10 Reasons to Read Diversely + Poster Giveaway

When we talk about reading diversely, the conversation often focuses on representation and social justice: making sure that our books don’t reinforce inequality by stereotyping, marginalizing, or erasing groups of people. This is urgently important.

But what often gets left out of the conversation is how reading diversely can be a matter of pure enjoyment.  For those of us who love books because they help us see the world through someone else’s eyes, reading diversely can be the icing on the cake of a spectacular reading experience.

Here are our 10 favorite reasons to read diversely. What are yours?

  1. The world is diverse, so why shouldn’t our books be?
  2. It’s boring to only read about people just like you.
  3. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes.
  4. Diverse books inspire us to be the authors
    of our own stories
    .
  5. Walking in someone else’s shoes builds empathy.
  6. Diverse books make us feel seen and understood.
  7. Reading diversely can help turn nonreaders into readers.
  8. Understanding different cultures helps us succeed in a global world.
  9. Magic happens when we step outside of our comfort zones.
  10. Diverse books redefine who and what we can be.

10 reasons to read diversely

Click here for a larger image. Want a copy of our Reading Diversely poster? Comment below with your name and email address and we’ll send one out to you! (US addresses only).

Why do YOU think it’s important to read diversely?

 

272 thoughts on “10 Reasons to Read Diversely + Poster Giveaway”

    1. It is essential that educators, parents and communities provide children with diversity reading materials that reflects the make up of classrooms, cities, states, and yes, countries. It must be done for cultural understanding and improving communities. Idali Feliciano, amerisomos@gmail.com

  1. YES! My story is important; your story is important. When I read your story, I become familiar and comfortable with you. When you read my story, I am appreciative that you are interested and open to my difference.

  2. I work with a large, diverse student body. It only makes sense that my library collection should reflect my school population. This past year, I was fortunate to receive a $500 grant from our district-level PTA council to purchase diverse books. The books are flying off the shelves!

    1. Michelle, I am currently working as a coordinator for a literacy campaign that is creating programming around diverse books – I would love to hear about what books you chose! Do you have a list you could share?

  3. Thanks for providing these posters. I would like one for the classroom, school library, and town library if you have enough available. Very important message especially here in NH. where we have economic and other forms of diversity.

  4. Hopefully, publishers will read and reflect on the ten favorite reasons. Understanding each other better can lead to respect, and respect can lead to more harmonious relationships.

    I would appreciate receiving the poster. My email is Shantenikia@aol.com. Please contact if you require a mailing address. Thanks Much.

  5. This is fabulous. As a former teacher and reading specialist, I completely agree that we need be reading more diverse literature with young people. I would love a poster bmartinez@adl.org Thanks!

  6. Book’em serves many Metro Nashville Public Schools, which are extremely diverse in many different ways. We provide reading volunteers and new books for economically disadvantaged students. It is essential that we provide a great variety of books, including ones that showcase all types of diversity, so that every student can find books that appeal to them. We want students to see themselves and others in the books we have available. Having a diverse selection of books will motivate students to read more and thus develop stronger literacy skills. We would like a poster to put up in our book room where our reading volunteers can see it when they are picking out books to read aloud and to give to the students. Thanks! My email is ceo@bookem-kids.org.

  7. Reading diversely allows me to hear many different perspectives and voices. It’s a way to learn about the world with more than one view. I too would love a poster. My email is brucr @ onalskaschools.com

  8. As a teacher educator, I encourage my college students to read diversely so that they may experience stories as unique as the children they will teach!

  9. Reading diversely opens our minds to the reality of what our world actually is. It gives us an acceptance and value in ourselves and fosters appreciation of others. It’s the only way to read, and it starts at home! I would love to hang my first poster there!

  10. When I visit someone else’s mind and heart for a while — what a privilege! — I learn, feel, and understand more. I end up making more connections, both within myself and with other people, than I otherwise would.

    Yes, I would love a copy of your poster! My email address is amysleetai@gmail.com. Thanks!

