Diversity Resources

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    Free Diversity Booklist

    We highly recommend The Commonsense Guide to Your Classroom Library: Building a Collection That Inspires, Engages, and Challenges Readers by Donalyn Miller.

    Welcome to our Free Diversity Booklist, a carefully curated collection of books that celebrates the rich tapestry of our world. At Books for Classrooms, we believe that diverse stories have the power to transform young minds, fostering empathy, understanding, and a sense of belonging. Our Free Diversity Booklist is a testament to our commitment to providing educators and families with valuable resources that reflect the beautiful diversity of our global community.

    We believe that access to diverse books is essential for creating an inclusive and empathetic learning environment. To download our Free Diversity Booklist and start bringing these enriching stories into your classroom or home, simply sign up for our email list below. By doing so, you’ll gain exclusive access to our curated collection of diverse books, enriching the reading experience for the young minds you nurture.

    At Books for Classrooms, we’re dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion through literature. We invite you to join us in this journey by exploring our Free Diversity Booklist and opening doors to a world of learning, understanding, and inspiration. Together, we can empower the next generation to embrace the beauty of our diverse world.

    Using the List

    The list is available as a pdf or in sortable Google Sheets, and Excel Spreadsheets.

    Choose the most familiar format.

    The list contains Title, Author, Category, Source, ISBN.

    Titles are organized into 14 major categories separated by a slash / into 191 minor categories which are listed here and can be searched. All subcategories are spread throughout the list so be sure to use search.

    The list is updated with new titles a couple of times a year. Be sure to sign up to be notified.

    Titles remain on the list until no longer available from Amazon. Important titles are retained with N/A if it’s felt they may come back into print. Some are republished seasonally.

    The ISBN number is the universal number for that title. Some publishers require that yo furnish the number when ordering. We have looked up most of them and will always add in the future.

    Source – Eventually, we figured out that all purveyors of books provide titles from small presses and imprints. The best source available is included, but fluctuation occurs depending on distribution contracts and imprints.

    Booklist Development

    Books for Classrooms provides teacher-selected, high-quality, supplemental literature to Title 1 schools in Pima County, Arizona. Books are carefully reviewed by our retired teacher and librarian volunteers.

    Books may be suggested by any supporter. Information on how to look for diversity in books is provided to all new volunteer readers. We encourage participation by the recipient educators in reviewing and selecting books and value their recommendations. Our volunteer readers all have a love of children’s literature and a background in teaching or librarianship. Volunteers monitor blogs, book awards, bestseller lists, and publishers’ information to discover new books. There are excellent websites that provide expertise on specific categories of diverse books:

      • Pragmatic Mom has 60 booklists including several valuable Asian lists.

      • A Mighty Girl a large collection of resources for smart, confident, and courageous girls

    All books are initially analyzed using guidelines suggested to us by the World of Words: Center of Global Literacies and Literatures whose staff provided initial direction to our emerging organization. The guidelines were created by Social Justice Books. We also ask new readers to watch An Indigenous Critique of Whiteness in Children’s Literature

    Books that are especially of interest are reviewed by a retired curriculum developer who provides creative classroom activities for teaching with the book. On occasion, expertise is sought for books that have merit but need further evaluation. Books remain on our list until they are no longer available as a used book on Amazon or until a more appropriate book is found.

    In our pursuit of diverse literature, it’s evident that representation of underrepresented communities and voices, especially from US presses, often falls short of the mark. It’s crucial to highlight that some essential categories, such as women, LGBTQIA+, and Middle Eastern perspectives, are currently not being adequately tracked within the US publishing landscape. In response to this gap, we found Canadian publishers who have consistently demonstrated a commitment to producing high-quality literature that spans various critical areas, including Environment, Social Justice, Indigenous narratives, and Disability perspectives.

    To delve deeper into the need for diverse books and the broader movement advocating for inclusivity in literature, we encourage you to explore the ‘We Need Diverse Books’ initiative, which provides valuable insights and resources on this pressing issue. This proactive approach enables us to curate a collection that better reflects the rich tapestry of voices and experiences from across the globe, enriching our students’ understanding of the world and promoting inclusivity in the classroom.

    Books for Classrooms began with the premise that all children should see themselves in books in their classrooms and that these books should be of the highest quality. We continue to find innovative, collaborative, and equitable strategies for providing classroom and library resources to Pima County students.

    Selecting Anti-Bias Books

    For further information we highly recommend the guide at Social Justice Books.Org

    Selecting Anti-Bias Books

    At Books for Classrooms, we are dedicated to curating a diverse collection of anti-bias children’s books that reflect our commitment to promoting inclusivity, understanding, and empathy among young readers. Our selection process is rooted in a thoughtful and comprehensive approach that considers various factors to ensure the quality and impact of the books we provide.

