Diversity in Children’s Literature

Marie A. Leahy, Bridget C. Foley

Abstract


Children’s literature is profoundly influential in the lives of students and is widespread throughout schools, libraries, and homes. However, the field of children’s literature lacks diversity across several domains, particularly race, gender, and ability. Educators must be knowledgeable on how to use diverse children’s literature as a tool to teach about diversity, as they strive to foster inclusive classroom environments. Teachers must also design their classroom libraries with intense care so as to provide a wide-ranging selection of books to meet the needs of children’s interests and reading levels. Books are a powerful tool for development, so teachers must make conscious decisions about the materials they provide to young readers. All children deserve exposure to a wide range of books, which include characters who are both similar and different from themselves. Educators have a responsibility to expose students to diversity through a well-written selection of multifaceted children’s literature.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22158/wjer.v5n2p172

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