Why Study Diverse Books?

Within the field of children’s and young adult literature, publishers, authors, and educators at all levels have made a commitment to increasing awareness of and access to texts that invite a variety of narratives into the conversation. This is evidenced readily by the quickly growing We Need Diverse Books campaign, a grassroots effort that “advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people” (http://weneeddiversebooks.org/.  As this movement gains momentum, the field is shifting in response—in ways that are simultaneously exciting, complicated, challenging, and hopeful. This momentum, coupled with the research questions that arise from the changing landscape of multicultural children’s and young adult literature, make this an ideal time to think collaboratively about our role in this work.