About & For Everyone: Why #WeNeedDiverseBooks

Children’s literature and YA literature should be about and for everyone. The good news is that there are plenty of options, but not all of what is written is promoted nor do see that diversity in Best Of lists unless it’s specific to diversity.

Little Pickle Press is committed, as a publishing company, to ensuring that all voices are heard in children’s literature. That’s why we’re so happy to be participating in the #WeNeedDiverseBooks ongoing conversation on Twitter. To that end, here are some of our favorite tweets in the discussion to publish, write, and read more diversity in literature.

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NPR Books not only provided their voice in support of literature diversity, they provided a Diverse #SummerReading list of books for children.  (Be sure to check out the late Maya Angelou’s book, Life Doesn’t Frighten Me from that list!)

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Twitter user Nomad provided this fantastic picture to accompany his tweet about Black comic book characters:

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Our friends at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators also pointed us in the direction of this submission page for writers of color to the second annual New Vision Awards. Be sure to check out Lin Oliver’s post here on the need for diversity. Lin is the Executive Director of the SCBWI.

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Since following the hashtag on Twitter, we’ve also noticed a new account titled appropriately as @diversebooks. The link will lead you to check out the official site for the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign and we are SO glad we fell down that rabbit hole! It takes books that you may have heard of or read already and gives another option that includes diversity.

The campaign, started by author Ellen Oh with her hashtag, has turned into a full-fledged Tumblr site that offers a lot of diversity options. This is what Twitter does best when a hashtag turns into a movement and then turns into a campaign.

Blogger and author of the memoir, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Jenny Lawson also provided input and her voice to the campaign with this photo tweet:



In fact, if you read through the discussions she was having with her followers at the beginning of May, you’ll find lots of book title suggestions and some of her favorites as well her reason for supporting it.

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It’s been an important dialogue happening online and it shows no signs of waning soon, but it reminds me of why we read in the first place: to escape yet belong to something. Join the conversation here and help us provide the world of literature, for kids and adults, with more diversity and be sure to say hello to us on Twitter!

2 thoughts on “About & For Everyone: Why #WeNeedDiverseBooks

  1. I am glad that this topic has been creating such a buzz, it’s so important! I love that last quote, about needing diverse books because people need to know that they don’t struggle alone, and that we all have a tribe somewhere. The struggle for self-worth is a big one, and knowing that a person is not alone could, literally, be a lifesaver.

  2. I review books with cultural context on my blog most Wednesdays, so it was good to see so many people taking up this cause. There are a lot more titles with diverse characters now than there were a dozen years ago, but we could still use more!

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