LIS 7210 Library Materials for Children

Here’s the reading list for my LIS 7210 Library Materials for Children course for 2019 Fall.

Required Textbooks

  1. Bang, Molly. (2000). Picture This! How Pictures Work. Chronicle Books.
  2. Horning, Kathleen T. (2010). From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children’s Books. HarperCollins.

Required Youth Literature

  1. Bell, CeCe. El Deafo
  2. Callender, Kacen (published as Kheryn Callander). Hurricane Child
  3. Diaz, Alexandra. The Only Road
  4. Edwards, Sue Bradford and Duchess Harris. Black Lives Matter (Special Reports)
  5. Elliott, Zetta. Dragons in a Bag
  6. Engle, Margarita. Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln
  7. Erdrich, Louise. The Birchbark House
  8. Griffin, Molly Beth. Illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell. Rhoda’s Rock Hunt
  9. Hiranandani, Veera. The Night Diary
  10. Johnson, Crockett. Harold and the Purple Crayon
  11. Jung, Mike. Unidentified Suburban Object
  12. Khan, Hena. Illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel. Under My Hijab
  13. L’Engle, Madeleine. A Wrinkle in Time
  14. Lê, Minh. Illustrated by Dan Santat. Drawn Together
  15. Lin, Grace. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
  16. Lukoff, Kyle. Illustrated by Kaylani Juanita. When Aidan Became a Brother
  17. Medina, Meg. Merci Suárez Changes Gears
  18. Mendoza, Jean and Debbie Reese (adapted by). Written by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People (ReVisioning American History for Young People)
  19. Morales, Yuyi. Dreamers
  20. Rowling, J.K. Illustrated by Mary Granpré. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  21. Older, Daniel Jose. Dactyl Hill Squad
  22. Phi, Bao. Illustrated by Thi Bui. A Different Pond
  23. Sheinkin, Steve. Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon
  24. Smith, Cynthia Leitich. Illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu. Jingle Dancer
  25. Soontornvat, Christina. Diary of an Ice Princess: Snow Place Like Home
  26. Stelson, Caren B. Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story
  27. Steptoe, Javaka. Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat
  28. Takei, George. They Called Us the Enemy
  29. Tan, Susan. Illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte. Cilla Lee-Jenkins, Future Author Extraordinaire
  30. Yang, Kao Kalia. A Map Into the World
  31. Yang, Gene Luen and Mike Holmes. Secret Coders book 1

Note: I’m always learning. On July 18, 2019, I removed It’s Perfectly Normal from this required reading list due to concerns mentioned on the Books for Littles page. We will talk about this in terms of critically evaluating information resources for young people.

Picture This: Diversity in Children’s Books 2018 Infographic

In 2016, we published the infographicDiversity in Children’s Books 2015.” It went viral and was discussed on Twitter, in Facebook groups, published in books and journals, and presented at countless conferences.

Today we present to you an updated infographic, “Diversity in Children’s Books 2018.

DiversityInChildrensBooks2018_f_8.5x11Link to JPG & PDF files: Diversity in Children’s Books 2018 – Dropbox Folder
Full citation: Huyck, David and Sarah Park Dahlen. (2019 June 19). Diversity in Children’s Books 2018. blog. Created in consultation with Edith Campbell, Molly Beth Griffin, K. T. Horning, Debbie Reese, Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, and Madeline Tyner, with statistics compiled by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison: Retrieved from

Released for use under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0 license). You are free to use this infographic in any of your work, including presentations and published work, so long as you provide the full citation noted above.

As with the 2015 infographic, we relied on the multicultural publishing statistics compiled by the librarians at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) that were “about” particular populations: American Indian/First Nation, Latinx, African/African American, and Asian Pacific Islander/Asian Pacific American.

One important distinction between the 2015 and 2018 infographics is that we made a deliberate decision to crack a section of the children’s mirrors (Rudine Sims Bishop, “Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors,” 1990) to indicate what Debbie Reese calls “funhouse mirrors” and Ebony Elizabeth Thomas calls “distorted funhouse mirrors of the self.” Children’s literature continues to misrepresent underrepresented communities, and we wanted this infographic to show not just the low quantity of existing literature, but also the inaccuracy and uneven quality of some of those books.

