Beyond Identity to Soul

Are YOU_AND_ME_AND_HIMyou a reader who enjoys stories about people from all walks of life? Do you read so that you can taste, smell, hear and see a city you’ve never visited? Learn words from a language that isn’t your mother tongue? Are you curious about the hundred ways there are to kneel and kiss the ground in prayer? The thousand ways there are to express love? Or how someone who has lost the use of their legs gets on in life—learns to ski and scuba dive? Would you simply just like to find yourself inside the pages of a great tale? Or even take a step beyond self, gender, and identities to celebrate the souls whose stories fill the pages of a book?

We Need Diverse Books is a grassroots organization created to address the lack of diverse, non-majority narratives in children’s literature. We Need Diverse Books is committed to the ideal that embracing diversity will lead to acceptance, empathy, and ultimately equality.

You may know of #WeNeedDiverseBooks as the hashtag that went viral after BookCon released its whitewashed author lineup. But since then we’ve become so much more than just a hashtag. They’ve incorporated and become an organization dedicated to creating tangible change within the publishing industry, and have been thrilled at the support we’ve received from organizations across the world.

They recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities. Our mission is to promote or amplify diversification efforts and increase visibility of diverse books and authors, with a goal of empowering a wide range of readers in the process.

To accomplish their mission, they reach out to individuals and groups involved in many levels of children’s publishing—including (but not limited to) publishers, authors, distributors, booksellers, librarians, educators, parents, and students.

Please help them change the face of children’s literature by joining our fund raising campaign at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/we-need-diverse-books. Check out the many PERKS that authors and illustrators from around the world who support this campaign have contributed for donors such as swag bags, posters, and the chance to have a manuscript read by professional agents and editors. We are so pleased to announce that it’s only five days into our campaign and we’ve already raised half the money for our goal!

Visit their website to meet the founders of WNDB, to find suggestions for inclusive books and interviews with the authors who wrote them, as well as advice for booksellers, teachers and librarians on how to recommend these books to students, parents and buyers.

Thank you and we hope to see you over at indigogo.com or join the conversations at @diversebooks, #SupportWNDB, Facebook and tumbler.

About the book cover accompanying this post: I’m proud to announce the debut novel of my fellow Spokane author Kris Dinnison. Look for You and Me and Him in 2015 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt! More details at: http://www.hmhco.com/shop/books/You-and-Me-and-Him/9780544301122