  11. Thank you for this poster, and for all your ongoing leadership in the arena of diversity in children’s literature. Thank you also for making it available for download! I am sending it to our Print Shop so we can have one in each of our school libraries. If all your creative forces could also develop one that features boys or gender neutral characters, that would be delightful!

  12. Would love a copy of the poster! I read and write diversely to teach my boys, who are from Guatemala, that we should all make an effort to learn about people throughout the world and that even though we may look a little different, we really have a lot in common. email is janelle.stahl@gmail.com

  13. Reading diversely affirms my belief that we are more alike than unalike (that I got from Maya Angelou!!)

  14. Thank You for sharing how important it is for children to see “mirrors” in the pages of a book as well as “windows”,
    Please send the poster to: Nancy Hoekstra, 980 Piper Dr. E. New Brighton, MN 55112

  15. I love this poster! I promote reading diversely to all our classroom teachers and tell them to watch their students’ faces light up when they see themselves in the book being read. We all want to be validated and know that we matter! Thanks for the poster. :)

  16. These are all great reasons! I think #5 is my personal favorite! Beautiful
    Posters! esdefrance77 at gmail

  17. I work in a diverse school, but I grew up somewhere that wasn’t as diverse. Books opened my ears to the voices of people outside my own community, my own time and place. I got to have a conversation with people who weren’t like my classmates or family, which made me curious about the world and everyone in it. They keep doing that for me!

  18. My students need to see themselves centered in their curriculum. They also need to be exposed to and challenged to learn about ALL of the communities they share this world with. Thanks for providing teachers with a visual that shows our students how much we value and prioritize reading diversely. I would love this poster for my classroom — Much gratitude. My email is sarahgold87@gmail.com

  19. I am the language support teacher at my campus We have bilingual students and ESL students from many different countries. Students feel validated and important when they are reading or being read to with books from there culture. Also when you expose them to other diverse books they can see the similarities and differences in cultures and learn from them. Diversity is key in making this world a better place to live and who better to start with but with kids.

  20. Reading diversely makes us fear differences less and make connections within ourselves and with others. Great poster! Thank you!

  21. Diverse books make me proud to be a teacher. They reflect my life and the lives of my students back to me and open windows to new worlds.

  22. I would love to gift this poster to the new school that just opened in our diverse neighborhood.

  23. As an teacher and an author, I know how children react when the child in a book looks like, acts like and lives like they do. It builds a bridge to other books and to a love of reading .

  24. All kids deserve to see their race, culture, sexual identity, etc represented in wonderful books… And reading diversely allow us all to grow in our empathy and appreciation of this vast world we live in! Would love to share this beautiful poster in my library. Kim Dare kjdare1@fcps.edu

  25. It is troubling that this is not the no-brainer it should be for schools and families. Love this, and would be honored to have a poster up in my school! My email is cmingus@sabotatstonypoint.org, and please contact me if you need my mailing address. Keep up the fabulous work.

  26. I am Jennifer Dines, and my e-mail is jdines@bostonpublicschools.org.
    I think it’s important to read diversely because reading builds empathy for other people, especially those who we perceive as being “other” than ourselves and who we may initially avoid, resist, or close off. Two books that have recently helped me to “walk in another’s shoes” are The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez and The Corner by David Simon. Another favorite of mine is An Island Like You by Judith Ortiz-Cofer.
    As an educator and parent, I appreciate the message on this poster because I know the importance for children to see themselves and their lives reflected in books in order to establish their connectedness with the printed word.

  27. This is a great list! Will send this to the Cincinnati Public Library. This poster would be great for there.

    We all need to read diversely because our world is diverse and through exposing young children to other peoples lives, other world views, experiences and thoughts, we prepare them for a rich life. Books need to be diverse because the Book Industry has a responsibility to ALL children to get those stories out. More authors of color and more diverse books are critically needed for children of color to see themselves in fantastical stories (not just historical) and for non children of color to be exposed to something new.