    A Comprehensive Review

    Our process begins by engaging a team of passionate volunteers, many of whom are retired educators, to review potential books. We draw inspiration from reliable resources like the Social Justice Books guide for selecting anti-bias children’s books while avoiding direct replication. We go beyond surface representation, delving into the content, themes, and messages conveyed by each book.

    Avoiding Tokenism

    Tokenism has no place in our collection. We meticulously examine each book to ensure that characters from diverse backgrounds are not merely included for the sake of diversity, but rather are integral to the story. We seek books that celebrate the richness of various identities without reducing characters to stereotypes or one-dimensional representations.

    Confronting Stereotypes and Assumptions

    Our volunteers are vigilant in identifying and addressing loaded language, stereotypes, and assumptions that may undermine the authentic representation of diverse experiences. We believe in the power of literature to challenge harmful narratives and promote critical thinking. By selecting books that confront and debunk stereotypes, we empower young readers to see beyond surface-level portrayals.

    Exploring Power Dynamics

    We recognize the impact of power dynamics within narratives. Our selection process involves evaluating how characters interact and relate to one another, with a keen eye on whether these dynamics perpetuate harmful assumptions or reinforce biased perspectives. We prioritize books that offer nuanced explorations of power, privilege, and social justice issues.

    Engaging Educators and Community

    Educators play a vital role in shaping the reading experiences of students. We collaborate closely with teachers and administrators to align our book selections with educational goals and curricula. By involving educators in the process, we ensure that the books seamlessly integrate into classroom learning and provide meaningful opportunities for discussions on important topics.

    Continual Learning and Adaptation

    Our commitment to anti-bias education is ongoing. We continually learn, adapt, and refine our selection process based on feedback and evolving best practices. Our goal is to create an evolving collection that fosters critical thinking, empathy, and a deep appreciation for diversity in all its forms.

    Join Our Mission

    We invite you to join us in this essential mission of promoting understanding and inclusivity through literature. Your support, whether through volunteering, donations, or sharing your insights, contributes to the growth and impact of Books for Classrooms. Together, we can empower young minds to explore the world with open hearts and minds, challenging biases and building a brighter, more equitable future.


    Getting the Most for Your Money or Purchasing Hints (finding the books)

    Guide: Finding and Purchasing Anti-Bias Books for Classrooms

    Navigating the realm of anti-bias books for your classroom is an impactful way to promote inclusivity and foster understanding among students. Here’s a guide to help educators and volunteers discover and acquire these valuable resources:

    1. First Book Marketplace

    Explore First Book, a nonprofit that offers free access to a wide array of books at significantly discounted rates and free resources to schools and organizations that provide services to Title 1 students. Their focus on providing educational equity ensures that quality anti-bias books are accessible to all. They provide unlimited links to Open eBooks a FREE eBook library that contains a rotating catalog of thousands of popular, award-winning eBook titles! Students and families can access Open eBooks at home or on-the-go through a free app (available on Apple or Android devices) or through a web browser on their computer or Chromebook.

    2. Publishers/Wholesalers

    Connect with publishers and wholesalers specializing in diverse and inclusive children’s literature. Many publishers have dedicated sections for anti-bias titles, making it easier to find books that align with your classroom goals. Amazon has a large selection of used books as well as mildly reduced prices on some new books. Books4Schools, Thrift Books and Book Depot have reduced prices.

    4. Pima County Public Library

    The local public library is an invaluable resource. Librarians can recommend and provide access to a diverse range of anti-bias books, ensuring your classroom is equipped with relevant and impactful materials. Books, music, video, concerts, magazines, and comics are available to stream. Students can access help with homework here. Get a library card here! Be sure to give your kids some extra credit for using the library and encourage parents to share the resources available.

    5. World of Words Library

    Located at the University of Arizona, the library is a treasure trove of international and diverse literature. It’s a great place to discover books that broaden cultural perspectives and challenge biases. Language and Culture Kits and Global Story Boxes are available to borrow for 3rd-8th grade classrooms. Support strategies and booklists are available to download.

    6. Friends of the Pima County Library

    Join and you will be notified of Friends book sales. These events often feature diverse selections, offering an affordable way to enrich your classroom’s bookshelf with anti-bias titles.

    7. Bookstores

    Local and online bookstores often have curated sections dedicated to anti-bias literature. Seek out books that highlight diverse voices and experiences, empowering your students to explore the world through reading.

    8. Thrift Stores

    Thrift stores can yield unexpected gems. While the selection may vary, you might discover well-loved anti-bias books that can enrich your classroom collection at budget-friendly prices.

    9. Book Drives & Little Free Libraries

    Participate in or organize book drives to collect anti-bias books for classrooms. Little Free Libraries in your community can also be sources of diverse literature that you can share with your students.

    By following these steps and utilizing various resources, you can ensure that your classroom is enriched with a diverse collection of anti-bias books that nurture empathy, encourage critical thinking, and inspire a lifelong love of reading among your students.

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