October is Global Diversity Awareness Month!
This is a great time to reflect on the importance of embracing inclusivity and representation, and to remember our responsibility to foster environments where diversity can thrive. At Scholastic, we know how important it is that readers see themselves reflected in the books they pick up — and we are proud to publish books that give all children the chance to see themselves as heroes.
Here are some resources to help foster conversations around diversity and inclusion in your home or classroom:
The Power of Story Catalog: a wonderful guide to help teachers and librarians ensure that their shelves are lined with books that represent diversity of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, and physical and mental abilities.
Scholastic Reads podcast episodes:
- I Exist: Why Representation in Children’s Books Matters
- Reading with Pride: The Importance of LGBTQ+ Representation in Children's Books
- Journeys to America: Sharing Stories of Survival and Hope
Classroom resources from Scholastic Teachers:
- Lesson plans and activities about multiculturalism and diversity (all grades): A collection of tips from experts, lesson plan ideas, and ready-to-go activities that students of all backgrounds can connect with.
- Diverse books in the classroom (Grades 3-12): A list of books to include in the school library for students to learn about various cultures and identities.
- Creating an inclusive classroom (Grades Pre-K-8): Tips on creating an inclusive environment for students of all abilities.
Recent news articles written by kids for kids from the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps:
- The Secret is Out!: Kid Reporter Sunaya DasGupta interviews author Sayantani DasGupta about the need for fictional heroes of different backgrounds.
- A Book Club for Boys: Kid Reporter Esther Appelstein reports on a book club started for African-American boys.
- Seeing Yourself in Picture Books: Author and illustrator Vanessa Brantley-Newton is interviewed by Kid Reporter Maxwell Suprenant on how every child needs to see themselves in books.
If your school participates in Scholastic Book Clubs, be on the lookout for their partnership with We Need Diverse Books™ to feature diverse characters and storylines—take a look at their latest flyer.
Here is a great list of book recommendations by our librarian Deimosa Webber-Bey, found on Scholastic Parents:
In addition, here are some of the books I’ll be checking out to celebrate the month!
The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta
Kiranmala is swept off from her suburban life in New Jersey to a magical dimension of demons and flying pakkhiraj horses, with her Bengali childhood stories coming to life. (I’m particularly excited to read this one, because I grew up hearing the same folktales!)
Front Desk by Kelly Yang
Mia Tang runs a motel with her parents, living with the constant threat of eviction from their cruel boss.
Becoming Maria by Sonia Manzano
Sesame Street’s “Maria,” Sonia Manzano, writes about her childhood in the Bronx and her path to becoming an actress.
We’ve Got the Whole World in Our Hands by Rafael Lopez
A rhythmic invitation to celebrate unity and diverse friendships all around the world.