There has been growing awareness of the need for more diverse books and publishings in recent years. Arguably, it’s one of the most pressing issues in children’s and young adult literature. But is it working? How diverse are your bookshelves? Join education professor and social justice advocate Leigh Ann Fish for a discussion of why diverse books matter, where to find them, and how they can be used to support children’s (and adult’s) deep thinking about diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, Native, people of color, gender, dis/ability, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities. This session is a must for librarians, teachers, administrators, and anyone who has or works with children.

Participants will explore:
How diverse books help young people view themselves and others;
Strategies to help evaluate and select high-quality diverse books;
Ways to support meaningful conversations about diverse books;
Resources to find books with diverse main characters written by diverse authors; and
Whether reading diverse books really can change the world in positive ways!



Original broadcast August 29, 2019 

Biography ~ Leigh Ann Fish
Leigh Ann Fish is an assistant professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Maine at Farmington. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration/Curriculum and Cultural Studies from Miami University and served as a National Board Certified elementary teacher and K-12 Gifted & Talented Coordinator in Ohio. Her areas of scholarship include social justice/critical pedagogy, girlhood/gender studies, Reggio-inspired practices, nature-based education, and young children with gifts and talent.