We Need Diverse Books: Especially in our Classrooms.


Every year I make a list of diverse books that I want to add to my classroom library.

I teach at a school with a very diverse student population and it’s easily my favorte thing about what I do.

I’ve found that handing the right book to the right student–especially those who thought they aren’t or never could see themselves represented in a book ever–is one of the most important connections I can make with a student. Diverse books make a difference in the lives of my students every day.

Just last year I had a student come to me enraged and disappointed because she wasn’t able to find any books with queer girl main characters. I was able to hand her a few I had on hand, but this has definitely been a bit of a gap on my classroom shelf as well. Same for books about trans or genderqueer characters. I have a few I love and hand out often, but there’s always more I feel I can do.

This year I want to expand my list especially as far as queer characters, POC, and characters with disabilities are concerned.

So here’s a list of 25 diverse books I want to add to my classroom library in 2016/17:

Of course I feel like I’ve totally forgotten some. Drop me a comment with any other suggestions, please!

I’m especially looking for any YA featuring Polynesian characters. If you have ideas, please share them with me.

  1. Polynesian characters are so hard to find, period. It’s a huge gap that few writers are filling.


    1. Yes! I’ve got a few recommendations on Twitter that I’ll look into but it’s a really underserved population. That needs to change.


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