Similar to the 2015 infographic, David created this with a Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license so that anyone working toward equity in children’s literature publishing may freely use it. We hope that this infographic, along with Lee & Low’s Diversity Gap blog posts, Emily Midkiff’s CCBC data graphs, Debbie Reese’s blog American Indians in Children’s LiteratureEdith Campbell and Zetta Elliott’s blogs, Maya Christina Gonzalez’ “Children’s Books as a Radical Act” blog posts, Malinda Lo’s LGTBQ blog posts, We Need Diverse BooksReading While WhiteResearch on Diversity in Youth Literature, and other diversity initiatives, can help push forward important conversations and lead to real change in children’s literature publishing. We encourage you to study these and other sources to better understand the context in which these numbers exist.

Thank you.

Sarah Park Dahlen, Associate Professor, MLIS Program at St. Catherine University

David Huyck, Illustrator

With special thanks to Edith Campbell, Molly Beth Griffin, K.T. Horning, Debbie Reese, Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, and Madeline Tyner.

Note: When I published this blog post in June, I failed to cite Rudine Sims Bishop’s seminal article “Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors,” which is clearly the basis for the mirror metaphor in both the 2018 and the 2015 infographics. We’ve spoken about Sims Bishop in interviews, etc., and cited her on the infographic postcard, but realized we didn’t cite her here. In keeping with #CiteWomen and #CiteBlackWomen, I have added her name in the blog post above. I also added a link to Emily Midkiff’s very useful graphs in the last paragraph. With apologies for these omissions, Sarah (updated on 2019 Oct 23)

LIS 7190 Social Justice and Children’s/YA Literature

Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Here’s the reading list for my LIS 7190 Social Justice and Children’s/YA Literature course for 2019 Summer.

  1. Alexander, Kwame. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson. The Undefeated
  2. Anderson, Laurie Halse. Shout
  3. Burton, Virginia Lee. The Little House
  4. Coates, Ta-Nehisi. Between the World and Me
  5. Coulson, Art. Illustrated by Nick Hardcastle. Unstoppable: How Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team Defeated Army
  6. DuBois, W.E.B, and Augustus Granville Dill, and Jessie Redmon Fauset (eds). The Brownies Book
  7. Elliott, Zetta. Benny Doesn’t Like to be Hugged
  8. Engle, Margarita. The Lightning Dreamer
  9. Gibney, Shannon. See No Color
  10. Gino, Alex. You Don’t Know Everything, Jilly P!
  11. Hudson, Wade and Cheryl Willis Hudson (Eds). We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices
  12. Jackson, Tiffany. Monday’s Not Coming
  13. Kahn-Cullors, Patrisse and asha bandele. When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir
  14. Khorram, Adib. Darius the Great is Not Okay
  15. Krosoczka, Jarrett J. Hey Kiddo
  16. Lerner, Sarah (ed). Parkland Speaks: Survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas Share Their Stories
  17. Levine, Karen. Hana’s Suitcase: A True Story
  18. Lewis, John and Andrew Aydin. Illustrated by Nate Powell. March trilogy
  19. Lowry, Lois. Number the Stars
  20. Miyazaki, Hayao (director). Spirited Away (film)
  21. Okorafor, Nnedi. Akata Witch
  22. Pan, Emily X. R. The Astonishing Color of After
  23. Prager, Sarah (ed). Queer, There, and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World
  24. Ryan, Pam Muñoz. Esperanza Rising
  25. Seki, Sunny. Yuko-Chan and the Daruma Doll: The Adventures of a Blind Japanese Girl Who Saves Her Village
  26. Smith, Charles R Jr. Illustrated by Floyd Cooper. Brick by Brick
  27. Smith, Cynthia Leitich. Hearts Unbroken
  28. Sugiura, Misa. It’s Not Like It’s a Secret
  29. Tatum, Dr. Beverly Daniel. Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together? (20th anniversary edition)
  30. Thompkins-Bigelow, Jamilah. Illustrated by Ebony Glenn. Mommy’s Khimar
  31. Vargas, Jose Antonio. Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen
  32. Watson, Renee. Piecing Me Together
  33. Yogi, Stan and Laura Atkins. Illustrated by Yutaka Houlette. Fred Korematsu Speaks Up

LIS 7220 / EDUC 3450/7450 Library Materials for Young Adults

Here’s the reading list for my LIS 7220/EDUC 3450/EDUC 7450 Library Materials for Young Adults course for 2018 Spring.

