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Ellen Oh: Diverse Books are Not ‘Special Interest’

“Diverse books shouldn’t be considered “special interest” prophecyand shelved in a separate area. If books containing minority characters are special interest, then any book with a talking animal should be separated into a ‘non-human category.’ (There’s a problem when a book about a gorilla is considered more relatable to kids than a book about a minority child.) We need to educate parents, teachers, librarians—the gatekeepers—that reading diversely is good, and not just for their kids, but for all kids! Not just social issue books or nonfiction books, but books with black superheroes and gay parents. Books where the issue of race, religion, and sexual orientation are not the focus, but are parts of the character’s makeup. These books show our kids that we’re all the same, despite our differences.”

Read more at the School Library Journal ▸▸

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