Diverse Representation in Children’s Literature

  • In 1990, Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop coined the term “Windows, Mirrors and Sliding Glass Doors” in an essay she wrote on the importance of all children seeing themselves in the pages of literature. While the number of children’s books including diverse representation and those by BIPOC authors and illustrators has increased dramatically since 1990, the majority of children’s books are still by and about white people, and even those that do include diverse representation aren’t always authentic.

    The Book Lists linked here are designed to help locate and vett literature written for children, middle schoolers and young adults that include authentic, diverse representation, many of which are written and/or illustrated by BIPOC authors and artists. Several of these books are available online through the SPPS virtual library. We also have over 30 integrated units, written by SPPS teachers, that align with diverse children’s books in grades K-5. The On-line Read Alouds and Resources link features a variety of diverse books being read aloud, and resources to support teachers as they use these books. Be sure to check out the different tabs at the bottom of this data base - different topics are included on different sheets.

    We trust the sources listed here, but have not vetted each of the books and links included in their websites, so please reach out to us at cec@spps.org if you have questions or concerns about anything you find here. These lists are intended as living documents - feel free to offer suggestions for additions or modifications to any of these lists.