The Advocate's Toolbox

Children's Books. Still an All-White World? Nancy Larrick’s landmark 1965 study on race and children’s books was supposed to have been a wake-up call. Not much has changed.


Illustration by Christopher Myers

The Publishing Perspective on Diversity
The book community reflects on the issues, successes, and trends in addressing diversity in books for children and YA.
Culturally Diverse Books Selected by SLJ’s Review Editors
Playing upon and expanding Rudine Sims Bishop’s framework for understanding multicultural literature for children, the SLJ Reviews Editors select their favorite recent titles.
Everyday Diversity: A Teacher Librarian Offers Practical Tips to Make a Difference
Wisconsin teacher librarian Crystal Brunelle has long prioritized advocating diverse children's literature in school and libraries, but only in the last few years has she figured out a way to put her beliefs into everyday practice—which she offers in four handy tips.
The Multiracial Population Is Growing, But Kid Lit Isn’t Keeping Up
Monica Brown, author of the "Marisol McDonald" series, writes about how as a person of mixed race lineage, she doesn't fit under a neat label. Her situation is shared by the growing multiracial population in the U.S., yet children's books do not reflect these changing demographics.
SisOps: Girl-Friendly Tech Initiatives Challenge a Boys-Only Culture
New girl-friendly technology initiatives are challenging tech's boys-only culture.
LGBTQ & You: How to Support Your Students
School librarians can provide pivotal support for LGBTQ teens by just being there.
Representing the Muslim American Experience
In a world where misinformation about Muslim Americans takes place daily, we have a chance to build understanding among children through our library collections.
Program Diversity: Do Libraries Serve Kids with Disabilities?
The Americans with Disabilities Act passed in 1990, and physical accessibility in libraries became federal law. However, nothing in the law requires library services to be disability-friendly, leaving it up to individual librarians, including Barbara Klipper, Renee Grassi, and Amy Price, to create library programs and tools for patrons with disabilities that other librarians can model.
How Diverse is Librarianship? Check Out the Stats.
Our charts show the diversity of recent MLS grads vs. the general population.
School Librarian Talks to Students About ‘Whitewashing’ Children’s Book Covers
Bank Street School librarian Allie Bruce found herself facing a complicated question from a sixth grader about the lack of minorities on YA book covers, starting with Julia Alvarez's Return to Sender. The question led Bruce on a year-long lesson on diversity in children's literature with a sixth grade class and—some surprising results.
Preschool and the Income Gap: Libraries Must Step Up to Serve Children of Color
The effects of the income gap are starkly evident in long-range studies of our youngest learners, making it critical for libraries to provide early learning services to those who need it the most: poor children.
Dedicated to Diversity: Honoring Differences and More
In this editorial, School Library Journal's editor-in-chief Rebecca Miller pays tribute to the Diversity Issue, which highlights the ongoing need for more diverse representation in books published for children and teens, provides practical guidance for librarians and teachers, and so much more.
Shining the Light on Pura Belpré’s Legacy
Tim Wadham shares how Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library, was a pioneer in the library field and influenced services and literature for Spanish-speaking patrons.
An Expanded Cultural Diversity Booklist: SLJ Readers Respond
In response to the passionate and engaging conversation around the recent list of culturally diverse books, SLJ's review editors asked readers and experts in the field to select titles for inclusion in this expanded list. Add your own favorite titles in the comments section.
How Cross-Racial Scenes in Picture Books Build Acceptance
A study by author Krista Maywalt Aronson revealed that children who looked at picture books portraying children from different races together reported more interest in playing across difference.