Listen up! Here’s a new podcast about diverse children’s books

thecutheaderI listen to podcasts every day, but the past two weeks have brought an extra infusion of podcast-y goodness to my life.

First I met Alex Laughlin, host of The Ladycast, during a journalism training. A few days later I interviewed Caroline Ervin and Cristen Conger, hosts of Stuff Mom Never Told You, for a freelance article.

And finally, I am featured in a new episode of a podcast all about diversity in children’s books, The Cut with Pam Margolis. I met Pam, a librarian and book reviewer, at KidLitCon last fall, when she was still conceptualizing her show. It launched this month, and I can’t wait for more episodes.

For the episode that I’m on, I talked with Pam about the dearth of picture books featuring Muslims, getting beyond sexuality as the main conflict in books featuring LGBTQ characters, and whether to label diverse books as such.

I also shared some of my favorite diverse children’s books. Those titles are below, along with my GoodReads ratings and comments on them.

Listen, SlowlyListen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

totally enchanting

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No NormalMs. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m pretty new to comics but I dig this one. Kamala Khan is a character I want to keep following.

King for a DayKing for a Day by Rukhsana Khan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Hiawatha and the PeacemakerHiawatha and the Peacemaker by Robbie Robertson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this book. I’ve kept it beyond its library due date for several days because I wanted to find the perfect words to review it here, but I don’t think I can. It’s a powerful story with equally powerful illustrations, and you should read it. Also be sure to read the author’s note. In it, Robbie Robertson describes the first time he heard the story of Hiawatha from an Iroquois Elder as a child. Later, in school, he heard a different tale in a Longfellow poem.
“I think I was the only one in the class who knew that Longfellow got Hiawatha mixed up with another Indian,” Robertson writes. “I knew his poem was not about the real Hiawatha, whom I had learned about years ago, that day in the longhouse. I didn’t say anything. I kept the truth to myself … till now.”
I’m so glad he stopped keeping the truth to himself.
Same, Same But DifferentSame, Same But Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
(I also wrote about this book in a previous blog post, “2 Picture Books about Pen Pals.”)
Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou HamerVoice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer by Carole Boston Weatherford

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Girl from the Tar Paper School: Barbara Rose Johns and the Advent of the Civil Rights MovementThe Girl from the Tar Paper School: Barbara Rose Johns and the Advent of the Civil Rights Movement by Teri Kanefield

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Last Stop on Market StreetLast Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lives up to all the praise. Sweet slice of a child’s city life with a great payoff at the end.

Sorcerer to the Crown (Sorcerer Royal, #1)Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you love Jane Austen AND Harry Potter AND discussions of race and intersectional feminism, read this book.

View all my reviews

4 thoughts on “Listen up! Here’s a new podcast about diverse children’s books

  1. Love it! I can’t wait to work my way through this list. Glad Prunella got a shoutout in the podcast — I totally agree 🙂

    • Oh my gosh, I didn’t include “Sorceror to the Crown” on this list! Truth is, when I listened to the episode for the second time as I wrote this I didn’t bother with the zombie ending part because I felt like I don’t actually know what makes a good Zombie apocalypse team 🙂

  2. Pingback: J.K. Rowling’s missteps with Native Americans and my 2016 We Need Diverse Books resolutions | Kara Newhouse

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