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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...

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...

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...

Seeing Ourselves: When I Read

Illustration (c) 2023 by Janelle Washington. From the May/June 2023 special issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Diverse Books: Past, Present, and Future. Find more in the "Seeing Ourselves" series here....

Seeing Ourselves: Listen to the Kids

Christina Soontornvat on a school visit. Photo courtesy of Christina Soontornvat. When I do school visits, I always show a slide filled with covers of diverse fantasy and sci-fi. I love the reaction from the kids — they point and gasp and whisper to their friends about which ones they...

Field Notes: I Gave My Life to Books: A Journey Through the World of Children's Literature

Maurice Sendak once said, “As a child, I felt that books were holy objects, to be caressed, rapturously sniffed, and devotedly provided for. I gave my life to them.” That’s how I have always felt as a teacher and parent too. I began my teaching career in Newark, New Jersey,...

On Audiobooks: From Page to Mic: An Interview About Adaptations

What goes into adapting a print book into audio? What special considerations are involved when that book is a graphic novel? Listening Library producer Amber Beard and Senior Executive Producer Linda Korn share their experiences of one example: Just Roll with It (rev. 9/21) by Lee Durfey-Lavoie, illustrated by Veronica...
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