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Multiculturalism in literature, Publishers and publishing, Young adult literature


This paper addresses this research question: which intersectional identities remain underrepresented in diverse US children’s picture books? The analysis is based on two datasets, one from Diverse BookFinder (collected December 2022–April 2023) and another from a survey of librarians (collected January 2023–April 2023). Each book in the Diverse BookFinder collection features a non-white character in the following racial/cultural categories: Asian/Pacific Islander, Biracial/Multiracial/Mixed Race, Black/African American, Brown Skinned/Unspecified Race, Latinx/Hispanic, Middle Eastern/Arab, Multi-Racial Cast of Characters, Native American/Indigenous, and White/Caucasian. These identities were cross tabulated with the following identities to measure intersectionality: Gender (Nonbinary, Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming, Intersex, and Unspecified); LGBTQIAP2S+; Disability; Economic Struggle; and STEM Careers or Content. By systematically applying each identity filter to each racial/cultural option and counting the number of books available with this intersectional representation, the largest intersectional representation gaps were identified from the 4,998 total books in Diverse BookFinder. Librarian survey responses (a sample of 101) also identified gaps.


© 2023 Alena Rivas

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Paper submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Writing: Book Publishing.

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