Spark! Shocking Lack of Diversity in Children’s Books

celia bullying trio*A survey of children’s books by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center found a shocking lack of diversity. In fact, of the 3,600 titles examined, only 3.3 percent were about African Americans, 2.1  percent were about Asian-Pacific Americans, and 1.5. percent were about Latinos. And a pathetic .6 percent were about about American Indians.

Can you believe this?

Girls need to character in books that look like them. Actually, what they need are PROTAGONISTS that look like them. That way they know they can be the star of their own story. That’s one of the reasons we made the main character of our book Starring Celia from a mixed white and African-American background.

We’re excited that the smart folks at First Book are bringing attention to this mega-important issue with their Stories for All project. In a recent blog, First Book CFO Jane Robinson points out another benefit of changing publishing to be more representative:  “All kids should have access to stories featuring diverse characters, to see the world in all its true rich variety.”  YES!

*…And speaking of important issues we brought up with Starring Celia: Check out A Mighty Girl’s list of Top Books on Bullying Prevention. The list includes “the top 70 books for Mighty Girls of all ages from toddlers through teens that address issues of teasing and bullying, as well as how to foster healthy friendships.”

*ONE LAST THING: Since we seem to be all caught up with books and reading today, we wanted to pass on this statistic: “Parents who read often are six times more likely to have children who read often,” reports Allison McDonald on the Scholastic Parents blog. Get her simple ideas for becoming a reading role model for the girls in your life.