I’m now at 35 diverse books this year. If I keep up the same pace I should hit my goal of 50 sometime in May.
I’ve noticed that it’s easier to find diverse picture books when I’m seeking nonfiction and biographies than when I’m tracking down fiction titles that have generated a lot of buzz. Part of that is because those character-driven stories often feature non-human characters (like a recent favorite of mine, Gaston), but it doesn’t seem that there’s a lot of diversity among the authors, either.
That’s all anecdotal, but the stats on children’s publishing do support these observations.
Here are the diverse books I read last month. They are picture books unless otherwise noted.
Row 1: “Bird” by Zetta Elliott, “One Million Men and Me” by Kelly Starling Lyons, “Malala, a Brave Girl from Pakistan/Iqbal, a Brave Boy from Pakistan” by Jeanette Winter
Row 2: “Listen, Slowly” by Thanhha Lai (middle grade), “John Lewis in the Lead” by James Haskins, “Draw What You See” by Kathleen Benson Haskins
Row 4: “Port Chicago 50” by Steve Sheinkin (young adult), “Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom” by Lynda Blackmon Lowery (young adult), “X: A Novel” by Ilyasah Shabazz (young adult)