  1. Anderson, M.T. Feed
  2. Bartoletti, Susan Campbell. They Called Themselves the KKK: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group
  3. Brockenbrough, Martha. Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary
  4. Bui, Thi. The Best We Could Do
  5. Chanani, Nidhi. Pashmina
  6. Coates, Ta-Nehisi. Between the World and Me
  7. Engle, Margarita. The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano
  8. Gibney, Shannon. See No Color
  9. Green, John. Turtles All the Way Down
  10. Han, Jenny. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
  11. Ireland, Justina. Dread Nation (publication date: 2018 April 3)
  12. Kiely, Brendan. The Gospel of Winter
  13. Larbalestier, Justine. My Sister Rosa
  14. Lewis, John; Andrew Aydin; illustrated by Nate Powell. March (all 3)
  15. Magoon, Kekla. How It Went Down
  16. Murphy, Julie. Ramona Blue
  17. O’Neill, Louise. Asking For It
  18. Oh, Axie. Rebel Seoul
  19. Okorafor, Nnedi. Akata Witch
  20. Older, Daniel José. Shadowshaper
  21. Patel, Sonia. Jaya and Rasa Fall in Love
  22. Sáenz, Benjamin Alire. The Inexplicable Logic of My Life
  23. Storm, Jennifer. Fire Starters
  24. Thomas, Angie. The Hate U Give
  25. Woodson, Jacqueline. Another Brooklyn
  26. Yousafzai, Malala. I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot By the Taliban (Young Reader’s Edition)
  27. Zinn, Howard. A Young People’s History of the United States
  28. Green Card Youth Voices: Immigrant Stories from a Minneapolis High School
  29. #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women

The full syllabus will be available shortly. To get you started, here are readings and assignments for the first two weeks of class:

Week 1 February 2 (on campus)

Unit: Introduction to Young Adult Materials


  1. Center for Disease Control and Prevention > Child Development > Basics > Positive Parenting Tips > Read everything between “Middle Childhood (9-11 years)” and “Teenagers (15-17 years).”
  2. YALSA Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff. (2017 October 30).
    ⁃ Consider participating in a free competency webinar & twitter chat (#yalsace):
  3. Braun, Linda, Maureen Hartman, Sandra Hughes-Hassell, and Kafi Kumasi with contributions from Beth Yoke. (2014). The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action. YALSA.
  4. MN Education Standards English Language Arts K-12 (read “Introduction” pp. 1-11 and glance through “Standards for English Language Arts 6–12” pp. 48-90)
  5. Cart, Michael.  (2016). “Young Adult Literature: The State of a Restless Art.” Youth Services 5(1).


  1. Blume, Judy. Forever


  1. Hinton, S.E. The Outsiders


  1. By Monday, January 29, 2018, log into D2L and complete the Advanced Google Certification course. You will be approved after approximately 24 hours, at which point you may join our Google Classroom using the code from the email. We will use Google Classroom for most our communication (syllabus, online discussion, etc.). Assignments will be submitted through D2L and the Google Classroom. The Google Doc syllabus is subject to change at any time at the discretion of the instructor. Changes will be applied directly onto the Google Doc, so do not “copy” it into your personal drive, as you will no longer be able to see changes on the original document.
  2. Google Classroom Week 1.
    ⁃ 1. Briefly introduce yourself – name, what you prefer to be called, preferred pronouns, current job (full/part time student? full/part time employee?), why you’re taking this class, and what you hope to get out of it.
    ⁃ 2. Briefly share about one of your favorite YA books, movies, magazine, or other media – something you encountered as a YA. What is “YA” about it? What was its appeal?

Week 2 February 9 (online)

Unit: Popular


  1. Haines, Claudia. Kidmap – The DIG Checklist For Inclusive, High-Quality Children’s Media
  2. Middaugh, Ellen, Lynn Schofield Clark, and Parissa J. Ballard. (2017 November). “Digital Media, Participatory Politics, and Positive Youth Development. Pediatrics 140 (supplement 2). [Read online or download PDF]


  1. Han, Jenny. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
  2. Green, John. Turtles All the Way Down

Assignments Due

  1. Google Classroom Week 2. Digital Media Analysis. Find, explore and analyze 3 apps, 3 websites, 3 video games, or 3 other digital media for young adults. Choose media that are similar (for example, 3 apps that teach coding; 3 websites that teach American history; 3 video games where the intended users are female; etc.). More instructions will be on full the syllabus.