Why Diversity In Children’s Books Is Important, A Framework For Cultivating A Multicultural Library And A List Of Books Reviewed

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Stella Brown (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/
Damiana Pyles

Abstract: This project was inspired by the recent book bannings and censorship in education bills that have been popping up across the country. I had only heard of a few, but this was not an isolated instance. 137 of these bills have been introduced across 35 states. I knew these bills were bad news, but wanted to look into the research and theory that proves that. Unfortunately, these bills are still a recent phenomenon so there is not much research to be found. I decided the best place to begin was to look at the importance of a multicultural library. Multicultural libraries are important for several reasons. They improve student engagement in reading, improve empathy in students, and tell students they matter. I also wanted to look into how to build a multicultural library and found a set of criteria for evaluating books from the Essentials of Children’s Literature, Ninth Edition textbook, written by Short, K., Lynch-Brown, C., & Tomlinson, C. These criteria are as follows: 1. Authenticity of cultural beliefs author/illustrator insider’s perspective?; 2. Accuracy of cultural details (such as food, clothing, homes, speech patterns, etc.); 3. Integration of culturally authentic language; 4. Power relationships between characters; 5. Perspectives and audience; 6. Balance between historic and contemporary views of groups; 7. Adequate representation of any group within a collection of books. I’ve also evaluated some books for a multicultural library, focusing on African-American literature to allow a deep dive. These books include An American Story and The Undefeated, both by Kwame Alexander, Black Girl Magic, by Mahogany Brown, I Am Every Good Thing, by Derrick Barnes, Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me, written by Daniel Beaty, Hair Love, by Matthew A. Cherry, and Mae Among The Stars, by Roda Ahmed.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Brown, S. (2024). Why Diversity In Children’s Books Is Important, A Framework For Cultivating A Multicultural Library And A List Of Books Reviewed. Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2024
multicultural library, libraries, censorship, banned books

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