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Children's and Young Adult Literature

Librarian-curated guide for finding and using Children's and Young Adult Literature

Dig Deeper into Multicultural Children's and YA Literature

Science shows that it is important for child development in their own identity and their sense of community to see images that reflect who they are, or characters who look like them, as well as images and characters who are different from them. This is one reason to explore and support diversity in children's literature, and you can find lots of resources for multicultural children's lit at Hekman Library. See more on this page for examples of diverse children's books, books about diversity in children's lit, and other recommended resources.

Featured Books About Multicultural Children's Lit

Book Cover - Title in white lettering over large red question mark against blue background.
Book Cover - Title in white lettering in embroidered teal and green box over illustration of a room filled with young black children and two black women.
Book cover - white and red title on sky blue background, above images of globe and open book
Book cover - black title on tan banner over colorful nature-themed prints

Diverse Children's Lit

Book Cover - Title in large white lettering on illustration of person blowing into a trombone.
Book Cover - Title in white lettering over illustration of houses overlooking ocean with battleships in it.
Book Cover - Title in elaborate pink and white lettering over illustration of young Mexican girl.
Book Cover - Title in purple lettering over colorful illustration of person dancing.
Book Cover - Title in white lettering over illustration of a brown boy walking through a city street and the road is paved with legos.
Book Cover - Title in red lettering over illustration of rooster walking among chicks.
Book Cover - Title in white lettering over illustration of female and young boy fishing at a pond at night.
Book Cover - Title in multicolored letters over black figure dancing on yellow pavement against black background.
Book Cover - Title in cream lettering against red background over illustration of wolf wearing a red cloak.

Other Recommended Resources

The Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison supports teaching, learning and research related to children's and young adult literature.

To help further an understanding and appreciation for multicultural literature, the CCBC offers a number of resources:

The Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature (CSMCL) is an educational research center in the field of multicultural literature, fostering interest and providing access to multicultural children's books. 

Since 2013, the CSMCL has complied a list of the year's best multicultural children's books. Check out some of the recent selections.

The We Need Diverse Books movement advocates for the publishing industry and children's book lovers to produce and promote literature that reflects the lives of all young people. Books on different socioeconomic backgrounds, gender identities, sexual orientations, abilities, ethnicities, and cultures are important to the movement. To see examples of diverse books and learn how to search for them, check out their lists.