UW-Madison School of Education - In the Media

School of Education "In the Media"

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NPR highlights annual CCBC report that examines diversity in children's books

February 24, 2017
A recent report from NPR.org uses the expertise of the School of Education's Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) for an article about how authors and illustrators of color only accounted for 22 percent of books published in 2016.

The CCBC has a long-running tradition of documenting books it receives that are by or about people of color, or from First/Native Nations.

KT Horning
The CCBC started tracking these numbers in 1985, documenting them in their annual best books listing, “CCBC Choices” publication.

NPR explains how the CCBC started keeping track of these statistics after requests from teachers who had mostly students of color but couldn't find books to reflect their experiences.

"And in some cases, they were looking for books that didn't exist," CCBC Director Kathleen Horning tells NPR.

Horning adds that the reluctance to tell stories about people of color is something that you see across multiple fields, from television to the Academy Awards to publishing.

"There's no problem with publishing five or six books in a season about bunnies," Horning tells NPR. "But if we're talking about books about black boys?"

The CCBC is a unique and vital gathering place for books, ideas and expertise in the field of children's and young adult literature. The CCBC is a non-circulating examination, study and research library for Wisconsin school and public librarians, teachers, early childhood care providers, university students and others interested in children's and young adult literature.

‚ÄčThe center maintains a web page devoted to multicultural literature, including lists of recommended titles by age group.

To learn more, check out the entire NPR report by Leah Donnella on this web page.

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