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People of Color Underrepresented in Children's Books

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Ethnic diversity is on the rise in the U.S. So why are children’s books still so white? Only about 6 percent of kids’ books published in 2013 feature characters that are African-American, Latino, Asian or Native American. We take up the discussion with authors, illustrators and librarians. Does the ethnicity of characters in children’s books matter to you?

Guests' Recommendations for Books Featuring People of Color

Nina Lindsay's Picks:

Rain by Linda Ashman, with illustrations by Christian Robinson

Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales

The Thing About Luck Cynthia Kadohata


Kathleen Horning, director of the Cooperative Children's Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Education

Mitali Perkins, author of "Rickshaw Girl," "Monsoon Summer" and "The Not-So-Star-Spangled Life of Sunita Sen"

LeUyen Pham, illustrator of children's books including "Grace for President," "Freckleface Strawberry" and "Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters"

Nina Lindsay, supervising librarian for children's services at the Oakland Public Library, former judge on the Newbery Award selection committee

Christopher Myers, illustrator of children's books including "Harlem" and "Black Cat"


One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Honey I Love by Eloise Greenfield

Chickadee by  Louise Erdrich

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin


Mitali Perkin's Picks:

More, More, More, Said the Baby: Three Love Stories by Vera B. Williams (picture book)

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis (middle grades)

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (Young Adult)


LeUyen Pham's List:

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, illustrated by Ellen Forney

Peter's Chair by Ezra Jack Keats

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