We Need Diverse Books
Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors
by Rudine Sims Bishop
"Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created or recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience."
“The children’s book world is getting far too literal about what ‘needs’ to be represented,” wrote Rosoff. “You don’t read Crime and Punishment to find out about Russian criminals. Or Alice in Wonderland to know about rabbits. Good literature expands your mind. It doesn’t have the ‘job’ of being a mirror.
The British novelist insisted she was not saying that diversity is not necessary, instead that 'books have one job and one job only, and that is to reflect the deepest thoughts of the writer'."
F.A. Day Middle School Library