We’re Diverse; Why Aren’t Children’s Books?

Ellray Jakes Rock StarOn the internet a few days ago, I bumped into an article that cited a study by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Out of about 5000 children’s books that that were published in 2013, the CCBC looked at 3200 and found that only 93 were about African-Americans and only 67 of them were written by African-Americans! If you don’t think this is sad, please read the essays that authors Walter Dean Myers and Christopher Myers published in the New York Times. They explain the importance of ethnic diversity in children’s books. If you are a writer, please keep this in mind. Meanwhile, Common Sense Media has published a list of children’s books with characters of color. Notice they have tabs dividing the books into the following categories: Preschoolers 2-4, Little Kids 5-7, Big Kids 8-9, Tweens 10-12, and Teens 13+.