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Multicultural and Diverse Children's Literature

Identifying quality children's literature can be a time consuming task. Teachers want to be sure that the literature they use offers positive role models for all children.

Websites about Children's Literature

  • A World of Difference Recommended Multicultural and Anti-bias Books for Children
    From the Anti-Defamation League, expandable categories of book listings, with grade level indicators. The list is also searchable. Each book listed has a brief summary paragraph.

  • Children's and Young Adult Literature Resources
    Children's author Cynthia Leitich Smith has collected a list of resources on various topics of interest, including diversity in books for young people.

  • A Cooperative Children's Book Center
    The Cooperative is located at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It provides ongoing selection of outstanding children's literature and groups selected titles by theme. See the Books for Children and Young Adults section where various thematic bibliographies are available.

  • A Critical Bibliography on North American Indians, for K-12
    This bibliography, compiled by the Anthropology Outreach Office of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, is a response to teachers' concerns about choosing culturally sensitive and historically accurate books for children about American Indians and Alaska Natives. It is dated 2001 and does not appear to be an ongoing project.

  • Database of Award-winning Children's Literature
    Librarian Lisa Bartle utilizes listings of major children's book award recipients to create a database of books that can be searched by reader age, setting, genre, period, keyword, award received and much more.

  • Diversity Calendar
    Sponsored by the University of Kansas, this is not a literature bibliography, but a great jumping off place for information about Diverse Cultures. The NEA (National Education Assoc.) also has a calendar.

  • Global SchoolNet
    A virtual meeting place where educators, students, parents and community members can collaborate, interact, develop, publish and discover learning resources. Emphasis is on active participation in a variety of educational projects by students and teachers from around the world.

  • Google LitTrips
    Billing itself as "A Different Way to Read Great Literature!" this site uses Google Earth to bring readers into the text. Divided into sections by school level that range from kindergarten to higher ed. Does require downloading software to use.

  • Children In the Picture
    Sponsored by the British agency Scope, the site works to raise awareness and encourage inclusion of disabilities in children's books. Includes lists of books and recommended best practices.

  • International Children's Digital Library
    The ICDL is a joint effort by the University of Maryland's Human-Computer Interaction Lab and The Internet Archive, to create an extensive library of international children's literature and make it available worldwide. The site makes hundreds of children's books freely available on the Web,-- fully illustrated, and in their original languages.

  • New York Public Library Reading and Books
    This site offers various lists of interest for children's literature. See especially the lists of recommended books, some thematic others by date, includes a list of 100 picture books.

  • Notable Books for a Global Society
    The Children's Literature and Reading Special Interest Group of the International Reading Association selects an annual list of books. Their journal The Dragon Lode (some issues available online) publishes the list of Notable Books for a Global Society. Included in the article are annotations for each winning book, teaching ideas for each title, and related books for each of the 25 selections. See also February issues of The Reading Teacher which also often features the list.

  • Notes from the Windowsill: An Independent, Electronic Journal of Book Reviews
    Offering independent reviews of children's books; scroll down for eclectic section of lists of books about different cultures and lifestyles.

  • Social Justice Resources Center
    Maintained by Virginia Tech, the Social Justice Resources Center aims to promote social equality by transforming educational practices and curricula. The site offers a searchable database to provide print, media, and web-based resources relevant to developing "diversity-inclusive" curricula and pedagogy for use by students, faculty, and educators. "Diversity-inclusive" is a commitment to developing anti-racist, anti-sexist, and anti-homophobic curricula and pedagogies appropriate to K-12 teaching, as well as for higher education.

  • Teaching Tolerance
    Teaching Tolerance is dedicated to reducing prejudice, improving intergroup relations and supporting equitable school experiences for our nation's children. They advocate tolerance as an ethical stance. The site provides free educational materials to teachers and other school practitioners in the U.S. and abroad. Founded by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

  • Through The Looking Glass Children's Book Review
    A one woman effort by Marya Jansen-Gruber to help parents, friends, teachers, and librarians choose good and meaningful books for children. She also focuses on promoting books published by small and independent publishing houses or new and upcoming authors.

  • Children's Books About Disabilities.
    This listing is divided by level and sponsored by TeacherVision, a web site from Family Education Network, that is itself from Pearson Publications. Despite Pearson's sponsorship, the suggested books are not all or even largely Pearson publications.

  • Contemporary Immigrant Experiences in Children's Books
    A bibliography of suggested titles dated June 2006 and posted by the Children's Committee of the Ethnic & Multicultural Information Exchange, a part of the American Library Association.

  • Gender Equality Bookstore
    This list was compiled by Jyotsna Sreenivasan for It offers two lists of recommended books "Brave Girls and Strong Women and Helping Boys Break out of Gender Stereotypes."

  • Oyate
    Oyate is a Native organization working to see that Native American lives and histories are portrayed honestly, so that "all people will know our stories belong to us." This is a commercial site that also offers valuable information. See their catalog section for recommended books for sale, use the site search box to find a listing of "Books to avoid."

  • Catalogs for Curriculum/Library Materials
    Sponsored by Washburn University's Curriculum Resource Center this site offers links to many different types of resources in children's literature.
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