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We Need Diverse Books

A Call for Inclusive Literature in the Classroom

 

You have power as a teacher. The novel selections you make will determine the perspectives students are exposed to. Perhaps more important, it is essential to consider that your selections also determine the perspectives students are not exposed to. Therefore, it is your responsibility as an educator to be mindful and offer a range. For this reason, I think often about the concept of windows and mirrors (CITATION). Students need to be exposed to books that not only reflect their own lives but also offer insight into the lives and experiences of others.

 

The middle grade genre is seeing a welcome increase in diverse authors and perspectives. Students from all backgrounds now have access to a much more expansive library of stories that reflect them. As a result, there are more options than ever before that offer meaningful opportunities to create windows and mirrors for your students. Your selections make it possible. This article is a call to get these books into the hands of our students. All students must read diverse and inclusive literature. You should choose a diverse set of authors because these #ownvoices novels are a beacon of hope and inspiration for young people.

 

New books shed light on new perspectives. Mainstays in literature have universal themes, yes, but the world has also changed in profound ways since many of them were written. Books in classrooms should reflect our times and our current understanding of history and society. Such a reading experience encourages students to formulate new ideas about history and society, build their capacity for empathy, and become more thoughtful and understanding in their approach to others