    I’d love a poster please! Name is Alia Jones and email is arj24@cornell.edu :)

  28. I always try to include diverse books in my literary life! Makes me a more informed & compassionate!

  29. Hi Lee & Low! I love this poster—the illustration and the list of 10 reasons to read diversely. Thank you for the generous offer to receive a poster.

    Diverse literature is important to me because we all need mirrors and windows!

  30. Always looking for empowering images to display in the inner-city elementary school library where I volunteer. It’s critically important for our kids to be SEEN (#6!). Thanks! tricia@harveynet.net

  31. Building empathy through reading diverse books is so essential for students of all races, religions, sexual identities, socioeconomic backgrounds, etc.

  32. Yes, as an African American author, diversity is sorely needed in our kid’s books because they need to read about people they can identify with. Our world is diverse!

    Evelyn D.Hall aka Cagedbird

  33. Teaching through multicultural and social justice literature in the classroom can broaden perspectives.

  34. Reading diversely reminds us that we are not alone in this world, but that we share this world with people of many backgrounds and beliefs.

  35. Reading is like traveling- while it is comforting to go back to a favorite place from time to time, visiting different places, experiencing different ways to forge a living, as well as meeting + interacting with people (young +old) with different perspectives on the human condition enrich + amplify your own views on life. And, thank for offering to share this beautiful poster; we will be raffling it at a children’s reading activity we’re planning for this Fall.

  36. Reading diverse books fills in the gaps in our understanding of the world — and makes the world a much more interesting place. (Thank you for the poster! It’s going up right near my bookshelf for the new school year)

  37. I would love one of these posters for my school library. (latokyo@live.jp – but don’t worry, I have a U.S. mailing address!)

  38. Reading diverse texts provides inclusiveness for my students of color. When they hear stories that feature characters that look and talk like themselves, they feel like their voices and experiences are heard. Also, they are inspired to write stories that feature characters they recognize in their lives. emily.reyes@lausd.net

  39. I teach sixth graders and realized a few years ago that I didn’t have enough books that reflected the diversity of the world we live in. Now, I watch my students actively seeking to read books about people like themselves, but also about people and lives that are different. I love the way children’s lit has exploded with variety, including more books thatreflectbourcdiversity.

  40. I love this poster and would love to share it with my students. Reading diverse literature makes readers more empathetic and more understanding of others!

  41. This is a beautiful poster! My students will love learning about how reading books with diverse characters can help them grow as individuals and as members of our diverse community. What a great conversation-starter with colleagues and families!
    Amy Bahena-Ettner, Asoymaestra143@aol.com

  42. I work with college students who are literacy volunteers and they notice increased engagement when they have diverse books to read with kids. Would love a poster for our little library. Sara – ssaylor@umich.edu

  43. Wonderful comments and reasons. My first thought is that everyone should be able to see themselves in books.

  44. Books give one the opportunity to view worlds not lived. Thank you for making these books available.

  45. I believe that our job is to teach children what it is to be human by teaching diversity. By reading to my children I encourage knowledge, understanding, compassion and growth. To awaken the desire to learn through books and conversion is a step to unifying humanity.

  46. So our whole school is working on the large theme of Diversity. The poster is cool and I’d like one, but the site – which was unknown to me previously – will be a wonderful source for the teachers in our school. Thanks.

  47. We need diverse books because we have many diverse students who want to read. People, especially young adults and students, want to see themselves reflected in books that they read. They will know that they are not alone – that there are others like them.

  48. The school where I teach seeks to be inclusive, innovative, and is committed to honoring and developing each person’s gifts. As part of that I strive to build a diverse classroom library and also try to display posters representing many types of diversity to help all of my students feel valued, capable, and inspired. Your Read Diversely poster would be a fabulous addition to my 3rd/4th grade classroom. Thank you!

  49. It’s important to read diversely to confront hegemony and subvert systemic racism from the root. It’s important to read diversely because issues of power are enacted in schools, and teachers have a responsibility to create equitable and humane learners with the knowledge to change the world.

