If you follow any sort of book group on Facebook or Twitter, no doubt you’ve seen the discussion of diversity–or lack thereof–in books. Not only are people tired of not seeing themselves in books, they’re championing for diverse authors, illustrators and stories.
Diversity can mean many things–race, religion, political beliefs, disabilities (both obvious ones and hidden), and even body types. While so many books are written by and about Caucasian people, not everyone can identify with this, and really, we all want to see ourselves in books. We want to feel included, not excluded, and so diversity in books is so important.
The 49th Shelf has a fabulous selection of diverse books by Canadian authors and illustrators, and they’re always adding more to their collection. You can stop by their page and search in multiple ways for great ideas, such as these:
We need diverse books, and only through constant interaction from the public will things change in the publishing business and book world in general. It needs to start at the top, with more diversity seen in those choosing the books being published, and more people with diverse backgrounds writing the books they’d like to see on the shelves. It will take time, but we’ll get there.