The Importance of Diverse Books: A Real Live CJ

Cover of Last Stop on Market Street

Earlier this month, a family came into the Children’s Services department at the Allen County Public Library to use the computers. I happened to be collecting books for an upcoming “Check Out Diverse Books” program, so when the youngest boy told me his name was CJ, I showed him his namesake in the award-winning Last Stop On Market Street. When he saw that not only did he share a name with the character, but that the character looked like him too, CJ’s grin was SO HUGE!


Best Multicultural Books of 2014

Each year, a select diverse committee of experts from the Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature (CSMCL) identifies the best in multicultural books. The mission of the CSMCL is to provide children, teachers, parents, educators, students, and librarians access to multicultural children’s books with high literary and artistic standards. CSMCL presents the Best Multicultural Children’s Books of 2014. Enjoy! This year’s list was compiled by Dr. Claudette Shackelford McLinn, Dr. Naomi Caldwell, Dr. Sujin Huggins, Ana- Elba Pavon, Lessa K. Pelayo-Lozada, and Elsa Marston. BECAUSE THEY MARCHED: THE PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN FOR VOTING RIGHTS THAT CHANGED AMERICA, by Russell Freedman, 83 pages, published by Holiday House, ©2014 (Middle school/High school, nonfiction) BLOSSOMING UNIVERSE OF VIOLET DIAMOND: THE, by Brenda Woods, 222 pages, published by Nancy Paulson Books, an imprint of Penguin Group, ©2014 (Upper elementary school/Middle school, fiction) BROWN GIRL DREAMING, by Jacqueline Woodson, 336 pages, published by Nancy…