  50. Diversity is our reality and reading diversely helps us to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and gain new perspectives.

  51. For all my students who have never read a book about someone who looks like them. And for those who have have seen themselves but not seen others. To recognize someone is the beginning of understanding.

  52. It’s important for students to see themselves and their worlds in the books they read as well as to learn about people different from themselves. Would love the poster…thank you!

  53. Reading about all kinds of people, places and ethnicities enriches myself and all students!
    Thank you.

  54. When we read diversely, we challenge ourselves. We spark deeper thinking and a better understanding of the world around us and of ourselves.

  55. It’s important to read diversely, because it makes you a better, more interesting and compassionate person if you know about experiences other than your own. This poster would be wonderful in our school library!

  56. I can’t imagine sitting in a classroom my entire life never seeing people who look like me in books that reflect my lived experiences. Segregation is alive when classroom libraries only have texts featuring persons of color in the genre of sports/celebrity genre or situated in extraordinary times in history like slavery and civil rights movement. How can my white daughters not also have a profoundly skewed sense of themselves, in the order of things, when they experience these same libraries? When we Diversify classroom libraries, we level a playing field. Would love a poster…

  57. Reading diversely turns the strange and exotic into the beautiful and familiar, laying a fertile ground for rewarding friendships

  58. Books are like windows to worlds known and unknown or unfamiliar. Reading diverse books to children help them to better understand their own world and the greater world around us all. Care, compassion, understanding are all things we can learn from reading diverse books; without really trying. It’s wonderful that diverse books are available to children. They can travel the world and meet so many people, try different foods, see different family structures, religious practice, customs. My kids…our kids are better for it.

  59. I love this poster!

    Diversity is important because we should be giving children accurate representations of themselves and empower them to seek happiness, comfort, and pride in their identities!

    Would love one if they’re still available for a giveaway.

    jenna.manglallan@gmail.com

  60. I teach in a Children’s Hospital and work with a lot of diversity. This poster would fit nicely on one of my bulletin boards

  61. Diversity adds the flavor and the spice to life. Diversity enlightens us and leads us to innovation. Please send me one of those awesome posters!

  62. My librarian assistant, a young black woman, said to me one day, “there are few people like me in books.” She’s right and that made me step up even more my effort to find books featuring diverse people/children.

  63. I love this!!! I just retweeted it! We need more books of colorful faces! Please send us some posters to our school and I’ll give them to my staff.

  64. My students are from all over the world. I read to them about their home countries and places they’ve never been.

  65. “Visibility”, “Voice”, and “Validation” – powerful and empowering reasons to read diversely! Yes – I would like a poster. Thanks.

  66. Its important to read diverse books because classrooms are diverse! our students need to make connections with characters… they neen to see themselves in order to be engaged! i would love a poster for my room!!!!

  67. Wonderful poster! I would love a copy of it if possible. As the counselor, I think one of my most important roles is to encourage student and staff to respect diversity – particularly at a school as diverse as ours is. mariclaire.hicks@rss.k12.nc.us

  68. A great reminder for the students, teachers and parents in our school. Looking forward to hanging this!

  69. Sharing the counter-narrative can help break down stereotypes which, in turn, can break down systemic racism in our systems.

  70. I read diversely because it helps me put myself into my students’ shoes, understand and empathize with them, and recommend good books to them. Thank you!

  71. Making the purchase of diverse books a priority in our library this year. Please send us a copy!

  72. Mirrors, Windows and Sliding Glass Doors! We at the Center for Teaching through Children’s Books at National Louis University would be proud to display your beautiful poster, thank you!

  73. Literature can and should be both a window and a mirror. Thanks for all of your great work. I’d love a poster, too!

  74. Thanks for the support everyone! We were blown away by the response! Unfortunately we’re out of posters, so we won’t be able to give away anymore.

    Stay tuned for more giveaways to come! :)

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