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#WeHaveDiverseBooks for Kids in Scholastic Reading Club This Holiday

NEW YORK November 3, 2015 – Recent research indicates that children say one of the top things they look for in choosing books to read for fun is “having characters that look like me.”1 Scholastic Reading Club and the non-profit organization, We Need Diverse Books™, are teaming-up this holiday season with a specially curated book club flyer, for grades 4-8, to provide more than 75 books that feature diverse characters and storylines.

Featuring award-winning titles, beloved classics and new releases, this special edition Scholastic Reading Club flyer will reach more than 100,000 classrooms and 2.5 million students in time for the holidays. The collection showcases a wide variety of titles highlighting important themes about race and ethnicity, multiculturalism, different religions, LGBTQ stories, individuals with disabilities and more. The range of titles and the diversity of the authors will resonate with the widely diverse population of young readers served by Scholastic Reading Club through schools nationwide and help them understand and appreciate people, cultures and experiences different from their own. Additional titles beyond those featured in the flyers will be available online at Scholastic.com/ReadingClub.  All book orders are submitted by a teacher on behalf of his or her classroom, and, for every purchase, the classroom earns reward points that are redeemable for books and other classroom materials. 

“The goal of this offer is to reflect the world as it is: filled with stories and experiences as diverse as you find in American classrooms today,” said Ann Marie Wong, Editorial Director, Scholastic Reading Club, a division of Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL), the global children’s publishing, education and media company. “Scholastic Reading Club evokes such strong emotional memories for children when they find the perfect book for the first time. This special collaboration with We Need Diverse Books™ helps all kids discover the power and joy of reading.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Scholastic on the Reading Club flyer, and to help all kids find both mirrors of their own experiences and windows into the experiences of others,” said Dhonielle Clayton, Vice President of Librarian Services for We Need Diverse Books™.

For more information about Scholastic Reading Club, please visit http://mediaroom.scholastic.com/ScholasticReadingClub.

REFERENCE:

  • (1) Kids & Family Reading Report, 5th edition conducted by YouGov and Scholastic, 2014. Things Children Look for When Picking Out Books to Read for Fun (Base: Children Ages 6-17)

About We Need Diverse Books

We Need Diverse Books™ is a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people. For more information, visit http://weneeddiversebooks.org/

 CONTACT:

Scholastic
Mike Barrett, 212-343-6570, mbarrett[@]scholastic.com

We Need Diverse Books

Lamar Giles, lrgileswriter[@]gmail.com

Dhonielle Clayton, dhonielle.clayton[@]gmail.com

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ABOUT SCHOLASTIC READING CLUB:

Scholastic Reading Club, is a well-known “tradition” in classrooms around the country.  These age-appropriate, monthly flyers provide, high-quality and affordable titles to children in schools nationwide.  Teachers have always loved Reading Clubs, as they earn bonus points with every book purchased, to help support their classroom libraries. 

Editorial – To Educators: Why We Need Diverse Books

By Preeti Chhibber and Ann Marie Wong, Editorial Directors, Scholastic Reading Club

We grew up different. At least, that’s the books we read taught us. We didn’t see characters like us just living their lives. This impacted how we saw ourselves in the real world. Our stories felt like they weren’t worth telling.

Now, we know that’s not the case. All kids should know that their stories are important. We’ve partnered with the nonprofit organization We Need Diverse Books to create an offer that reflects the world as is it: filled with stories and experiences as diverse as you find in American classrooms today. These books are for every kid, so they can learn about themselves and learn about other people.

Today’s world is different with all kinds of kids, all kinds of families and all kinds of stories to tell. Different is awesome, different should be celebrated, and different makes the world a better, kinder, more interesting place.

LIST REVEAL:

Cultural Histories:

Zane and the Hurricane by Rodman Philbrick

The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Sonia Manzano

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

On This Long Journey: The Journal of Jesse Smoke: A Cherokee Boy, the Trail of Tears , 1838 by Joseph Bruchac

Diversity in Graphic Novels:

Drama by Raina Telegemeir

Ms. Marvel: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson (illustrated by Adrian Alphora)

El Deafo by Cece Bell

Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi

All Kinds of Families:

Confetti Girl by Diana Lopez

Kinda Like Brothers by Coe Booth

Best Friend Next Door by Carolyn Mackler

Real People, Diverse Stories:

Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson

Malala Yousafzai by Robin S. Doak

Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution by Ji-Li Jiang

 

AUTHOR QUOTES:

Tracey Baptiste:

“At age 15, I picked up Rosa Guy’s The Friends and read about a brown-skinned girl like me. I wanted to write for children so that they could have the same joy of finding themselves in a book.”

Kazu Kibuishi:

“Words and pictures…give books the ability to generate empathy across a wide spectrum of differences that include race, age and gender. Diversity in books can be a powerful tool for life.”

Soman Chainani:

“When you’re a kid, all you want to do is fit in. Seeing yourself and your differences reflected in literature helps you realize you have it all wrong: it’s better to stand out.”

Cece Bell:

“To see yourself represented in a book is like finding a true friend. The loneliness you feel because ‘no one understands’ gives way to hope – and even relief – as you read and discover that somebody out there really does understand.”

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