Diversity in children’s literature panel discussion hosted by Fogler Library

Issues of diversity in children’s literature will be the focus of an online panel discussion with authors, illustrators and editors hosted by Fogler Library at 4 p.m. on April 6. 

In recent years, three-quarters of published children’s books have featured white or nonhuman characters. The free public panel discussion, “Mirrors, Windows & Sliding Doors: A Panel Discussion on Diversity in Children’s Literature,” will address how this lack of diversity in books affects children and will discuss the importance of children seeing themselves in books, the significance of children seeing people different than themselves in books and the way reading helps children engage with different life experiences.

Panelists will answer questions from attendees following the discussion. 

The panel will be moderated by Krista Aronson, a professor of psychology at Bates College and founder of DiverseBookFinder.org. Panelists include young adult author Heidi Heilig, middle-grade author Lisa Bunker, painter and illustrator Daniel Minter, middle-grade and picture book author Rajani LaRocca and children’s book editor Julie Bliven. 

The event is organized by Alexandra Hinrichs, librarian at Leonard Middle School in Old Town, and Amber Gray, reference librarian at UMaine, and is supported in part by a grant from the Cultural Affairs/Distinguished Lecture Series Fund. 

Register online for the event. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Brad Beauregard, brad.beauregard@maine.edu.