Guest blog post by Lizette Serrano, Executive Director of Educational Marketing
If you find yourself reading this post, you are likely already convinced of the power of a good story. You are perhaps an educator or a librarian, a bookseller, parent, or a mentor, and at any rate you are a lover of literature and an advocate for stories. We at Scholastic feel it is important to bring a focus and an exploration of the power of story, and in particular the power of diverse stories.
Scholastic has long embraced the power of story with a simple mission to encourage the intellectual and personal growth of all children beginning with literacy. We know that stories empower, stories transport us to new worlds and introduce us to new characters, but perhaps most important of all, stories have the power to connect us.
Nowhere is this more vital or more necessary than our commitment to publish diverse books for all readers. In publishing books which represent a diversity of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical and mental abilities, religion, and culture we empower children to see themselves as the hero of a story – or of equal importance – to see the world through a perspective that is different to their own. And given the value of such stories, it is our duty to make these books easy to find and easy to share with young readers.
Last year, we launched the Power of Story initiative with the goal of helping readers of all ages discover diverse books. This began with a Power of Story catalog, a selection of highlights from our list, which collects upcoming and classic tiles, spanning the breadth of our publishing history, categorized by race and ethnicity, LGBTQIA+, neurodiversity and neurodivergence, and so much more. This catalog can be downloaded for free at Scholastic.com/PowerofStory and will be updated with new titles annually. Our hope is that categorizing and curating these titles will help you to find a book for every topic and every reader.
To expand our outreach, we have and will continue to host a number of Power of Story programs and events at national conventions including NCTE, ALA, TLA and others. Our next program will take place during BookExpo (May 29-31) featuring authors Sharon Robinson (Children of the Dream), Tim Tingle (Doc and the Detective), Da Chen (Girl Under a Red Moon) and Daniel José Older (Dactyl Hill Squad)
Check back here over the next few months for an ongoing series of guest articles and videos from authors, including Lamar Giles, Andrea Davis Pinkney, Aida Salazar, Tonya Bolden, and many more. These authors will explore what the power of story means to them. Our hope is that these articles will both help you discover new books, as well as provide insight into how these writers create their stories and how their stories created them. Because whether the next great story you read is the history of African Americans in the Reconstruction era or the epic story of an Indian princess fighting to save the multiverse, a DJ murder mystery, or a poem on the life and death of Martin Luther King, Jr., and everything in between, the next great story is out there waiting for you.