Diverse Books

When reviewing your curriculum (either as a teacher or a district), the review should include looking at what books and texts are being used. The review should also include how they are being implemented and who is represented in them. Check out these resources below (as well as the Curriculum Review & Reflection page) for ways to review district and classroom curriculum and to reflect on what is being taught:

This webpage is a collection of resources to support educators looking for diverse books to use in their classroom and for districts to use as part of their curricular review to help ensure there is diversity, equity, and inclusion for all students.

Book Finder - Searchable Databases of Books

Cooperative Children's Book Center - The Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) is a unique and vital gathering place for books, ideas, and expertise in the field of children’s and young adult literature. The CCBC is a noncirculating examination, study, and research library for Wisconsin school and public librarians, teachers, early childhood care providers, university students, and others interested in children’s and young adult literature. The CCBC is part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education, and receives additional support from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Diverse BookFinder - The Diverse BookFinder (hosted by Bates College) is a comprehensive collection of children's picture books featuring Black and Indigenous people and People of Color (BIPOC). They have cataloged and analyzed trade picture books fitting this criteria, published since 2002.

Books for Littles - Use the Books For Littles website to find engaging children’s picture books to discuss hard topics with the next generation of kind and brilliant leaders.

We Need Diverse Books - We Need Diverse Books is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.

Oyate - Oyate is a Native organization working to see that our lives and histories are portrayed with honesty and integrity, and that all people know that our stories belong to us. For Indian children growing up in the 21st century, it is as important as ever for them to know who they are and learn about the histories that they come from. For all children, it is time to know and acknowledge the truths of history. Only then will they come to have the understanding and respect for each other that now, more than ever, will be necessary for life to continue.

A Mighty Girl - A Mighty Girl is the world’s largest collection of books, toys, movies, and music for parents, teachers, and others dedicated to raising smart, confident, and courageous girls and, of course, for girls themselves! Check out their collection of books related to a wide variety of social issues.

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Books Matter: Children's Literature - During this time of crisis and change, many are home with children of all ages. If you are looking for books to read, ADL’s collection address issues of identity, bias and bullying. Our featured books come with discussion guides for teachers and parents.

Social Justice Books - The best selection of multicultural and social justice books for children, YA, and educators. They have compiled 60 lists of multicultural and social justice books for children, young adults, and educators. They also have created a guide for selecting anti-bias children's books.

Inclusive Booklists - These booklists highlight diverse voices including racial diversity and sexuality and can be used in the classroom and when ordering collections. There are many booklists in the world that are categorized by topic, but these booklists ensure that underrepresented voices are being heard as well.


Book Lists - Curated Lists of Books for Specific Topics

The following are articles that highlight a select number of books related to a specific group:


Incorporating Diverse Books Into Your Classroom & Curriculum

How to Get the Most Out of a Diverse Classroom Library - Many teachers are working to bring in books that provide students with windows and mirrors. Once the books are in the room, what’s next? This Edutopia articles shares tips and thoughts about incorporating those diverse books.

Reading Diversity from Learning for Justice - Including diverse voices is a priority in K–12 classrooms, and Learning for Justice developed a unique model to make it easier: Reading Diversity. (This model may look familiar: It’s a new version of an existing tool called Appendix D.)

Traditionally, tools that aid text selection have focused on quantitative and qualitative measures like complexity, word and sentence length, cohesion, language features and knowledge demands. But these tools do not include diversity and representation, critical literacy, or reader and task as part of the selection criteria.  

Racial Justice Text Tool - Created by the Oregon Department of Education, this tool was adapted from Teaching Tolerance’s Reading Diversity Tool and Teaching For Change’s Selecting Anti-Bias Books. This tool was designed to assist in reviewing and selecting material for classroom use. It is imperative in this time of globalization and divisive politics that we strengthen our critical thinking skills and engage in critical reflection about the tools and resources we use to educate our students. 

Inclusive Classroom Library Checklist - How robust and inclusive is your classroom library? Uncover gaps in your classroom library and identify areas where you can improve representation and diversity by completing this easy checklist.

The Power of Culturally Responsive Literacy Instruction - From racial injustice to culturally responsive curriculum, the education experts at Achieve3000’s 2020 virtual National Literacy Summit tackled some of the toughest issues facing today’s educators. In this report, they bring together best practices from three respected educators around:

  • How to build better relationships with your students
  • Why cultivating literacy skills isn’t enough
  • How to break down the barriers to equity

With Summit presentations by Dr. Pedro Noguera, Dr. Gholnecsar (Gholdy) Muhammad, and Dwayne Reed, you’ll get practical tips to help you navigate these challenging issues and ensure you’re addressing the needs of all students while accelerating literacy growth.

Continue the Work in the Classroom and with Yourself:

Along with taking to time to review your classroom and district curriculum, take time to make sure that quality and appropriate resources are being used in teaching about the topics of:

Also, please take time to review resources that encourage you to self-reflect on how you, your students, and your colleagues engage in this work as well.