We Need Diverse Books is a campaign to bring more diverse books to children’s and young adult’s shelves. More often than not books in these sections don’t deal with issues such as LGBQTAI+, gender identity, people of color, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.
So much of a child/teen’s life is revolved around these issues, and many may not realize it. More and more we’re hearing stories about how a teen commits suicide because of feeling alone or intense bullying because of who they are/identify as. It’s sad and so preventable.
I think one of the things that can possibly help these individuals is introducing more and more books of all age levels about dealing with these issues.
If I had read books about gay/lesbian/bisexual/etc teens when I was growing up, maybe I would have understood more about my own struggles. Maybe I wouldn’t have struggled at all.
Maybe it could have saved someone’s life.
Books have such power in them. They can get people thinking and open their minds to so many possibilities out there if only they were willing to see them.
For kids under the teen years it can teach them about race and cultures and how to be accepting and loving toward all of them, not just their own. It can teach them to be compassionate toward those who struggle under certain conditions. It can teach them about themselves and if they’re feeling the same way, then they can relate to it.
Only recently have I picked up a few diverse books, at least what I consider to be diverse books, and I have already finished one (None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio) and it’s opened my eyes to the world of intersex individuals, people who are physically one gender on the outside, but have the other gender’s parts on the inside. It’s amazing and eye opening and really got me thinking on how little of the world I know.
Is it important to incorporate more of these stories into children’s/young adult literature? Yes. Most definitely.
Do I think people should be reading them, no matter their background, personal beliefs, bias, etc? Hell yes.
I support We Need Diverse Books and I hope that more and more books will be published in the upcoming years of these diversities. We need them now more than ever.