 2020 Horn Book article “We Need Diverse Jewish and Muslim Books: A Conversation,” Heidi Rabinowitz and Sadaf Siddique discussed the state of Jewish and Muslim books and the work being done to share them. They found a number of parallels in their approaches to showcasing Jewish and...

Seeing Ourselves: Correcting the Landscape

My children have always known they are Cherokee, a fact they shared with classmates in Texas, the historic lands of the Lipan Apache, Comanche, Caddo, and others. The response was often, “You can’t be Indian; all the Indians are dead.” Aside from the impoliteness of non-Natives using the misnomer Indian...

Field Notes: Beyond the "Hero's Journey": We Need Diverse Curricula

What were you required to read in tenth grade? Maybe you graduated many years ago, and you assume that since so much has changed in the larger cultural conversation, certainly high-school English would also have changed. So many good books have been published since then, you might think. But I...

From the Editor - May 2023

Last month’s Notes from the Horn Book was our annual Summer Reading special issue, including a baker’s dozen of unique and enjoyable titles for each age range. If you haven’t yet downloaded the free PDF version, there’s no time like the present! In addition to being my birthday month, May...

What "They" Want

How many times recently have you had this conversation regarding a diverse book? “Now they’re banning _______!” “______? But that’s such a beautiful book! How could anyone ban it?” “Yeah, it makes no sense.” But that’s not true. It does make sense. And we have to admit it and understand...
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