The Diverse Books for All Coalition is a national consortium of nonprofits and membership organizations working together to increase access to affordable, high quality children’s books by and about diverse races, cultures, identities, and abilities.

The Need

Equity Through Every Page


Our country is experiencing an unprecedented literacy crisis.

More than 2/3 of 4th graders were unable to read proficiently according to the 2022 National Assessment of Education Progress. Among children of color, more than 80% were not proficient1 .


Our kids are diverse. Their books aren't.

53% of US children today are of color2.  Yet, out of 3,450 children’s books published in the U.S. in 2022 and reviewed by the CCBC, 493 have a Black/African American primary or significant secondary character (fiction) or human subject (nonfiction), setting, or topic; 369 feature Asian; 238 feature Latine; 60 feature Indigenous peoples3.


Diverse books help foster a love of reading and a positive sense of self  

Research suggests that children begin to distinguish faces by race as early as 3-months old4. Reading stories with authentic portrayals of diverse characters from an early age help children develop a strong sense of self and empathy for others as well as a love of reading and critical early literacy skills.


Diverse books need to be more accessible.

These books are often available only in hardcover editions or in smaller print-runs which dramatically increases the price and limits access.


Teachers, early childhood providers, and parents need help.  

Teachers and parents are asking for resources to help access and use diverse content in their programs, classrooms, and communities.

1 The Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2022, November 4). Since pandemic’s start, 42 states see rise in fourth-graders below reading proficiency. https://www.aecf.org/blog/fourth-grade-reading-proficiency-2022
2 Racial and ethnic diversity in the United States: 2020 census. U.S. Census Bureau. (2022, August 18). Retrieved March 23, 2023, from https://www.census.gov/library/visualizations/interactive/racial-and-ethnic-diversity-in-the-united-states-2010-and-2020-census.html)
3 Independent analysis of data accessed on 07/18/2023 by Diverse Books for All Coalition using the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC), School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison Diversity Statistics Book Search (https://ccbc.education.wisc.edu/diversity-statistics-book-search/)
4 Kelly, D. J., Quinn, P. C., Slater, A. M., Lee, K., Gibson, A., Smith, M., ... & Pascalis, O. (2005). Three-month-olds, but not newborns, prefer own-race faces. Developmental Science, 8(6), F31-F36;

The Solution

Let’s change the plot

Our Definition of Diversity:

We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, Native, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.

(Definition created by We Need Diverse Books, www.diversebooks.org)
Our Goals:

the number of affordable, quality diverse children’s books for our members by 2027.


the market of nonprofits to leverage the power of aggregate buying, influencing the availability and pricing of diverse children’s books.


and elevate a national narrative to promote the importance of diverse books.


that parents, primary caregivers, early childhood providers, and educators have the resources and support they need to access and use diverse books in their programs, communities and classrooms.

How We Work

We’re writing this story together

The 50+ members of the Coalition represent all 50 states and provide books to millions of children across the country every year through a robust array of evidence-informed programming that builds literacy skills and engagement in reading. Together, we represent a significant customer for publishers, and we are leveraging our collective buying power to negotiate better prices and to bring new authors, languages, and stories to market.

Coalition members co-lead and participate in workgroups focused on launching actionable solutions in four critical areas, collective purchasing, narrative development, educator/early childhood professional supports, parent/family supports.

Join Us! We need more partners to increase our market power and voice.

Initial funding has been generously provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to First Book, which is spearheading the Coalition. The Coalition is co-owned and co-developed by its members.
A cute little smiling book character

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