Michigan Association of Media in Eduction

Writing Outside Your Lane

SCBWI-IN Diversity Day

My Home on SCBWI

What makes a book standout, be able to be shared universally for all kids?

What makes a book "diverse?" Mirrors and Windows

  • Books that emphasize different cultures, fiction and nonfiction.
  • Books where children can "see themselves," or "look in the mirror."
  • Books about the lives of others, where kids see others "out their window. 
  • Diverse books can be nonfiction, as in biographies and books about the civil rights movement.
  • In addition to nonfiction, more diverse books are needed that just show regular kids in everyday situations, like the Furry Family Series, published by Capstone.
  • Reading as a child opened my eyes to injustice in the world, beginning at age 8 after reading Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry...

In my opinion, what I have found as a reader, reviewer, and parent, across all ages and genres, books that stand out in any age group include:

  • Interactive pages
  • Characters we fall in love with
  • Animals (even in YA)
  • A story written NOT to the market but from the heart
  • Author self-promotion

Additional characteristics in successful titles for older readers, even YA:

  • All Things Animals
  • Fantasy
  • Folk Tales
  • Fairy Tales
  • Sci-Fi
  • Dystopian
  • Graphic Novels
  • Interactive Pages
  • Humor