#WeNeedDiverseBooks Resources


In 2014 a team of authors and other publishing industry professionals started the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign. Their website, located here, identifies their mission statement:

"We Need Diverse Books is a grassroots organization created to address the lack of diverse, non-majority narratives in children’s literature. We Need Diverse Books is committed to the ideal that embracing diversity will lead to acceptance, empathy, and ultimately equality. We recognize many kinds of diversity, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of color, those impacted by their gender, those with disabilities, ethnic/cultural/religious minorities, etc. Our mission is to promote or amplify diversification efforts and increase visibility for diverse books and authors, with a goal of empowering a wide range of readers in the process.

In order to accomplish our mission, we reach out to individuals and groups involved in many levels of children’s publishing—including (but not limited to) publishers, authors, distributors, booksellers, librarians, educators, parents, and students."

Eight Cousins is very excited about this campaign as we have long valued and advocated for increased diversity in children's publishing. We are proud to offer a range of diverse books in our collection as well as expertise in the latest of great books for all kids. Please contact us if you would like help diversifying your personal or classroom library.

Using the Windows & Mirrors terminology as defined by Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, we agree that all children deserve to see themselves (mirrors) in a book as well as learn about others (windows) in a book. Read Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop's article "Windows, Mirrors, and Sliding Glass Doors" here. Also, see this article for further background on the term. 

Eight Cousins offers workshops for teachers and school librarians on new releases and integrating inclusive books into commonly-taught subject areas. Please contact Sara for details. 


From #WeNeedDiverseBooks

How we define diversity:

We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, Native, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities*, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.

*We subscribe to a broad definition of disability, which includes but is not limited to physical, sensory, cognitive, intellectual, or developmental disabilities, chronic conditions, and mental illnesses (this may also include addiction). Furthermore, we subscribe to a social model of disability, which presents disability as created by barriers in the social environment, due to lack of equal access, stereotyping, and other forms of marginalization.




Graphic designed by Tina Kügler, based on statistics published by the Cooperative Children's Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison


Huyck, David, Sarah Park Dahlen, Molly Beth Griffin. (2016 September 14). Diversity in Children’s Books 2015 infographic. sarahpark.com blog. Retrieved from https://readingspark.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/picture-this-reflecting-diversity-in-childrens-book-publishing/

Statistics compiled by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison: https://ccbc.education.wisc.edu/literature-resources/ccbc-diversity-statistics/books-by-about-poc-fnn/

Released for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license

Huyck, David and Sarah Park Dahlen. (2019 June 19). Diversity in Children’s Books 2018. sarahpark.com blog. Created in consultation with Edith Campbell, Molly Beth Griffin, K. T. Horning, Debbie Reese, Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, and Madeline Tyner, with statistics compiled by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison: https://ccbc.education.wisc.edu/literature-resources/ccbc-diversity-statistics/books-by-about-poc-fnn/. Retrieved from https://readingspark.wordpress.com/2019/06/19/picture-this-diversity-in-childrens-books-2018-infographic/


Further Reading:

CCBC (Cooperative Children's Book Center) Diversity Statistics

Where are the People of Color in Children's Books?, Walter Dean Myers, New York Times, March 15, 2014

The Apartheid of Children’s Literature, Christopher Myers, New York Times, March 15, 2014

CHILDREN'S BOOKS; 'I Actually Thought We Would Revolutionize the Industry,' Walter Dean Myers, New York Times, November 9, 1986

Education in America, The All-White World of Children's Books, Nancy Larrick, The Saturday Review, September 11, 1965, pp. 63-65

Malinda Lo, blog posts on LBGTQIA+ in YA Literature

American Indian Youth Literature Award

Are Your Kids Too Young to Talk About Race? Graphic

Your Kids Aren't Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup



Grace Lin, The Windows and Mirrors of Your Child's Bookshelf, TedX, Natick, March 18, 2016