Posted on 03/22/2019 at 04:15 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

A new study found a significant increase in the number of U.S. children’s books that include diverse characters.

The Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found 401 of 3,000 books included African or African-American characters in 2018, up from 172 in 2008.

Similarly, 308 of the sampled books included Asian Americans (up from 98) and 247 had Latinx characters (up from 79).

The CCBC also noted a rise in the diversity among the authors featured in the sample.

Diversity groups celebrated the findings, though the CCBC’s director sounded a slightly more cautious note.

“It’s hard to say just by looking at one year that we’re seeing real change,” Kathleen Horning said.

“It can feel like we’re making progress. And then it’s as if publishers say, ‘OK, we’ve done that. Let’s move on to the next thing.’ We’ll have to see where we are in five or ten years.”

The Guardian provides highlights of the children’s book diversity study, and the CCBC provides more insight into its methodology as well as more complete historical data.

Categories: Today in Books

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