The concept of children’s books as “windows and mirrors”* is simple: that children’s literature should contain diverse characters and experiences such that all children can find representations of their own experiences and identities (“mirrors”), and be exposed to many experiences and identities of people unlike themselves (“windows”).
The NECBA Windows and Mirrors committee, taking a broad view of diversity**, seeks to draw on the expertise of the New England bookselling community in curating a yearly list of diverse titles that demonstrate strong representation of marginalized identities as well as great literary merit.
The NECBA Windows and Mirrors list aims to highlight diverse titles that might otherwise be overlooked, and provide bookstores throughout the region with a resource that will help them easily reach for titles that showcase a breadth of human experience beyond our societal “defaults.” In this way, we hope to serve all the young readers who visit our stores, providing windows and mirrors through books that will expand and enrich their worlds.
*The concept of windows and mirrors was first popularized by Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop: http://readingwhilewhite.blogspot.com/2017/01/have-you-ever-used-phrase-mirrors-and.html.
**Following We Need Diverse Books, we use this 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.
***which includes but is not limited to physical, sensory, cognitive, intellectual, or developmental disabilities, chronic conditions, and mental illnesses (this may also include addiction). Furthermore, we subscribe to a social model of disability, which presents disability as created by barriers in the social environment, due to lack of equal access, stereotyping, and other forms of marginalization (http://weneeddiversebooks.org/mission-statement)Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
All NEIBA members and publishers may submit titles for reading by the committee; these titles may be any new edition of a book published within the calendar year. All submitted titles will be read by two or more members of the committee with consideration for quality of writing and representation. A final list will be presented each year at the NEIBA Fall Conference.
Submissions due by April 30, 2019