BY TALIA BERMAN-CUTLER AND REGAN GOULD
Reading books can be very magical. You can go through the sliding door into different worlds, living different lives. But sometimes you can’t find yourself in a book.
How many books have you read that are a mirror to your life? What about a window, where the only thing you can do is look into other lives? There are loads of different kinds of people in our world, and books should accurately reflect that.
What makes a diverse book a diverse book? Having characters of different races, religions, sexual orientations and nationalities makes books diverse. Also characters that represent different worldviews such as living with a physical disability, or characters of different genders, including non-gender specific, offer more inclusive perspectives. It is great to have diverse books to show that it's okay to be “different” than societal norms. People need diverse books to also have a mirror. As fun as it is to go through sliding doors, sometimes people really need to read a reflection of themselves. Sometimes when you see yourself, your classmates don’t see themselves.
White Americans make up around 90% of representation in books, and 61 percent of the U.S. population. Asian Pacific Americans are only seen in 4.9% of books, suggesting the need for a 38.8% increase. Native Americans can be seen in 0.3% of books, which means they need a 80.9% increase. African Americans are featured in only 3.3% of books, so they need an 83% increase, and Latinx Americans need a 93% increase, because they appear in only 1.8% of books. Multi-ethnic Americans need almost 100% more books, because they currently do not have enough tracked books.
Now you may be looking for a good diverse selection of books to read? Here is a few that we recommend: