Recently, the hashtag #WeNeedDiverseBooks went viral. Demanding more diversity in children's literature, this social media campaign has drawn attention to what we've known all along: literature has the power to instantiate universal human truths through stories told around the globe, across gender lines, and from varying religious perspectives. Here's a list drawing on the work of children's librarians Jeanne Lamb, Elizabeth Bird, and many of their colleagues, who are at the forefront of promoting diverse titles to readers in New York City and beyond, year after year, through NYPL's 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing.
Join us in delight, wonder, and love by checking out some of NYPL's favorite diverse children's books—because #WeNeedDiverseBooks.
By Louise Erdrich
Kidnapped by twin bullies and taken to a strange new land, a young Ojibwe boy draws upon the strength of his feathered namesake in this new volume of the Birchbark House series.
Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table
By Jacqueline Briggs Martin. Illustrated by Eric-Shabazz Larkin
No space? No problem. Poor soil? We'll find a solution. A former basketball star turns an empty lot into a garden—and doesn't stop there.
Ganesha's Sweet Tooth
By Sanjay Patel and Emily Haynes
Epic myth meets the Super Jumbo Jaw Breaker in this eye-popping, candy-colored recreation of a classic Hindu tale.
Grandma and the Great Gourd: A Bengali Folktale
By Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. Illustrated by Susy Pilgrim Waters
Leaving home to visit her daughter on the other side of the jungle, a cunning grandmother must use her wits to escape the jaws of hungry jungle beasts. Vivid illustrations bring this classic tale to life.
Jimmy the Greatest!
By Jairo Buitrago. Illustrated by Rafael Yockteng.
Jimmy may not have shoes, but he has books and boxing. And sometimes it's possible to make your dreams come true right in your own backyard.
Knock Knock: My Dad's Dream for Me
By Daniel Beaty. Illustrated by Bryan Collier
A moving portrait of a child in the wake of an absent parent, told against the backdrop of New York City.
Little White Duck: A Childhood in China
By Na Liu and Andres Vera Martinez.
These eight beautifully drawn glimpses of tradition and change in China are based on the author's own early memories growing up in the city of Wuhan.
By Odile Weulersse. Illustrated by Rébecca Dautremer
The villagers always find something new to scold Nasreddine and his father about each week on their way to market. How can one boy please everyone, yet still stay true to himself?
Niño Wrestles the World
By Yuyi Morales
Fwap! Slish! Bloop! Krunch! A young boy imagines himself wrestling and defeating out-of-this-world contenders, but when it comes to las hermanitas, he may have finally met his match.
Starry River of the Sky
By Grace Lin
Rendi, a sullen young runaway stranded in a remote Chinese village, discovers secrets, stories, and the location of the missing moon.